For the last few years Fitbit has been the dominant player in the growing and lucrative health and fitness wearable market. They have built such a strong brand that fitness wearables are all called “fitbits” in the same way searching on the web is now called “googling” (even if you don’t use Google) or photocopying was called xeroxing.
But that market dominance is coming to an end. One of the largest companies in the world, Apple, is pushing its way into the health and fitness market with the Apple Watch. And while Fitbit integrates south many other exercise and well-being services, they are hanging on like barnacles to a grudge with Apple and won’t make their platform available to Apple Watch owners.
Why is this? To answer that we need to look back a few years.
The Apple Watch Series 2 is a serious workout companion. Waterproof, with GPS and support for lots of fitness apps, it works on the road, in the pool, at the gym and almost anywhere else. Plus, you can switch to a different watchface and band for those times you need to look a little less like Sporty Spice and more like Posh Spice.
There are two buttons on the side of the Apple Watch. The rectangular button brings up the Dock as well as allowing you to make SOS calls and access Apple Pay. The Digital Crown is the dial that can be pressed to bring up all your installed app icons, or spun to scroll up and down screens or zoom into images.
The trouble is, if you rarely take the Apple Watch off and train with unit, some grime can build up under the Digital Crown. As a result, it’s harder to spin and press.
The original Apple Watch felt incomplete – almost as if Apple released a product they were testing in the lab to see what the market thought. Lacking integrated GPS and waterproofing, they nonetheless tried to pitch it as an activity tracker using Christie Turlington to spruik its credibility.
But the new Apple Watch Series 2 running watchOS 3 changes that considerably. It’s now a viable, if imperfect alternative, for runners.
The recently released Apple Watch Series 2 is water resistant up to 50 meters of water. It can count laps, track average lap pace and auto-detect the swimmer’s stroke in order to measure calories burned. It works in both the pool and open water.
MySwimPro and swim.com have both added support to their apps and services that take advantage of the Apple Watch Series 2’s new capabilities.