Apple Watch Ultra Released

I mean @neightdog is just speaking truth :smile:. The state of running power is a total mess. Since researchers don’t agree on what running “power” is each company basically makes up their own algorithm and calls it “power”. My understanding is Stryd and Apple’s numbers correspond closely. Maybe Apple can help to unify the idea of running power and move it forward.

1 Like

Except that they explicitly called out being able to finish Iron-distance tri in their keynote and added transition timers to their multi sport mode. Probably no group in the world is more likely to own a PM than triathletes.

Separately they added depth and water temperature sensors to the watch and added the dive mode. I can’t imagine more people have scuba licenses than own power meters.

I maintain that having a dedicated cycling computer is always superior and I have plenty experience in multi-sport, as well as road and mountain. But still, I find it extremely annoying they have not added support for Bluetooth power sensors and I think there is a much wider audience for them than other features they’ve chosen to include.


That wouldn’t make any sense: this is purely a software feature.

I have heard that as a one-line summary several times. At least when it comes to running, Apple seems to be closing the gap.

Except that they already have — or rather, they are going for an even smaller market: triathletes. I’m not a triathlete, but I reckon most of them have a power meter and power is very important to them. The auto transition feature has probably been much more difficult to implement than support for power meters. Plus, Apple has emphasized cyclists in its material, not just marketing material (such as featuring cyclists in their videos) but also in terms of features (crash detection for cyclists).

True, but I’d use the Apple Watch on commutes or rides where I don’t need to see power while riding, but would like to have power data e. g. to compute TSS.

Furthermore, Apple has figured out a way to display power and other data for runners. I don’t think cycling power would be too different. Plus, as long as you can sync it with Strava, TrainingPeaks and the like, you can use third-party tools for further data analysis.

Do apple support running power from external sources?

Afaik they do their own power on the watch.

Adding extra external sensors will make the watch battery left to be shorter.

And although it’s just a software update, it’s probably much much complicated that you make it sound specially when battery life is the most important thing if they want to bring top athletes to use watch on competition. I don’t think we will see many Kona q people or even top 5 age groupers at IM and HIM using apple watches until they have support for external devices

No, but it does support some external sensors like heart rate straps and some pods for running shoes. Plus, it supports Bluetooth headphones. I haven’t heard any battery life complaints. So I don’t think lack of power meter support has anything to do with battery life.


How you know? Do work for apple?
I mean, I am a software engineer, and if it was a

they would have probably done it already. They went as far as telling people that can do an Ironman using the new ultra watches. When I see this my conclusion is not that is just a software update away.
My take away is that they either have no idea of what most Ironman completing athletes use, or they have issues with battery life. Each sensor means less battery on the device. How much did adding a power meter affected the battery, idk, but my guess is that it was enough that they didn’t added this time around. Otherwise they would have. Pretty sure they have people that know cycling power is important.

OS9 is a game changer. It’s gone from being ok for a non-structured/interval run to being good for everything. Until this week I was using my Fenix for running, but tbh for 90% of my runs now the AW will be getting used. It’s very good!

Have to agree that charging it is not an issue, it takes 20 minutes on my SE from about 20% to full.

Only third party like stryd.

1 Like

A long time ago, I did work for Apple, although my experience isn’t relevant to the discussion. (I was working on the localization of two of their OSes, 10.2 and 10.3.)

I just don’t see much evidence for that. My power meter lasts hundreds of hours on a single coin cell battery, sending power data via Bluetooth. The Apple Watch supports Bluetooth devices like AirPods that constantly stream data.

That has more to do with power usage due to GPS and other sensors to e. g. determine your position (and thus, speed, etc.). AFAIK up until the Series 7 GPS recording topped out at 5–6 hours or so.

Personally, I wouldn’t jump to conclusions. Apple does things differently. Sometimes they take their time to do things properly. E. g. it was super late with sleep tracking, but according to reviews, their sleep tracking seems to be the best in the business right now. Ditto for automatically recognizing transitions in a triathlon: this is a hard problem that few other smartwatches have. (From memory, I seem to recall only Wahoo’s Rival Smartwatch can do that, but I might be wrong here.)

Other times, they just leave gaps in their line-up if they believe they have little to contribute. Or other priorities constantly supersede and block the implementation of a feature. The latter is a super common theme, because some marquee feature of the relevant OS takes precedence.

I’m not sure what Apple’s motives are here, but I would refrain from jumping to conclusions. But given that they are marketing the Ultra to Ironman triathletes, lack of power meter support is surprising to me. I would have expected this to be part of the complete package here.

1 Like

would be great if someone using Apple Watch with iSmoothRun or CycleMeter and a power meter would comment on battery usage. I did a quick Internet search and couldn’t find anything interesting.

1 Like


My summary of DCRainmaker’s video:

Normal use:

  • 2 days, or 48 hours to completely run battery down
  • included 2 one-hour GPS runs which use 1-sec recording of GPS and heart rate

Epic hike in mountains (14 hours):

  • 15% battery life remaining after 14 hour run/hike in the mountains
  • could have achieved close to 17 hours, based on he was seeing 5-6% drop per hour
  • 1-sec recording of GPS and heart rate

So I bought it. Already love it. Looks stylish and I’m warming up to the alpine loop. Feels solid, robust, and dare I say premium. It’s big but not overly so. Doesn’t feel heavy at all.

Going to use it on a run tomorrow. Can’t wait