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iMore’s favorite fitness accessories

When the iMore team wants to exercise, these are the go-to gadgets they love to help get them in shape.

When it comes to fitness, the digital age has really made a difference. Whether it's an app that pushes you to get off the couch, a water bottle that reminds you when to drink, or a set of headphones that act as your personal trainer, you can really get into shape with the help of your technology. We sat down to talk about the different ways tech and gadgets have helped us get into, or stay in shape.

Serenity Caldwell: Twelve South's ActionSleeve Armband

Sure, everyone loves their Apple Watch bands, but wrist-worn heart sensors aren't always the best solution when working out. (The TL;DR: When you bend your wrist, the watch's sensors can be less accurate due to the way they measure your heartbeat.) If you're lifting, planking, or worried about hitting your watch against your weights, it's worth considering Twelve South's ActionSleeve Armband: It lets you move your watch casing into an armband, where your watch can more accurately measure your heart rate when performing HIIT activities or weight training.

I've used the $29.99 ActionSleeve on multiple occasions, including playing derby with it; while it takes a little experimentation to find the right fit for the neoprene sleeve — especially if you're performing an exercise that flexes your bicep — once you get the correct fit it's a fantastic protective way to wear your watch.

See at Twelve South

Lory Gil: Misfit Shine 2

The Shine 2 is a small disc-like device with 12 little LED lights on its face. Those 12 little lights let you know how you're progressing with your fitness goals for the day. They also act as a notification alert when you get a text message or a phone call, or just to give you a nudge if you've been sitting down for too long. The Shine 2 tracks your steps, distance, calories burned, and sleep cycles.

It's also very subtle. It's a simple disc that comes in a variety of colors. You can wear it with the included fitness band, or you could invest in an attractive jewelry accessory that it snaps right into. Misfit even worked with Swarovski on specially designed luxury accessories that fit the Shine 2 perfectly. If you really want to keep it hidden, you could just stick it in your pocket. It's only slightly larger than the size of a U.S. quarter.

The Misfit Shine 2 comes in a variety of disc colors with complimentary fitness bands. It costs around $79.99.

See at Amazon

Luke Filipowicz: Withings Body Scale

I have been on a weight loss journey since the beginning of 2017 and I'm proud to say it's going well. I'm down a full 20 pounds, but now I seemed to have reached a plateau. In the beginning, I lost a pound almost every week, but now it's getting much harder to see progress; that's where the Withings Body Scale comes in to play!

I owe the discovery of the Withings Body Scale to Modern Dad and I couldn't believe I never thought of using a smart scale before. The ability to weigh myself as much or as little as I want and see the progress over a long period of time is exactly what I need to stay motivated. No more stepping on the scale and being disappointed that I only lost a minuscule amount of weight since my last weigh in, and no more worrying about the times I go up a pound or two. All the information syncs to the Withings app instantly and I don't have to think about manually uploading information or hand charting it out myself.

It's nice to know that everyone the house can use it as well. The Withings Body Scale can support multiple users, and once you set up the users in the app, the scale will automatically know who everybody is when they weigh in.

See at Amazon

Daniel Bader: Nomad Sport Strap

This is going to be boring, but hear me out: Nomad's new Apple Watch Sport Strap is amazing. It's robust and durable, attractive and extremely comfortable, and the best part is that the company made its own lugs so you don't have to deal with the weird hybrid look that most sports bands force you to live with when they use Apple's own lugs. Like Apple's own rubber sports bands, this one latches securely using the "Newson" method, and I can't tell you how many walks, runs, and games of dodgeball I've played with the Sport Strap staying snug.

See at Nomad

Mikah Sargent: Misfit Ray

An activity tracker needs to meet a few requirements if it's going to be good at its job: It needs to look good (or, alternatively, be inoffensive or understated), it needs to be comfortable, and it needs to be something you can wear for long periods of time. The Misfit Ray checks all these boxes.

The understated aluminum activity tracker is incredibly versatile and good-looking. Oh, and its replaceable batteries last up to four months. Four. Months. A truly excellent activity tracker needs to be able to track you at all times (or as close to it as possible), and the Ray can do this. It's small and light enough that you can keep it on all day, every day — heck, it's even swim-proof. Save for replacing the batteries once every four months, the Ray can keep tabs on your stats always.

For $49.99 you can track your steps, distance traveled, calories, sleep, and activities. The Bluetooth-connected Ray also includes piezoelectric vibration that you can set to buzz you for alarms and notifications. Thanks to its capacitive touch surface, it can also be configured as a "smart button" that'll let you trigger your camera's shutter button, control music, advance slides in a presentation, and more. The Ray is feature-packed, long lasting, and understated. It makes for a great activity-tracking experience.

