In trying to determine if the new Apple Watch 2 it might meet my aquatic needs, I’ve found Apple’s marketing and support pages largely devoid of detailed information. Fortunately, I’ve been able to turn up Apple Watch 2 details by querying a number of reviewers and via Apple Insider’s swim-centric overview. And, although Apple Watch looks to be a solid solution for those for swim continuously, my enthusiasm has been tempered:
Where the Apple Watch’s swim tracking starts to fall short is for people looking to do more varied swim workouts based around swim sets and focused exercises like stroke drills and kicking […] The Apple Watch’s pace calculation also becomes less useful if you’re doing interval-based sets, as it’s simply going to tell you the interval you were going on instead of your actual swimming pace unless you manually pause the workout as you finish each repeat and resume before starting the next one.
I backed into swimming about a year and a half ago after my orthopedist suggested I stop running. Forever. I still consider myself a novice and my amazingly boring workouts are limited to freestyle/crawl (devoid of flip turns). To mix things up and push myself a bit harder, instead of swimming straight through, I currently tackle 200 yard intervals on the 4-minute mark. Something my rudimentary Garmin Swim (circa 2012) handles with aplomb (as shown below) — and a nice upgrade from the SCUBA slate I started with.
As I also wear a Fitbit Alta (sometimes. when I remember. when it’s charged.), I figured it’d be nice to settle on a single wearable (that includes Bluetooth) to handle swimming, step tracking, and perhaps provide other fun functionality. Alas, the original Garmin Vivoactive’s screen is unusable, the Garmin Fenix line is too fitness-oriented (given my limitations, for the price) and the Apple Watch 2 doesn’t track swim intervals… without some sort of third-party app (of varying quality, unknown support situation, if they’ll begin charging). Other options that track strokes, like the Misfit Shine and Fitbit Flex 2, don’t actually have screens and seem entirely unsuitable for swimming – despite the sales pitch. Guess I’ll continuing slogging through my swims with an archaic watch while awaiting a hardware refresh from Garmin or a software update from Apple.