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Can the Apple Watch Extremely change your dive pc?

For the previous few years, Apple’s wearables, together with the Apple Watch Collection 8, have sported a water-resistance ranking which, kind of, ensures its survivability in water, as much as 164 ft (50 meters) deep. This makes it an amazing companion for monitoring your laps round a pool or for the occasional little bit of snorkeling.

Nevertheless, till just lately, taking an Apple Watch scuba diving was a sure-fire approach to make sure that you’d return to the floor with an costly paperweight strapped to your wrist: the {hardware} simply is not designed to face as much as the pressures exerted on it at leisure diving ranges—between 10 and 130 ft.

The Apple Watch Extremely, nonetheless, is. The Extremely is rated for survival at depths of as much as 328 ft (100 meters) underwater. The truth is, Apple was so sure of their new watch’s aquatic capabilities that they paired with one of many greatest names in underwater tech—Oceanic—to remodel the $799 wearable right into a full-blown dive pc.

How effectively does it work in comparison with a standard dive pc? As I am essentially the most certified author at Reviewed to seek out out, I made a decision to…discover out.

Why ought to we hearken to you?

Credit score: Reviewed / Cat Deblanc Nickell

At Reviewed, all of our opinions are knowledgeable by expertise and data–even the underwater ones.

As a result of, along with writing for Reviewed, I am additionally a Grasp Scuba Diver Coach (MSDT). I maintain over 20 certifications from PADI and have, not less than, 600 dives beneath my weight belt. I’ve labored as a Dive Grasp within the stunning blue waters off the coast of Costa Rica and as an teacher on Vancouver Island, Canada, certifying divers within the frigid ocean.

I do know diving and the tools it takes to do it safely.

What is the fuss about Oceanic+?

Whereas the Extremely is hard sufficient to put on deep under the floor of the water, for prolonged durations of time, it is not prepared for use as a dive pc proper out of the field.

To set it up as your dive buddy, you may must obtain Oceanic’s app, Oceanic+, to your iPhone, first. The app requires a subscription to get essentially the most out of it. (We’ll speak extra about that in a bit.) First, I would I believe it is price mentioning why the truth that Oceanic is concerned in reworking the Apple Watch Extremely right into a succesful dive pc is such a giant deal.

A diver wears an Oceanic dive computer and an Apple Watch Ultra, side-by-side, on the same arm

Credit score: Reviewed / Séamus Bellamy

Oceanic has an extended historical past of creating dependable dive computer systems for scuba professionals and lovers. Pairing with Apple to launch their Oceanic+ app looks like an amazing match.

Oceanic has a strong status within the dive neighborhood, with many years of expertise in producing robust, dependable dive computer systems. I at the moment personal two dive computer systems, each made by Oceanic. My oldest, the Veo, is 14 years outdated. I actually belief them with my life.

The one grievance I’ve about my Oceanic dive computer systems is, that whereas they work effectively beneath the water, they are often irritating to make use of as soon as you’ve got resurfaced. Downloading the information that the computer systems report from every of my dives is a clunky course of. The software program is lower than user-friendly, making it troublesome, if not at instances, seemingly unattainable, to switch my dive knowledge from my Oceanic gadgets to my laptop computer.

The notion that the Oceanic+ app might maintain this drudgery—transferring my dive logs, routinely, from the Apple Watch Extremely to my iPhone—actually excited me once I first heard about it.

what we like

The strap slaps

The Apple Watch Ultra equipped with a Yellow Ocean Band

Credit score: Reviewed / Séamus Bellamy

Apple’s Ocean Band has a easy, however completely ingenious adjustable clasp that makes adjusting the band for use with moist or drysuits an absolute breeze.

Dive {hardware} must be robust, adjustable, and comfy—a sophisticated combine at one of the best of instances. The Apple Watch Extremely checks off all of those containers (and is a handsome watch, too). My favourite function the Extremely provides is one thing that, maybe, many individuals may overlook: the Extremely’s Ocean Band.

This rubber, dive-oriented strap’s ingenious clasp system permits divers to customized match the band’s {hardware} to accommodate what they’re sporting whereas they’re within the water, be it naked pores and skin, a wetsuit for a little bit of extra heat, or a drysuit and underwear. The strap’s {hardware} is simple to regulate and, as soon as in place, stays put.

Computerized dive logging

Data produced by the Oceanic+ App, as seen on an iPhone XR

Credit score: Reviewed / Séamus Bellamy

The Oceanic+ app can report a treasure trove of information in your dives, which you’ll look again on, later.

For somebody who struggles to maintain correct information of diving (which is vital for taking additional coaching or demonstrating expertise for tougher dive websites), the Extremely’s automated recording function is admittedly interesting. After a dive, the very last thing I wish to do is locate my logbook and pen or fiddle with cables and a laptop computer with the intention to switch my pc’s knowledge. That point ought to be reserved for recounting what you noticed when you have been beneath the water together with your dive buddies.

