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When you're not getting a good night's sleep, it's hard to be productive, balance your emotions, and stay healthy. We all know the importance of eating right and exercising, but sleep is just as key to promoting a healthy and happy life. Just as you track your steps or count your calories, you should be keeping tabs on your sleep routine. Luckily, your Apple Watch can help you with that. All new Apple Watches come with a built-in sleep tracking app, simply called "Sleep." It can detect when you're sleeping, track how you're sleeping, and more. However, if you're looking for more detailed sleep analysis or features — some apps track your REM cycles, and some can even play music — you might want to look into a third-party app. Here's a comparison of the leading sleep-tracking apps currently available for the Apple Watch, including the built-in Sleep app. The official Apple Watch Sleep app Cost to download: Free and built-in Paid membership: No The built-in Sleep app was added in the watchOS 7 update, which is exclusive to the Apple Watch Series 3 and newer. If you have a compatible Watch but don't have watchOS 7, be sure to update it. Your Apple Watch has the ability to detect when you're sleeping and for how long, based on micromovements that signal respiration during sleep. The Sleep app can also detect periods of wake and sleep throughout the night — all put together in a handy little chart that tracks your sleep schedule over time. All your sleep data will also be automatically synced to your iPhone.
You can use the Sleep app in conjunction with your Watch's Wind Down, Sleep Mode, and Do Not Disturb features. This can help you develop a specialized routine before bed, which can include a customized watch face, bedtime reminders, screen dimming, and more. Your Watch also has the ability to wake you up by delivering light vibrations or soft sounds.
Although the Apple Watch Sleep app offers a lot of features to sync your devices together, it doesn't provide as detailed sleep data analysis as some of the other third-party apps available from the App Store. AutoSleep Cost to download: $3.99 Paid membership: No AutoSleep offers a super quick setup — you don't even need to make an account. Perfect for people who like to lay in bed and watch TV or read a book, AutoSleep requires you to tell the app that you're going to sleep (through its Lights Off function). In other words, a six-hour, unmoving Netflix binge will never trick it into thinking you've fallen asleep. You can activate Lights Off directly from your Apple Watch and track how long it takes you to fall asleep.
You can view your sleep session on a graph that plots how deep your sleep was, as well as your heart rate over time. It'll show the peaks and troughs in your sleep that indicate when you woke up and when you were in sound slumber.
The sleep rings show your time asleep, your time having quality sleep, your time in deep sleep, and your sleeping heart rate. You can set goals for each of these, and the rings will compare with your goals, letting you know how well you've done.
There's also a feature to show your "sleep bank" for the week. This is based on you getting a full eight hours a night. If you sleep less, you'll go into debt, and if you sleep more, you'll have extra credit. Overall, AutoSleep provides a decent amount of data and you can compare day-to-day to see how your lifestyle affects your sleep. For the one-off charge of $3.99, it's a great value. Sleep++ Cost to download: Free Paid membership: No, but offers in-app purchases Sleep++ is the most basic of the available sleep apps, but it's free to download and has no hidden extra costs. You can choose to have your sleep tracked in auto mode or manual mode. Auto mode will automatically track your sleep, using your movements — or lack thereof — to know when you're in dreamland. If you use manual mode, you'll have to tell the app when you're going to sleep and when you wake up. Press "Start Sleeping" and then "Stop Sleeping" on your Apple Watch or in the iPhone app.
You won't get much data from this app, just one bar showing you how deep your sleep was. However, it's totally free and a great place to start your sleep-tracking routine.
Sleep Cycle: Cost to download: Free Paid membership: 1 month free, then $29.99/year to get trend data and premium features Sleep Cycle has the unique feature of a built-in alarm with a "Wake up phase," that automatically wakes you up at the optimal time, based on your sleep pattern. Set the time you need to wake up by, and the app will wake you (using haptic vibrations on your watch) up to 30 minutes before when you're in your lightest phase of sleep. You can adjust that time frame in the app if you want a longer window of time before you're woken up. If you buy the paid version (you get a 1-month trial to test it out first), you'll unlock premium features, like a sleep aid to provide you with soothing sounds, weather alerts when you wake up, and heart rate monitoring. Although the features may be better than the other apps, you won't receive a data analysis of your sleep cycle.
SleepWatch Cost to download: Free Paid membership: 7 days free, $3.99/month or $29.99/year to gain access to better analysis SleepWatch provides the most data of any of the tested apps, but you'll have to buy a membership to make the most of it, as well as receive heart rate comparisons and comprehensive sleep analyses. The paid membership will give you a numeric value for your quality of sleep — think of it as your sleep credit score!
You'll also get data based on your sleep patterns, a ratio of light-to-restful sleep, and your heart rate. You can view this data on your Apple Watch, as well as on the mobile app.
