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News, Information and Updates on Hardware and IT Tools to help improve your Medical practice
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Messaging And The Apple Watch

Messaging And The Apple Watch | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics |

Although the Apple Watch boasts the ability to instantly notify users with important updates — breaking news stories, changes to their bank account or the achievement of a fitness goal — its 42mm screen can be a major constraint for developers and designers.

This is especially true for messaging applications, which must figure out how to create an essentials-only design that enables two-way communication without the luxury of a keyboard. When designing a messaging application for the Apple Watch there are several key considerations that must be kept in mind to ensure developers are creating something people will actually use.

Is the Apple Watch Worthy?

Jonathan Ive’s team developed the Apple Watch to help solve the problem they themselves created: smartphone addiction. Between the constant influx of notifications and the 24/7 connectivity to work, we are prisoners of our own devices.

Reluctantly, I’ll admit that I’m guilty of this in my personal life. As I play with my kids on a Saturday afternoon in the park, I can’t help but discreetly sneak a look at my phone every few minutes. We just cannot free ourselves from the thought of missing something important.

While critics claim otherwise, the Apple Watch actually frees us from our constant surreptitious phone-checking habit. By filtering the most important alerts and providing immediate notifications that can be absorbed with a glance, the Apple Watch causes users to pick up their phone less frequently and only for matters that involve a response.

Between the constant influx of notifications and the 24/7 connectivity to work, we are prisoners of our own devices.

Given the nature and purpose of the Apple Watch, the first question companies should ask is whether or not their business app interaction is worthy of immediate interruption. For enterprise messaging, the answer is a resounding Yes. The instant nature of messaging lends itself naturally for a new communication medium like the Apple Watch.

Starting From Scratch

Just like every app does not belong on the Apple Watch, every iPhone interface will not transfer to the face of a wristwatch. Over-simplification is important. You may think your iPhone app is sleek and simple, but everything changes when you drastically reduce the screen size.

Simplifying isn’t just about design; it’s about reducing the number of available features on the app. Many of the browsing or text-heavy portions of a smartphone platform are no longer applicable on the watch form factor, requiring developers to determine which features are used the most and eliminate the rest.

Color palettes on the Apple Watch also matter. Despite the assumption that a color palette would be the easiest part of the Apple Watch transition, it usually cannot be replicated from the smartphone. The Apple Watch’s black background and small screen size completely change the game, meaning that the de-saturated colors often used in traditional branding appear muted and are difficult to read, which forces designers to switch over to bright, high-contrast colors.

The Need For Context-Intelligent Responses

First and foremost, the Apple Watch is a notification platform. Punching out a lengthy message isn’t feasible without a keyboard, so messaging apps face a unique challenge not met by notification-based platforms. As we worked to solve this problem, we kept coming back to one central theme: speed.

Apple Watch users should be able to glance down at their wrist, instantly absorb the information they need and move on with their day. This is why Apple’s User Interface Guidelines suggest that app developers keep all interactions with the watch to less than 30 seconds.

With a 30-second time constraint, how do you empower users to read a notification and reply, while avoiding the often-awkward voice response? We focused on context-intelligent emojis and canned text responses to reply quickly. While the basic forms of both of these technologies have been available for years, they lacked context and the ability to accurately predict a user’s reply. That’s beginning to change.

Right now, enterprise messaging applications offer a series of canned responses, such as “Yes, I’m available now” or “We closed the deal.” Eventually, messaging applications will be able to gather relevant data to enable the creation of personalized and relevant response options.

For example, if a colleague asks to do lunch at 1pm, the app could gather information from a user’s calendar, current location, past preferences and outside data (such as access to OpenTable) to suggest personalized responses, such as “I’m not available until 1:30. Let’s meet at Salt House on Mission Street. They have tables available at that time.”

Looking Ahead

With the recent watchOS 2 announcement, which will support native apps as well as third-party complications, it is clear Apple views enriched third-party apps as critical to delivering a fully integrated wearable experience. Still, the full potential of messaging apps will not be realized until the Apple Watch can function without the iPhone.

