The Apple Watch Series 2 is here, and while on the surface it might look very similar to the original, there are some key changes and additions that mean Apple have finally created a wearable you’ll actually want to wear.
Combining huge customisation options with some truly impressive fitness tracking technology the Watch Series 2 is far from a notifications device, it is a meaningful piece of gadgetry geared towards making you healthier and calmer.
While Android users has never suffered from a lack of choice, the Apple Watch is really the only choice if you’re an iPhone user. As such you’re having to put a lot of faith in a single product. The original Apple Watch was excellent, but at times it did feel like Apple’s great experiment.
Thankfully that experiment paid off, millions of people bought it and now we find ourselves with a new version from Apple which shows that the company has, in our opinion, finally cracked the smart watch.
Here are six reasons why the Apple Watch Series 2 is finally the smartwatch to get:
1. You can swim with it
It’s a smartwatch, you’re expected to wear it through sun and rain, and while the original could cope with the odd shower there was one realm that was off-limits: the pool. Well no more, the Series 2 is water-resistant to 50m which means you can swim to you heart’s content.
2. It has GPS
One of the largest additions to the Series 2 is GPS, which means that for the first time ever you can accurately track your run and no, you won’t need an iPhone crudely strapped to your arm. GPS won’t just make running easier, it works for open-water swimming, hiking and just about anything app developers can come up with.
3. It’s a joy to use
Arguably the largest barrier of entry to a wearable device is how long you spend gormlessly fumbling with the thing when you absolutely should be paying attention to the person sat at the other end of the dinner table.
It’s not something that smart watches have historically got right, and even Apple struggled in the beginning. WatchOS 3 is a realisation of this, and as a result your time spent actually using the Apple Watch has been significantly reduced.
Rather than faffing around with menus actions have been reduced to quick, meaningful taps, button clicks and swipes. A new dock launcher then helps you speedily open apps in a second.
4. It has a longer battery life
Phones, laptops, Kindles, headphones we charge too many gadgets. Adding a watch to that equation can for some be a step too far and honestly, you can’t blame them. Thanks to improvements in both the hardware and watchOS 3 the battery life of both the Series 1 and Series 2 is greatly improved. In our testing we’ve had a minimum of two days battery life and at times a full three days. No-one likes a mass of cables, so the less you have to try and wrestle them the better.
5. It helps manage your stress
This might not be something you would traditionally associate with a piece of technology but in this regard Apple are truly leading the field. Stand is a simple, but effective notification that tells you when you’ve been sat at your desk for too long. It sounds silly but if you spend a long time in an office, you don’t realise just how immobile you’ve been until someone tells you. It’s not just good for your physical health, it’s a chance for you to clear your head, stretch your legs and get your mind right.
In a similar vein Apple recently introduced a new app, Breathe. It is exactly what it says on the tin, an app that uses visual and vibrating cues to help you breathe deeply, slowly and in the process clear your head. It’s such a small thing, but in our time using it Breathe has more than once taken us from a place of stress and returned us to an island of relative tranquility. They’re small features, but it’s time we realised that our mental health is as important as our physical health.
6. You can finally wear it anywhere
Smartwatches don’t just have to perform as gadgets, they also have to serve the function that all watches do: be a fashion accessory. While Apple did make an effort to let you buy a range of bands that could work for different social settings it is with the new Series 2 however that the company has created a truly comprehensive collection of bands for every occasion.
There are 50 official straps and seven Apple Watches to choose from in two different sizes. If that isn’t choice we don’t know what is.