Apple Watch Ultra made for safe adventure(r)

BILLIONThose who have traveled the less traveled (land) roads know that safety is not guaranteed when you step into the wilderness. For years, super-engineered GPS and personal safety devices have sought to provide explorers with a sense of security, even when those cell phone bars disappear. And with the launch of the Apple Watch Ultra ($799), Apple has cemented its place among adventurers with a rugged wearable that wants to guide you back home — no matter how far, how high. nice deep you have wandered.

Available September 23, Apple Watch Ultra is designed for trail runners, alpinists, and divers with athletic needs most of as much from their technology as the athletes themselves. With a titanium case, precise dual-frequency GPS, and up to 36 hours of battery life — it’s easy to say the watch was born to be wild and Not necessarily born for the barre class.

However, while the Apple Watch Ultra comes with a lot of new, thoughtful details that make it a great companion for whatever summit you have ahead, the watch’s safety features do not. Lake may be its biggest advantage. Whether you need to make an emergency call at a cliff, sound an alarm when you’re running alone at night, or retrace your steps when you’ve lost your way — Ultra is meant to make sure you see see your loved ones again.

Let’s take a closer look at the Ultra’s safety features — shall we? The first is an explosive alert that you can trigger by holding the left button (“action”) and right button (“side”) simultaneously. Doing so will emit a loud emergency siren that reaches about 86 decibels and can be heard from more than 600 feet away. (For context, 80 decibels is approximately the volume of a vacuum cleaner or loud blow dryer.)

Obviously, this is one of those life-saving features that can be the difference between being lost and found. And, say, if you hit a few thousand feet before sunrise, it could cover you for miles with the peace of mind that you have a horn right on your wrist.

From the siren screen or by holding the side button, you will also have the ability to swipe right to call your emergency contacts. Or, if you can’t use your finger to swipe, you can simply hold down that right button for 20 seconds to automatically call emergency services. (Note, this is a feature of all Apple Watches, but — at least outdoors — siren use and emergency calls are twice as valuable. together.)

Finally — and perhaps best for those with a penchant for straying — Apple has made moves to upgrade its own compass. Just as Hansel and Gretel dropped breadcrumbs to find their way home, Apple’s new “backtracking” features let you retrace your steps back to your car, trail, or campsite. When you’re hiking, Apple lets you drop tiny pins, called “waypoints,” back into the “parking car” feature on Apple Maps. This is useful for getting a general direction of where you’re starting, but Apple is even more specific with backtracking.

Once you start hiking, you can go to the compass app and click the little shoe icon to ask Apple to track your path as you hike. Then, if you find yourself lost in a sea of ​​seemingly identical trees, you can tap the same icon to ask Ultra to help you find your steps again. Just like that, a small map will appear on the screen. Using the flashlight’s orientation feature (pictured below), you’ll be able to pinpoint exactly how to navigate back home.

Although I haven’t been able to do it my Ultra way, Street out there (stay tuned for a more robust review of all the digital gadgets and gizmos programmed here), I took the Ultra out for a quick run last night to break in. It gets dark earlier in my little corner of the world, and though I often start running into dusks with anxiety eating away at me, I breathe a sigh of relief knowing I’ve got an Ultra as a backup. .

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