See at Amazon

Joe Keller: Apple Watch Sport Band

Sometimes the simplest tools are the best for your needs. I don't exercise nearly as much as I should, but when I do, my preferred activity is jogging. Don't use any of the in-depth fitness apps, either. I start an open-ended run in the Apple Watch Workout app and just start going until I can't anymore.

That's why I picked the Apple Watch Sport Band. If there's something I think that Apple really just knocked right out of the park with the first version of the watch, it's the design of this band. It's comfortable when exercising, easy to use, and it isn't irritating when you're exercising with it for a long time. Importantly, I often find that other bands have a little give unless I wear them too tight, making them less than ideal for exercise. Conversely, the Sport Band keeps the Apple Watch firmly in place without any discomfort.

See at Apple

Cella Lao Rousseau: iPhone 7 Plus

I'll be honest, I just recently started going to the gym regularly, so I'm slowly learning from my gym and trainer pals what fitness tech is worth checking out. On my own, though, I've discovered that the iPhone 7 Plus is a pretty fantastic tool to use while working on yo' fitness!

For one, the iPhone's water-resistant capabilities make me feel secure that I won't accidentally murder my phone with sweat. Also, the music I play through my Apple Music subscription with my iPhone 7 Plus keeps me pumped up and ready to go at all times — shoutout to Kayla Itsines for her Intense Sweat workout playlist!

Additionally, the health app helps me monitor my physical activity progress day-to-day as I make small changes in my life like parking further away from the entrance of the mall, walking to the grocery store instead of driving, and the like.

I'm not looking to be a body builder or anything — I just want a butt like Nicki Minaj, is that too much to ask for?! — so the iPhone's apps and features are perfect for me as I dip my toe into the fitness world!

Mike Tanasychuk: Nothing... no, really!

Call me a Luddite, but I don't believe in fitness accessories beyond those that help keep your devices in place. I feel like fitness trackers and other connected devices make people focus on the metrics rather than simply listening to their own bodies. Sometimes, true progress can get lost in the numbers. Or, even worse, a culture of "good enough" is bred because you're hitting daily goals, and once you nail that mark, it's "time to stop" when you might have more in you.

While many people use fitness trackers for motivation, I believe they're also slowing many others down and preventing them from truly pushing themselves.

So get into the gym or onto the track, pop in your pump-up music if that's what revs your engine, and push until you can't push anymore — don't let a piece of rubber with Bluetooth tell you differently.

What about you?

Do you have a favorite fitness accessory that you think could help us shed unwanted pounds? Put them in the comments and maybe we'll try them out.

How to create and share playlists with friends on Spotify for iPhone and iPad

You've just made the best party playlist on Spotify anyone has ever heard. Now it's time to share it with your friends, or even the world!

One of Spotify's best features is its social sharing. It's done right, and people love discovering new music from artists and fans, too. I love making playlists. They're the mix tapes of the new millennium. On Spotify, you can make that mix tape that will win the heart of your crush and you don't even have to hand it over in person. Here's how.

How to create a playlist on Spotify on iPhone and iPad

O.K. your bags are packed and you're about to hit the road for at least six hours of driving. What music do you bring? Make a playlist! Come up with a theme, find the artists, albums, and songs you like, and truly craft the perfect playlist to keep you energized on those long, flat land drives.

  1. Launch the Spotify app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Your Library in the bottom right corner.
  3. Tap Playlists.

  4. Tap Create Playlist at the bottom of the page.
  5. Enter a Name for your new playlist.
  6. Tap Create.
  7. Tap your New playlist at the top of the list.

  8. Tap Browse.
  9. Find a song or album you want to add to your playlist.
  10. Tap the More icon next to an album title or song. It looks like three dots.
  11. Tap Add to Playlist.

Repeat steps 9 - 11 until you've built out your perfect playlist.

How to share a playlist on Spotify on iPhone and iPad

You've been trying to figure out how to tell your crush how you feel. You made the perfect playlist. It expresses your feelings perfectly. Now, it's time to see if your crush feels the same way (or, at least likes the same music).

  1. Launch the Spotify app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Your Library in the bottom right corner.
  3. Tap Playlists.

  4. Tap the playlist you want to share.
  5. Tap the More icon in the upper right corner. It looks like three dots.
  6. Tap Share at the bottom of the list.
  7. Select the method you want to share the playlist.

You can send it via Message, Messenger, Facebook, or Twitter. You can also use the Share sheet to add it to supported third-party apps, like Slack or Hangouts, or just copy the link and share it any way you want.

