Apple Watch Series 2: A Swimmer's Perspective

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As a lifelong swimmer, I found the addition of 50-meter water resistance and swim workout tracking in the Apple Watch Series 2 to be a welcome improvement that made the new watch a must-have upgrade for me. While the original Apple Watch was not rated for swimming, many users had no issues regularly using it in the water, although its lack of built-in swim tracking features limited its usefulness.


With Apple Watch Series 2, Apple has not only upgraded the water resistance with new gaskets and seals to make it suitable for swimming, but added new Pool Swim and Open Water Swim workouts to help track your progress. As part of the Apple Watch Series 2 introduction earlier this month, Apple highlighted how it worked with swimmers in the company's fitness labs to develop the software to accurately track swim workouts, from using the accelerometer in the watch to measure arm movements to tracking energy expenditures during workouts.

So how well does the new Apple Watch work when you take it for some swims in a pool? Let's take a look.


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Article Link: Apple Watch Series 2: A Swimmer's Perspective
 

Chupa Chupa

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Jul 16, 2002
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I think your perspective as a swimmer is similar to how many runners feel about AW as a running watch. If you are serious about the sport it's best to get a dedicated watch made for it. The AW tries hard to be a Jack-Of-All-Trades and truly is a master of none when it comes to sports tracking. It's a good activity tracker and huge convenience with notifications, ApplePay, signing in your Mac now. That is where it shines.

I'm hoping future iterations of the Nike branded AW becomes more of a unique, dedicated sports tracking watch than the marketing gimmick it is with the upcoming release. Apple needs to start designing sports watchs as sports watches rather than just slapping a name and unique band on the same watch that is in the other AW lines.
 

gsmornot

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Sep 29, 2014
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As a lifelong swimmer, I found the addition of 50-meter water resistance and swim workout tracking in the Apple Watch Series 2 to be a welcome improvement that made the new watch a must-have upgrade for me. While the original Apple Watch was not rated for swimming, many users had no issues regularly using it in the water, although its lack of built-in swim tracking features limited its usefulness.


With Apple Watch Series 2, Apple has not only upgraded the water resistance with new gaskets and seals to make it suitable for swimming, but added new Pool Swim and Open Water Swim workouts to help track your progress. As part of the Apple Watch Series 2 introduction earlier this month, Apple highlighted how it worked with swimmers in the company's fitness labs to develop the software to accurately track swim workouts, from using the accelerometer in the watch to measure arm movements to tracking energy expenditures during workouts.

So how well does the new Apple Watch work when you take it for some swims in a pool? Let's take a look.


Click here to read rest of article...

Article Link: Apple Watch Series 2: A Swimmer's Perspective
"It would be great if the watch could sense when I've stopped at the wall to rest and automatically pause my workout and then resume once I push off the wall on my next swim."

We're waiting on this for other activities as well like cycling. I think the only place you find auto pause at the moment is running workouts.
 
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djm290

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Does the watch notify you when your lap goal is complete? With water, I would assume it would have to be haptic feedback. Anything to not have to mind the lap counter....
 

izyreal

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Sep 26, 2012
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Even with a rating of "waterproof," I wouldn't take my Apple watch into the ocean (saltwater). Does anyone known if Apple has commented how ocean-proof the new watch is?
 

gugy

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"I like the tracking the Apple Watch can provide in pool swims to help keep tabs on my yardage, heart rate, and calories burned, and it's something I'll likely continue playing with. It's great for tracking long workouts with a minimum of stopping."

Well, I fall into the category above. I swim every day for 1hr without stopping. The only thing I am curious is how well AW tracks different strokes like backstroke, butterfly, and breaststroke.
I have never had the patience to count my laps. The only thing I ever did is track my time in the pool. I am excited to get the AW and be able to find out how many laps, distance and calories.
Since this app is V.1, I would think later upgrades might address the writer concerns and shortfalls he points out. I am just glad Apple took a serious look at swimmers this time around.

Not sure how the AW compares to other trackers like Moov, Fitbit and Garmin. I think Garmin is the best out there but it is just too hideous for my taste.
 
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cicalinarrot

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Apr 28, 2015
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Apparently, the warranty is not clear about it, it only says you shouldn't misuse it and it's marketed to be used in a pool.
Frankly, I'd still be way happier with a waterproof certification.
 

Saipher

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Oct 25, 2014
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Great article! Now I just need Apple to actually have the Series 2 watch in stock so I can buy one!
 
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WildCowboy

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Jan 20, 2005
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Even with a rating of "waterproof," I wouldn't take my Apple watch into the ocean (saltwater). Does anyone known if Apple has commented how ocean-proof the new watch is?
Apple officially says it's okay to use in the ocean.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205000

Apple Watch Series 2 may be used for shallow water activities like swimming in a pool or ocean.
One of our readers also emailed Jeff Williams to specifically ask about using the Nike version while surfing. Here's the reply he got:

Nike only comes in Aluminum. If you rinse with fresh water after surfing, you should be great. We actually conduct out salt water corrosion testing without rinsing, and the watch performs well. That said, given you surf daily, I'd recommend rinsing.
 
