The Apple Watch Pro is rumored to be a rugged smartwatch aimed at appealing to outdoor and extreme sports enthusiasts. Speculation continues to grow from sources generally aware of what might be in the works at Apple.
The launch of a rugged, outdoor version of its smartwatch would see Apple take its watch in a new direction: one that would see it up against fairly established names that have been serving up great outdoor watches for some time now.
Although this is a smartwatch that has evolved over time to better repel water and dust and be something suitable to wear when heading to the hills for a hike or to take a surfboard, Apple might need to make some significant changes to truly compete with the competition.
There’s already a solid hardware and software foundation to work from, so what will Apple have to do to make this rumored Watch Pro a great outdoor watch? Here is our opinion.
1. Bring the great battery life
Doing that would see Apple do something it hasn’t done since the launch of the first Apple Watch. Upgrade from its current 18-hour battery life promise to multi-day battery life. Something that has been rumored for this harder Watch edition.
Look to any of the best Garmin, Polar, or Coros outdoor watches and you not only get the deal of days or weeks of battery in smartwatch modes, but you also get multiple battery modes when you start tracking activities as well . The best Garmin watches like the Enduro literally last for months of wear.
Apple has to, if not match what dedicated rugged outdoor watches have to offer in terms of battery life, at least tip the scales towards longevity in order to really appeal to serious hikers, climbers or ultrarunners. It is speculated that Apple could do this with a new low power mode.
We’ve been here before with smartwatches like Casio and Nixon. They promise great outdoor-centric features but don’t have the battery performance to match, which ultimately makes them less desirable for people who have to be away from a charger for more than a day.
2. Take some notions of application internally
One thing Apple has overwhelmingly in its favor is an App Store overflowing with apps that enhance what its watch is capable of. There are already great Apple Watch apps for hikers, cyclists, surfers and more. While Apple can build on this already extensive third-party app support, it would be a good idea to bring similar levels of tracking to its own native tracking apps.
Its own Workout app is already a pretty solid offering and thanks to recent watchOS updates it has supported and tracked a wider variety of activities.
So seeing that the app not only offers profiles for more specialized outdoor activities, but offers activity-specific metrics would help give climbers or water sports enthusiasts quick access to the data they need. without needing to go to the App Store to find them.
3. Use new (and old) sensors in innovative ways
Speculation around an Apple Watch Pro suggests that Apple will introduce a temperature sensor in the watch for the first time. Temperature sensors aren’t new to smartwatches, and like the addition of a blood oxygen sensor on the Apple Watch Series 6, its inclusion is likely to focus on offering general information. welfare as opposed to those approved by regulation.
Apple doesn’t necessarily need to bring cutting-edge new sensors to the party, but it could take whatever existing sensor technology it might add or already offer and make it more useful for outdoor tracking scenarios.
Apple has already introduced an altimeter and compass in its smartwatch and includes one of the best wrist-based heart rate monitors in the business. With a temperature sensor in the mix too, it could give users more data to better understand conditions in their current location and better decisions on what to do next.
Garmin’s high-end watches, for example, offer heat acclimatization insights to better understand the impact of increased heat on training and fitness levels. This already present blood oxygen tracking could be adopted to offer useful information when reaching higher altitudes, while Polar’s use of heart rate to better understand fuel needs with its FuelWise feature on its latest watches is also something to consider.
These are all the directions Apple could consider to put this rumored new sensor and existing ones to good use.
4. Rearrange maps and navigation skills
It looks like a big one. Excellent outdoor watches offer strong mapping and navigation skills. From being able to follow rich, detailed maps to following routes that can direct you to your end point or take you home, these are features you want to see.
Apple already offers mapping and navigation support and in its watchOS 7 software update, sought to revamp this on-watch mapping support for cyclists. However, the best experience is usually outside of Apple’s native support. Apps like Work outside for example better respond to explorers. So if Apple wants to go in that direction with its smartwatch, it needs to have great mapping and navigation features out of the box.
Make it quick and easy to download directions, use that touchscreen and maybe even Siri to make maps easier to use, and offer navigation features that make sense based on the activity you’re tracking. If anyone can make sure this box is checked, it’s Apple.
5. A sturdier design that still keeps the elegance
To make this Watch Pro a reality, it’s speculated that Apple could opt for a new titanium look with a larger screen size to boot. We think we may forget to see a round Apple Watch, but we could see the current design get a noticeable overhaul.
The challenge here will be trying to retain the sleek aesthetic of the watch while giving it the level of protection it needs to survive much tougher terrain.
It’s probably already started to happen. On the Watch Series 7, Apple increased the size of the cases, redesigned the front crystal of the display to make it more resistant to cracks, and slapped it with an IP6X dust resistance rating. This made it more suitable for wearing at the beach or for an adventure in the desert.
Apple may need to give it a military-grade level of durability protection, as we’ve seen on other smartwatches like the Amazfit T-Rex 2. It may need to increase the durability rating to water to make it better suited to more extreme waters. based activities too.
It might have to sacrifice the same slender profile, but if it can avoid becoming bulky and not completely erase that strong watch design DNA, then it will stand out from the crowd of outward watches for the right reasons.