Apple Watch is water resistant, not waterproof

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Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web
Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

One of the smaller details Apple failed to mention during today’s keynote was its new watch’s tolerance of liquids. While the Apple Watch is designed to stay on your wrist all day, it’s not suited for all situations.

It turns out that the Apple Watch will be just fine with a little water, but don’t plan on wearing it while swimming.

Tech journalist David Pogue learned a couple of things about Apple’s new wearable in a private briefing during today’s media event. Apple told him that its watch is “water resistant,” not waterproof. “Sweating, wearing it in the rain, washing your hands, or cooking with it is fine. Take it off before the swim or get in the shower, though.”

That’s a major bummer for those hoping to use the watch’s fitness tracking abilities in the water. It also means you’ll have to take it off every time you hop in the shower.

Pogue also learned that you’ll be able to load apps directly onto your watch from your iPhone. Apps can be rearranged on the home screen by dragging and dropping, just like iOS does now. And there’s a “Ping My Phone” button on the watch that beeps your nearby iPhone in case you can’t find it.

The ritzy gold version of Apple’s watch comes in a “gorgeous jewelry box” that doubles as a charger, according to Pogue. “The back of the box has a Lightning connector, and the inside of the box has the watch’s magnetic round charger pad, standing vertically. So as you retire each night, you can just lay your gold watch into its case and let it charge.”

There’s still a lot we don’t know about the iWatch yet, like pricing beyond the base $349 model. Pogue says Apple hasn’t decided on exact pricing yet or whether you’ll be able to mix and match bands.

Source: Yahoo Tech

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  • JoeyP

    There are waterproof cases for iPhones. I see no reason to believe there won’t be waterproof cases for this as well. Problem solved.

    • Sargent

      You’re going to sport a Lifeproof case on your wrist? Idiot.

      • johnny

        I don’t see any problem in wearing a lifevest in your wrist to protect your new shiny iwatch. Smart ash.

      • stevec12

        They can waterproof an iPod shuffle or even a Kindle; why not an Apple Watch?

        http://waterfi.com

    • MnIrish

      Cannot wait to see the waterproof apple watch cases. Hilarious!

      Most watches come with a water proof case… the watch.

  • guilou0875

    That’s a turn off for me, I don’t take my omega and Rolex off my hand when I shower or go for a swim…I see myself forgetting this one on …not that I’m planning to by one since it’s not waterproof.

    • Its still a smart watch its not like it will work under water anyway(touch wise) At the locker just remove it with your phone..

    • You’re confusing water proof to water resistant. My Rolex is water resistant, and I don’t take it off when I shower. Something like a Casio G Shock or a Rolex Submariner is water proof.

      • Jeanberque

        good point. my seiko is also water resistant but i swim or taking shower bla bla. anyone explain this difference?

  • Orange

    waterproof is important , at least for showers. I bought the old nano iPods n i forgot to take it off by force of habit with my casio watch…its good i got to return it n get a refund

  • Cristian

    ok not waterproof…next>… I can wait a Apple Watch 2 (with iSigth and water resistant)

    • Johnno

      Exactly! And this is the problem with the iWatch (and any smartwatch by any manufacturer, I won’t just pick on Apple)…. version 2 , and 3, and…
      They won’t hold their value.
      A decent, several hundred dollar watch will still be worth several hundred dollars years later. A several thousand dollar classic watch (I can only imagine this 18c gold Apple Watch is up there in price) will still be worth that in 10 years, you could hand it down to your kids. But because tech moves so fast, these smartwatches will be worthless in 2 years. Can you imagine handing this to your kids to 10 years? They won’t connect to anything in that time, the battery probably won’t even hold its daily charge after 2 years.
      It just doesn’t work. Yes they will sell a small truckload initially, cos they are pretty, but soon people will realize its just not worth it.
      Damned if they do, damned if they dont.
      Make a watch that is upper class and trying to replace a classic piece of jewelry. Won’t work because of resale value and longevity of useful life.
      Or, make a cheap one, that is throwaway every 2 years, then nobody will want it to replace there ‘real’ watch, cos it looks cheap.
      Can’t win. I’m not sure this genre will work.
      As a fuel band type device that has heathkit sensors, and you wear alongside your watch? Yes. But not as a standalone.

      • Stanton Dowd

        The Sony SW 3 is IP68… Waterproof. You can also go running without your phone present and it will log your run and be your music player and heartbeat monitor. The SW3 looks like the best on the market, it looks techy, which isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea but personally I think it is about the best there is. Oh, and it’s got a battery life of up to 5 days on a single charge.

  • Michael Smith

    Can you imagine what kind of price they are going to extort for those watch bands?
    $79 to $99 a piece would be my guess.

