We went diving with the Apple Watch Ultra • TechCrunch

In September, Apple launched the Apple Watch Extremely, which isn’t solely waterproof to 100 meters (330 ft) in depth, however can be used as a dive laptop with the assistance of a companion app developed by Huish Outdoor. The app launched formally right now, however we took a pre-release model of it into the deep blue sea to try it out.

I’ve been an enthusiastic scuba diver for greater than a decade. I’ve logged tons of of dives, and I’ve earned a handful of {qualifications} through the years: I’m an SSI Rescue Diver, an SSI Grasp Diver and a PADI Divemaster; I’ve additionally accomplished a bunch of specialty coaching through the years. If meaning nothing to you, suffice it to say I’m skilled in dive-specific first support, and in case you are diving with me, I can (at the very least in principle) save your life if one thing goes incorrect. I’m additionally certified to guide dive excursions.

I’m additionally a giant {hardware} and devices nerd, so when Apple first introduced that the Apple Watch Extremely could possibly be used as a dive laptop, I acquired very excited and openly wrote that I’d gladly belief my life to the freshest and chunkiest wrist-worn supercomputer from the Cupertino-based electronics producer. The article acquired me some, er, attention-grabbing suggestions from the dive group, however I stand by it. So when Apple gave me early entry to the Huish Outdoor Oceanic+ app and an Apple Watch Extremely, I made a decision to place my cash the place my regulator goes, e-book a flight to Hawaii, and see if it might stand the strain of 100 ft of seawater beneath my watchful eyes.

Was I nervous? Probably not. A dive laptop can fail with out placing divers’ lives in danger. That mentioned, I ought to point out that whereas the Apple Watch Extremely is in its full and closing type, the Oceanic+ app was not. I used to be operating a beta model, which did introduce a few nerves. The watch app was full-featured and labored sleekly, however the iPhone compendium app was a bit of tough on the edges, nonetheless.

The Oceanic+ watch app itself is the place the brunt of the heavy lifting is completed, so I’ll spend most of my focus there, however let’s begin with a slight detour into some principle…

What’s a dive laptop?

Should you’re a veteran scuba diver, you most likely don’t want this refresher, however for this evaluation to actually make sense, we have to get a bit of bit nerdy about what a dive laptop is and why it’s essential to make use of one.

You might have heard of “the bends,” or decompression illness. This can be a doubtlessly medically critical situation that may happen whenever you breathe a fuel (normally air) at strain (corresponding to underwater). The issue is that when a fuel is at strain, it goes in via your lungs, and the nitrogen within the fuel will get absorbed into your bloodstream. From there, it goes all over the place your blood goes – your muscle tissues, your fats, your mind, your guts, and all of your different tissues. This isn’t harmful in itself, so long as the fuel stays “in answer” – in different phrases, so long as your blood stays liquid, your fats stays fats, and your mind stays sans air bubbles.

Should you cut back the strain too shortly, for instance, by surfacing from a dive too shortly, physics flexes its mighty arms (within the type of Boyle’s Regulation), and that fuel can come out of answer, forming little bubbles. These little bubbles can gather in locations you don’t need them and trigger very critical points. A small air bubble in a blood vessel in your mind may cause an embolism. The identical air bubble in your coronary heart may cause coronary heart assaults and air anyplace there shouldn’t be air may cause a lot of different nasty results. “Minor” points are additionally doable, which might result in rashes, itches or different unpleasantness. If you’d like a deep dive into all of the nasty stuff that may occur, be at liberty to Google decompression illness and dive accidents, and also you’ll come throughout some gnarly shit.

The quirk that complicates all of that is that completely different tissues tackle and launch nitrogen at completely different charges, so that you must preserve an in depth eye on issues.

A scuba diver observes that the goal 30-minute dive time alarm has been reached. Picture credit score: Bang Bang Media.