Independent of this crutch, and with the capabilities of everything from instant communication to project management, the Apple Watch stands to become the ultimate convener, allowing users to seamlessly manage both their personal and professional lives.

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Apple is making it harder to steal the Apple Watch

t didn't make it into today's WWDC keynote address, but Apple is adding an important security feature to watchOS 2. The new version of the wearable OS will bring Activation Lock — a feature that has been on iPhones since 2013 — to the Apple Watch.

Activation Lock is an anti-theft measure that makes stolen devices less attractive to potential thieves. If someone were to steal your device and wipe it (something that can be done on a Watch in just a few taps), Activation Lock won't let the device be reactivated without first inputting the Apple ID and password that was originally used to set it up. It may not stop someone from stealing and selling your Watch for parts, and there's still no comparable feature to "Find my iPhone," but Activation Lock is a start.


Just last month, users grew worried after9to5Mac pointed out how easy it is to wipe the settings, data, and passcode from an Apple Watch. From there, someone could pair a Watch to any new iPhone. In the user guide, Apple frames this as a way to restore your Watch's functionality should you forget your passcode, which is convenient. But for many people the function made it far too easy for someone else to wind up using your Watch as their own.

Users will have the choice to enable Activation Lock on their Watch or not, so it's ultimately up to them. The watchOS 2 developer beta is available today, and the final version will be released this fall.

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Apple Rolls Out Force Touch 15" MacBook Pro and Cheaper iMac Retina

Apple Rolls Out Force Touch 15" MacBook Pro and Cheaper iMac Retina | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics |

You don’t always have to wait for a keynote for new Apple products, as is the case today with a sneaky rollout of some new Macbook Pro and iMac with Retina 5K configs.

The coolest new update is a 15” MacBook Pro that features Force Touch trackpad, previously only found in the 13” version and the New Macbook. It also has a new AMD Radeon R9 M370X graphics card, along with slightly improved battery life. That should be a boon to designers, gamers, and video editors who need as much horsepower as they can get. The new 15” MacBook Pros come in two models, priced at $2000 and $2500.

Also updated are the prices of Apple’s line of iMacs with Retina 5K displays. The cheapest model is now $2000, and the top-end model is $2300. By going for the cheaper model you are sacrificing the 1 TB hybrid Fusion drive for a traditional hard disk, as well as a slightly slower processor.

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The Apple Watch is basically hacker proof

The Apple Watch is basically hacker proof | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics |

New flashy Apple device, new potential for trouble. Or is it?

Honest, upstanding citizens like you probably see the Apple Watch as a beautiful hybrid of jewelry and technology. But like anything that’s shiny, expensive, and contains sensitive information like your credit card details, the Apple Watch is prone to being targeted by miscreants.

But a few obstacles stop thieves and hackers from getting to your sensitive data pretty effectively. And as it turns out, the Apple Watch is essentially hacker proof.

Senior security researcher Patrick Nielsen from Kaspersky Labs spoke with Business Insider, saying that “the Apple Watch’s biggest security benefit is that it’s so minimal. A lot of the processing that goes on on the Watch is actually happening on the iPhone,” meaning the that your iPhone holds and handles most of the sensitive information that a data thief would want. The Watch essentially functions as a secondary wrist-worn display for your iPhone rather than acting as a standalone device.

Right off the bat, a data thief should theoretically have much more interest in your iPhone than your Apple Watch.

However, Nielsen noted that there are some exceptions like your Apple Pay credentials that are locally stored on the Watch that let you make mobile payments without your iPhone.

“It’s theoretically possible for someone to steal an Apple Watch and steal your Apple Pay credentials,” he says.

Business InsiderThe Apple Watch's lock screen demands your passcode whenever you take it off.

Realistically, however, a data thief would need to guess your passcode just to unlock your Watch after it’s been taken off your wrist before using your Apple Pay. That’s because the Watch’s sensors detect whether or not it’s in contact with skin. It’ll remain unlocked as long as it’s on your wrist, but it’ll lock itself the moment you take it off and it’ll request a passcode to unlock it again.

