Features That Distinguish Apple Watch Series 2 From Its Predecessor

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2016-09-12
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Features That Distinguish Apple Watch Series 2 From Its Predecessor
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    Features That Distinguish Apple Watch Series 2 From Its Predecessor

    While Apple didn't add LTE connectivity to its new Apple Watch Series 2, it does come with enough new features that users should choose it over the original Apple Watch.
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    The GPS Addition Is Huge
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    The GPS Addition Is Huge

    The Apple Watch Series 2 comes with a built-in GPS chip, a feature that was conspicuously missing in the first model. The feature means users can take the Apple Watch out on a hike or use it as their personal navigator. It also helps the device do a better job at tracking fitness activities, like distance traveled.
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    It's Designed for Swimmers
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    It's Designed for Swimmers

    Apple spent considerable time at its press event talking about the Apple Watch Series 2's appeal to swimmers. Not only can the device track strokes, but it also can give swimmers information about their bodies during a swim. Most importantly for swimmers, it features water resistance up to 50 meters (about 164 feet), allowing it to handle intense water pressure while swimming.
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    Don't Forget About Other Activities
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    Don't Forget About Other Activities

    The Apple Watch Series 2 is first and foremost a fitness tracker. On its special Series 2 page, Apple even promotes it as such, calling it a "superior sports watch." In addition to the built-in GPS, the wearable has a heart-rate sensor, a built-in workout app to track a person's activity and information on how many calories a user has burned. There are even fitness coaching and achievement features.
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    Third-Party Apps Will Work Just Fine
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    Third-Party Apps Will Work Just Fine

    Apple was quick to note that third-party apps are fully compatible with Apple Watch Series 2. While the device is using a different processor (more on that in a bit), Apple said that an increasing number of fitness apps and other programs are coming to the smartwatch. Third-party app developers, in other words, are expected to jump on the Series 2 bandwagon.
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    It'll Rely on Your iPhone
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    It'll Rely on Your iPhone

    Unfortunately, Apple didn't bundle LTE connectivity in the Apple Watch Series 2. That means that the smartwatch must rely on the iPhone to deliver much of its functionality, including the ability to receive notifications, get alerts to a phone call and more. Once the Apple Watch gets LTE, it can be used as a stand-alone device. Until then, it'll need the iPhone to deliver most of its features.
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    A New Ceramic Version
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    A New Ceramic Version

    Apple surprised many by announcing a ceramic Apple Watch that will complement its metal options. The ceramic model, which Apple says will deliver a "beautiful" shine, is called the Apple Watch Edition. Apple discontinued the previous Apple Watch Edition, which was extremely expensive, with one version costing as much as $17,000.
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    A More Powerful Processor to Get Work Done
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    A More Powerful Processor to Get Work Done

    Although Apple didn't share too many details on the processor built into the new Apple Watch, the company did say that the chip has dual cores and offers greatly enhanced performance over the original Apple Watch. The processor should help the Apple Watch respond more quickly to user inputs and deliver better graphics performance.
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    Remember the Apple Watch Nike+
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    Remember the Apple Watch Nike+

    Apple has expanded its Apple Watch partnerships with the upcoming launch of the Apple Watch Nike+. The Nike+ looks like a standard Apple Watch, but has its own special band for athletes and comes with Nike software built in for additional activity tracking. The Apple Watch Series 2 Nike+ starts at $369.
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    It's Not Replacing the First Apple Watch
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    It's Not Replacing the First Apple Watch

    It's important to note that Apple isn't replacing its first-generation wearable with the Series 2. Instead, Apple says that the first-generation model will remain on store shelves and even include the aforementioned dual-core processor so it delivers better performance. That means Apple is now offering more smartwatch options than ever.
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    What to Know About Pricing, Availability
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    What to Know About Pricing, Availability

    The Apple Watch Series 2 launches on Sept. 16. Pricing is all over the place, depending on the case customers want and the bands they desire. The smartwatch starts at $369, and pricing quickly rises to $1,499 for the top-of-the-line Apple Watch Hermès. The Apple Watch Edition now starts at $1,249.
 

Although the iPhone 7 grabbed the most attention at Apple's Sept. 7 press event, the Apple Watch Series 2 is a nice new addition to Apple's hardware lineup. The smartwatch is heavily focused on activity, allowing users to more effectively track their fitness, including their heart rate, how well they're swimming and much more. In addition, it comes with a new processor to handle new and improved apps and features a ceramic model that replaces the gold Apple Watch Edition that had topped out at $17,000 when it launched last year. The Apple Watch Series 2 doesn't replace the first-generation Apple Watch. But it does come with enough new features that could make some users opt for Apple's latest smartwatch instead of its tried and true predecessor. This eWEEK slide show covers some of those features and explains why the Series 2 is a nice upgrade over the first-generation model even if it doesn't deliver all of the updates—like LTE connectivity and a more refined design—that some customers had hoped to see. Read on to learn more.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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