Tomorrow, we will see what the new Apple Watch Series 4 is all about. It is rumored to be the biggest change since the original Apple Watch was announced and it will definitely be more powerful than the previous models as well. Of course, the Apple Watch is a wearable that Apple wants to market to everyone but Apple has made great pains to market it, from the beginning, to the running crowd.
That crowd is one that Garmin has dominated the wrists’ of for many years, and that includes my own wrist! 🙂 But, here are 4 things the new Apple Watch Seres 4 could do that would pull me from Garmin.
4 Things the New Apple Watch Series 4 Could Do to Pull Me From Garmin
I am actually very happy with my Garmin device, which, at present is the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus. It has Garmin Pay for contactless payment, it stores music that I can listen to with bluetooth earbuds, it has incredible battery life, and has a ton of data metrics for running and other sports to help the data nerds to really explore what is happening on our fitness outings.
That said, I have been rooting for the Apple Watch since it came out and have tried each generation to compare to Garmin. Why? Because I am an iPhone user and I do like the multitude of apps that allow for two-way interaction, instead of mostly just receiving notifications. Even though Apple has made nice strides over the generations (the inclusion of GPS, better battery life, faster processors, etc), there are still some things that are keeping me from jumping full on the Apple Watch bandwagon. That could change tomorrow if Apple releases the Apple Watch Series 4 with these updates.
1. Better Battery Life
The Apple Watch Series 3 already has some pretty decent battery life for a wearable with that quality of display. Yet, I still don’t want to have to charge my watch every other day. My Fenix 5 Plus can go for a week with everyday runs of one hour or more. I know we aren’t there yet with the Apple Watch but, if Apple can release the Apple Watch Series 4 with a battery that can last over 2 full days with fast charging, I would be very happy.
2. Always-On Display
I know this can be contradictory to the point above but I have always found the Apple Watch to be annoying in this respect. At the very least, Apple should better enable the sensors for movement to activate the gesture-controlled screen-on command. There are many times that I just glance down at the watch to see the time and I really don’t want to have flick my wrist or bring it up to my chest waist to see the time.
Always-on would be fantastic – even if it was just the time and a single data screen or two. In other words, make it like many Android phones where you see the time on the display but you still need to turn the screen on to see all the details. I would be fine with that.
My Garmin’s display is always on. It is not nearly as stunning a display as the Apple Watch but I have been fine with it because I like to see the time with just a glance.
So, if Apple gives us an always-on display or improved gestures for the screen to turn on, that would be a big plus.
3. More Data Screen Customization
I asked for this when Watch OS5 was announced – I would like to see more data screen customization for activities. Apple has moved a bit on this and some apps can provide some better customization for runs but nothing like Garmin.
With my Garmin watch, I can have a 4 data-set display that shows me any of the details for things like pace (in a variety of states – lap pace, current pace, overall pace, last lap pace, etc), heart rate (same with the variety), elevation, time of day, time of run, sunrise/sunset, lap information, temperature, and a few more pieces of information. My preferred screens are – 1) Lap Pace 2) Distance 3) Lap Heart Rate 4) Time of Day. It is that kind of customization that I long for from Apple.
The Apple Watch has so many sensors (and will likely have more soon) that Apple should want to deliver the data from them to the runner/athlete in whatever screen profiles the athlete wants.
Since this is all software, this is simple enough and something Apple should really incorporate into their own activity app. With the new Apple Watch Series 4 having an even more spacious display, maybe this is the model to bring that to us.
4. Cellular Capability with e-SIM or Flexible Data
It is rumored that the only models coming will be LTE models – which would suggest that the Apple Watch Series 3 GPS models would become the new entry models. I really hated the implementation of the LTE models in the Series 3 watches. It would only work with the carrier you bought it to use it with and it would not work outside of your home country.
For a traveler, that stinks! I would like them to incorporate something similar to their LTE-equipped iPads where you can pay and setup for data connections with any network worldwide. OR, use some linking technology that would allow the e-SIM to inherit the SIM connection from the iPhone when they become disconnected from each other. That would be great! That would mean that, when you are traveling, you could pop a different SIM in your phone and your watch would use whichever number is active at the time.
Garmin does not have a LTE watch, so why is this on the list? I always run with a phone because emergencies do happen and I would hate to be on a long run and out of contact with my family for a couple/few hours. Not only that, it is often about convenience. “Hey, could you pick this up for me?” or “where is ____?” that would make having just the watch and not carrying the phone so much easier.
If Apple improves their LTE models for how they work worldwide, I may even forget about points 1 – 3 and just jump over to Apple anyway! 🙂 Or, maybe give us a tiny SIM slot that I could put my Google Fi sim in. 🙂
In just over 24 hours, we will know all about the Apple Watch Series 4. I know that Apple would love to peel Garmin fans away and bring them over and this Garmin fan is just waiting to see what Apple offers with their new Apple Watch Series 4 to make that happen!
Are you a Garmin fan? What would entice you to join the Apple Watch family?
Featured image from 9to5Mac