The Apple Watch can't do anything but tell you the time until you enter the passcode after strapping it on. After you enter your passcode, it remains authenticated so you don't have to worry about punching the code in every time you want to do something. It's actually an easier way to use Apple Pay because you don't have to go through the extra step of authenticating the payment with your fingerprint. It also enables you to use Apple Pay on the iPhone 5 and 5C, which don't have fingerprint sensors.

While the Watch’s passcode is secure and extremely difficult to break through, Nielsen says “the biggest security weakness of the Watch is the user’s choice of passcode. It’s not exactly rare for people to use pin codes like 1234, an astonishing amount of people still use those common permutations.”

Thieves have up to 10 attempts to get the passcode right. It might not seem like a lot, but that’s 10 chances for a thief to try the 10 most common passcodes, which anyone can find with a quick internet search.

The New Yorker / YouTube Trickster Apollo Robins shows how a watch can easily be stolen without you even noticing.

But if a someone guesses wrong all 10 times, the Watch erases any stored data and locks itself into a pricey paperweight that’s of no use to a data thief.

Even if a thief guesses your passcode, or if he/she obtained it from you by force or sleight of hand, you can wipe your Apple Pay data from the Apple Watch remotely using your iPhone or computer and logging into your iCloud account.

There’s also a slightly less delicate way of getting to your sensitive data by using brute force. A hacker could use a brute-force attack with a hacking computer to decipher the encrypted passcode. But Nielsen says such a process is time consuming, extremely difficult, results in the Watch becoming “compromised” (a nice way of saying destroyed), and only few people have the ability to do so.

Apart from poor passcodes or gutting your Apple Watch medieval-style, there’s a way for hackers to exploit your data without your knowing.

According to Nielsen, it’s possible for eavesdroppers to intercept the Bluetooth or WiFi communications between an Apple Watch and your iPhone, and potentially access and manipulate any and all information that travels between the two devices.

iFixitHere's an Apple Watch being "compromised" by iFixit.

However, he reassures that “major problems with the communications method used by the Watch and iPhone” are not known at this time, “but given the complexity of the protocols and software, it is likely that problems will be discovered in the future, and will be remedied through operating system updates."

Just to be safe, Nielsen suggests:

  • Never do the initial setup/pairing of your devices in public. In general, for new smart devices, the most security-sensitive phase is the setup/pairing phase.
  • Don’t connect to public or other untrusted Wi-Fi networks unless absolutely necessary. Public Wi-Fi networks are convenient, but their security is a mess.
  • Make sure you install operating system updates as soon as they come out. Most of the time, these contain critical security fixes that prevent newly discovered attacks against the device.

And for the love of technology, please set up a strong passcode.

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The Apple Watch will not be able to browse the web

The Apple Watch will not be able to browse the web | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics |

The Apple Watch has a bunch of fancy apps, including CityMapper to help you navigate and Uber to help you get a ride home. But one big thing is missing.

Paul Canetti has published a Medium post that points out major iPhone apps that are missing from the Apple Watch. It turns out most people haven't noticed that the Apple Watch doesn't come with a web browser.

If you want to search for something on your watch, you have to say it to the personal-assistant app Siri and hope it can find the information you want.

Samsung's Gear smartwatches, which run Google's Android Wear system, have full-fledged (albeit tiny) web browsers in them.

There's no keyboard on the Apple Watch, either. Some people will like that — they don't have to awkwardly tap on a tiny screen. But if you want to enter any text on the watch, be it the name of a person you want to email or your address for an Uber ride, then you have to say it out loud to your watch. Apple is forcing people to use their iPhone for some tasks (like reading articles and writing emails), and using their Apple Watch for simple things (like quick email replies and checking the calendar).

You don't need to visit the CNN website on your watch. The CNN app will notify you of important stories, and you can use it to browse through content on the purpose-built app. Sites will have to build their own Apple Watch apps to get around the lack of a web browser.

Safari isn't the only iPhone app that will not make an appearance on the Apple Watch. Voice memos, notes, game center, and many others will not have their own wearable versions.

