Apple Watch Ultra is here, a revolutionary new design with breakthrough capabilities

CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA Apple today announced Apple Watch Ultra, which brings a new bold design and a wide range of features built for endurance, exploration, and adventure. Apple Watch Ultra introduces a 49mm titanium case and flat sapphire front crystal that reveals the biggest and brightest Apple Watch display yet. A customizable Action button offers instant access to a wide range of useful features. Apple Watch Ultra has the best battery life of any Apple Watch, reaching up to 36 hours during normal use.1 Additionally, a new low-power setting, ideal for multi-day experiences, can extend battery life to reach up to 60 hours.2 The Wayfinder watch face is designed specifically for the larger Apple Watch Ultra display and includes a compass built into the dial, with space for up to eight complications. Apple Watch Ultra also brings three new bands — Trail Loop, Alpine Loop, and Ocean Band — offering unique design features that provide a secure and comfortable fit for every adventure.

Apple Watch Ultra is available to order today, with availability beginning Friday, September 23.

“Inspired by explorers and athletes from around the world, we created an entirely new category of Apple Watch designed for new and extreme environments — it’s the most rugged and capable Apple Watch yet,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “Apple Watch Ultra is a versatile tool that empowers users to push their boundaries with adventure, endurance, and exploration.”

Bigger, Brighter, and Stronger

Made from aerospace-grade titanium, Apple Watch Ultra provides the perfect balance of weight, durability, and corrosion resistance. The case rises up to surround all edges of the flat sapphire front crystal, protecting the Retina display, which is up to 2000 nits — 2x brighter than any Apple Watch display yet. The new Action button in high-contrast international orange is easily customized for instant access to a variety of features, including Workouts, Compass Waypoints, Backtrack, and more.

Apple Watch Ultra has three built-in microphones to significantly improve sound quality in voice calls during any conditions. An adaptive beamforming algorithm uses the microphones to capture voice while reducing ambient background sounds, resulting in remarkable clarity. In challenging windy environments, Apple Watch Ultra uses advanced wind noise-reduction algorithms, including machine learning, to deliver clear and intelligible audio for calls.

New Bands Designed for the Great Outdoors

Designed specifically for endurance athletes and runners, the Trail Loop band is the thinnest Apple Watch band to date. The lightweight woven textile is both soft and flexible, allowing it to cinch to the optimal fit, and the convenient tab is designed for quick and easy adjustment.

With explorers in mind, the Alpine Loop band features two integrated layers made from one continuous weaving process that eliminates the need for stitching. The top loops, interspersed with high-strength yarn, provide adjustability and a secure attachment for the titanium G-hook fastener.

The Ocean Band is designed specifically for extreme water sports and recreational diving with a titanium buckle and corresponding spring-loaded loop. Molded from a flexible fluoroelastomer, it stretches and utilizes the tubular geometry for a secure fit. The Ocean Band also has an optional extra-long tail that allows users to comfortably wear over a wetsuit.

Endurance Sports and Elite Athletes

Apple Watch Ultra is an incredible tool for endurance athletes or those who aspire to push beyond their limits. For the first time ever in an Apple Watch, the precision dual-frequency GPS integrates both L1 and the latest frequency, L5, plus new positioning algorithms. Apple Watch Ultra delivers the most accurate GPS of any Apple Watch to date, providing users the most precise distance, pace, and route data for training and competing.

Apple Watch Ultra is powered by watchOS 9, which includes new advanced running metrics to measure performance, like Stride Length, Ground Contact Time, Vertical Oscillation, and Running Power. New Workout Views, such as Segments, Splits, and Elevation, provide important metrics at just a glance, and thanks to the larger display, Apple Watch Ultra is the only Apple Watch that can show six metrics at once. Users can take their training to the next level with features such as Heart Rate Zones, Custom Workouts, Pacer, and, coming later this year, Race Route. For triathlons, duathlons, or activities with any sequence of swimming, biking, or running, the new Multisport workout includes autodetection to easily switch between workouts. Apple Watch Ultra has enough battery life for most users to complete a long-course triathlon, consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and full marathon at 26.2 miles.

The Action button can instantly begin workouts and move users to the next interval of a Custom Workout or the next leg of a Multisport workout. It can also be used to mark segments, complementing the new Track running experience, which automatically provides the ultimate pacing and distance estimates for runners at a track.3

Explorers

With the bigger, brighter display and rugged design, Apple Watch Ultra is the perfect technical tool for adventurers and explorers in a range of environments, from the every day to the extreme. The completely redesigned Compass app in watchOS 9 surfaces more in-depth information and three distinct views. The app displays a new hybrid view that simultaneously shows both an analog compass dial and a digital view. Turning the Digital Crown reveals an additional view that includes latitude, longitude, elevation, and incline, as well as an orienteering view showing Compass Waypoints and Backtrack.

Compass Waypoints are a quick and convenient way to mark a location or point of interest directly in the app. Pressing the Action button or tapping the Compass Waypoint icon drops a waypoint that can be edited by tapping the icon that appears. The Compass Waypoint complication updates dynamically in real time with both the direction of the waypoint as well as the approximate distance.

Backtrack uses GPS data to create a path showing where the user has been, which is useful if they get lost or disoriented and need help retracing their steps. It can also turn on automatically in the background when off the grid. With a single press of the Action button, users can quickly drop a Compass Waypoint or start or view a Backtrack. An 86-decibel siren is designed for emergencies, should users become lost or injured, and can help draw attention to a location. The unique sound signature incorporates two distinct alternating patterns, which can repeat for up to several hours. The first pattern suggests distress, while the second mimics the universally recognized SOS pattern. For multi-day backpacking trips, battery life can be extended to reach up to 60 hours using Low Power Mode plus an additional low-power setting that reduces frequency of GPS and heart rate readings.