  • Freddie

    Yeah – not being waterproof when they’ve made the health trackers such a key feature is a bit of an oversight for sure. But far more disappointing in my book is that the damn thing is still tethered to its master, the iPhone. Did Apple learn nothing from Samsung and the others? Come on, Apple – lose the leash!

  • miroa

    Sports watches must be waterproof without any additional case, it is one of base feature (of corse time is 1st ;-)). Apple do not forget on triathletes, swimmers, boaters, suffers etc…

    • Laura

      And you could turn the watch into a diving computer if it would be waterproof… I guess I gotta wait for iwatch version 2/3

  • clasqm

    I swim with my Pebble on my wrist, no problem. It is rated to 5 atm. Apple, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? What is this, the 1950s?

    • mjoecups

      This isn’t a fact yet, so don’t get your panties in a bunch. I bet the “sport version” of apple watch will be waterproof…

      • Stanton Dowd

        Unlikely.

      • amol p

        if it was they would have announced it. Why would they not want to announce such a feature?

  • Nick

    Quick poll: Do you think the Apple Watch is going to:

    a. Succeed
    b. Fail because it sucks
    c. Fail because Samsung et. al. have ruined the concept of a smartwatch.

    • Johnno

      D: Fail, because this genre is wrong.
      See my long reply a few messages up.

    • Sam

      option b

    • Tallest Skil

      Ooh, your C is a very interesting thought. I’d have to say a combination of A and C.

    • Stanton Dowd

      b. Samsung et al haven’t ruined anything. They’ve given apple a good few ideas to get started with. I don’t think the apple watch will be a patch on the Motorola 360 or the Sony SW3. Google’s SW OS is far more intuitive and leading the way, way in front of the ‘water resistant’ apple effort. Apple watch 2 will be copying Motorola and Android Wear.

  • boah

    Apple has made exclusive decisions in the past.
    Like to ban Flash from iOS devices. Ok, Adobe is a Competitor and Apple doesn’t want to offer him a stage. Understood.
    Then Apple decides to sell iMacs that are not able to read DVDs and such. Ok, they want to force people into buying contents digitally via iTunes. I get it.

    But was is the deeper sense in developing a sport watch, that is NOT WATERPROOF? Is it hip to get his 350$ device ruined by using it the way it SHOULD be meant to be used?
    I guess Switzerland is laughing pretty hard right now…

    • Kr00

      Wow, so many inaccuracies there. Nobody uses flash on mobile devices for a very good reason, its utter shit.

      When was the last time you actually put a disc in your computer? I can’t remember, I use flash storage and digital downloads, like 99% of the rest of the population does. Can you put a disc in a Surface, iPad or any other tablet? Yet I can share, stream and watch digital content on all devices whenever I like. Don’t have to run to a store and buy a DVD.

      Show me a Rolex thats waterproof at $350 that can track your fitness, play your music, take your pictures, send your messages, dictate an email, use as a remote or tell me the time, weather in another country? In fact, show any watch that does this thats waterproof.

      You must be Amish, living in the past as you do.

      • boah

        @disqus_xteOotDqz0:disqus You are partially right on this. I also have contents saved in digital files on my Macbook/Time Capsule. Privately.
        I work at a Museum of Digital Arts and we still do have a lot of CDRs and DVDs in our collection, that arent digitalised yet (and can’t be digitalised all that easy, because of the sheer amount of titles involved, contrasting to the very fast developments and high pace of technological obsolescence).
        This is going to be very, very expensive in the long run. You find the same problem in archives and lots of companies as well. Don’t get me wrong. I am all PRO-technological-advancements. But one has to see that these advancements lead to high expenses in other fields (and these are mostly fields WE ALL have to pay for).
        We as a museum have the responsibility to preserve the artworks in our collection. We paid good money (your tax-money) for them and are not allowed to let them rot in the basement. As a museum we are a public institution, financed by public purse. That means that every new invention, which replaces an older system, generates profits on behalf of the technology companies to sell these inventions, but causes high costs and expenses on behalf of the public sectors. And we don’t have to keep it just to art museums, who some may say, are unnecessary anyway – but every administration, howsoever small it may be, is concerned.
        People have to keep that in mind, since the consequence of this situation is either rising expenditures OR/AND the disappearance of knowledge and culture, in cases in which it couldn’t get transferred to the new medium fast enough. To have somebody creating emulations to keep old software running, you have to spend lots of time and money. It is estimated that digital artworks from the 90s (20 years ago!) can be saved only at a rate of 3% due to technological obsolesence. That means 97% of these artworks will be lost forever.

        It’s always good to concentrate on the future, but you don’t have to be an Amish to pay a little respect and attention to the past.

        Talking of the past: When I was a child, back in the 80s I wore a Casio-Watch. It cost me about 10 D-Mark, which may have been 6 $ at the time, I don’t know exactly. But you know what? – It was waterproof!