How to find a playlist someone shared with your on Spotify on iPhone and iPad

So your buddy shared a playlist with you and asked later that same day, "Did you listen to that playlist I sent you?" Don't worry. You still have time to listen to it if you can make an excuse for why you haven't yet. Just don't say you don't know how to find a playlist.

  1. Launch the Spotify app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Your Library in the bottom right corner.
  3. Tap Playlists.

  4. Scroll through your playlists until you find the one created by your buddy. His or her username will be listed right below the name of the playlist.

Now, run to the bathroom and listen to the playlist before you see your buddy again. Awkward moment avoided!

How to make your playlist public on Spotify on iPhone and iPad

You've created the be-all-end-all playlist. It's so good, you think the world could benefit from your musical expertise. You can share your playlist with every Spotify user by making it public.

  1. Launch the Spotify app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Your Library in the bottom right corner.
  3. Tap Playlists.

  4. Tap the playlist you want to make public.
  5. Tap the More icon in the upper right corner. It looks like three dots.
  6. Tap Make Public from the list.

Now every Spotify user can listen to the playlist you've created. Who knows, maybe you'll be the next big deejay.

How to stop following a playlist on Spotify on iPhone and iPad

Your sweetheart dumped you and the last thing you want to do is be reminded of the pain by listening to that stupid playlist that meant so much a long time ago. Out of site, out of mind.

  1. Launch the Spotify app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Your Library in the bottom right corner.
  3. Tap Playlists.

  4. Tap the playlist you want to unfollow.
  5. Tap the More icon in the upper right corner. It looks like three dots.
  6. Tap Stop Following.

All those lovingly-crafted songs are now a fading memory.

How to delete a playlist on Spotify on iPhone and iPad

You've completely switched gears and no longer like nu metal. You want to remove any existence of it from your life, including any playlists you created for friends or to share with the public. Erase!

  1. Launch the Spotify app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Your Library in the bottom right corner.
  3. Tap Playlists.

  4. Tap the playlist you want to delete.
  5. Tap the More icon in the upper right corner. It looks like three dots.

  6. Tap Delete Playlist.
  7. Tap Delete to confirm that you want to delete the playlist.

Now you're embarrassing previous taste in music can't be used against you by your new, cooler friends.

Any questions?

Do you have any questions about how to create and share playlists with friends on Spotify? Put them in the comments and we'll help you out.

White center lines are being removed from roads in the UK—for safety

Throughout the past year, a number of newly paved roads in and around London were finished without the traditional center lines dividing traffic. According to a white paper published (PDF) by Transport for London (TfL), removal of center lines on roads where the speed limit is less than 30 miles per hour results in a "statistically significant reduction in vehicle speeds.”

Trials in Norfolk and Wiltshire have also supported the removal of the center line to reduce vehicle speed.

The TfL white paper found that drivers tend to slow their driving by up to 4mph on roads with no center lines. But, since the study was only conducted on smooth, newly-paved roads, the researchers at TfL corrected the data to account for the fact that drivers tend to go slightly faster when they feel confident that the road is in good condition. With such corrections, TfL found that the lack of center lines could theoretically reduce average vehicle speeds by up to 8.6mph.

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Assetto Corsa: Are PS4 and Xbox One ready for a true driving simulator?

There are two schools of thought when it comes to porting videogames between systems. On the one hand, you've got the supporters who believe that not everyone has the time, money, or inclination to purchase all available hardware, with ports giving them access to the most games. On the other, you've got the sceptics that believe it's not possible to get the most out of a game unless developers focus their efforts on a specific system.

The latter is perhaps why developer Kunos Simulazioni has faced such opposition to the console port of Assetto Corsa, a racing simulator so brilliant and so intrinsically tied to the platform it was developed on—it was launched on Steam Early access with much community input and mods—that many simply don't believe a console version will work. Since its launch in late 2014, Assetto Corsa has been widely lauded as the racing simulator, the game that petrol heads go to when the fluff of Forza's fancy weather effects grows stale and they fancy a real challenge.

It might not be as pretty as Drive Club, or sport the deep career mode of Gran Turismo, but Assetto Corsa has near everything else beat when it comes to replicating the simple pleasure of slamming a car round some tarmac. A racing wheel, by far a more popular peripheral on PC than console, is all but mandatory to get the best out of it.

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Woman livestreams alleged drunk driving on Periscope

Technically Incorrect: A Florida woman films herself allegedly driving drunk, actually declaring that she’s drunk as she streams it to the Web through Periscope.

The post Woman livestreams alleged drunk driving on Periscope appeared first on IOS Rumors.

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