For leisure scuba divers, there’s a fairly easy manner of avoiding decompression illness:

  1. When diving, divers are inclined to the deepest a part of their dive first, after which steadily and slowly go shallower and shallower on their dive, making certain they don’t ascend sooner than a sure ascent charge. A dive laptop helps right here: It’ll warn you in case you are ascending too quick.
  2. When diving, be certain that they don’t keep down too deep for too lengthy so slow-loading tissues don’t get overloaded with nitrogen. Gradual-loading tissues additionally offload extra slowly, they usually may cause issues even when you keep on with all the opposite guidelines of diving. A dive laptop will assist right here, too, by utilizing algorithms to maintain a mannequin of how a lot every of a diver’s tissues are loaded with nitrogen and advise divers to go shallower or to finish a dive if they’re overloaded. (The algorithm Oceanic+ makes use of retains monitor of 16 completely different theoretical tissue varieties, weighted in several methods to maintain leisure divers as secure as doable.)
  3. Lastly, divers can provide themselves some floor time between dives to correctly give their physique time to off-gas. Along with diving, it’s essential to not go mountaineering or get on a aircraft too quickly after diving, and don’t dive too deep or too usually in speedy succession. How do you retain monitor of all of that? You guessed it: A dive laptop.

Within the early days of scuba diving, earlier than dive computer systems have been a factor, you’d use a depth gauge and a watch. Your depth gauge would measure how deep you went, and your watch can be used to maintain monitor of how lengthy you stayed down there. And to calculate how a lot time you could possibly spend underwater, you’d use dive tables. These early dive tables have been calculated by basically testing on daredevil navy divers within the early 1900s.

As you may anticipate, they’d some points: Most people within the assessments have been male, 18-25 years of age, and in excellent form. I can nearly move for male, however the remainder of these issues will not be true for me. The opposite drawback is that the dive tables don’t actually have an idea of multi-level dives: They assume that you simply plunge to a sure depth (within the case of a navy diver, plant explosives on an enemy ship), keep there to do a job after which resurface. That’s probably not how folks dive for enjoyable anymore.

In order quickly as dive computer systems turned fairly accessible, folks began utilizing these as an alternative. The primary dive computer systems turned out there within the Nineteen Eighties, they usually began being fairly priced – placing them in vary of leisure divers within the late Nineteen Nineties. They may beep at you whenever you ascended too quick, preserve monitor of your tissue loading, and preserve monitor of multi-depth, multi-dive eventualities that shortly turn out to be too difficult to determine by hand. Some dive coaching nonetheless contains the usage of dive tables to assist educating the idea and historical past, however the overwhelming majority of divers don’t use these after they move their certification.

The Oceanic+ app makes use of the Bühlmann decompression algorithm, which is extensively used and trusted throughout the dive trade.

So do you want a dive laptop to maintain you secure?

As a part of your dive coaching, you’re taught learn how to floor safely from a dive. Whereas a dive laptop telling you how briskly you’re ascending could be a good security blanket, in case your laptop ought to fail and all of your different devices additionally crap the mattress, you may nonetheless safely make it again to the boat.

A trick most divers are taught is to “ascend on the charge of your smallest bubbles.” In different phrases, they breathe out via their regulator, and waft their hand via the bubbles that type. Discover the smallest bubble; it is going to be ascending very slowly via the water. Maintain tempo with all of it the way in which to the floor, and you’ll be ascending at a secure, sluggish charge.

Now, in case your dive laptop did fail, a secure, conservative diver wouldn’t select to dive once more that day. In principle you could possibly buddy up with a diver who had a extra aggressive dive profile than you in earlier dives (i.e. they went deeper for longer than you) and you could possibly assume that their dive laptop’s knowledge can be secure for you, too. Should you keep shallower than them on the subsequent dive, you must, in principle, be tremendous. Nonetheless, when you dive on completely different gases (say, your Nitrox combine was 32% and theirs was 30% oxygen), or if they’ve performed fewer dives than you latterly, issues get difficult.

As well as, a dive laptop is a private security system. Should you did find yourself with decompression illness, the dive medics on the hyperbaric chamber will use the information out of your dive laptop to determine what occurred and learn how to deal with you. In principle, as a result of no wise divemaster will suggest you employ another person’s dive laptop as a proxy on your security, most dive operations will ask you to not, and no dive certification physique will condone this kind of factor. I’d clarify all of that to you, after which I’d add — hey, as a licensed diver, you’re chargeable for your individual security; you do what suits along with your acceptable danger profile.