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The Apple Watch launch may be more than 12x as large as the iPad launch

The Apple Watch launch may be more than 12x as large as the iPad launch | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics |

With an aggressive nine country launch into a user base of more than 400 million iPhone owners, the Apple Watch will likely represent the largest new product category launch, according to sales, in Apple's 38-year history. Given my opening weekend sales expectations, the Apple Watch launch may be upwards of 12x as large as the iPad launch. I am establishing calendar year 2015 and 2016 Apple Watch unit sales estimates of 19 and 33 million, respectively.

Apple Watch is a different kind of product for Apple with 30 unique watch models curated into two collections, not including eight Edition models that will have a limited release. While I would still expect initial sales to be constrained by supply, the somewhat wide launch window (Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK, and the US) suggests Apple is confident in an opening weekend unit sales number that is at least 2 million, but not likely more than 5 million. Exhibit 1 compares Apple's previous new product category launches. The Apple Watch's nine country launch stands out as an outlier. 

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Wearables are making gains, but they still face major barriers to adoption

Wearables are making gains, but they still face major barriers to adoption | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics |

With the launch of the Apple Watch, and a slew of smartwatches and fitness bands on the market from competing companies, the devices seem to be taking off among consumers. 

But there are still several barriers that could inhibit this new device category from becoming a ubiquitous, mainstream computing platform.

In a recent report on the wearable computing market from BI Intelligence, we look at how the wearables market will perform in the long run. We forecast out shipments numbers and analyze proprietary results from our BI Intelligence consumer survey on smartwatch purchase intent. But we also discuss some of the barriers to adoption that persist. Here are some of the main inhibitors: 

  • The lack of a persuasive use caseSome consumers still don't see the point of these devices. In our proprietary survey data, 51% of those who don't want a smartwatch claimed it was because they did not see the point. Until consumers see a clear reason why smartwatches will improve their lives, the smartwatch category will remain sluggish.
  • The lack of a killer app. There aren't enough apps out there that are really compelling on the wrist-worn devices. Fragmentation is one of the biggest reasons for lack of a robust wearable app ecosystem. Several wearable devices launched in the past year, and almost all of them used different platforms, making it difficult for developers to pinpoint a platform to build on. Apple's WatchKit, which was released in November, should propel more wearable-focused app development. 
  • Limited functionalityBasic fitness bands are limited to primarily tracking health- and fitness-related data and spitting this aggregated data back out onto a smartphone or tablet, and the most obvious limitation to the smartwatch is the small screen size. These devices are clearly not made to handle content like games, video, photos, and even some social media — which are some of the most popular app categories on smartphones and tablets. 
  • StyleThus far, most smartwatches have looked somewhat clunky and unsophisticated, while smart eyewear like Google Glass is simply too conspicuous and obtrusive on the face.  Apple Watch will cater to the high-end fashion crowd by offering premium versions of the device equipped with fashionable bands and even gold-plated watch faces.
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One Chinese brand makes a quarter of the world's wearable devices

One Chinese brand makes a quarter of the world's wearable devices | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics |

Which company do you think is the fast-rising upstart in the wearable world? Fitbit?Jawbone? None of the above, if you ask IDC. It estimates that China's Xiaomi claimed 24.6 percent of the wearable device market in the first quarter of 2015, which is no mean feat when the company didn't even start shipping its first wrist-worn gadget, the Mi Band, until the second half of last year. That still amounts to just 2.8 million devices, but it was enough to shrink the market share for virtually everyone else, including industry leader Fitbit as well as Garmin, Samsung and Jawbone. And Samsung is the only smartwatch maker on the list, we'd add. LG, Motorola, Pebble and other early entrants are lumped into the "others" group.

As to why Xiaomi did so well? Analysts don't go into detail, but the Mi Band's thrifty $15 price no doubt helped, as did Xiaomi's big presence in the Chinese smartphone space. The real question is whether or not it can keep that spot. While there aren't official Apple Watch sales figures, IDC believes that it's likely to become the benchmark for wearables, "fairly or not." The Cupertino crew won't necessarily knock Fitbit or Xiaomi out of their top spots, but its sheer clout could easily make it a major contender.

