With the recent, much-anticipated announcement of the Apple Watch 2 at Apple’s annual event on the 7th September 2016, the wait is finally over for what looks like it’s going to be the coolest piece of wearable tech on the market. Rumours were rife ahead of the reveal, and the good news is that unlike its iPhone 7 big brother and its Air Bud controversy, it doesn’t disappoint on delivering the technical leaps forward that we were all holding out for.
While the first Apple Watch was a cool intro, it lacked the standalone capabilities to make it a must-have device, appealing well to early adopters, but not getting the wider market appeal. However, the second installment of the iWatch comes with its own GPS tracking and the all-important water resistance to make it relevant to a wider range of sports, whatever the weather, so it’s looking much more like it could be the new big thing for Apple.
For anyone not familiar with the smart watch update and all it has in store, we’ve put together our selection of what you can do with the Apple Watch 2. Some of the features also apply to the original incarnation of the product, so we’ve marked down on each of the items what is a Series 2 exclusive and what you can do on either series of the watch.
20+ epic things you can do on the Apple Watch 2:
1. Run in the rain, swim, surf and shower with your Apple Watch 2
Apple Watch 2 exclusive – With the addition of 50m water resistance to the Series 2 watches, you’ll be able to jog in a downpour, swim, surf and shower with your watch on, and even take it on shallower scuba dives. If you decide to go dancing naked in the rain, now you’ll be able to do it with at least an element of modesty for both your upper and lower wrist area.
2. Rule Pokémon Go
Series 1 & 2 – The reveal of the Series 2 device was accompanied by the news that Niantic are getting close to launching an Apple Watch app for Pokémon Go, which will show you how far you need to walk to hatch an egg, the experience points you need to get to the next trainer level, the Pokémon nearby or Pokéstops that you’re close enough to spin directly on the watch face. The app had its launch on the 22nd December 2016.
3. Track your runs without having to cart around your iPhone
Apple Watch 2 exclusive – The other big announcement for the new device is that it has its own built in GPS tracking, so you’ll be able to take it out on a run to track your progress without also carting your iPhone around with you. It means that you can
4. Customise your watch face as much as you want
Series 1 & 2 – If you’re as changeable as the weather then you can have a different style of watch face whenever the mood takes you. This ranges from the simple display of a grown-up watch watch to Mickey Mouse’s hands telling you what the time is.
5. Listen to music directly from your Apple Watch 2
Series 1 & 2 – With a storage space of 2gb for music, there’s room for a good selection of your favourite running songs. You’ll need wireless headphones to be able to play them, but if anything that only adds to coolness of the device, and takes a little of the sting away from the headphones controversy surrounding the iPhone 7.
6. Monitor your heart rate
Series 1 & 2 – For us, it’s smart to have a good grasp of what your exercise and resting hear tears is to give you a good idea about how strong your heart rate is. It also allows you to factor this into your training goals, so you can aim for super-fit levels of heart conditioning. Check more details on your heart rate with the NHS’s guide.
7. Track your fitness
Series 1 & 2 – It’s not just your heart-rate that you can check on the Apple Watch, you can also track your general fitness, set health goals and basque in the glory of your efforts a little more. It measures the calories you’ve burnt, tracks your daily exercise efforts and tell you to stand up and get moving when you’ve been on a go slow.
8. Get directions
Apple Watch 2 exclusive + Series 1 & 2 functionality – You’ve always been able to get directions with the Apple Watch, but previously this was done through the connection to your iPhone’s GPS tracking. However, with the introduction of GPS functionality built into the iWatch 2, you’ll be able to trek your directions without the need to have your iPhone with you, so you can try out new running routes without getting lost.
9. Make and receive calls
Series 1 & 2 – The inner Trekkie in us loves the idea of talking to people through the watch on our wrist, but if that’s a little conspicuous, the addition of wireless headphones with a built in microphone allows you to do it all and keep your hands in your pockets.
10. Check and write text messages
Series 1 & 2 – You get wrist tap notifications when you get a message and you can reply with either quick canned responses, your own custom responses, or you can dictate a message using the voice recognition tech.
11. Check email
Series 1 & 2 – This is the same as text messages, and while it only shows the text content of the emails, you can reply in the same way.
12. Send and receive Facebook messages
Series 1 & 2 – If you haven’t picked up on the theme around messages yet, re-read the previous two items in our “what you can do with the Apple Watch 2” list and you can probably guess what the deal is with Facebook messages.
13. Use Siri like your the Michael Knight talking to Kit
Series 1 & 2 – This is one of our favourite functions. We’re hoping that Apple give Siri an update soon, to boost its capabilities, and make it a little less glitchey, but it’s very satisfying when you ask it something and you actually get what you wanted.
14. Get calendar alerts and reminder notifications
Series 1 & 2 – In addition to getting texts, emails and Facebook messages on your iWatch, you also get the rest of the notification spectrum, including calendar alerts and to-do list reminders.
15. Get Glances
Series 1 & 2 – You can also set up Glances, which give you little snippets of information that update on a day-to-day basis. This includes calendar info, weather, your heartbeat, music that’s playing, stocks & shares and the world clock.
16. Apple Watch apps
Apple Watch 2 exclusive + Series 1 & 2 – There’s an abundance of apps to add to your device and the addition of GPS and water resistance to the Apple Watch 2 should bring with it a raft of new, specific apps designed just for them. Apps range from watch games to health, fitness and productivity. The Nike + Run Club app will be launching soon, for example.
17. Share location
Series 1 & 2 – Essentially, if you want to show someone where you are, or you need to track someone down, you can share the location. This will require you to also have your iPhone with you.
18. Find your iPhone
Series 1 & 2 – If you’re not too sure where your iPhone is, you can use the Find function on your Apple Watch to triangulate the location.
19. Remote control your iPhone camera from the Apple Watch 2 screen
Series 1 & 2 – This is a simple case of setting up your iPhone as a stationary camera (either by propping it up or using a mini tripod) and then getting the shot yourself, pulling whatever crazy pose you can think of and using your Apple Watch to press the shutter.
20. Use the Apple Watch 2 as a remote control for Apple TV
Series 1 & 2 – Pick the films, music and TV shows you want to watch on your Apple TV, using your watch as the remote.
21. Look at photos
Series 1 & 2 – Flick through your pics on the Apple Watch screen.
22. Pay with Apple Pay
Series 1 & 2 – If being Michael Knight and Captain Picard isn’t good enough, you can also use your Apple Watch to pay at checkouts without even touching your wallet with the hover over Apple Pay, so you can shop like way fancier than Cher Horowitz and Vivian Ward combined.