All of that is to say that it isn’t really harmful or scary to belief my diving expertise to a brand-new Apple Watch and the beta model of an app. I did dive with a second dive laptop within the pocket of my Buoyancy Compensator System (BCD – that’s the life-vest-looking factor you may see within the photos), so I had one thing to check the Apple Watch Extremely with.

If the watch or the Oceanic+ app had failed, I’d have had an opportunity to go on the second dive, counting on my backup laptop. I ought to add that this isn’t unusual for me: Every time I’m working as a divemaster and main different divers, I usually deliver two dive computer systems — one for my wrist and one for in my pocket.

With all of that out of the way in which… quite a lot of that is about trusting the gear you’re utilizing, which brings me to the subsequent query.

The dive laptop I exploit as a backup is a Suunto Zoop. There are dive computer systems which are smaller than the Apple Watch Extremely – this isn’t one among them. The Zoop is now discontinued, however it’s the dimension of an ice-hockey puck, and about as elegant. It does the trick of measuring your dive, nevertheless. As of late, I preserve it in a pocket as a backup. Picture Credit score: Haje Kamps / TechCrunch.

How are you aware when you can belief a dive laptop?

As talked about, in case your dive laptop fails, you may nonetheless safely floor, however it will break the remainder of your day of diving. No person desires to overlook out on diving whereas on an costly dive journey, so to know whether or not or not you may belief a dive laptop, that you must belief just a few completely different elements of it:

  1. The instrumentation – A dive laptop must preserve a operating log of time and depth. Most dive computer systems run a steady calculation of your tissue loading, and as well as preserve a log with sure intervals, so you may evaluation your log later.
  2. The algorithm – Totally different algorithms use completely different ranges of conservatism (i.e. how a lot security buffer it has built-in, maintaining in thoughts that everybody’s physique is barely completely different).
  3. Reliability – It’s exceedingly uncommon {that a} devoted dive laptop crashes. It could run out of battery, however as a single-function system that solely has to maintain monitor of a single set of algorithms, there’s not a lot that may go incorrect.

Evaluating the Apple Watch Extremely and the Oceanic+ app, then, turns into a query of analyzing the instrumentation, the algorithm and the reliability.

For instrumentation, Apple claims that the Apple Watch Extremely is EN13319-compliant; it is a European commonplace masking the “Purposeful, security, and testing necessities” for “depth and time measuring units.” In different phrases: dive computer systems. Apple Watch Extremely makes use of depth sensors which are correct to 40 meters/130 ft. Sometimes, a newly licensed scuba diver is licensed to 18 meters/60 ft, however most scuba diving coaching orgs will provide a “deep diving” specialty, which can permit divers to go to the complete 40 meters/130 ft depth. Past that, you’re looking at “technical diving,” which normally requires diving with different fuel mixes. Issues get difficult quick from right here.

The algorithm and the consumer interface for Oceanic+ is obtainable by Huish Outdoor, which is aware of a factor or two about scuba diving. The corporate owns a lot of extraordinarily well-respected scuba diving manufacturers, together with Atomic, Naked, Stahlsac, Zeagle, Hollis, and, in fact, Oceanic.

So the Oceanic model itself is reliable and has been serving the dive group for 50-plus years. The opposite diving manufacturers within the Huish Outdoor portfolio are extraordinarily extremely regarded and are trusted by leisure, technical and industrial/navy divers everywhere in the world. The query mark for me is that the model doesn’t essentially have a powerful core competency as an app developer.

The reality is that Apple did select Huish Outdoor as its launch companion to launch the Oceanic+ app, giving the developer a big head begin, with the combo receiving tons of of hours of testing, each in pressurized chambers and in real-life dive circumstances. Sources inside Apple recommend that different app builders might be given entry to the depth sensors later this yr, and it’ll be attention-grabbing to see what different manufacturers resolve to launch their very own variations of those apps.

The ultimate piece is reliability. I’ve not skilled crashes with Apple Watch apps earlier than, nevertheless it stands to motive that they may occur, as they may with some other app on some other platform. By the way, that is the place Oceanic+ is, as of but, an unknown.

