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Apple Watch Series 2: Here’s Everything You Need to Know

WatchesHere's Everything You Need to Know About the Apple Watch Series 2

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Get ready: pre-orders start on September 9

Finally.

A year and a half after Apple first introduced its groundbreaking wearable, the geniuses in Cupertino just introduced the Apple Watch Series 2. The successor is the first major update to the best-selling smartwatch since it first debuted two years ago.

Many of the rumors about the second generation Apple Watch have turned out to be true: it's getting its own dedicated GPS, which means you can track the details of a walk or run without having to take your phone with you. It also means you don't need to be tethered to your iPhone when you're looking for directions. And the device itself is a lot faster, thanks to a built-in dual-core processor.

It's also swim proof. While it's predecessor was merely splash resistant, the Apple Watch Series 2 can actually go with you into a pool, a stream, or the ocean. It's rated 5 ATM, meaning that it's water resistant to about 50 meters. Apple engineers managed to seal the phone against water coming in everywhere except for its speaker. Once you're out of the water, a redesigned speaker will vibrate to shake out any water that got into the device during your swim.

It's new display is going to be a lot easier to read than the current device. In fact, the Apple Watch Series 2 has the brightest display screen on any device that Apple has ever shipped, making it highly legibly in daylight.

Apple has also partnered with Nike to make a special edition of the watch just for runners. Called the Apple Watch Nike+, the device utilizes the built-in GPS to help you track your speed when you're running. It'll also motivate you to get on the trail or track with regular calls to action: it'll actually ask you, "Are we running today?" at regular intervals.

In addition to helping its users live a healthier life, the Apple Watch can also help save your life: pressing and holding down the side button will call 911 from your phone, and it'll send a distress signal to whoever you have listed as the emergency contact in your phone.

Style-focused Apple Watch users will be happy to know that the tech company's partnership with Hermes is back: the Series 2 has three new luxury leather straps designed by the French firm to choose from. But those aren't the only design upgrades. While the case is very similar to the original, the Series 2 comes in the original aluminum and stainless steel, but users can also choose from a new ceramic material that brings the white color way popular on iPhones to your wrist.

But the most important information about the watch is its price: the Apple Watch Series 2 and the Apple Watch Nike+ will both start at $369. The original Apple Watch, now called the Apple Watch Series 1, will be updated with the dual core processor, but its price will drop to $269.

Series 1 and 2 will be available for preorder on September 9, and will go on sale September 16. Watch os3 will be ready for downloads on September 13. And the Apple Watch Nike+ will come out in October. And since summer bodies are made in the winter, that's pretty perfect timing.

The original version of this post, published August 25, 2016, continues below.

If the tech media has read their tea leaves correctly, we're only a few short weeks away from meeting the next Apple Watch.

Apple Watch 2, the breathlessly awaited update to the original Apple Watch, will reportedly be announced during the Cupertino computer company's next Special Event, slated for early September (the 7th to be exact). Apple famously uses these livestreamed events to announce new products, software upgrades, and strategic partnerships, and all three of those things will probably figure heavily in the rollout of the Apple Watch 2.

Of course, until Tim Cook himself holds the new product up Mufasa-style for all the world to see, we won't know exactly what we're getting. So for now, we've parsed the Internet for what we might see in just a few weeks time.

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Way, Way Better Software

OK, OK—this isn't a rumor so much as it is cold hard fact. In June, Apple announced plans to release a software update this fall. Called watchOS 3, the upgrade will include faster connectivity, new ways to respond to text messages and other alerts coming in from your phone, and even better ways to stay healthy. A new meditation app called Breathe, for example, will help users through guided breathing exercises and show how your heart rate changes after you've completed a five-minute cycle. Read more about watchOS 3 here.

Better Waterproofing

The Apple Watch is marketed as splash resistant, but most people who own one know better than to leave it on while washing the dishes. Still, a brave few (7 percent of Apple Watch owners according to Wearable) go swimming with theirs on, so there's a chance the Apple Watch 2 will be even more resistant to wetness.

Superior Speed

One of the complaints about the Apple Watch is that it can take forever to load an app (waiting for Break This Safe to activate in line at a coffee shop has on occasion been this writer's own personal purgatory), so the Apple Watch 2 will reportedly have a better processor. In April, The Wall Street Journal reported that the new watch would have speedier chips and LTE connectivity. That second rumor has been widely debunked, but lots of tech insiders are holding onto the processor rumor with a vice grip.

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A Functioning GPS

People who track runs with the Apple Watch are agog over the rumored onboard GPS; essentially, it means that you'll be able to track location and distance without having to carry your phone with you on the road, trail, or track. The addition of a GPS would make getting out of the door that much easier, and it appears that this rumor is all but confirmed. Earlier this week, Nike announced that it would update its Nike+ Running app, and according to 9 to 5 Mac, the new version's change log says users will soon be able to leave their phones "at home and run free with Apple Watch."

A Whole New Model

Recently, the tech blogosphere has been inferring that the Apple Watch 2 will launch with a secondary, less expensive model that won't have as many advanced features, similar to what happened with the iPhone 5c when the iPhone 6 launched. It's a move that's served Apple well in the past, but whether it'll happen so early on in the Apple Watch's lifecycle remains to be seen.

Watch this space more updates on the Apple Watch 2.

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