September 12, 2023
Apple unveils Apple Watch Ultra 2
Apple’s most rugged and capable watch is now even better with performance updates, a new double tap gesture, and carbon neutral options
CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA Apple today introduced Apple Watch Ultra 2, bringing new features to Apple’s most capable and rugged smartwatch, and achieving a significant environmental milestone. Apple Watch Ultra 2 offers all of the features users love about Ultra, plus the powerful new S9 SiP, a magical new double tap gesture, Apple’s brightest display ever, expanded altitude range, on-device Siri, Precision Finding for iPhone, and advanced capabilities for water adventures. Apple Watch Ultra 2 runs watchOS 10, which delivers redesigned apps, the new Smart Stack, new cycling experiences, features to help explore the outdoors, and a new watch face — Modular Ultra. With all the new advancements, Apple Watch Ultra 2 has the same 36-hour battery life with regular use and up to 72 hours in Low Power Mode.
For the first time, customers can choose a carbon neutral option of any Apple Watch, representing a significant milestone toward Apple 2030: Apple’s plan to be carbon neutral across its entire business, manufacturing supply chain, and product life cycle by 2030.
Apple Watch Ultra 2 can be ordered today, with availability beginning Friday, September 22.
“This year we’ve made our most rugged and capable Apple Watch even better,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “Apple Watch Ultra 2 is our most advanced Apple Watch, with great performance and feature updates. It’s perfect for anyone who wants our biggest, brightest display, longest battery life, and best GPS of any Apple Watch, all in a stunning design.”
Powerful New S9 SiP
Apple Watch Ultra 2 is powered by custom Apple silicon in the all-new S9 SiP. Apple’s most powerful watch chip yet delivers systemwide improvements and brand-new features, including a new double tap gesture and on-device Siri with the ability to access and log health data privately and securely. Apple Watch Ultra 2 also has a new 4-core Neural Engine that can process machine learning tasks up to twice as fast as the original Apple Watch Ultra.
Double Tap Gesture
Innovations such as the Digital Crown and Taptic Engine — along with gestures like tap, swipe, wrist raise, and cover to mute — make Apple Watch simple and intuitive to use. With a new double tap gesture, users can easily control Apple Watch Ultra 2 using just one hand and without touching the display. Users can tap the index finger and thumb of their watch hand together twice to quickly and conveniently perform many of the most common actions on Apple Watch Ultra 2. Double tap will also open the Smart Stack from the watch face, and another double tap will scroll through widgets in the stack.
Double tap controls the primary button in an app so it can be used to stop a timer, play and pause music, or snooze an alarm. The gesture can be used to answer and end a phone call, take a photo with the Camera Remote on Apple Watch, or even switch to the new Elevation view in the Compass app to see the relative elevation of saved waypoints.
The new double tap gesture is enabled by the faster Neural Engine in Apple Watch Ultra 2, which processes data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and optical heart sensor with a new machine learning algorithm. The algorithm detects the unique signature of tiny wrist movements and changes in blood flow when the index finger and thumb perform a double tap. The double tap gesture will be available in a software update next month.
A new advanced display architecture pushes the maximum brightness of Apple Watch Ultra 2 to 3000 nits — 50 percent brighter than the first generation of Apple Watch Ultra and the brightest display Apple has ever designed — for greater readability in harsh sunlight. For dark rooms or early mornings, the display can also lower to just one nit so as not to disturb people close by. Flashlight also benefits from the new display architecture; rotating the Digital Crown temporarily doubles the brightness to better light the way.
Modular Ultra Watch Face
A new watch face designed for Apple Watch Ultra — Modular Ultra — takes advantage of the large display, using the outermost edge to present real-time data, including seconds, altitude, or depth. It offers the most complications of any Apple digital watch face to customize for sports, outdoor adventures, and ocean and water activities.
Tested for Extremes
Apple Watch Ultra 2 is designed for extremes and has been tested for use across the largest range of altitudes for any Apple product, from 500 meters below sea level to explore the lowest valleys, and up to 9,000 meters to ascend the world’s tallest peaks.
Recreational Scuba Diving and Freediving
Apple Watch Ultra is perfect for water sports, including extreme activities like kitesurfing and wakeboarding, along with recreational scuba diving to 40 meters — and now freediving — with the updated Oceanic+ app from Huish Outdoors.1
The built-in Depth app now saves a log of each session so users can review the most recent sessions on Apple Watch Ultra or view the complete history of all dives with a GPS entry point in the Fitness app on iPhone.