Two out of the 40 or so divers that have been with us on this Oceanic+ testing extravaganza skilled points with the Oceanic+/Apple Watch Extremely combo. It’s not completely clear if this was a consumer error or whether or not the app malfunctioned in a roundabout way. I didn’t expertise any points, and I’m not clear on whether or not I must be nervous. I requested Apple about this, they usually mentioned they’re unable to touch upon particular incidents with beta software program.

Personally, if the Oceanic+ app had failed or crashed on my dives, I’d have been a bit of grumpy, however as described above it doesn’t current an precise danger to divers. Should you discover the app is malfunctioning, you may floor slowly and safely. Huish Outdoor did launch an replace of the beta app as I used to be scripting this evaluation, and can have its closing launch prepared within the public App Retailer as you’re studying this.

Your correspondent greeting the photographer underwater. You possibly can see the Apple Watch Extremely on my left wrist, dealing with towards me, and that I’m in dire want of a haircut and a shave. Picture credit score: Bang Bang Media.

As above, so beneath

Oceanic+ is a smooth, highly effective Apple Watch app that basically replicates (nearly) every part a dive laptop can do, and provides just a few new toys to the combo. The app is in energetic growth, and the staff growing the app informed me they’ve an intensive roadmap for enjoyable new options it has within the pipeline. First issues first, although: Getting the app into folks’s arms.

The app has a lot of free options that are helpful for snorklers and free divers. If you wish to use it as a dive laptop, nevertheless, you must pay its (remarkably well-designed) subscription price to unlock the complete performance.

On the floor, the watch can be utilized for dive planning and a log e-book, and to configure the settings on your subsequent dive. When you have a latest dive on the books, it may well additionally present you your floor interval time.

A diver inspecting their dive profile on the Apple Watch Ultra

A diver inspecting their dive profile on the Apple Watch Extremely, observing it has been 1 hour and 11 minutes since their dive (often called the “floor time.”) Picture credit score: Bang Bang Media.


None of that is rocket science; dive computer systems have been in a position to do most of these items so long as they’ve been round. The Apple Watch Extremely’s enormous touch-screen makes the consumer expertise considerably nicer than on conventional dive watches, which may be fairly indescipherable on occasion. Suppose consumer interfaces that appear like relics from the Nineteen Eighties Casio watch period, and also you get a reasonably good thought.

Dive Planner, Dive Mode and the logbook are all simply accessible whenever you’re on the floor. Picture Credit score: Apple.

Dive planning helps you employ your present tissue loading to determine how deep and the way lengthy you may dive for after a floor interval.

The log e-book helps you see the depth profile of your latest dives, together with dive time, max ascent charge, water temperature, most depth and the fuel combine (air at 21% oxygen or Nitrox as much as 40% oxygen), sampled each 15 seconds as you’re underwater. These are options you will get on any dive laptop, however Oceanic+ additionally exhibits any warnings about your latest dives, and makes use of the GPS chip within the watch to point out a map of the place you dived. Small iterations, however they make an enormous distinction over conventional dive computer systems.

Dive settings, Scuba settings, and the dive alarm configuration display screen. Picture Credit score: Apple.

Lastly, you may configure settings on your dive, together with the items you need to set your app to (Celcius or Farenheit, ft or meters, kilos or kilos) and dive mode (snorkeling or scuba), and scuba settings (partial oxygen strain and gradient issue settings, that are security settings normally left to superior divers, or divers who’ve physique compositions or medical circumstances that warrant being further cautious). You may as well configure your fuel (air or Nitrox) and Nitrox oxygen degree settings.

You may as well arrange dive alarms: a depth alarm to warn you whenever you’ve reached a sure depth and a dive period alarm. Each are useful to make sure you keep inside your dive plan. It’s additionally doable to configure whether or not the watch robotically begins monitoring dives when it senses you’ve hopped into the water or whether or not that you must begin the dives manually.

It’s doable to evaluation the dive or alter settings on the floor. As quickly as you submerge, water lock robotically engages, and the contact display screen is disabled. Picture Credit score: Bang Bang Media.

Within the iPhone app, you may add further notes about your dive: visibility, currents, notes about who you dived with, wildlife you noticed, gear you used, or different notes you need to take. You may as well add your dive certification playing cards and numbers and different useful notes.