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The first Apple Watch update arrives with faster app performance

The first Apple Watch update arrives with faster app performance | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics |

The Apple Watch arrived on the scene with at least a few rough edges, but the crew at 1 Infinite Loop is trying to smooth at least some of them today. The company has released a 1.0.1 update for the Watch that improves performance across the board, and should be a particular help with third-party apps hosted on your iPhone -- many of which seemingly took forever to load in the original release. The difference isn't dramatic in our experience, but it is there. Your wristwear should also do better jobs with Siri voice recognition and calculating fitness data (such as calories and distance), and the interface supports seven extra languages ranging from Brazilian Portugese to Turkish. This doesn't include any of the big interface-level features hinted at in recent rumors, but it's good to see Apple's first wearable get some much-needed polish.

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Software developers try on Apple watch, see more apps coming

Software developers try on Apple watch, see more apps coming | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics |

Software developers who tried on an Apple Watch for the first time on Friday predicted a rush of new apps over the next few months, particularly in areas including health and messaging.

Developers, who had been limited to using software simulators of the watch, discovered new possibilities.

Ross Cohen, chief operating officer of, which makes a caller ID app for the watch, said he only realized on Friday that the watch goes on and off automatically as you raise or lower your wrist.

The simulator did not have a microphone, leaving some developers to guess how well it could hear. Having the watch on hand will speed development, said Danielle Keita-Taguchi, marketing analyst at Y Media Labs, which has designed apps for companies like American Express, EMC and eBay.

"A lot of Fortune 500 companies really want to leverage this new technology quickly," she said. "Health, transportation and social media will be the three main industries that will utilize the Apple Watch."

Tracking firm App Annie counted 3,061 total apps supporting Apple Watch on Friday. Some 10 percent were games. Productivity apps were 8 percent and lifestyle and health/fitness each accounted for 7 percent.

Ride-hailing service Uber had an app, as did sports network ESPN, microblogging platform Twitter, photo sharing service Instagram, tune-identifier Shazam and the Outlook email app from Microsoft Corp.

Notable absences included social network Facebook, message service Snapchat and any apps from Google Inc. A Google spokesperson said "only time will tell" if it would make any apps for Apple's device. Snapchat could not be reached for comment. Earlier this week Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told analysts who asked about the watch, "We're going to watch closely and build what our community wants us to."

So far developers see the watch's main benefits as saving time or the labor of frequently taking out a phone.

"I've got my phone with me already, why do I also need the watch?" asked Matt McIlwain, managing director of Madrona Venture Group, which backs a host of software companies. "What is the extension benefit to having it on my wrist versus in my pocket?"

McIlwain's firm has invested in Redfin, the online real estate service, which has one answer. Its Apple Watch app that let users find nearby homes for sale and dictate notes on homes visited.

Scopidea's curator insight, June 22, 2015 3:00 AM

Scopidea provides unique time tracker software. Time tracker software helps to record time, capture screen shot and download complete works sheet!

How The Apple Watch And iPhone 6 Plus Might Flip Your Mobile Computing Habits

How The Apple Watch And iPhone 6 Plus Might Flip Your Mobile Computing Habits | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics |

Apple’s new wearable hardware could eventually become much more than just an optional accessory – eventually, it could be one half of a Voltron-style combo that makes up the bulk of our computing life, relegating the tablet and smartphone model to the past. Just like a tablet/smartphone combo was a common duo over the past few years, a smartwatch/phablet duo could be the optimal setup for working on-the-go in the future.

The iPad and iPhone previously operated together as a way to both quickly and easily handle small tasks, but also to have a larger device on hand for taking care of more serious business, or for easier reading of longer content. Apple’s ability to create a tablet that people actually wanted to use probably cut the home PC out of the loop for a big chunk of users – and the market trends among the general PC OEM population over the past few years seems to back that up.

Of course, no computing paradigm is permanent. The iPhone was perhaps the first proof for many that a lot of general computing could be handled without having to seek further than your pocket. The Apple Watch will likely offer a similar realization, and the way it changes how we look at our devices could result in a flip of position and popularity between iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models.

