The tech world’s gaze may have been fixed firmly on IFA 2018 this week, as new wearables were revealed in droves, but we’re here to tell you it’s not all about the big announcements.
Here at And finally, we create a space for all the stories and rumours from the week you may have missed – after all, not everything is as big as the Apple Watch Series 4 leaking early.
Read on below for four stories that didn’t make it to our dedicated news section, and be sure to hit up our features sections to catch up on all the bigger reads from the week.
Apple Watch Pride face blocked in Russia
After Apple first unveiled the Pride face for the Apple Watch at WWDC back in June, it now appears that the feature won’t be available to all users.
The rainbow flag is designed to stand against discrimination, and the face is part of what Apple calls its “unwavering commitment to equality and diversity” – however, the company does have its limits, it would appear. According to iOS developer Guilherme Rambo, who posted this tweet, the Apple Watch pride face is hardcoded in watchOS 5 to not show up if the paired iPhone is using a Russian locale.
Russia’s “gay propaganda” law, passed in 2013, warns of hefty fines and even imprisonment for those found in breach of what it deems to be offensive speech, so this is likely Apple’s way of avoiding such penalties.
Microsoft trials sign-ins from Apple Watch
After debuting password-free sign-ins through Authenticator last year, Microsoft is now looking to bring the feature to users of the Apple Watch.
The app will allow Microsoft Account users to approve requests, such as password prompts, PINs or biometric authentication, directly from the wrist. Simplifying the sign-in process, wearers will now be able to approve this through the tap of a push notification.
Initially, at least, the app will begin in a public preview, with the company noting in a blog post that it plans to make it available to everyone over the next few weeks.
Chronic conditions more likely in wearable owners
The relationship between wearables and health is growing stronger with each passing year, and new data from Cardiogram indicates that wearable owners in the US are more likely to have a chronic condition than the rest of the population – a sign that people are turning to the tech to keep track of their health.
The company, whose app helps Apple Watch, Wear OS and Garmin users access deeper heart rate metrics from the wrist, details the new research insights through its Wearable Healthcare Usage Report. As shown in the table above, 14% of Cardiogram users reported being diagnosed with sleep apnea, a rate nearly twice as high as the US population in general, and those with atrial fibrillation and a wearable nearly triple the general rate.
Things are more even for users with diabetes and hypertension, meanwhile, with both figures more on par with the general US population.
Sony and New Balance team up on e-paper sneakers
Earlier this week, Sony announced that its FES Watch U was finally making it out of Japan and coming to Europe in September. But it turns out the smartwatch wasn’t the only e-paper wearable the company was at IFA to show off.
Teaming up with New Balance, Sony this week had the 247v2 shoes on its stand at IFA – with the design featuring an e-paper outsole and logo similar to that of the FES Watch U’s band and watch face.
Unfortunately, there’s no current plans to bring the product to market, but this is a neat show of smart tech from the two companies, nonetheless.
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