For instance, within the display screen shot beneath, the post-dive data exhibits the depth profile of my dive, together with my max ascent charge (24 meters per minute). The really useful ascent charge is a most of 18 m/s, so the watch gave me a warning that I used to be fooling around.

Picture Credit score: Screenshot from Apple Watch

Additionally within the app, you may plan your subsequent dive by choosing the dive web site on a map, and see latest water temperatures and different knowledge concerning the dive.

Over time, the corporate informed me it’s planning to make this knowledge crowdsourced, so divers who’ve been on the web site not too long ago can provide you higher-resolution concepts of the temperature, visibility, currents and maybe even wildlife noticed at numerous websites. Useful in case you are searching for whales or different giant sea creatures!

The iPhone app nonetheless wants a bit of bit of labor, however even with some minor graphic inconsistencies and quirks (principally textual content alignment, minor typos, and so forth.), it offers an excellent post-dive expertise:

App screenshots

From left to proper: depth chart, temperature chart, ascent charges, and remaining no-deco time. Picture credit score: Oceanic+ display screen pictures

As you may see from the screenshots, the Apple Maps preview was presumably zoomed in a bit of bit too far; sure, I used to be diving within the ocean, however with none visible cues for the place I used to be, the map isn’t that helpful.

The depth chart, temperature, ascent charges, and no-decompression (no-deco) graphs are unbelievable instruments for divers, nevertheless. Most dive computer systems allow you to connect with your laptop with USB or Bluetooth; it was refreshing to see how seamless the Oceanic+ expertise was. By the point I opened my iPhone, all my knowledge was already synced and able to dig into.

Taking it into the water

Haje wearing an Apple Watch Ultra

Yours really carrying the Apple Watch Extremely. It’s very snug to put on with all its completely different wristbands, however it’s a comically giant watch. Let’s ignore that I’m utilizing an Android cellphone on this photograph, we could. Picture Credit score: Bang Bang Studios

For regular use, the Apple Watch Extremely takes some getting used to. It’s a very giant watch, and on my puny little computer-nerd wrists, it appears to be like comically enormous. That situation goes away as soon as I’m within the water, although; giant as it’s for a watch, it’s about on par with a median dive laptop.

Within the ocean, the Apple Watch Extremely is really in its factor. The show is giant, fantastically brilliant and really straightforward to learn beneath water. Apple says it’s the largest show ever on an Apple Watch, and twice as brilliant because the show on the Collection 8.

I’d be amiss if I didn’t point out the water sports activities band Apple has created for the Apple Watch Extremely. The ‘Ocean Band,’ as the corporate calls it, was designed particularly for ocean and water actions, molded from a high-performance elastomer.

The tubular geometry permits it to stretch for an ideal match, and the titanium buckle and adjustable loop implies that as soon as it’s on, it ain’t coming off simply. The band was designed for excessive water sports activities, together with kite browsing and different high-impact sports activities. Nice for clumsy scuba divers like myself. I attempted to tear the watch off underwater, and failed. It’s remarkably sturdy.

The corporate even sells a band extension if that you must put on the watch over a drysuit or a very chonky wetsuit.

The underwater readability of the Apple Watch Extremely is extraordinary – and fairly laborious to {photograph}, so that you’ll need to take my phrase for it, I’m afraid. Picture Credit score: Bang Bang Media.

When you activate dive mode, the watch enters water-lock mode, which implies that the contact display screen turns into unusable, and you must depend on the Digital Crown (which is 30 % greater than Collection 8 with coarser grooves) and two buttons to have interaction with its capabilities.

Along with the crown and the aspect button, each of that are barely raised to allow them to be simply used even when you’re carrying gloves, the Apple Watch Extremely has an orange Motion button. When diving, this can be utilized to dismiss warnings and alarms, and to pick a compass heading on the underwater compass.

The crown is protected by a titanium guard to assist forestall unintended rotations, and the sapphire glass on the watch is protected by a titanium bezel all the way in which round. All nice options to have on a dive laptop.

