Apple today unveiled its Apple Watch Ultra 2, which brings new features to Apple’s rugged smartwatch. The Ultra 2 boasts a new S9 PiP, new double tap gesture, the brightest display ever, on-device Siri, and much more.
New S9 PiP
The Apple Watch Ultra 2 joins the Apple Watch Series 9 in having a new S9 SiP, for increased performance and capabilities. The more powerful chip brings a new double-tap finger gesture, NS on-device Siri, which can access and log health data privately and securely.
The S9’s boasts a new 4-core Neural Engine that can process machine learning tasks up to twice as fast as the Apple Watch Series 8. The Apple Watch Ultra 2 has the same 36-hour battery life with regular use and up to 72 hours in Low Power Mode.
New Double Tap Gesture
Apple Watch Ultra 2 offers a new double tap gesture, allowing users to easily control their Ultra 2 using just one hand and without touching the display. By simply tapping the index finger and thumb of their watch hand together twice, users can quickly and conveniently perform many of the most common actions on the Apple Watch Ultra 2.
Double tap controls the primary button in an app so it can be used to stop a timer, play and pause music, or snooze an alarm. The gesture can be used to answer and end a phone call, and even to take a photo with the Camera Remote on Apple Watch. Double tap will also open the Smart Stack from the watch face, and another double tap will scroll through widgets in the stack.
The new gesture is courtesy of the Apple Watch Ultra 2’s faster Neural Engine, which processes data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and optical heart sensor with a new machine learning algorithm, detecting tiny wrist movements and changes in blood flow when the index finger and thumb perform a double tap. The new gesture will be available in a software update, due in October.
A new advanced display architecture improves the maximum brightness of Apple Watch Ultra 2 to 3000 nits — 50% brighter than the first generation Apple Watch Ultra and the brightest display on any Apple device, providing greater readability in harsh sunlight. The display can also lower to just one nit, for use in dark environments. The Flashlight function allows users to rotate the Digital Crown to temporarily double the display brightness.
Modular Ultra Watch Face
The new Modular Ultra watch face takes advantage of the Ultra’s large display, using the outermost edge to present real-time data, including seconds, altitude, or depth. It also offers numerous complications for sports, outdoor adventures, and ocean and water activities.
Siri requests can now be processed on-device. For requests that do not require accessing the internet, such as starting a workout or setting a timer, Siri does not require a Wi-Fi or cellular connection, resulting in quicker and more reliable responses.
The S9’s Neural Engine also makes dictation up to 25% more accurate, and now Siri can be used to access data from the Health app for health- and fitness-related queries. Users can also tell Siri to log health data.
The S9 SiP includes a second-generation Ultra Wideband (UWB) chip, enabling Precision Finding for the iPhone 15 lineup. Precision Finding provides distance and direction, as well as visual, haptic, and audio guidance to a misplaced iPhone, even if it is in a different room.
Reduced Carbon Footprint
Select case and band combinations of Apple Watch Series 9, Apple Watch Ultra 2, and Apple Watch SE are Apple’s first-ever carbon-neutral products. Emissions were reduced from the three biggest sources of greenhouse gases — materials, electricity, and transportation. The emissions remaining are offset with high-quality carbon credits from nature-based projects. Apple Watch packaging is now 100% fiber-based.
Pricing and Availability
- Customers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, the UAE, the U.K., the U.S., and more than 40 other countries and regions can order Apple Watch Ultra 2 today, with availability in stores beginning Friday, September 22.
- Apple Watch Ultra 2 is $799 (U.S.).
- watchOS 10 will be available for Apple Watch Series 4 and later on Monday, September 18, and requires iPhone Xs or later running iOS 17. Not all features are available on all devices and in all regions.