      • NadsH

        And adding to this, a watch that can securely pay for your transactions, freeing you from the many hassles of managing bunch of cards.

  • Based on the comments I think people don’t know the difference between water proof and water resistant.

    • Ron Bero

      To me water resistant vs. waterproof is moot. If you run or bike and live anywhere but perhaps CA, AZ or NM – it rains (or snows). If I can’t wear it in the shower – I can’t wear it outside.

      • Well it might be a moot point to you, but I can’t help it if there is an actual difference to the terms. My Rolex is water resistant, which means I can wear it in the shower. It is not, however, water proof which means I can go diving in it or have it submerged completely for any given period of time. The new Apple Watch is water resistant, which means you can wear it in the shower and running and out in the rain. It doesn’t mean you can go on an expeditionary James Cameron dive and have it survive.

      • Freddie

        Never mind diving, if it can’t endure laps in the pool, how can it call itself an exercise tracker? Lots of people include swimming activity in their exercise routine. I guess that doesn’t count with Apple, certainly not if the watch is sitting in the locker while you rack up points in the pool.

      • How do you know it won’t take laps in the pool? It’s fucking water resistant. Have you tried it yet?

      • Freddie

        Getting rained on is water-resistent. Being submerged is water-proof. When was the last time you swam with one arm held out of the water? DUH!

  • peterweisz

    I don’t understand the distress being expressed by lefties about the design of the new Apple Watch. Using it should be a simple matter of flipping it around, placing it on the right wrist with the crown at the lower left, and then setting the screen to flip vertically 180 degrees. That’s something that a left-hander cannot do with a conventional watch. Where’s the problem?

    • Donnie M.

      Did apple say that it can be rotated 180°

      • mjoecups

        It’s not a big deal. Think about it.

    • duc916

      These young crybaby lefties give us old lefties a bad name. Wear it on your left wrist, you sissies.

  • Jeanberque

    as i read these people’s comment, many people will not buy this watch. i hope somebody reads these comments from Apple. And they have still time min 4-5 months to make it water proof. i was extremely wanted to buy this watch but battery life and water proofness is very important for me!!

    • Kr00

      Yet you’ve made an assumption based on one comment, “water resistant”. How does anyone know to what lengths or depths? Yet you claim it to be unsellable? Based on what facts?

  • Kr00

    The full definition of a waterproof watch is: : a wristwatch whose movement is enclosed in a case in which the openings for the winding and cover are sealed with gaskets and able to withstand pressures equal to several fathoms of submersion

    Water Resistant: Will resist moisture from accidental splashing, rain, sweat, etc.

    Water Resistant 30M: Will resist moisture and can be submerged, no swimming

    Water Resistant 50M: Will resist moisture and can also be worn while swimming in shallow water.

    Water Resistant 100M: Watch may be worn during snorkeling, skin-diving, and swimming.

    Water Resistant 200M: (plus): Watch may be worn during standard scuba diving.

    Water Resistant 1000M: Watch may be worn for deep sea diving.

    Watch manufacturers use other terms to measure water resistance:

    A.T.M. (atmosphere), where 1 A.T.M. equals 10 metres.

    Bar, where 1 bar equals 10 metres.

    • mjoecups

      Thanks, but that is insane. A watch that is water resistant to 30M should be fine for swimming. Otherwise 30M IS WRONG. 30M is 100 Ft deep? when was the last time you swam that deeply? Right, never.

      Also 200M for Scuba? That is insane too. The maximum limit for no decompression scuba diving is about 100ft or 33M.

      • Rusty

        Actually, most define “Recreational Limits” as 130′. The depth/usage recommendations are corporate “CYA”…

      • mjoecups

        Yes, I said for “no decompression” which is basically the prudent limit for recreational divers. I checked and see that PADI agrees with your 130′ figure, thanks!

      • The whole metres thing for water resistance rating is nuts. Or rather, it makes no sense to non-specialists. Forget that they refer to metres in any way, just regard them as codes that map to the examples given.

      • mjoecups

        Thanks for that! I will try.

      • Austin

        200M is the standard minimum for diving and often suggests that buttons can be depressed while underwater and at pressure. The 200M rating also suggests that the watch can be worn underwater and at pressure for extended periods of time, whereas a 30M watch might only be able to withstand that pressure for a few minutes before compromising.

        The true, thoroughbred diving watch is typically 300m+ and ISO 6425 certified (a rather brutal battery of tests that ensures a genuine watertight seal). Just as rock climbing carabiners can support the weight of an SUV, diving watches are overbuilt to help ensure the durability of the watch. Admittedly, it can get out of hand with the depth ratings, but repeated use really does call for a 200M+ rating. I freedive to depths of about 25M, or 80ft, and have had a few 100M watches fail on me.

