Why Apple’s watchOS 2 is brilliant news for runners

“Currently only Apple’s own [Apple Watch] apps will work without the phone nearby, meaning the likes of Strava and Endomondo need the handset in close proximity to work correctly – not ideal for those that like to trot unencumbered,” Gareth Beavis reports for TechRadar UK. “Essentially it’s meant that the Watch is nothing more than a smaller second screen if you’re not into Apple’s overly-basic workout app, and that was infuriating.”

“But with native apps, developers can create experiences just for the Watch without the need for a phone, so the information will be more comprehensive and complete, with more options available to you when running,” Beavis reports. “Watch OS 2 obviously isn’t fixing the main issue – that the Watch has no GPS and therefore won’t be accurate for things like cycling when you’re phone-less – but it’s a step forward and will mean when the Apple Watch 2 appears (and please, please let it have some more fitness-based sensors) users will have much more fully-functioning running watch on their wrist.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully Nike is doing a watchOS 2 app that uses Apple Watch’s sensors to track NikeFuel, so we can finally take off these damn Nike+ FuelBand SEs! (We look like automatons with Apple Watches on one wrist and FuelBands on the other!)

If Nike doesn’t soon give us an Apple Watch app that measures NikeFuel when watchOS 2 is released this autumn, we’ll be calling it quits on years NikeFuel tracking.

SEE ALSO:

How to calibrate your Apple Watch for improved Workout and Activity accuracy – June 4, 2015
Nike CEO: More from Apple and Nike to come – May 8, 2015
Running with the Apple Watch: Yes, you can leave your iPhone behind – May 1, 2015
Nike+ Running iPhone app adds HealthKit integration, elevation tracking, more – October 28, 2014
Attention treadmillers: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus no longer support Nike+ Sensor – September 27, 2014
Nike CEO on partnership with Apple: ‘We’re very excited about what’s to come’ – April 25, 2014

12 Comments

    1. It is a bit humorous how people suddenly begin expressing demands and expectations for a device that was not commercially available just a couple of months ago.

      The Apple Watch will evolve and gain new sensors and capabilities. But it has to happen in a logical and balanced manner. We do not want Apple to load on features just to please analysts and pundits, like its competitors. We want Apple to maintain discipline and keep its products lean and efficient.

  1. I don’t know anything about tiny GPS chips, but it might be that WATCH size GPS processors and antennae may not exist yet and or be too much of a battery hog yet. BTW: I love the simplicity of Apple’s exercise app. I use it while also running Runtastic Pro on my iPhone 6 Plus when I go for my 2 mile per hour walks.😜💥😱

    1. There are no issues with size or chips, main issue is that GPS/GLONASS is super power hungry.

      So it makes no sense to put it in solely for sake of incredibly peculiar case when you are cycling but do not want to take iPhone with yourself.

      If you are not cycling, but running, then it is normal case, iPhone is not usually taken with you, and AW is perfectly fine measuring your distance, speed, as well as angles of your run, so there is no need for GPS/GLONASS at all. At most, you can run the first couple of times with iPhone to calibrate the algorithm, and later AW will be quite accurate just fine.

      1. So true, using maps or even one of the many golf GPS range finders, the battery on the iPhone drains very rapidly. GPS on the watch would likely drain the battery in an hour of continuous use.

    2. Both and neither are why GPS isn’t in the Apple Watch.

      iOS uses *assisted* GPS, and relies on location data from nearby cell towers and maybe wifi access points with known coordinates to achieve a faster but less accurate initial location reading. This lets smartphone GPS determine its location much faster than dedicated GPS units (used to take a minute or two).

      Even the iPad, where battery life and limited antenna area aren’t real factors, only has GPS if it’s the cellular version.

  2. Couldn’t Apple make use of the diagnostic port on the watch and offer bands with self powered gps build in? It seems logical that with the design of the bands, for ease of replacement; they would want to add functionality via bands. How hard would it be to place the band on a charger for you daily excursions? You simply swap the band and use it for a run or walk and then replace your normal band afterwards. The watch battery is not affected.

  3. i would like to see apple use better heart rate sensors that are more accurate with wet skin (from sweating) and darker skin tones (disclaimer: i am white as white can be, but i know others who struggle with this and it’s legit and needs to be addressed).

    and nike fuel? please. no better than fitbit. and runtastic and endomondo are crap apps. i use runmeter and there is nothing better on the market. ismoothrun came close but still does not have the feature richness runmeter has. the nike app is just plain junk.

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