Tag: GPS (Page 1 of 2)

Apple Watch Series 2 is now a serious fitness device

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.

TomTom Spark Cardio + Music might just be the perfect fitness watch right now

Picture courtesy of TomTom

Picture courtesy of TomTom

I’ve long recommended the TomTom MultiSport GPS smartwatch as a great watch for triathletes or any one who does more than just running and wants to use it in any situation. Last year it received an upgrade by adding a heart rate sensor but this year it has been given a serious upgrade and a change of name with it now being called the TomTom Spark Cardio + Music. The last part gives you a hint at one of the cool new features but there are even more.

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Android Wear gets it’s first LTE smartwatch

LG-Watch-Urbane-2nd-Edition-01

We’ve already had LTE Smartwatches from Samsung and LG. These however ran Tizen and WebOS respectively. Now LTE comes to Android Wear as well in the ( take a deep breath ) LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition ( phew! ). Apart from its enormous name it comes with some added functions and a mysterious new version of Android Wear.

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Why Withings should be making more fuss about the Activité Pop

Withings Activité-Pop

With CES 2015 firmly behind us I thought I would take a moment to write about something that perhaps snuck under the wire amongst all the flashier products on show at CES.

Withings have taken to the smartwatch scene with a different approach. Very much more a watch with a hint of smarts. Under the hood however there is some clever tech in action and a feature which I think makes it much more useful than some other wearables.

The only suggestion this is a smartwatch to look at it is the percentage of goal dial on the front. That’s it. No alerts, notification or other distractions. This may well appeal to some folks who want all the tracking but would rather look at the data on their smartphones on a nice big screen.

None of the usual smartwatch battery woes either. Without an active display the Pop sips power allowing it to run off a standard watch battery for 8 or more months according to Withings. It tracks your sleep and can wake you with a gentle vibation. It will automatically adjust to local time zones.

The Pop ( sorry I just can’t get away with calling it the Activité Pop all the time ) has one clever trick that I have been waiting on for some time. It knows when you change activity. At last! Currently it can detect when you swap from walking to running and in an update it will know when you have started swimming too. This is a great step in the right direction.

Ok so you don’t have heart rate tracking nor GPS to track routes so perhaps it’s not for more serious athletes. You are getting a pretty nice looking watch with a lot of clever features and amazing battery life for £119.95. I think this should definitely should be on your short list for a wearable device and would make a nice gift for someone wanting to get started with fitness tracking.

You can pick one up on Amazon here:

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