        As thatkeith states, water resistance ratings – and horology itself – is a rather esoteric subject.

      • Kr00

        I just posted the standards by which these things are defined, as many here were not aware of the difference. Now we shall wait and see where the Apple Watch sits within these standards. I’m ok with water resistant.

  • mikrobwin

    1. NOT Waterproof?? Are you kidding me Apple?! A sports/health watch without being waterproof is a basic request that should ALWAYS be met. What a disappointment.

    2. Crappy Design!! I hate the fact Apple opted for an boring ipod Nano like on the wrist design versus a Band design similar to the design of a Nike Fuelband… Another BIG disappointment for me.

  • Lex

    Ridiculous! I won’t be buying it then.

  • duc916

    Meanwhile, my ugly Pebble never even loses its bluetooth connection even when it’s underwater in my pool, all day, controlling an iPhone Pandora app paired to a UE Boom.

    I don’t get how they distinguish between wearing it in the shower as bad, and sweating on it is okay. If it can’t survive a shower, it can’t survive sweat either (which is more corrosive than water).

  • Louis M

    Its dead in the water without the phone with it anyways

  • Diane Weiss

    Really, i have a 29 dollar watch that i can swim with and take a shower with. I swim, bike and run and I will NOT spend 300 dollars on something that is not WATERPROOF! Its not that hard! They are try to promote their fitness apps and not making it waterproof is a joke.

  • andyjeffries

    “One of the smaller details Apple failed to mention during today’s keynote was its new watch’s tolerance of liquids.”

    They did mention it in the video – they say about how it contains a water resistant speaker (4:29 in the video below) and at 4:48 about how their S1 chipset is completely encapsulated to protect the electronics. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktujsc4ZUTo

    It’s not an out-and-out clarification, but they didn’t just completely skip the topic and have obviously considered it.

  • Daniel Marlowe

    Apple better make it water proof between now and the release. The watch will be a game changer if it is and a flop if it is not. I would love this watch but I am an active person who surfs, goes fishing and use SUP paddle boards ect. I need my watch in all those conditions and will not replace my old watch with one that can’t hang. Furthermore a case is a ridiculous idea for a watch that needs to look and feel good on you!

  • Louis Charles Bruckner

    Apple will be making a big mistake if they do not make this watch waterproof.
    I see great possibilities for this watch even for divers.
    And those below mentioned it’s a no-brainer for swimmers. To have that kind of information while you’re exercising is great.
    Also being a diabetic I would love to see this interface with insulin monitors and pumps and be able to send information directly to parents and doctors of diabetic children. Or even new patients this can be really a game changer.
    I just hope Apple Will make the right decision.

  • berock212

    This is just pathetic, they spend so much time and money making a smart watch and it isn’t even waterproof. It’s not like the technology isn’t there.

  • No watch is “Water Proof” … at some depth they all fail. The watch is Water Resistant, just like the one on your wrist right now. Learn the definitions of words people.

    • Louis Charles Bruckner

      Geez I will say the water resistant to 500m is water proof for simmers and even open ware divers.

  • Yue Yu

    i have a cheap Casio watch, which marked water resistant 100m. I wear it to swim every time, no problem. I wear it to scuba every time (max depth to 140ft so far), no problem as well.

  • Louis Charles Bruckner

    For the nick pickers out there , Apple please make the watch at least 100m water resistant.

  • Benjohn

    Nothing should be described as “waterproof”, because anything manufactured will have a maximum working depth. Water resistance is the preferred term, even for diving watches happy with a static pressure of 300m. The question is _how_ water resistant. How deep for how long.

    It’s probably a good thing if it’s not suitable for diving as that will prevent me developing a dive computer app and then experiencing the ensuing legal wrath when it crashes for someone.

  • Velodrone Lebike

    As a triathlete, this is a deal-breaker for me. I’ll stick with my garmin Forerunner 910xt

  • LI

    Haha so many years of designing and no one in this company thought “We need this watch to be waterproof”? Bunch of idiots

  • David Jensen

    “Sweating, wearing it in the rain, washing your hands, or cooking with it is fine. Take it off before the swim or get in the shower, though.”

    Lets really think about this for a few seconds… If you know some simple physics you know that pressure is the biggest problem when trying to make something sealed. So apparently you can wash your hands with it and also wear it in rain and even in steam. All these scenarios are all done above water, in other way at normal air pressure, whats then the difference in the shower?
    1. Longer exposure? Maybe but for some people washing or being in the rain could as well be for a long period of time.
    2. Hotter water? Well still not hotter than steam.
    3. More water? Might be more than in rain but sometimes it rains quite heavy too. Or when washing hands.

    Well the bottom line is that you will definitely be able to shower with it if you can wear it at the other scenarios. Please correct me if I’m wrong but I feel pretty solid on this!