Pokemon GO, water resistance, advanced fitness tracking, built-in GPS for phone-free running, Apple Pay — meet the Apple Watch Series 2, with its brighter display, dual-core processor and improved ease of use.
To have it work for you, you’ll need to be running iPhone 5 or later running iOS 10 (releasing 14 September) or later. Of course, you could do that by buying a new iPhone 7.
Fitness is a real focus, and the Apple Watch Series 2 is actually swimproof (rated water resistant 50 metres under ISO standard 22810:2010) — an upgrade on the last model’s splash proof design. This means that it may be used for “shallow-water” activities like swimming in a pool or ocean. Scuba diving, waterskiing or “other activities involving high-velocity water or submersion below shallow depth” are off the cards, though. Oh, and the stainless steel and leather bands are not water resistant.
Swimmers aren’t left out of fitness this time — if anything, they are totally catered for. You can track indoor laps and open water swims, laps, swim times, calorie burn it automatically detects stroke type and it’s tailored to your strokes — not a “standard” swimmer — using new algorithms.
The waterproofing is make possible by the one thing that was previously stopping it — the speaker. Now it actually expels water. Yep.
There’s built-in GPS, everyone. You’ll get GPS accurate pace, speed and distance without taking your phone along with you. You can start an outdoor workout whenever you want, since Wi-Fi, GPS and locally stored satellite data works out where you are straight away.
New fitness and health capabilities include the breakthrough Breathe app, designed to encourage users to take a moment in their day to do deep breathing exercises for relaxation and stress reduction.
The Activity app now includes the ability to share, compare and compete, keeping friends and family motivated. There is also a customised experience for wheelchair users to close their Activity rings, in addition to dedicated workouts.
When you’re finished an outside workout a map pops up to show variations in speed in the Activity app on iPhone. All of your activity is counted towards the Stand, Move and Excercise rings on the app — running, swimming, walking etc.
Nike+ is coming to Apple Watch too, with it’s own special device designed with runners in mind. You can tell Siri to start a run, or wait to the app to nag you — Every. Single. Day.
The main screen of the Apple Watch will not only show which Pokemon are nearby, it will natively track your distance, calories and you can hatch you eggs on-screen — it will even show you. uses a complication on the Apple Watch watchface to show how far it’ll take to hatch any eggs that you’re incubating, with a haptic feedback tap when PokeStops are nearby and a swipe from the watch to pick up items. You can’t catch Pokemon, though — you’ll need to take out your phone for that.
Pokemon GO has been downloaded over 500 million times around the world, and trainers have walked more than 4.6 billion kilometres playing the game.
Pokemon GO on the Apple Watch will be available “before the end of the year”.
The display is the brightest Apple has ever shipped — more than twice as bright, in fact — at 1000 nits. This means viewing the screen outside is a lot easier. Apple Watch Series 2 has a dual-core processor that’s 50 per cent faster and a graphics chip that’s twice as powerful — making apps like Night Sky work at faster frame rates and with more detail.
watchOS 3 boasts “significantly” improved performance, and you can launch apps from either from the watch face or with the new Dock, which displays the latest information already updated in the background. It will be available beginning 14 September as a free software update.
There are new watch faces including Minnie Mouse, Activity and Numerals. Simply swipe edge-to-edge to swap out a new watch face, or use the new Face Gallery in the Apple Watch app on iPhone, to customise watch faces and find third-party apps.
There’s a new material for the watch — ceramic! Four times harder than stainless steel, which it is also available in, as well as lightweight aluminium. There’s a “a wide variety of gorgeous new band colours” to choose from, too.
Price, Colours and Availability
Apple Watch is available in two different case sizes, 38mm and 42mm. Apple Watch Series 2 will be available in gold, rose gold, silver or space grey aluminium, or silver or space black stainless steel cases paired with a wide variety of bands starting at RRP A$529 inc. GST.
Apple Watch Series 1 is still available, too — but with the new powerful dual-core processor and GPU. It will cost $399. The new ceramic Apple Watch Edition starts at RRP A$1,799 inc. GST
Pre-orders for the Apple Watch Series 1, Apple Watch Series 2 and Apple Watch Edition start 9 September, with availability on 16 September.
Apple Watch Nike+ starts at RRP A$529 inc. GST. Pre-orders start 9 September, and it will be available late October. Apple Watch Hermès starts at RRP A$1,779 inc. GST and will be available 23 September.
The new Apple Watch Band Kits are available from today.
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