The first-generation Apple Watch didn’t exactly blow anyone away. With the Apple Watch 2, Apple made it a priority to make some crucial adjustments so the accessory could be closer to how they envisioned it to be. In its latest iteration, Apple’s smartwatch now enjoys better durability, an extended battery life, and GPS capability. However, the built-in software (watchOS 3) operates with the bare essentials. This shows that Apple no longer has ambitions of making the device a potential smartphone alternative, but more of a nice addition.
With all its useful upgrades, does the Apple Watch 2 give enough compelling reasons to make you need one? Before we make any conclusions, let’s take a good look at what this sophisticated timepiece has to offer.
At 1,000 nits (the measurement of brightness), it’s twice as bright as the original Apple Watch. You can now read the content displayed on the screen even when you’re outdoors. However, it may be tough to see anything in direct sunlight because it’s still using a retina OLED display.
Whether you want to go for a swim, a surf, or you’re just sweating, it doesn’t affect the Apple Watch 2. The smartwatch has enhanced water resistance to make it withstand depths of up to 50 meters. In addition, the watch’s speakers are engineered to expel excess liquid once you take it out of the tub or pool.
In addition to the familiar stainless steel and aluminum hardware, Apple’s newest smartwatch also comes in a new style: the appealing ceramic finish.
Meanwhile, you’ll be excited to hear that there are plenty of options for straps/bands on Apple Watch 2. There’s the usual range of stainless steel, sport, leather, and woven nylon straps. Aside from these, you can go for the fancier leather Hermès or the sporty Nike+ band. Whichever style you go for, it’s clear you there is better personalization capabilities with the Apple Watch 2.
Feature-Packed WatchOS 3
Activity sharing, instant app launching, faster switching among watch faces, and an enhanced messaging are just some of the new features on WatchOS3. Apple Watch 2 is packed with several features that put it safely above the fitness tracker category. Not only that, the watch is even Pokémon Go-ready so you can easily integrate Pokétraining into its existing activity tracker!
What makes the Apple Watch 2 perform twice as fast as its predecessor is the fact that it runs on a dual-core processor and packs a fresh GPU with its new SiP chip. A further testament to its technological prowess is the fact that the watch can run the astronomy app, Dark Sky, at 60fps.
A major deal-breaker for the previous Apple Watch was its curious exclusion of GPS. With Apple Watch 2, the company made sure to include it. Now, you can go on a run, hike, or bike ride without your iPhone and still be able to receive GPS signal to calculate distance covered as well as show a map of your exercise regimen in the Activity app on the iPhone.
What Else Can the Apple Watch 2 Do?
You sure can do a whole lot on the smartwatch. However, the timepiece largely relies on its connectivity with the iPhone to do anything substantial other than tell time.
Here are a few of the coolest features on the Apple Watch 2 and WatchOS3:
- Monitor your heart rate.
- Show directions using Apple Maps.
- Answer a call using the watch as a Bluetooth speaker phone.
- Read SMS or an iMessage and reply with canned messages.
- Sync music from iTunes and Apple Music so you can listen via Bluetooth headphones.
- Customize the information shown on the watch face besides the time.
- Show configured push notifications from your iPhone.
- Track where you misplaced your iPhone within the home.
- Turn the Apple Watch as an alternative remote control for Apple TV/iTunes.
- Connect to your BMW or Tesla to see its charging status, unlock it, or honk the horn.
Despite all of its potential, though, the Apple Watch 2 is still simply an extension of your iPhone. While a lot of crucial upgrades have been put into the device, it’s may still be far from doing enough to make the smartwatch a necessity rather than a novelty.