The watch makes use of water-based sensors solely throughout a dive: depth gauge, water temperature, and the compass, along with the time. You don’t get the important readings (coronary heart charge, and so forth.) that you’d get on a run, which I feel makes quite a lot of sense. Apple means that measuring vitals is difficult to do constantly underwater, and in any case I ended up carrying the Apple Watch Extremely over a wetsuit anyway, so it couldn’t have made a studying if it had needed to.

In use within the deep blue sea

As soon as a dive is began and the water lock mode is on, you should utilize the Digital Crown to scroll via a lot of data screens. On all screens, you may see your present depth and no-deco time. At all times on display screen can also be a variometer, which strikes up and down as you ascend or descend. It may be remarkably laborious to find out whether or not you’re transferring up and down in open water, in order that’s a really useful device to maintain you degree within the water, for instance when doing a security cease.

Main display screen, Secondary display screen, Compass display screen, and the Air display screen. Picture Credit score: Apple.

You possibly can rotate the Digital Crown to entry further screens or press the Motion button to set a compass heading. On the assorted screens, divers get entry to a bunch of additional data.

Main display screen:

  • Dive Time – useful to understand how lengthy you’ve been beneath, and when the boat expects you again
  • Minutes to Floor – how lengthy would it not take to securely ascend to the floor, together with a security cease
  • Water Temperature – by no means actually all that useful, as there may be not a lot you are able to do about it when you’re within the water and realized you didn’t put on a heat sufficient moist go well with

Secondary display screen:

  • Max depth for this dive – useful to make sure you are sticking to the outlined dive plan for this dive
  • Present ascent charge – good to regulate when you’re surfacing out of your dive to make sure you are ascending at an inexpensive charge
  • Proportion battery left within the Apple Watch Extremely – the battery life on this factor is extraordinary, nevertheless it’s good to have the ability to verify

Compass display screen:

This can be a tremendous useful display screen; underwater compasses are essential, and sometimes one of many solely methods to know which manner you’re dealing with underwater. Conventional compasses are a royal ache within the wetsuit to make use of, and the Oceanic+ app has among the finest implementations I’ve ever seen.

  • Present compass bearing
  • Goal compass heading (set utilizing the Motion button)

Air display screen:

This display screen confused me a bit of; I doubt it’d are available in all that useful more often than not, nevertheless it’s neat to have the ability to confirm that your watch is utilizing the settings you thought it was.

  • Conservatism
  • Fuel settings – air vs Nitrox, and oxygen proportion when you’re diving on Nitrox
  • Max oxygen partial strain setting. That is good to know, as oxygen can turn out to be poisonous to the central nervous system at excessive partial pressures. Right here’s a “enjoyable” reality for you: Oxygen may be poisonous to people when you breathe pure 100% oxygen at as little as 6 meters/20 ft deep.

As well as, the watch will use a strong haptic sign, simply felt via a wetsuit, to attract your consideration to it when it must inform you one thing.

It can provide security warnings corresponding to decompression limits, extreme ascent charges and security stops. It may possibly additionally warn you when you’re at your most working depth (which varies primarily based on what fuel you’re respiration), and buzz you with any depth or time alarms you’ve got set.

The alarms are very properly coloration coded: Crimson for issues that want quick motion, yellow for warnings, and blue if the water temperature drops beneath your configured threshold. And the massive, brilliant display screen and distinguished haptics means you’re not going to overlook something.

Under are some examples of the warning screens: too-rapid ascent warning; security cease reminder; goal depth alarm; and temperature alarm. The inexperienced traces throughout the center of the display screen is the tissue loading. If it goes all the way in which down, you’re out of no-deco time, and it’s time to floor to keep away from pointless danger of decompression illness.

Picture Credit score: Apple.

As soon as within the water, there may be remarkably little to say concerning the Apple Watch Extremely as a dive laptop: It’s straightforward to make use of; the crown and buttons are phenomenal so far as consumer interfaces go, the screens are well-designed; and the essential data is obvious and really straightforward to learn.

I introduced my trusty previous Suunto that has been with me on many a dive to function my secondary dive laptop for these check dives. The readouts from the 2 dive computer systems have been nearly similar throughout. The small variations may be attributed to having the Suunto in my pocket whereas the Apple Watch was on my wrist.

