Apple launched its new Apple Watch Ultra on Wednesday. It is bigger and has more features for athletes, explorers, and swimmers. The Apple Watch Ultra has the same features as the new Apple Watch Series 8, but there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. Here are just a few of the most important differences that stand out.
Extreme operating temperature
iPhones can get so hot or cold that they stop working, but that’s not likely to happen to the Apple Watch Ultra, even in the harshest conditions. Apple says that the watch was made to work in the most extreme conditions of outdoor exploration. It can work from -4° to 131° F (-20° to 55° C) when worn on the wrist.
More trouble with a bigger screen
Apple has made a new Wayfinder watch face that is made for the bigger screen on the Apple Watch Ultra. It has a compass built into the dial, and it can show up to eight different complications at once. The face of the Wayfinder watch can also be changed for mountain, sea, or trail trips.
Custom action button
Previous models of Apple Watch only had two physical buttons, but the Apple Watch Ultra has a third one on the left side of the screen called the Action button. It is colored “international orange” and can do a number of things.
Since the Action button is customizable, the user decides what it does. With one push, you can track race segments during a workout, find a way out when using Backtrack, drop a Compass Waypoint, or start a dive computer, depending on what you need.
Under the flat sapphire front crystal is a Retina display that is both the biggest ever on an Apple Watch and can show content at up to 2,000 nits, which is twice as bright as any other Apple Watch display.
When using the Wayfinder watch face in the evening, turning the Digital Crown turns on Night Mode. This makes the interface red and removes blue light from the display, which can cause your eyes to strain in the dark.
Alarm for danger
If you get lost, hurt, or have another emergency situation where you need help and want to let people know where you are, the Apple Watch Ultra has an 86-decibel siren that you can turn on by holding down the Action button.
Apple says that the siren has a unique sound signature with two different patterns that alternate and can play for hours. The first pattern sounds like someone is in trouble, and the second sounds like the SOS pattern that everyone knows. The siren can be heard up to 600 feet or 180 meters away.
Best GPS Positioning
The Apple Watch Ultra has a dual-frequency GPS that uses both L1 and L5, the newest frequency. Apple says that when combined with new custom positioning algorithms, this gives users the most accurate GPS of any smartwatch on the market. This should help trail runners and other athletes who often find themselves in areas with thick trees or tall buildings.
Changes to the Compass app
With watchOS 9, Apple Watch Ultra’s Compass offers three views. The app provides a combination analog/digital compass view. Turning the Digital Crown displays latitude, longitude, elevation, inclination, and orienteering Compass Waypoints and Backtrack.
Marking Waypoints and Going Back
You can drop a waypoint and mark where you are in the Compass app. Just press the Action button or tap the Compass Waypoint icon. Waypoints can be changed by tapping the icon, and the Compass Waypoint complication automatically updates to show both the waypoint’s direction and its distance.
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With the help of GPS, a new function called “Backtrack” makes a path that shows you where you’ve been, like a breadcrumb trail. You can use this path if you get lost or confused and want to go back the way you came.
Temperature sensor for the water and depth gauge
The Apple Watch Ultra is certified to EN 13319, which is a standard for dive accessories like depth gauges that is known around the world. The Apple Watch Ultra even has a depth gauge built into a new app called Depth. This app can show the time, the current depth (down to 40 meters), the water temperature, the amount of time spent underwater, and the maximum depth reached.
When the Apple Watch Ultra is submerged, it opens the Depth app automatically. This makes it quick and easy to get important information without having to open it by hand. You can also assign the Depth app to the Action button so that it opens when you need it.
The Apple Watch Ultra costs $799 and can be pre-ordered after the “Far out” event on Wednesday. It has a case made of silver titanium and comes with three different bands: Trail, Alpine, and Ocean. On Friday, September 23, customers can start getting the Apple Watch Ultra.