You can set your sleep goal and adjust the sensitivity of the sleep detection. The Smart Bedtime Reminder is another paid feature that will remind you to go to sleep at a certain time to improve your sleep rhythm. If you love to analyze data and see how changing your lifestyle can affect your sleep, then this is the app for you. Related coverage from Tech Reference:
How to update your Apple Watch manually or automatically, and troubleshoot any updating issues
How to change your Apple Watch's face from your iPhone, and customize its color, style, and layout
How to change your Apple Watch password or reset it if you've forgotten it
How to connect your Strava fitness app to the Health app on your iPhone
How to turn on handwashing detection on your Apple Watch to track your handwashing activity
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Summary List Placement You can use the Walkie Talkie app on your Apple Watch to send...Summary List Placement You can use the Walkie Talkie app on your Apple Watch to send quick audio messages back and forth with someone in real time, like you would with a real walkie talkie. To use the Walkie Talkie app, both callers need Apple Watches and the ability to make and accept FaceTime audio calls. Visit Business Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories. The Apple Watch is pretty useful for a number of reasons. Not only can you check your email, make calls (on cellular versions), and track your exercise and activity levels throughout the day, but you can also utilize one of the coolest functions the gadget has to offer: the Walkie Talkie. The Walkie Talkie app on an Apple Watch allows you to audio chat with anyone on your contacts list in real time, without them needing to do anything, and it's pretty neat. It really does work just like a walkie talkie — the person you want to chat with only has to accept your invite once, and then you can talk through their Apple Watch at any time, without any input from them. If you've never used Apple Watch's Walkie Talkie feature, doing so is easy. It only takes a minimal amount of setup, and once you're done, you can use the feature right away with anyone you want. Here's what you need to know to get started. How to use the Walkie Talkie app on an Apple Watch 1. Note that before you get started, you'll need to ensure that both you and the person you want to talk to are set up to accept and receive FaceTime audio calls. 2. On your Apple Watch's application screen, click on the Walkie Talkie app, which is a yellow circle with a small walkie talkie within it. 3. Once in Walkie Talkie, click the + button and choose the person from your contact list that you want to chat with. 4. Tapping on a contact sends an invitation that the recipient will need to accept before you can talk. They will be labeled "invited" until they accept. 5. Once your contact's card has turned yellow, that means that you are now connected and able to chat by pressing the "TALK" button. 6. Note that you can also remove a friend by swiping left on their contact card and tapping the X key. This will ensure you are no longer connected and are unable to use Walkie Talkie unless you re-add one another. Walkie Talkie is a convenient way of getting in touch with a friend without dealing with delays that communication methods like texting or emailing can often entail. It also saves you from having to actually phone them via their mobile number and instead allows you to connect directly. What's better than that? Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech: A beginner's guide to the Apple Watch: How to use its buttons and gestures, start workouts, and more How to add app complications to your Apple Watch, and customize them for optimal use How to reset your Apple Watch and unpair it from an iPhone How to update your Apple Watch and get the device's latest features SEE ALSO: The best smartwatches you can buy Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why some Hong Kong skyscrapers have gaping holes
Summary List PlacementNeed to make room on your iCloud account? Apple provides just 5 GB of...Summary List PlacementNeed to make room on your iCloud account? Apple provides just 5 GB of free storage space, which is not enough online storage unless your needs are very modest. You have two choices: You can upgrade your iCloud subscription to get more space, or delete unneeded items from iCloud. You can save a lot of space by deleting your largest apps from iCloud. How to delete apps from iCloud on an iPhone or iPad All your iPhone or iPad apps and their program data are automatically backed up to iCloud, but you can save a lot of storage space by deleting your largest apps from the iCloud backup list. 1. Start the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and tap your account name at the top of the page. 2. Tap "iCloud" and then tap "Manage Storage." 3. Tap "Backups." 4. On the Backups page, you'll see the list of your Apple mobile devices. Tap the name of the device you are currently using. 5. After a moment you should see a short list of apps appear in the "Choose Data to Back Up" section. These are the five apps which take up the most space on iCloud. Tap "Show All Apps" to see all the apps installed on your device. 6. To delete an app, swipe its button to the left and then confirm by tapping "Turn Off & Delete" in the pop-up window. How to delete apps from iCloud on a Mac Your Mac can also use iCloud for storing some apps. 1. Click the Apple icon at the top left of your desktop and choose "System Preferences" in the dropdown menu. 2. In the Preferences window, select "Apple ID." Enter your Apple ID password if necessary. 3. To the right of the iCloud Storage bar at the bottom of the window, click "Manage..." 4. In the pop-up window, click the app you want to delete from the pane on the left and then follow the directions in the main pane. In most cases, you can click "Turn Off and Delete," though in some cases you might need to take other steps, such as deleting files in Finder. How to delete apps from iCloud on a PC 1. To delete apps and their data using Windows, you'll need to download and install iCloud for Windows 10. If you are using an older version of Windows, get the iCloud app from Apple.com. 2. Start the iCloud app and then click "Storage" to the right of your iCloud storage bar. 3. In the pop-up window, click the app you want to delete from the pane on the left and then follow the directions in the main pane. Most apps will have an option to "Delete Documents and Data," while other apps might provide different instructions. Related coverage from Tech Reference: How to log out of your iCloud account on a Mac computer How to change the iCloud account on your iPad, or add a different account just for app purchases How to access iCloud Drive on an iPhone with the Files app, so you can work on and save documents across your Apple devices How to sign out of iCloud on all of your devices at once to keep your account secure How to clear iCloud storage and free up space on your iPhone, iPad, and other Apple devices SEE ALSO: The best iPhone cases for every model Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A cleaning expert reveals her 3-step method for cleaning your entire home quickly