The 2018 Winter Olympics may be over, but he fun for skiers and snowboarders has just begun — at least, for those who own Apple Watches. This week, Apple announced that athletes would be able to use the Apple Watch Series 3 to track their snow sport-specific activities, including recording runs, seeing vertical descent and other key stats, and contributing “active calorie measurements directly to the Apple Watch Activity app.”
As a result, a number of developers have begun taking advantage of the wearable’s built-in GPS and altimeter, with apps like snoww, Slopes, Squaw Alpine, Snocru, and Ski Tracks now offering features like total vertical descent and horizontal distance, number of runs, average and maximum speeds, total time spent on the slopes, and calories burned.
Moreover, these apps will be able to automatically pause and resume, and wearers will be able to use their skiing and snowboarding activity toward their Activity ring goals. And for a more holistic sense of fitness, all workout data will be recorded to the Health app on a paired iPhone (provided, of course, that users provide this permission). And naturally, this new update also comes with Siri functionality, which means that you can now start apps like Slopes and snoww to track your runs using naught but your voice.
These new updates are sure to make life easier for winter athletes, who previously had to actually carry around and use a smartphone in order to track their activity. Needless to say, when you’re flying down a mountain, this isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do. As Slopes founder Curtis Herbert told Mashable, “Watch is a great companion to skiing and snowboarding. My users love not having to take their gloves off and fish out their phone to check stats and notifications.”
“This season 25% of my users used the Watch app to record their days (just the iPhone app). So with Apple giving developers more capabilities for Watch and winter sports in watchOS 4.2, the update was a no-brainer,” added Slopes founder Curtis Herbert.
With the latest update, the new Slopes app on the Apple Watch tracks speed, vertical, distance, lift time versus trail time, and more, and all using an entirely new interface. The app snoww, on the other hand, will provide you with notifications about your run stats and other milestones, and will also help you find your friends’ live locations. Apps like Squaw Alpine can be used to find trails and chairlifts that you’ve ridden throughout the day, whereas Ski Tracks gives users 17 snow workouts that can all be used for credit toward Activity rings.
“We’re thrilled with the updates Apple Watch Series 3 and watchOS 4.2 allow us to make” said Eddy Healey, developer of snoww. “We designed snoww thinking about quick interactions and glances while out on the mountain, so these updates have helped us make it easy to record accurate, relevant metrics as well as create a fun and social experience for our users.”
You can check out all these updated apps now from the App Store, and you’ll need watchOS 4.2 or later in order to appreciate their latest features.