Apple yesterday announced a bunch of new stuff during their 'See You on the 7th' keynote. The biggest thing (at least for yours truly) was the official announcement of the second generation of the Apple Watch, boasting an impressive list of quality of life tweaks and unexpected innovations.
We’re thrilled with the response to Apple Watch and how it’s changed people’s lives. We are committed to fitness and health and think our customers will love the new capabilities of Apple Watch Series 2.
With a powerful new dual-core processor, water resistance 50 meters and built-in GPS, Apple Watch Series 2 is packed with features to help our customers live a healthy life.
-Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer.
The biggest thing here by far are the new fitness features coming to the Apple Watch 2. The inclusion of onboard GPS means that the watch will be a lot better at tracking your movements throughout the day and as such will be a lot better at showing you how active you've been on any given day, all without needing to be connected to an iPhone. The new watch will also be able to track your swimming routine for you thanks to a new algorithm that can count laps, your average lap pace and can even automatically detect stroke types and will be able to better calculate the amount of calories you're burning.
The Apple Watch being water resistant up to 50 meters is because of a rather interesting new design feature that uses the built-in speaker to shoot out any water that managed to get into the speaker slot, keeping the guts of the device safe from death by liquids.
Under the hood, the Apple Watch 2 boasts a range of rather impressive features and upgrades. The second generation will come with an upgraded dual-core processor, making the Watch about 50% faster, and comes equipped with an updated GPU and a much brighter display that is more than 2 times more likely to burn your retinas in the morning and makes it easier to see the screen in bright daylight. The first generation Apple Watch is getting a relaunch with the new processor so you can enjoy the better performance without needing to sell your firstborn child.
Both the first and the second generation of Apple Watches will be able to make use of WatchOS 3 which will allow you to launch and switch between apps on your device faster. Also coming in WatchOS 3 is the ability to export and share your fitness data, which has been a much-requested feature since the original Watch's release. It will be a free update for all Apple Watches.
Apple is also working with Nike to bring us the Apple Watch Nike+, which has even more fitness features than the normal Apple Watch 2, but with a greater focus on runners than anything else. This version of the Watch comes with its own unique watch band and watch faces that are exclusive to the Apple Watch Nike+.
A big feature for the Apple Watch Nike+ is the Nike+ Run Club app which aims to motivate you to go for a run by making you part of a community of people who all got the Nike+. The app will notify you of your friends' progress and challenges you to hit your daily goals and to compete with your buddies. This app also allows you to schedule your workouts so it can make sure you don't forget by giving you a constant feeling of guilt because you skipped today's run (you monster). Find out more about the Nike+ app right here.
Preorders start September 9 and all watches are available in 38mm and 42mm versions. You can already mix and match the different versions with all the different watchbands by going here. Here's a short list of every new edition and the starter prices:
- Apple Watch 2 $369: comes in an aluminum case with sport band or woven nylon band.
- Apple Watch Nike+ $369: comes in an aluminum case with exclusive Nike Sport Band.
- Apple Watch Hermès: comes in a stainless steel case with a leather watchband made by Hermès.
- Apple Watch Edition $1249: This is the one you have to buy if you want to show people how much money you have. This version comes in a ceramic case with a sport band. This edition includes a magnetic charging dock.
Lastly, there's also an official Pokemon GO app coming to the Watch that makes it possible to check your progress without needing to whip out your phone, saving you the battery you would've wasted because another Pidgey decided to spawn right next to you.
In the meantime, here's our review of the first generation of Apple Watches.
What do you think of this announcement? Let us know in the comments!
While the design of the Apple Watch 2 is pretty much the same as the design of the first gen Apple Watch, I still feel like they've improved in the areas I use the most. Fitness tracking is better, the processor seems a decent upgrade as well.