Following a quick overview of Apple’s watchOS 3 (which we’ve already seen at work in early tests) and some new apps (including Pokemon Go, which will be playable on the Apple Watch — so much for ever being productive again), we got down to some new hardware from Apple’s Watch line. What, you thought that Apple wasn’t going to do something new this year?
Yes, there’s an Apple Watch (Series 2), and yes, it’s swim-proof. It’s waterproof down to 50 metres, thanks to a whole mess of new seals. Apple says that the Watch 2 has been extensively re-engineered, and it shows. Normally the speaker on a smartwatch would be the aquatic Achilles’ heel… but Apple’s come up with a way to use to get the speaker to eject water from the device. Um… awesome!
Apple’s also given the Apple Watch 2 (or Watch Series 2, if you want to be specific) a new dual-core processor and a new GPU. There’s no lag planned for this wristwatch. There’s a new display, a 1000 nit screen that Apple says is the brightest it’s ever shipped. It’s twice as bright as the first Apple Watch.
Also added? Internal GPS. Yeah, we saw that one coming but it’s nice to see it here nonetheless. There are some new apps, including a hiking-specific app that makes sure that you’re not going to get lost and that will also provide factoids about the area you’re in.
The Apple Watch 2 will be available in aluminium, stainless steel, and… ceramic. Cool, though it sounds a tad breakable to us. There are a series of new wristbands on the way too, if you’re okay with accessorising. And, if you’re a runner, there’s an Apple Watch Nike+ edition on the way, thanks to a newly-announced partnership with the fitness brand. The Nike-branded watch has a whole lot of runner-specific features and a sporty look that will go with the rest of your Nike gear — with four colour schemes to choose from.
What hasn’t been explored much is the battery life, which was the first question everyone who saw the Watch 2 asked themselves. We’ll have to see how that goes once we can get our hands on the Series 2 and the Nike+ edition. Boo.
Both new devices (Series 2 and Nike+) will start at $369 (R5,200 before the local mark up, so we expect it to start closer to R7,000) and there’s a refreshed Apple Watch (called the Series 1 now) with the dual-core processor upgrade starting at $269 (R3,800 — ditto, expect it to be more expensive in SA).
We’ll let you know when to expect them locally as soon as we hear.