What’s New with Apple Watch Series 2?

By Ashley Watters, Abshier House

In the Apple special event on September 7, 2016, Apple announced the improved version of the Apple Watch. Named Series 2, the watch has been overhauled completely to provide tons of new features.

The hardware on the Apple smart watch has been given a significant upgrade. Improved features include:

  • A dual core processor: Apple’s new processor operates 50 percent faster than the previous version.
  • A new GPU: The new GPU has two times the graphic performance for a better graphic display and enhanced app experiences, allowing for more detail. With the brightest display available on any Apply product, the Series 2 provides increased visibility in outdoor settings.
  • Water-resistant casing: Series 2 is rated up to 50 meters. This means that it can withstand the water pressure up to 50 meters deep. It is approved for swimming and can be immersed in water for long periods of time.
  • Redesigned speaker system: The speaker system provides exceptional sound quality and is used to eject the water after being immersed.
  • Builtin GPS: This integrated feature allows for better fitness tracking, access to maps, and location data in case of an emergency.

Series 2 is available with aluminum, stainless steel and ceramic casings. The ceramic casing is a new offering and is four times harder than stainless steel which provides increased durability. For the stylish user, Hermes models are also available with leather cuffs.

The original Apple Watch was the top-selling smart watch in 2015. To keep pace with this momentum, numerous software updates were also developed. The Series 2 launches apps more quickly with information already up to date. The new operating system, Watch OS 3, comes complete with a new App Dock to make all of your apps easily accessible. The new version also makes it easier to switch watch faces, only requiring you to swipe to set your preference. Apple also has decided to add in some new watch faces, including ones with an activity focus.

Messaging on the Series 2 is now easier and comes with some new enhancements:

  • Tap Back: This feature allows you to double tap the message to send a quick reply.
  • Animated stickers: A full variety of animated stickers are available to allow users more expression as they message others.
  • Full-screen effects: Animated options are available to fill the screen to celebrate and react to messages.
  • Scribble: The integration of Scribble now lets you send a custom reply by writing with your finger on the screen.

In addition to the enhanced Messaging features, Series 2 comes equipped with an SOS feature. By depressing and holding the side button on the Apple Watch, you immediately contact emergency services. This simple action also sends a message to your emergency contact with location information so that you can be found in an emergency situation.

Series 2 provides users with access to an increased number of apps. The integration of gaming, news, exercise, and other apps lets users do more from their Apple Watch on the go. The Breathe app helps you manage stress and is a daily reminder to be more mindful. The PING app can improve your golf swing. Series 2 also integrates Pokemon Go seamlessly for the die-hard fans of the viral game. More apps will become available as developers continue to produce more compatible apps.

Apple has chosen to include features on the Series 2 to help users be more active. The built-in GPS feature enables you to track route, pace, and distance on a walk or jog without being tethered to your phone. You can also view a color-coded map after your workout to see the varying speeds along the way.

If you are a runner who loves the integration of a fitness tracker with your smart watch, you may consider the Nike+ Apple Watch. This smart watch is designed to be used by runners. The Nike+ Apply Watch is available in four includes the following features:

  • A flexible, perforated band for breathability
  • Light-weight aluminum casing
  • Basic display for easy access to pace and distance
  • Advanced mode providing details about your running
  • Invitations or reminders to motivate you to be active
  • Integration of Siri so that you can verbally instruct her to start tracking your run
  • Notification of friends’ progress to motivate you
  • Subscription to Nike+ Run Club
  • Notification of public runs

For those users who prefer swimming, Series 2 also has integrated features to help with your fitness. In addition to being water-resistant, the new Apple Watch offers specific pool workouts and can calculate the caloric burn of your swim.

Series 2 and Nike+ Apple Watch will be available for $369. If you need a cheaper version, the Series 1 model with the updates dual processor and all the features of the original Apple Watch will be offered at $269.