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vealski

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Jun 21, 2011
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I haven't been able to find out if the touch screen works while wet. The original doesn't really. Does this one?
 

WildCowboy

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Does the watch notify you when your lap goal is complete? With water, I would assume it would have to be haptic feedback. Anything to not have to mind the lap counter....
That's one thing I haven't checked. I've only done group swim workout with it, so I've just been interested in open goal tracking rather than setting a specific goal and swimming to it. Will give that a look though.

Well, I fall into the category above. I swim every day for 1hr without stopping. The only thing I am curious is how well AW tracks different strokes like backstroke, butterfly, and breaststroke.
I haven't had a chance to do thorough testing on that, but my initial impression is it can be a little iffy on other strokes. In particular, I did a breaststroke set last night and it didn't seem to pick up my full yardage on that. It does learn over time though, so that may improve once it figures out your stroke patterns.
 
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WildCowboy

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I haven't been able to find out if the touch screen works while wet. The original doesn't really. Does this one?
The screen locks during the workout to prevent accidental touches from the water, and there isn't much of a need to touch the screen during the workout, as there's a lot of data right there on the screen and you can pause and resume with the crown and side button. But once I unlock the screen at the end, I haven't had any problems getting it to register my touches to end the workout.
 

profets

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Mar 18, 2009
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I think your perspective as a swimmer is similar to how many runners feel about AW as a running watch. If you are serious about the sport it's best to get a dedicated watch made for it. The AW tries hard to be a Jack-Of-All-Trades and truly is a master of none when it comes to sports tracking. It's a good activity tracker and huge convenience with notifications, ApplePay, signing in your Mac now. That is where it shines.

I'm hoping future iterations of the Nike branded AW becomes more of a unique, dedicated sports tracking watch than the marketing gimmick it is with the upcoming release. Apple needs to start designing sports watchs as sports watches rather than just slapping a name and unique band on the same watch that is in the other AW lines.
As a swimmer, cyclist, runner and triathlete, I love using my Apple watch to track it all. I know, there's dedicated watch options for these sports, I've used many, but honestly in my experience none feel as nice as using an Apple Watch. I'd go as far as to say it's like using a dedicated GPS unit in a car or a Palm or Blackberry when the iPhone first launched.

I think, as the watch gets more powerful, it would be amazing if Garmin, TomTom and others bring their fitness apps to the watch so we can have the best of both worlds.

I do get it though, those who prefer dedicated devices and/or want more metrics and data from their workouts.
 
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gugy

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That's one thing I haven't checked. I've only done group swim workout with it, so I've just been interested in open goal tracking rather than setting a specific goal and swimming to it. Will give that a look though.



I haven't had a chance to do thorough testing on that, but my initial impression is it can be a little iffy on other strokes. In particular, I did a breaststroke set last night and it didn't seem to pick up my full yardage on that. It does learn over time though, so that may improve once it figures out your stroke patterns.
Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I am curious about that. I switch strokes regularly, so I am interest to see if AW picks up when that happens.
 

profets

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Mar 18, 2009
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I wonder how long can last sport bands trough heavy swimming sessions
I've been doing lane swimming for over a year, multiple times per week with my original watch. No issues at all for the sport band. I'd worry more about the watch before the band.
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I haven't been able to find out if the touch screen works while wet. The original doesn't really. Does this one?
Mostly the same as the original in my experience so far. Tough to interact with the touch screen when fingers or screen are significantly wet.
 

cult hero

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Jun 6, 2005
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I wonder how long can last sport bands trough heavy swimming sessions
Only kinda-sorta related but I have a pair of sport bands—one of them I picked up a week ago. I do a lot of running and weightlifting in mine and I can say that close to a year of doing so has taken away the "soft" feel of the original. The new one feels much nicer when I put it on.

It's probably a combination of drying out and getting a little more rigid. The band is still fine and by no means uncomfortable, but there is a pretty noticeable difference in the sport bands over time.

As someone who does a variety of workouts, often in an impromptu manner, I really like the watch (and especially after the latest OS update). The jack-of-all-trades is extremely useful. And there's the added bonus of my phone being silent most of the time.
 

manu chao

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Jul 30, 2003
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I'm in the market for it. This is water resistance...not proof, folks.
I think the definition of water resistant always relies on a maximum time (eg, 1 m depth for 30 min). Whereas waterproof simply says 30 m without putting up an upper time limit.
 

frumpy16

macrumors 6502a
Dec 8, 2008
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Only kinda-sorta related but I have a pair of sport bands—one of them I picked up a week ago. I do a lot of running and weightlifting in mine and I can say that close to a year of doing so has taken away the "soft" feel of the original. The new one feels much nicer when I put it on.

It's probably a combination of drying out and getting a little more rigid. The band is still fine and by no means uncomfortable, but there is a pretty noticeable difference in the sport bands over time.

As someone who does a variety of workouts, often in an impromptu manner, I really like the watch (and especially after the latest OS update). The jack-of-all-trades is extremely useful. And there's the added bonus of my phone being silent most of the time.
+1 Had the same experience. I was surprised how different my Series 2 felt when I first put it on.