During a freedive with the Oceanic+ app, users will see critical data like depth and elapsed time, and receive target depth alerts, all in big, bold, glanceable text. Between dives, heart rate zones help users monitor and lower their heart rate, and preset alarms like surface time and elapsed session time guide users through each training session. The detailed logbook provides a full profile, including descent and ascent speeds.
On-Device Siri with Ability to Access and Log Health Data
For the first time on Apple Watch, Siri requests can be processed on device. For requests that do not require information from the internet, like starting a workout or setting a timer, Siri does not rely on Wi-Fi or cellular networks, resulting in quicker and more reliable responses. The powerful Neural Engine also makes dictation up to 25 percent more accurate.
On-device processing is private and secure, and now Siri can be used to access data from the Health app for health- and fitness-related queries. For example, a user can ask how many hours of sleep they had the previous night, for progress on closing their Activity rings, to start an outdoor run or cycling workout, or make requests like setting a waypoint with just their voice, even with no connectivity. Users can also make Siri requests on Apple Watch Ultra 2 to log health data such as their weight, body temperature, period, or medications taken.2
The ability to use Apple Watch to find iPhone is a favorite user feature. Now, the S9 SiP includes a second-generation Ultra Wideband chip to enable Precision Finding for the iPhone 15 family, which has the same chip. Precision Finding provides distance and direction, as well as visual, haptic, and audio guidance to a misplaced iPhone, even if it’s in a different room or a user doesn’t remember where it’s been stowed after a dive, for example.
Featuring watchOS 10
Apple Watch Ultra 2 runs watchOS 10, a milestone update that includes:
- A fresh approach to quickly view information with redesigned apps and a new Smart Stack to show relevant widgets right when they’re needed.
- Delightful new watch faces in addition to the new Modular Ultra face: Snoopy, Palette, Solar Analog, and Nike Globe.
- Night Mode now uses the ambient light sensor to automatically activate in the dark.
- Bluetooth connectivity for power meters, speed sensors, and cadence sensors arrives for cyclists, unlocking new metrics and Workout Views, and cycling workouts. Power Zones help users get the most out of training.
- Cycling workouts can automatically show up as a Live Activity on iPhone and can utilize the full screen when tapped.
- The updated Compass app displays current elevation in real time and includes a 3D view of waypoints showing relative elevation.
- New topographic maps in the Maps app show important details like points of interest and trailheads, and provide helpful details such as hill shading, contour lines, elevation, and cellular and Emergency SOS waypoints.
- Additional tools to support mental health with state of mind logging in the Mindfulness app.
- The ability to measure time spent in daylight using the ambient light sensor to help reduce the risk of myopia.
Carbon Neutral Models
Select case and band combinations of Apple Watch Ultra 2, Apple Watch SE, and the new Apple Watch Series 9 are Apple’s first-ever carbon neutral products. As part of Apple 2030, the carbon footprint of Apple Watch Ultra 2 has been significantly decreased. Emissions were reduced from the three biggest sources of greenhouse gases — materials, electricity, and transportation. The small amount of emissions remaining are offset with high-quality carbon credits from nature-based projects. Apple Watch Ultra 2 paired with an Alpine Loop or Trail Loop features 95 percent recycled titanium, compared with no recycled titanium in the first Apple Watch Ultra.3 A new logo on Apple Watch Ultra 2 packaging indicates models that are carbon neutral.
- Apple Watch Ultra 2 is available in 49 mm, and is carbon neutral when paired with a new Trail Loop or Alpine Loop.
- New band colors are available for the Alpine Loop (blue, indigo, olive), Trail Loop (orange/beige, green/gray, blue/black), and Ocean Band (blue, orange).
- All new Apple Watch Trail Loop and Alpine Loop bands are carbon neutral and contain over 30 percent recycled content.
Pricing and Availability
- Customers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, the UAE, the U.K., the U.S., and more than 40 other countries and regions can order Apple Watch Ultra 2 today, with availability in stores beginning Friday, September 22.
- Apple Watch Ultra 2 is $799 (U.S.).
- watchOS 10 will be available for Apple Watch Series 4 and later on Monday, September 18, and requires iPhone Xs or later running iOS 17. 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 Series 9, Apple Watch SE, Apple Watch Ultra 2, or a new Apple Watch Series 4 or later.
Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. Apple’s five software platforms — iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS — provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, and iCloud. Apple’s more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it.
- The Oceanic+ app requires a subscription.
- These capabilities will be available in a software update later this year, starting in English and Mandarin; they require the download of speech models.
- This applies to Apple Watch Ultra 2 paired with a Trail Loop or Alpine Loop.
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