Earlier this month we joined Apple in NYC to do two of our favourite things: spend a day on Governor’s Island, on bicycles. May is National Bike Month, so it was the perfect time to test out the new features and app integrations on Apple Watch Series 7.
We already love and live by our Apple Watch, so learning about all of the cycling features gave us extra motivation to get on our bikes. Did you know Apple Watch can automatically detect when you begin cycling outside? Data from the GPS, heart rate, accelerometer and gyroscope (which senses velocity) is analyzed to help Apple Watch identify when you’re biking, as opposed to travelling in a slow-moving car. It also reminds you to start a workout in case you forgot to start the activity, so you can get credit for every ride and close those rings. Want to measure your heart rate in real-time instead of waiting for it to catch up? Simply place your index finger on the digital crown of the watch to the circuit.
On the new watchOS 9, there’s also a setting to auto-pause and resume your Outdoor Cycle workout. So, when you pull up to a stoplight it will be detected on your phone as a pause, and the watch will resume once you start pedalling again. Other new cycling features include measuring calories accurately (with the huge surge in e-Bikes this year, Apple has beefed up this feature), voice feedback (you don’t even have to look at your wrist anymore) and fall detection (yup, Apple can initiate a call to emergency services if a user becomes unresponsive and a fall is detected). There’s also a handy walkie-talkie function you can use to keep in touch with friends on longer rides in case you take a wrong turn.
While we were on Governor’s Island, we tested out Apple Maps – specifically, the new Guides, which include recommendations from respected brands like Complex and Time Out. And, to ensure we didn’t get lost, we tested out a custom route via komoot, a new app for Apple Watch that plans routes, which are then displayed directly on the watch interface. Used specifically for cyclers, mountain bikers and hikers, komoot ranks high above its competitors because its routing system is more advanced, with a level of personalization and auto-generated content you can explore.
And of course, having it integrated into the Watch made our cycling experience so much more simple and enjoyable. We stayed hydrated under the NY sun thanks to a neat little app called WaterMinder, which calculates your water intake based on your body weight or personal goal, and reminds you to drink water to reach your daily goal. It’s super simple to use, can create a myriad of customizations, to help you stay on track to be hydrated throughout the day.
We hope you’re inspired to hop on your bike this month and into the summer with Apple Watch.
For more details on Apple Watch Series 7 and watchOS 8, click here.