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Apple unveils Apple Watch with GPS, targeting serious runners

Did the tech giant just release a Garmin killer?

Apple Watch Series 2At Wednesday’s Apple’s launch, the tech giant announced something that is bound to get many runners excited.

The new Apple Watch will be fully water resistant, have a much bigger, brighter display, will run WatchOS3 (a big upgrade on the previous software for the watch) and, the long wished-for in-watch GPS.

That means that Apple has just released a product that could replace the traditional GPS running watch, and even go beyond that.

Apple_Watch_Nike+Showing that the focus on the athletic market, Nike president Trevor Edwards was on-hand to announce a special Nike edition of the watch that had a sporty rubber strap and is lighter. It’s called Apple Watch Nike+. This model requires fewer taps to get a run started and also comes with the new and improved Nike+ app cooked in.

In fact, the entire Watch presentation was centred around an active lifestyle, including a demo of a nifty new hiking app that provides offline instructions so you don’t get lost on the backwoods trails. It seems that Apple has decided that Apple Watch is first and foremost an active lifestyle tool.

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The first generation of the Apple Watch came with an excellent activity tracking app as well as a basic yet functional running-specific app. But it sorely lacked a GPS chip, which allows it to become unhinged from your smartphone. Many runners, of course, aren’t interested in running with a phone, but do want to track specific data such as pace, distance and heart rate. Apple Watch Series 2 will be able to do all of this and potentially a whole lot more, thanks to the thousands of developers out there that will no doubt see the value in creating a number of new fitness-related apps.

Apple_Watch_SwimAlso on the hardware side, the new Watch will be waterproof for up to 50m, meaning triathletes or cross training runners can wear it worry-free for a swim workout.

The Series 2 Apple Watch (as the company is calling it) will retail for $370 and up in the U.S., which is a fair price point considering the cost of other fully featured GPS watches is now north of $500. Canadian pricing forthcoming.

Oh, and it was also announced that Pokemon Go is coming to Apple Watch. Suddenly, your daily run could become a crazy scavenger hunt!

We’ll have an exhaustive review as soon as we get our hands on a tester unit.

Apple Watch Series 2 will be available Sept. 16. The Nike+ version will be available in “late October.”