Apple Watch Series 2

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Oct 5, 2016 in Apple, Fitness, Tech

Apple Watch Series 2

It seems like only yesterday I walked out of the Apple Store with my gen 1 Apple Watch, and since that day, it’s become a integral part of my daily life. Currently, I use it for nothing more than a second screen for apps and a notification system, but it’s just become the norm.

Back in September, Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 1 and 2 (doing away with the 1st generation all together). The main differences being, it’s waterproof up to 50 metres (instead of the 1 metre of the gen 1), it now has built in GPS (although doesn’t track elevation), the ability to track swimming, a faster processor, and a larger battery.

On paper, there’s wasn’t enough to make me want to upgrade, as there are still a lot of limitations. Although WatchOS3 has attempted to make the watch ‘less tethered’, the majority of the apps still require you to have your phone with you. You are able to sync podcasts and audiobooks to the watch, and then listen through bluetooth headphones, however these still require a little fannying around with playlists. Hopefully by the time WatchOS4 is released, I’ll be able to run the podcast and audible apps on my wrist, negating the need to take my phone with me.

So Darren, why did you buy the new watch if there’s no benefit to you? Simple, it seems the Apple Watch is on a 2 year cycle, and I’m pretty sure app developers and Apple will start to work together and enable apps to be more independent. As a simple example, the running app I use (Strava) doesn’t currently use the inbuilt GPS, and still requires the phone to sync/upload the data. I’m sure in the coming days/weeks/months, they’ll use the built in GPS, store the data locally, and then sync with the phone when back in range. In the meantime, I can use Apples built in Activity app to track my runs.

Secondly, the swimming. Currently I don’t swim much, in fact it’s probably been a couple of years since I’ve been swimming, however it’s something I’ve been looking at getting back into. Having tech on my wrist that tracks, monitors and encourages you to go swimming will give me the kick up the arse I need to get back into the pool.

So, does it feel any different? Yes, a little. Feels a little heavier, and a little bulkier to wear, however the speed boost is very noticeable. WatchOS3 did make a huge difference to the speed of the watch, however the dual core processor gives it the extra kick it really needs.

Basically, I didn’t ‘need’ to buy a new watch now, I could have just waited until it was more independent, however,  I thought I’d get in at the beginning, instead of half way through as I did last time.

Unboxing and comparison pics below.

Apple Watch Series 2

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Apple Watch

Posted by admin on Mar 13, 2016 in Brain Dump

Apple Watch

Nearly a year after it’s original release, I finally decided to get myself an Apple Watch. This descision didn’t come easy, I’ve activly shunned the idea of the Watch as ‘not quite good enough yet’ or ‘the next one will be better’, however all it took was a trip the the Apple store, to buy one as an early birthday present for C, and I ended up walking out with two.

I won’t lie, I won’t big it up, I won’t go all Apple fanboy on you and try and make you believe this is the best thing since sliced bread, the Apple Watch is simply a watch, with the option to display a second screen to a lot of my phone application, it’s also gives me a way of checking my phone notifications without pulling it out of my pocket, which is handy.

Now bear in mind, there has been a major OS upgrade since the watch was releases, and some of the functionality I’m taking for granted now, were much sort after when the watch was originally released.

My main use for the watch is for fitness. Unfortunatly (and one of the reasons I was holding off) it doesn’t have built in GPS, meaning if I go out for a run/cycle/use gym equiptment, I need to still have my phone with me. There is a built in activity app, which will use the pedometer data and take your heart rate, however, without the GPS funtionality, I won’t be dropping my fitness app of choice (Endomondo) anytime soon. On the plus side, Endomondo does have a great second screen app, allowing me to see pace, distance, heart rate etc, without reaching for my phone. Due to the built in predominator, I was able to retire my ageing fitbit flex. I did however spend a day or two wearing both devices and found the fitbit was a little more generous on the step detection, by roughly 5%.

The heart rate monitor seems pretty spot on, I wear Polar H7 monitor while I’m working out and the numbers recorded on both devices are pretty close, within around 1-2bpm of each other.

I know there was a lot of inital concern about the ‘all day’ battery life. I’d say I’ve been a pretty heavy user of the watch since I got it last weekend, not only has it recorded around 15k steps a day, a couple of runs, and a couple of gym sessions, and been my main notification window, and I’m still getting to the end of the day with at least 50% battery remaining, which is fine for me as I normally charge all my devices over night.

The whole user experience is interesting. As mentioned above, I’m basically using the watch as a second screen, and notification reader, which is great. If I have my phone near me, it’ll connect via bluetooth, if I move out of bluetooth range, it’ll connnect to my wifi and connect through that method.

There are a handful of stand alone apps, the activity stuff, the heart rate stuff, and also the ability to use the Apple Remote app from my wrist. Yes, I can control the TV from my wrist, we’re in the future 🙂 Some of the message stuff is initally quite fun, but the novility wore of quick, I can send my heart rate, or doodle to anybody on my contact list that has a watch…but again, after the first couple of days these stopped. There is one built in app which is pretty interesting, and thats the camera app. Although the watch doesn’t have a camera in it (or not that I know of) it can be used as a viewscreen for your phones camera, allowing you to pop your phone somewhere, and snap the pic using your wrist…again, a litte gimmicky, but interesting.

So Darren, why are you picking one up now? Basically I’ve been holding off until the March Apple media event (which is where the Apple Watch was announced last year), to see if there was an Apple Watch 2, and it doesn’t seem like there is. The rumour mill suggest there may be some new bands being announced, but not a new device…so I felt it was time to jump in. Granted if I’m wrong and an Apple Watch 2 is announced, with stand alone apps, and built in GPS, I’ll be upgrading straight away.

Within less that a week, the watch has become such an intergral part of my daily routine, and I kind of wish I’d have picked one up day one. I personally think the OS is still in it’s infancy, and I’m really intreagued to see where it goes.

Unboxing pics below.


Apple Watch

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