The on-wrist operating temperature was designed to help explore the most extreme and remote locations, from freezing cold mountains at -4° F (-20° C) to the blazing desert heat at 131° F (55° C).4 Apple Watch Ultra is certified to the relevant aspects of MIL-STD-810H, used for military equipment and popular among rugged equipment manufacturers. Testing includes Low Pressure (Altitude), High Temperature, Low Temperature, Temperature Shock, Contamination by Fluids, Rain, Humidity, Immersion, Sand and Dust, Freeze/Thaw, Ice/Freezing Rain, Shock, Vibration, and more. To optimize for evening conditions, turning the Digital Crown makes the interface red for better visibility in the dark when using the Wayfinder face.

Ocean and Water Sports Enthusiasts

Apple Watch Ultra is designed for water sports, including extreme activities like kitesurfing and wakeboarding, along with recreational scuba diving to 40 meters with the new Oceanic+ app. To support these underwater adventures, Apple Watch Ultra is certified to WR100. Apple Watch Ultra is also certified to EN 13319, which is an internationally recognized standard for dive accessories, including depth gauges that are relied upon by recreational divers around the world.5

Utilizing a new depth gauge, Apple Watch Ultra features a Depth app designed with an intuitive user interface. With just a glance, the Depth app displays time, current depth, water temperature, duration under water, and max depth reached. Users can program the Action button to instantly launch the Depth app.

In partnership with Huish Outdoors, known for delivering innovative and reliable equipment for recreational diving, the new Oceanic+ app turns Apple Watch Ultra into a capable dive computer. Available from the App Store later this fall, the app runs the Bühlmann decompression algorithm, and includes dive planning, easy-to-read dive metrics, visual and haptic alerts, no-decompression limit, ascent rate, and safety stop guidance. Oceanic+ also offers a personalized user profile, reports on current and local dive conditions, and a dive logbook that can be shared with family and friends and automatically syncs to iPhone.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Apple to combine our world-renowned expertise in scuba with the unique capability of Apple Watch Ultra to turn the same everyday watch into an innovative dive computer,” said Mike Huish, CEO of Huish Outdoors. “With Oceanic+, Apple Watch Ultra users can enjoy a new and enriched experience during scuba activities.”

 

Additional Features

Apple Watch Ultra includes all of the connectivity, activity, and health features that have made Apple Watch the best-selling smartwatch in the world — from heart rate monitoring and the ECG and Blood Oxygen apps, to Activity rings and Mindfulness, along with additional health, safety, and navigation features.

Apple Watch Ultra features innovative new temperature-sensing capabilities that enable further insights into women’s health. The unique two-sensor design reduces bias from the outside environment and the body itself. Utilizing the new capabilities, users can receive retrospective ovulation estimates, which can be helpful for family planning.6 Temperature sensing also enables improved period predictions for users who menstruate.7 With iOS 16 and watchOS 9, Cycle Tracking users can now receive a notification if their logged cycle history shows a possible deviation, which can be a symptom of underlying health conditions.

Using two new motion sensors and an advanced sensor-fusion algorithm, Apple Watch can detect a severe car crash with Crash Detection. When Apple Watch detects a severe car crash, the device will check in with the user and dial emergency services if they are unresponsive after a 10-second countdown. Emergency responders will receive the user’s device location, which is also shared with emergency contacts.

Apple Watch Ultra and the Environment

Apple Watch Ultra is designed to minimize its impact on the environment. It features recycled gold in the plating of multiple printed circuit boards — a first for Apple Watch — as well as 100 percent recycled rare earth elements in all magnets, and 100 percent recycled tungsten in the Taptic Engine. Display glass is arsenic-free, and Apple Watch Ultra is mercury-, BFR-, PVC-, and beryllium-free. No Apple Watch packaging uses outer plastic wrap, and 98 percent or more of the packaging is fiber based, bringing Apple closer to its goal of completely removing plastic from its packaging by 2025.

Today, Apple is carbon neutral for global corporate operations, and by 2030, plans to be 100 percent carbon neutral across the entire manufacturing supply chains and all product life cycles. This means that every Apple device sold, from component manufacturing, assembly, transport, customer use, charging, all the way through recycling and material recovery, will have net-zero climate impact.

Privacy

Privacy is fundamental in the design and development across all of Apple’s features. When a user’s iPhone is locked with a passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID, all of their health and fitness data in the Health app — other than Medical ID — is encrypted. Any Health data backed up to iCloud is encrypted both in transit and on Apple servers. When using iOS and watchOS with the default two-factor authentication and a passcode, Health app data synced to iCloud is encrypted end-to-end, meaning that Apple does not have the key to decrypt the data and therefore cannot read it.

Pricing and Availability

  • Customers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, the UAE, the UK, the US, and more than 40 other countries and regions can order Apple Watch Ultra today, with availability in stores beginning Friday, September 23.
  • Apple Watch Ultra is $799 (US).
  • watchOS 9 will be available for Apple Watch Series 4 and later on Monday, September 12, and requires iPhone 8 or later and iPhone SE (2nd generation) or later running iOS 16. Not all features are available on all devices and in all regions.
  • Three months of Apple Fitness+ are included for customers who purchase Apple Watch Ultra, Apple Watch Series 8, or Apple Watch SE, or new purchases of Apple Watch Series 4 or later.

 

 

Apple – Apple newsroom contributed to this column

Author: West Lamy

My passport requires no photograph. Experienced play-by-play broadcaster and multimedia sports journalist with years of producing and covering sports. WORLDWIDEWEST is a journey; in this journey my feet don't get blisters, but my shoes do.

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