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Apple Watch Ultra can now track a freedive with the new version of the Oceanic+ app

Published Sep 25th, 2023 2:53PM EDT
Apple Watch Ultra Oceanic+ app
Image: Apple Inc.

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Have you been using your Apple Watch Ultra to track your scuba diving adventures? Get ready to use it to track a freedive, too.

When Apple announced the Apple Watch Ultra 2 earlier this month alongside the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro, and Apple Watch Series 9, it talked about the new features of the second generation, including the new S9 processor that enables its new Double Tap feature as well as on-device Siri, the new display that can now reach peak brightness of 3000 nits, and its ability to handle higher and deeper elevations.

In addition to the updates to the hardware, the company also announced that both first and second-generation Apple Watch Ultra owners would now be able to track a freedive with an expected update to the Oceanic+ app. Today, in a press release emailed to BGR, Huish Outdoors officially announced Oceanic+ 2.0, the software update that enables tracking a freedive.

Apple Watch Ultra 2 with the Freedive feature on the Oceanic+ appImage source: Apple

According to the company, divers can now use the app with their Apple Watch Ultra and Apple Watch Ultra 2 to track a freedive as deep as 130 feet (40 meters). The new mode packs a ton of specific features designed for the activity, including custom alarms for target depth, max dive time, sequential depth, surface time, max session time, heart rate tracking, heart rate training zones, surface data, and more.

Freedive mode includes a feature called “Stealth mode” which will automatically dim the screen while underwater. Stealth mode disables all haptics and alarms and reduces the display brightness by 90% while diving. This clever feature ensures freedivers won’t startle the fish during their dive. When back on the surface, the display automatically goes back to normal brightness, keeping all surface alarms intact to help fine-tune training. 

Once their dive is complete, divers can get even more detailed information about their dive on the Oceanic+ iPhone app. Mike Huish, CEO of Huish Outdoors, said in a statement that the new Freedive mode “improves the way we will share our underwater adventures.”

“Oceanic+ continues to expand its capabilities. Now with Freedive mode on Apple Watch Ultra and the many additional improvements to the app including advanced photo and video color-correction, Oceanic+ improves the way we will share our underwater adventures.” 

The new software update isn’t the only thing Huish Outdoors has going on. The company also recently released a new waterproof housing for the iPhone to help photographers and videographers capture their experience during their dives. Justine Ezarik (iJustine) showcased the app and the housing in some of her recent videos, which you can check out below:

I personally haven’t gotten the chance to take my Ultra diving yet, but I have gone swimming with it, and the built-in Depth app is still really cool. I’d love to get the chance to dive (scuba or free!) to really experience what it is capable of with the Oceanic+ app.

The new software update for the Oceanic+ app, enabling the Freedive feature, is available today for download on the App Store.

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.