The missing feature in Apple Watch
Apple recently announced the new Apple Watch Series 8 and the gorgeous Apple Watch Ultra, but there were a couple of "shut up and take my money" features that I would have loved to have seen.
Whenever I go cycling I have a number devices with me to help record my efforts:
- Wahoo Cadence sensor
- Wahoo TICKR Fit optical heart rate monitor
- Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT cycle computer
- Apple Watch Series 6
- iPhone 13 Mini
The cadence and heart rate sensors connect to the cycle computer, which in turn connects to my phone. As well as recording my ride via the ELEMNT BOLT (which is then uploaded automatically to Strava), I also record my workout on my watch to give Apple's Health app more insights. There's a lot of doubling up of functionality and data, and I would love to simplify it.
Broadcast heart rate from Apple Watch
Whilst recording an activity on my watch it is constantly monitoring my heart rate. It would be great if it could also broadcast this data to the cycle computer, removing the need for the dedicated TICKR heart rate monitor.
There are a couple of third-party apps that purportedly are able to do this, but I'm not sure how well they work when recording an activity at the same time. It would be fantastic if watchOS was able to provide this as first-party functionality.
Connect external sensors to the Workout app
My watch is already recording my workout - position, distance, speed and heart rate. It would be fantastic if I was able to connect my cadence meter directly via Bluetooth (which the Wahoo sensors support), and have this show up in the Workout app. This would mean I could conceivably remove both the heart rate monitor and cycle computer from my 'stack'. Whilst I wouldn't have the convenience of the cycle computer display right in front of me, it wouldn't take too much to alter my habit to check my watch for my current stats.
Device nirvana would be to be able to remove my phone from the equation as well - something that would be easily achieved by upgrading to a watch with cellular capabilities. That way I would still be able to send and receive calls/messages if needed.
The new version of watchOS is generally available on 13 September, so I'll upgrade my current device and see if there are any new capabilities that help with my setup. I'm particularly looking forward to the heart rate zones feature - something I already use on my cycle computer.