AWT News Update: October 16, 2015

A slow news Friday, but we have a few stories to bring to you anyway!

  • A pair of Apple Stores will open in the UAE on October 29
  • iWork for iCloud is out of beta
  • The next time you need an electrocardiogram, your cardiologist may just hand you an Apple Watch band

Text version is below, or you can watch the video recording here.

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for October 16, 2015. And welcome back to our video fans on Periscope.

Apple will be opening a pair of Apple Stores in the United Arab Emirates on October 29. The stores, in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, are the first in the Middle East. Apple had to get around some issues that prohibit foreign ownership of property in the country in order to build the stores. The Dubai store is in Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha and will open at 4 PM local time. That store is rumored to be 50,000 square feet in size, which will make it the world’s largest Apple Store if the rumors are accurate. The Abu Dhabi store is in Yas Mall on Yas Island, and will open at 7 PM local time on the same day. That should allow Apple fans to pick up two opening day t-shirts at two stores in just a few hours, provided one can drive the 130 kilometers between the two cities quickly enough.

You may not have noticed yesterday during the excitement surrounding the iWork app updates for iOS and Mac, but the versions of Pages, Numbers and Keynote available on iCloud are now out of beta and add some fun new features. To start with, documents can be previewed in mobile Safari and also on Android devices. Back in February, Apple opened iWork for iCloud to anyone who wanted to use it, even those without iOS or Mac devices. All they need to do is open an Apple ID account registration and the web-based productivity suite is available to them. iWork for iCloud is remarkably robust, complete with a commenting interface, version history, word count for Pages, and document change tracking.

You can already track your heart rate with the Apple Watch, but beginning in 2016, you can turn your Apple Watch into a full electrocardiogram or ECG. AliveCor currently makes an iPhone compatible Mobile ECG cardiac monitory accessory, and has just unveiled a version for the Apple Watch that is worn as a wrist band. It adds a two-electrode ECG monitor to a flexible wristband for the Watch, and can graph the heartbeat of the wearer over a long period of time. If the wearer experience something that concerns him, it’s possible to record heart activity and a voice annotation simultaneously. The app can then send the annotated ECG readings to a doctor or technician for further study. The Apple Watch ECG uses ultrasonic technology to beam data to the Watch’s microphone. By doing so, it uses 92% less power than it would by using Bluetooth. The device, which still needs to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, should be available next year for around $199.

I’ll be back Monday afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.