While Apple doesn’t reveal specific details on the iPhone 6/6 Plus sales mix when it announces iPhone numbers each quarter (or even split between the current generation and previous ones, for that matter), Apple CEO Tim Cook did say during the company’s most recent earnings call that the iPhone 6 was outselling the 6 Plus during the last quarter. I’d argue that the Apple Watch will be the bump needed to switch that around for the coming generation of new iPhone devices, because so much more can be done on the wrist, which affects the basic mechanics of carrying a large device in a big way.

As it is, I’m torn between the convenience of the smaller iPhone 6 and the big benefits of the larger display on the iPhone 6 Plus. But when the Apple Watch is added into the mix, the choice becomes much more clear. Even if the Watch only decreases the number of times you have to actually retrieve your iPhone from your bag or pocket by around 30 percent (and I’m anticipating more than that based on early impressions and reports from longer-term testers), then that already mitigates some of the downsides of the larger device. Currently, my primary reason for going with the iPhone 6 is basically just that the 6 Plus works better as something carried in a bag or coat than a pants pocket. The pocket, however, is far easier to reach in most settings.

So long as the Watch is sufficient for triaging most of the cases in which reaching into a bag would be awkward (while talking to others, for instance), my iPhone 6 Plus pains would be alleviated. And the combo then eliminates much of the benefit of carrying an iPad.

As a result, I think it’s worth considering the Apple Watch as more of an iPad-like product line than as an iPhone accessory. If Apple can usher in a shift to a wearables/smartphone paradigm, the opportunity might be far greater than if it was just adding and additional device to the existing list of devices anyone uses on a daily basis.

That’s not to say the iPad goes away, either; I’d see it becoming even more of a PC or home computer replacement in this new arrangement, spending more time on the coffee table than in the bag. And that new vision has me excited – I’ve given up on fantasies of going back to a more unplugged world, but Apple Watch could at least avoid those smartphone attention holes when a notification pulls you into a lengthy, distracted aimless browsing session.

Tom Bryon's curator insight, March 25, 2015 2:59 AM

New technology is getting smaller, faster, and easier to use. In our day to day life, when we need to find information, we consult our mobile phones due to the convenience and ease of access. Does this mean in the future we will be utilising a wearable piece of technology? It is early days for the Apple watch but as software and hardware evolves, it may be essential to wear a computer around your wrist. 

SowmyaD's curator insight, March 27, 2015 4:47 AM

In the past decade, technology has changes drastically by allowing us to use technology such as phones, music player, and more in a more compact version. We are currently in the age of using devices of the iPhone and iPad sizes. This article discusses the possibility that the same features we use now will be accessed on an even smaller screen - the iWatch. 

Oktay Dağdeviren's curator insight, March 30, 2015 6:07 AM!

Apple Watch Battery Life: 18 Hours Mixed Usage, Up to 72 Hours on Power Reserve

Apple Watch Battery Life: 18 Hours Mixed Usage, Up to 72 Hours on Power Reserve | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics |

Apple has outlined specific information about Apple Watch battery life on its website, claiming that the wrist-worn device gets all-day battery life of 18 hours on a single charge based on mixed usage, and up to 72 hours in Power Reserve mode. The battery testing was conducted in March using a preproduction Apple Watch paired with an iPhone running preproduction software.

Apple claims that the Apple Watch has battery life of up to 3 hours for talk time, 6.5 hours for audio playback over Bluetooth, up to 7 hours during a workout session with the heart rate sensor on and up to 48 hours for timekeeping. Apple Watch charging times are listed as about 1.5 hours from 0% to 80% and 2.5 hours from 0% to 100% using the included MagSafe inductive charger.

Apple's claim of all-day battery life is based on using the Apple Watch for 90 time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app use, and a 30-minute workout with music playback via Bluetooth over the course of 18 hours. Apple used a 38mm Apple Watch for testing and claims that the 42mm will generally experience longer battery life. Additional magnetic chargers are available on Apple's bands and accessories page, costing $29 for a 1-meter cable and $39 for a 2-meter cable.

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