The announcement of the new iPhone 7 stole the show at Apple’s launch event on Wednesday September 7th, but Apple also quietly announced plenty of cool new tools for fitness fans as well. The big fitness news is all in the new Apple Watch. Along with more powerful hardware, the new Apple Watch Series 2 is now much more fitness friendly, and appears to becoming an essential tool for fitness tracking enthusiasts, especially when compared with the Series 1. Here are the 7 big fitness announcements from Apple’s launch event.
1. The Apple Watch is now built for swimmers.
The new Apple watch is now 100% waterproof, and can survive depths of up to 50 meters. They even re-designed the watch speaker to push out even the tiniest drop of liquid when it surfaces. Now that it can survive underwater, Apple is integrating swimming workout tracking into their apps. After analyzing the strokes of over 700 swimmers for years in preparation, Apple’s new swim tracking can accurately track distance, number of laps swam, calorie burn and more in real-time. The app will also automatically adjust its measurements and workout suggestions over time as it learns your routines.
2. GPS tracking no longer reliant on the iPhone
The new Apple Watch will have a GPS built in that can interact with satellites on its own. This is huge for runners and hikers that wanted to use the first Watch to track their workouts, but found that they had to also lug around their iPhone. Now they only need to bring the watch for accurate workout tracking.
3. New Activity Sharing Features
With Apple’s new Activity Sharing feature, you can view your friends and family's fitness activity, and see how your workouts rank. You can also send “smack talk” audio messages to users you’re connected with.
4. Now wheelchair users can track their workouts
Apple is releasing the first fitness tracking software for wheelchair users later this year. After working closely with groups dedicated to promoting fitness for the disabled, Apple created new software that calculates calories burned and other fitness activity based on wheel pushes. They take into account differing wheel heights and seats, if the user is going up or downhill, and even what kind of surface the user is on.
5. An app for deep breathing yoga sessions
Apple announced Breathe, an app that guides users through deep breathing sessions, which is a form of yoga. Users can adjust session details and the app will illustrate the proper techniques and give you feedback. At the end of your session you get a detailed summary screen with heart rate and other performance data.
6. A New Nike Watch Model
Nike and Apple teamed up to create the Apple Watch Nike+. The aluminum watch comes with all the new features of the new Apple Watch Series 2, but with several Nike enhancements, such as a Nike-designed watch band, watch faces that can immediately launch new run workouts and exclusive Siri commands. Nike’s Run Club app is also fully integrated with the watch, with new features like alerts when the weather is good for running, a re-designed stats display and social features such as giving “fist bumps” to fellow runners from your watch.
The Nike+ watch will be available for pre-order September 9, in 38mm for $369 and 42mm for $399. It will officially release sometime in late October.
7. Pokemon Go is now on the Apple Watch
Pokemon Go is now much more convenient to play for Apple Watch users. You can now gather items, hatch eggs and track Pokemon on your wrist, engage with Pokestops and track your experience progress without having to constantly take your phone out. Unfortunately, you still have to take out your phone to actually catch Pokemon.
You can pre-order the new Apple Watch here on September 9th. It officially releases September 16.
Want to see a preview of the future of fitness? See what technology will be in the Gym of 2020: