Today Apple released the Apple Watch Series 4, fundamentally redesigned and re-engineered to help you stay even more active, healthy, and connected. In the first real redesign since the watch was first revealed to the world in 2015, the new watch features a 30% larger display, in a thinner and lighter case, and features more advanced heart rate features.
But what does this mean to us snow enthusiasts?
Earlier this year, Apple added native ski and snowboard tracking to their Series 3 Watch. Skiers and snowboarders could use a GPS enabled Apple Watch Series 3 to track their activities and record runs, see vertical descent and other stats, and contribute accurate active calorie measurements, using the heart rate sensor, directly to the Apple Watch Activity app. This could be done via the Workout app on the watch, or via third party apps such as the Squaw Valley app, or Slopes app. This brought a whole new dimension to riding the mountain, enabling you to track runs, vertical, max speed, and also keep in touch with friends and family on the mountain.
The new Series 4 Watch, available in the shops from today, 21st September, aims to take that a step further.
The larger, brighter screen will make seeing your data way easier and will allow you to see more on the screen in one glance. At one glance check the time, your health stats for the day, the weather, your heart rate, your messages, runs skied, vertical skied… the list is endless. The thinner case means it will fit better under your gloves, or jacket cuff, which is quite a big deal for some. And it is still waterproof.
Improved heart rate functionality will spot that moment you caught an edge and your heart skipped a beat or that moment that kid shot out of the trees right in front of you. More accurate readings mean more accurate calorie counts, so you will know for sure if you can drink that extra beer, or take that free cookie they’re giving away at the base.
A new interesting feature can detect falls. Using faster accelerometer and gyroscope technologies allowing for better sensitivity adds the ability to detect a physical fall. Now obviously, this has more serious uses and for some could be an indispensable life-or-death feature, but it might be cool for ski/snowboard tracking app developers to incorporate this into their apps, for some cool/funny statistics. Improved technology will also improve GPS accuracy, ensuring you get credit for every single vertical foot skied.
Apple is advertising longer battery life, so the watch will last that whole powder day when you’re on the first chair to the last chair, and still have plenty of juice left to pay for that après using Apple Pay.
The new Walkie-Talkie feature introduced with watchOS 5 could also be a super-cool way to keep in touch with friends and family on the mountain. No need to take your phone out of your pocket, making your hands super cold and risking dropping it off a chair, just a tap of the watch and stay in touch.