It hasn’t quite been the game-changer most critics have come to expect from Apple, but the Watch has been incredibly successful, quickly becoming the top selling smartwatch and rated #1 in customer satisfaction. In the wider watch category, Apple Watch is second only to Rolex in revenue, beating out Fossil, Citizen, Tag Heuer, Omega and well, everyone else. Yesterday, we took a look at iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Today, let’s talk about watchOS 3 and Apple Watch Series 2.
watchOS 3. Wednesday, Apple launched the updated watchOS 3 which, among other features, will allow users to call 911 and alert emergency contacts with the tap of a button. It will also include an updated interface, handwriting recognition and instant launch which promises to launch apps up to seven times faster than on watchOS 2. Click here for a complete list of new APIs in watchOS 3.
The biggest announcement for the Apple Watch is….that’s right, Pokémon Go has arrived. You can perform many of the tasks you would in the phone app on the Watch, including interacting with Pokéstops, but for now, you can’t capture Pokémon characters.
“It’s a great use case for the Apple Watch,” said Matt Michelson, UX designer at stable|kernel
Related: Want to learn more about Pokémon Go and Augmented Reality? Read this.
Apple Watch Series 2
Photo Credit: Apple
“We think Apple Watch is the ultimate device for a healthy life.” – Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer
The new Apple Watch Series 2 has been completely re-engineered with athletes in mind. With so many features that track performance and health diagnostics, the Apple watch needed to perform when athletes need them most – often when sweat or water is involved. The first generation Apple watch was splash proof; this one is “swim proof” and water resistant up to 50 meters. With so many ingress points, the company had to develop new seals and adhesives to protect the integrity of the body’s seal. But with a speaker serving as an important component of the watch, Apple had to come up with a smarter solution. If the air needed to create sound can get into the watch, so can water. With Apple Watch Series 2, at the end of the workout, the speaker itself actually ejects the water from the Watch. Whoa!
The Series 2 boasts a dual core processor up to 50% faster than the first gen watch. It also has a new GPU with 2x graphics performance – that’s 60 frames per second. A new display is 2x brighter than before at 1000 nits – the brightest product Apple says it has shipped so far. A new built-in GPS will provide accurate pace and distance, both very useful data points when evaluating workout performance, especially for those who don’t want to carry a phone while they work out.
“For our customers, the improved features of the Watch will be useful – especially the GPS and improved specs. We’ll be able to put a little bit more into a Watch app, creating more value for the user,” said Sean Swezey, software engineer at stable|kernel.
Apple will ship a ceramic version with a shiny white finish. Through a partnership with Hermes, fashion-conscious watch wearers can now sport beautiful leather wristbands. Finally, a partnership with Nike resulted in a Watch designed specifically for Nike’s fan base of avid runners. The special edition Apple Watch Series 2 will be out in October.
Apple has also indicated it will upgrade the original Watch (Series 1) with a faster processor and a $269 price tag. As the price point of the original Watch Series 1 falls, Apple may begin to see a growth in market penetration.
It will be exciting to see how a faster, brighter Watch will improve the user’s experience. Watch owners will be thrilled to see a reduced need to be continuously tethered to a smartphone when trying to manage hands-free activities. As Apple battles less costly fitness wearables like Fitbit, the more useful, fitness driven features the Watch offers, the better. Innovations in waterproofing will also help Apple further build brand loyalty among true fitness fanatics now that the Watch will offer accurate fitness data without the concern of water damage to their wearable devices.
Super Mario Run
Our team may have been the most excited about this announcement! It’s true. Super Mario Run is coming to the App Store and will even allow players to choose a friend to play against or other players in the system. The game is set for a Holiday 2016 release and pricing is still TBD. Though, it will only be available to iPhone users.