Apple yesterday announced the latest update to the Apple Watch. They have decided to call it Apple Watch Series 2 for reasons that may or may not become clear in the future. It could be that in the future they have a new form factor for it and are waiting to release that and only then will it be called Apple Watch 2.

So what new features does it bring? Well no surprises if you’ve been following the rumours but the fact that the watch is now is fully waterproof and features GPS means this makes the Watch a compelling device for the sports enthusiast.

Waterproofing

Now waterproof to 50m the Series 2 Apple Watch should make a good swimming companion. I know there are some YouTube videos out there of people swimming with the Series 1 version but personally I’d never take that risk with something so expensive. 

Apple have now worked on sealing everything tight shut to water and during the keynotes they showed a video demonstrating the thrashing these watches took in the testing phase to make sure everything remained waterproof after prolonged use in water. It looks to me like it should hold up well in the pool. I love that they have redesigned the speaker so that after the workout is complete you rotate the crown on the side and the speakers vibrate to expel any remaining water!

There are now two new workouts Pool swim and Open water swimming. Below is a very brief but informative Youtube video on how these modes will work.

Swim demo

It remains unclear whether GPS tracking will work whilst doing an open water swim. I’ve reached out on social media to see if I can get an answer to this.

GPS Tracking

This was the big shock to me that as well as waterproofing the watch also has GPS tracking. This is superb. My idyllic vision of my runs with my music on my Apple Watch streaming to my Bluetooth headphones and not having to care if the watch gets soaked in the rain is perfect. Whilst some might bemoan a lack of LTE I think in someways this is a good thing whilst out running. The whole point is to escape, to get away from the noise of life and feel free. That is not going to happen whilst bombarded with messages nagging for attention. Now I’ll no doubt be happy when LTE eventually comes but I hope Apple finds a way to easily turn off notifications automatically whilst working out or having a priority mode perhaps.

Early reports say the battery can last upto 5 hours with GPS on. Now for serious athletes, say out on very long bike rides, this isn’t going to be enough but for the vast majority it will be just fine. I do see me popping it back on the dock whilst I shower however for a top up and this is no different to what I do now with my Tom Tom watch. There is nothing worse than finding your watch is dead just as you want to nip out for a run.

The addition of these two features means that for lots of us we can ditch dedicated fitness trackers. I know I plan on doing so once I’ve confirmed it all works as advertised. 

Performance 

The watch now features a S2 system in a package chip with a dual core processor that promises 50% better performance, a new GPU that delivers twice the graphics performance. With WatchOS3 this should be a very slick device to use.

Display

Nothing earth shattering but a boost in brightness upto twice as much as before makes the Watch much easier to read in bright daylight Apple say.

So what’s not to love really? Perhaps sapphire glass on all models would have been good as the Ion-X Glass is iffy for me. My wife fell off her bike onto a stone path her watch face is badly scratched. Still fully functional though.

I’ll be picking one up for sure and trying desperately to pre-order so watch ( pun intended ) this space for more content and hopefully some more video soon.