With the Apple Watch Extremely and the Oceanic+ app, all the small print of my take a look at dives have been routinely recorded and saved on the app. After a dive, the watch transfers the recorded dive knowledge to the Oceanic+ app just like the dive location, dive profile (a graph that reveals time plotted towards depth), time, ascent fee, max depth, and minimal water temperature. If I wish to add any feedback in regards to the dive or make notes about my gear, like the quantity of weight I used on a dive, all I want is my iPhone.

Climate and tide integration

For shore diving, having correct details about dive situations determines if the dive occurs. Dive planning is easy with the app, providing you with tide predictions and climate for the world you are contemplating diving in.

Whereas the prediction window supplied by the app is small (solely protecting the following day or so,) the knowledge the Oceanic+ app supplied is detailed and as correct as the information served up by the quite a few climate and tide info apps and web sites that I seek the advice of when organising a shore dive. As long as I used to be on the lookout for situations info for the day of my dive or a dive developing within the subsequent 24 hours, I felt that the knowledge supplied by Oceanic+ was correct.

We have solely simply begun

On the time that I wrote this evaluation, Oceanic was taking pre-orders for his or her new Sensible Housing. An iPhone case designed to face up to the pressures the Oceanic+ seems to be solely the start of a relationship between Apple and Oceanic.

What we do not like

Further value for Oceanic App+

Nobody likes to proceed to pay for one thing they personal. Whereas the Oceanic+ App is free to obtain and comes packing a variety of free features to make use of in your dives, corresponding to dive depth/most depth, dive/exercise time monitoring, a restricted logbook, and the power to look again on how the entire variety of dives you’ve got taken utilizing the app, you may must spend money on a subscription with the intention to entry its dive pc performance.

Having a subscription to Oceanic+ unlocks vital must-have metric monitoring like decompression data; these 72-hour climate, temperature, and tide forecasts I discussed loving, earlier, dive situations stories, and, tissue loading, which offers a diver with an concept of ​​how a lot nitrogen in is of their our bodies–an vital issue for avoiding decompression illness .

Having already paid to buy an Apple Watch Extremely, some divers might discover this extra value stings like a Portuguese Man-of-Conflict tentacle being dragged throughout your naked leg. On condition that different dive computer systems, together with these made by Oceanic, work simply positive with out a subscription, the app’s pay-to-play might be a turn-off for some divers.

That stated, Oceanic tries to make paying harm as little as potential by offering a variety of completely different tiers of service to select from. On the time that this evaluation was written, the app supplied a number of subscription choices. For people: $9.99 monthly or $79.99 per 12 months. For these with as much as 5 divers of their Household Sharing group, it is also potential to choose up an annual subscription for $129.

restricted logging

Throughout testing, Oceanic+’s GPS logging precisely recorded my two snorkeling classes, marking my shore entrance on a tidy map. Nevertheless, my shore dive, which I began about two blocks down the highway, didn’t report a GPS level, a shock once I returned to my automotive to test the dive on my iPhone. I assume that this was a technical glitch and never the norm.

I want to assume, contemplating the interconnected world we dwell in, there could be a solution to share dive log info with different divers—telling others about an amazing dive spot is without doubt one of the finest methods to construct neighborhood in our sport—or so as to add images to a log. However, on the time that I examined the app, Oceanic+ didn’t seem to have this function.

That stated, these latter two factors could be ‘nice-to-haves’, and never failures of the Oceanic+ app.

Cannot go it alone

The Oceanic+ app clearly states it is not comfy with you utilizing the Apple Watch Extremely as your solely pc on a dive. It advises you could put on a second system in your underwater journey or, plan your dive utilizing tables. Whereas I, and many of the divers I do know, solely put on a single pc whereas on a dive (counting on the gauges connected to my tanks and my dive buddies’ computer systems as backups) I see the place Apple and Oceanic are coming from. Whereas the Apple Watch Extremely is a succesful piece of {hardware}, it is liable to failure, the identical as another digital system. Having a backup to the Extremely, or having the ability to use the Extremely as a backup to a devoted dive pc, provides one other layer of security that might allow you to safely ascend again to the floor within the wake of an emergency.

The Oceanic+ app can not change your dive pc

Since each Apple and Oceanic advise towards utilizing the Apple Watch Extremely and Oceanic+ app to function your sole dive pc, it would be irresponsible and doubtlessly harmful for us to disagree.

That stated, with its glorious climate situation and tide monitoring, automated log syncing between the Extremely and the iPhone, and the dive metrics it begins offering as quickly as you hit the water utilizing one to enhance your present dive pc’s capabilities is an absolute win. (It is also a wonderful smartwatch top-side, as well.)

Should you’re a diver who already owns an Extremely, or are excited about shopping for one, including the Oceanic+ app to your digital instrument equipment, even with having to pay for a subscription, will possible make you cheerful.

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Costs have been correct on the time this text was printed however might change over time.

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