Visitors inspect a display of the new Apple Watch Series 4. AFP photo

APPLE is putting more focus on how its watch can be more than just a device that tells time and becomes a fitness guidance.

On top of refining its looks with a new stunning display, the new Apple Watch Series 4 is designed with new health features, such as Electrocardiogram and Fall Detection.

The Apple Watch Series 4 with watchOS brings advanced activity and communications features, along with revolutionary health capabilities, including a new accelerometer and gyroscope, which are able to detect hard falls, and an electrical heart rate sensor that can take an electrocardiogram (ECG) using the new ECG app, which has been granted a De Novo classification by the US FDA.


ECG reading
Launched together with the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR, the watch enables users to take an ECG reading right from the wrist using the new ECG app, which takes advantage of the electrodes built into the Digital Crown and new electrical heart rate sensor in the back crystal.

With the app, users just need to touch the Digital Crown and after 30 seconds, receive a heart rhythm classification. It can classify if the heart is beating in a normal pattern or whether there are signs of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), a heart condition that could lead to major health complications.

All recordings, their associated classifications and any noted symptoms are stored in the Health app in a PDF that can be shared with physicians.

“We’re thrilled Apple Watch has become an essential part of peoples’ lives,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer.


The new Apple Watch Series 4 is displayed during an Apple special event at the Steve Jobs Theatre in Cupertino, California. AFP photo


Live-saving feature
With watchOS 5, Apple Watch intermittently analyses heart rhythms in the background and sends a notification if an irregular heart rhythm suggestive of AFib is detected.

It can also alert the user if the heart rate exceeds or falls below a specified threshold.

Meanwhile, its Fall detection feature utilises a next-generation accelerometer and gyroscope, which measures up to 32 g-forces, along with custom algorithms to identify when hard falls occur.

By analysing wrist trajectory and impact acceleration, the Apple Watch sends the user an alert after a fall, which can be dismissed or used to initiate a call to emergency services.

If the watch senses immobility for 60 seconds after the notification, it will automatically call emergency services and send a message along with location to emergency contacts.


Staying Connected
Users can reach their friends with just a tap of the wrist with Walkie-Talkie, a watch-to-watch connection that is an entirely new way to communicate around the world over Wi-Fi or cellular.

The Siri watch face is more predictive and proactive, offering shortcuts and actionable content from favourite third-party apps. watchOS 5 also lets users listen to their favourite podcasts on the go with Apple Podcasts on Apple Watch, and stream any podcast in the catalog by using Siri. With Apple Watch Series 4, enriched complications offer a more detailed view of helpful third-party apps like Dexcom, which allows for continuous glucose monitoring, or Streaks, which shows daily progress on tasks.


Apple CEO Tim Cook speaking at the Apple event in Cupertino, California. AFP photo


New design
While retaining the original iconic design, the fourth-generation Apple Watch has been refined, combining new hardware and software enhancements into a genuinely singular, unified form.

The stunning display is over 30 percent larger and seamlessly integrates into the thinner, smaller case, while the new interface provides more information with richer detail.

The Apple Watch Series 4 comes in two sizes, 40mm and 44mm. The speaker is 50 percent louder, optimised for phone calls, Siri and Walkie-Talkie, and the microphone has been relocated, to reduce echo for better sound quality.

The device includes the next-generation S4 chip with a custom 64-bit dual-core processor, delivering twice the speed while maintaining the same all-day battery life.

The back of Apple Watch Series 4 is composed of a gorgeous black ceramic and sapphire crystal, allowing radio waves to easily pass through the front and back for better cellular service.

The Digital Crown now includes haptic feedback, offering a more mechanical and responsive feel through the sensation of incremental clicks.


Fitness
With watchOS 5, Apple Watch is designed to be a better fitness and workout companion too.

Activity competitions allow users to challenge other Apple Watch wearers, automatic workout detection provides an alert to start a workout while giving retroactive credit, and Yoga and Hiking are new dedicated workout types that accurately track active calories burned and exercise minutes earned.


The Apple Watch Series 4 with watchOS brings advanced activity and communications features, along with revolutionary health capabilities. AFP photo

Running enthusiasts can take advantage of extended battery life — which is increased to six hours — for outdoor workouts and enjoy high-performance features, including cadence for indoor and outdoor runs, pace alerts for outdoor runs and rolling mile pace, which shows pace for the immediately preceding mile.


Availability
There is no availability date yet for the Malaysian market, but the watch will be available in first-tier countries starting Sept 21, 2018.

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