The Suunto additionally makes use of a barely completely different algorithm. Having mentioned that, making an attempt to check the dive profiles on the 2 units jogged my memory why the Oceanic+ was such a terrific leap ahead. Even determining learn how to step via a logged dive on the Suunto is an unmitigated, depressing catastrophe. We’ve come a good distance in dive tech.

Simple to learn underwater. Picture Credit score: Apple


What’s lacking?

Apple Watch Extremely plus Oceanic+ is a hell of a combo. It’s heads and shoulders above the competitors by way of display screen and consumer interface, and the automated syncing and logging to my cellphone is a unbelievable perk. Which isn’t to say that the Apple Watch does fairly every part but.

Most high-end dive computer systems are “air built-in,” that means {that a} transmitter may be added to your first-stage regulator, which transmits how a lot air you’ve got left in your tank to your dive laptop. Rumor has it that Oceanic+ and Apple Watch Extremely may need one thing within the works so as to add air integration sooner or later sooner or later, though each firms remained tight-lipped on if and when when this is perhaps out there.

As you climb nearer to the $1,000 mark, dive computer systems are additionally in a position to do extra unique fuel mixes, principally used for technical diving. They’re additionally higher at doing decompression diving, which is dives the place you exceed your no-deco time, and want to remain underwater for longer to off-gas.

I believe the Oceanic+ app has deco algorithms in place to save lots of your bacon in case divers unintentionally overstay your no-deco time, however I wasn’t in a position to confirm this earlier than this text was revealed. Once more, not one thing you’d anticipate leisure divers to run into on the common. For context, in my tons of of dives, I’ve solely ever as soon as needed to do a decompression dive; it concerned staying at 10 meters for 6-7 minutes further.

One benefit the Apple Watch Extremely has over conventional dive computer systems, nevertheless, is that the majority dive computer systems spend 11 months of the yr in a drawer, whereas Apple’s system can be utilized for, properly, the tons of of issues that folks use Apple Watches for, together with making calls, fall detection, well being monitoring, notifications and rather more. On a cost-per-day-used foundation, the Apple Watch Extremely is an absolute discount in comparison with each dive laptop available on the market right now.

I can’t assist however marvel if now we have entered an analogous area for dive computer systems that we noticed for sat-nav units some 15 years in the past. Should you’ll recall, within the time earlier than iPhones, there was a interval the place everybody had devoted sat-nav units from producers like TomTom and Garmin. When the iPhone got here alongside, they delayed their very own demise on this area by releasing mapping apps for the brand new cellphone platform with important value tags, earlier than they have been all destroyed by the likes of Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze and different free mapping apps with stay visitors knowledge.

It wouldn’t shock me if sooner or later within the non-too-distant future, as costs of Apple Watch Extremely and comparable units come down, dive computer systems will appear as anachronistic as utilizing a suction-cup to place a Garmin system in your windshield does right now.

Sup. Picture Credit score: Bang Bang Media.

Must you make the leap?

Time will inform if an $800 watch is accessible sufficient to place a serious dent in dive laptop gross sales. In any case, $500 buys you a terrific entry-level dive laptop. It’s admittedly far bigger than the Apple Watch Extremely, and never practically as good or as straightforward to make use of because the Apple/Oceanic+ combo. A better-end dive laptop, nevertheless, like Suunto’s D5 or Oceanic’s personal ProPlus 4 laptop, price about the identical because the Apple Watch Extremely.

Would I like to recommend that you simply belief your dive vacation to an Apple Watch and an Oceanic+ app? Sure, with a caveat. I would wish just a few extra dives with a backup dive laptop in my BCD pocket earlier than I’d depend on the Oceanic+ app by itself.

I’d belief it so long as Huish Outdoor ensures that the steadiness and reliability of the app stay its No. 1 precedence over all of the enjoyable bells and whistles it could possibly be tempted so as to add over the subsequent months and years. And if the app continues to remain steady, I can’t think about it’ll take very lengthy earlier than the skeptic in me totally embraces it.

Waving hello

🤙 Thanks for studying, see you on the reef! Video credit score: Bang Bang Media

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