Apple’s September 7th media event was about more than just the iPhone 7 because we also got our first look at Apple Watch 2. This is the first refresh of Apple’s smartwatch since it shipped almost 18 months ago and adds new features like a built-in “swim-proof” waterproofing, and a GPS.
Where the original Apple Watch is splash-proof, Apple says the new model is “swim-proof” and is water resistant to 50 meters.
The new model uses a second generation SiP (system in a package) processor with a GPU thats twice as fast as the original model. The display is the brightest Apple has ever shipped at 1,000 nits.
Adding a GPS means Apple Watch is less reliant on your iPhone for tracking your location, and that translates into one less device to carry on your daily runs and hikes. Apple said the GPS connects almost instantly and you can view your routes directly on the watch. Developers can take advantage of the GPS, too, which means we’ll be seeing lots of fitness app updates coming soon.
Apple is adding a new white ceramic watch body to the watch lineup to go along with the aluminium and stainless steel versions.
The new Apple Watch keeps the same form factor as the original, but with a slightly thinner display surface. It’s compatible with current Apple Watch bands, so extra bands you already have will still work.
Apple and Hermes are teaming up for new bands, and a partnership with Nike means we’re getting special models targeted at runners. The Nike Apple Watch comes with an aluminum body and a perforated breathable band.
Apple Watch Series 2 is priced starting at US$369. The original model, now called Apple Watch Series 1, gets the same processor as Series 2 and is priced starting at $269. Preorders for Series 2 start on September 9th, and will ship on the 16th.
watchOS 3 is coming on September 13th.
Apple’s “See you on the 7th” media event is still underway, so be sure to follow along with The Mac Observer for the latest news and announcements.