Today at Apples ‘See You On the 7th‘ Media event in San Francisco, Apple showed off the next generation of the Apple Watch.
While WatchOS3 was covered, we have already gone into detail in terms of what this entails in our write up of the WWDC event earlier in the year, so we will be focusing purely on the hardware shown today.
The new watch, known as ‘Series 2’ has been confirmed as being waterproof upto a depth of 50 meters, so users can wear their watch while swimming, to this end Apples Fitness app can now be used to measure calorie burn while swimming, both in the pool and in open water, the Fitness app is also said to be able to learn about the individual user overtime, tailoring its algorithms to each individual using the app, rather than working from a a general average based on user data from all customers or lab data from Apple’s internal Fitness Labs.
In addition to waterproofing, the watch includes other notable updates such as built-in GPS so users can get more accurate location and pace data while working out and also leave their phone at home, should they so choose to.
The core of the announcement was focused on personal fitness, with a guest appearance from one of the team behind the View Ranger app, an app tailored to hikers. The new features provided by WatchOS3 and the Series 2 Watch allows for offline storage of routes, directions while hiking as well as warnings when you are veering off the route you taking.
The biggest change however was the new 2nd gen SiP (System in Package); featuring a dual-core processor providing upto 50% faster performance over the first generation Apple Watch and a new GPU, allowing for 2 times the graphics performance over the previous Watch. Finally a new display has been added which should be twice as bright as the first Watches screen at a rating of 1000 nits, this is reportedly Apples brightest display to date so should allow easier viewing when in direct sunlight.
Apple also announced a new ceramic based Apple Watch Series 2, which has a pearly, smooth white colour, this is in addition to the current aluminium and stainless steel models. Apple also briefly divulged details about a new set of Hermès bands including versions of Sinel Tour, Double Tour and Double Buckle Cuff.
Finally, Apple invited Nike onstage to discuss a new Watch Series 2 that has been made in partnership between Apple and Nike, the Nike Plus Apple Watch. It features a perforated band in 4 colours and some WatchOS tweaks designed to focus on runners, including motivational updates prompting you to go for a run, runner specific complications and some other minor tweaks to ensure the data that runners care about is presented first and foremost to them.
Pre-orders for The Series 2 Watch begin on 09 September, with WatchOS3 following on the 13th. Shipping of pre-orders and general sale is going to occur on the 16th. The Series 2 has a starting price of $369, which is also the same starting price of the Nike Plus Apple Watch. Interestingly Apple will be keeping the older AppleWatch, now dubbed the Series 1 around for a while longer. While this isn’t abnormal, what makes it interesting is that the Series 1 will feature the new processor featured in the Series 2. The Series 1 price is expected to start at $269.