The latest Apple Watches are even more autonomous than we thought

Apple said that unlike previous Apple Watches, the Series 8, SE 2022 and Ultra now use their own GPS, even when they’re near your iPhone.

The screen of the Apple Watch Series 8 // Source: Chloé Pertuis for Frandroid

Until now, when Apple’s smartwatches were used near an iPhone, they always relied on the smartphone’s GPS tracking. Now, Apple clarifies that the Apple Watch SE 2022, Series 8 and Ultra always have priority when it comes to tracking your geolocation.

This change in operation was confirmed this week by the Cupertino company in a page posted on its support site and noted by the American site The edge :

Apple Watch Ultra, Series 8, and 2nd generation SE use their built-in GPS even when your iPhone is nearby. To preserve battery life, older Apple Watch models use iPhone GPS when available.

Concretely, this therefore means that Apple’s connected watches will now become the priority in tracking your geolocation, especially in the context of sports training. It must be said that this latest generation includes the American manufacturer’s Apple Watch Ultra, the first watch from the firm to benefit not only from GNSS tracking – GPS, Galileo, Glonass and Beidou, like other Apple watches – but also Dual L1+L5 frequency band tracking for increased accuracy in harsh environments, such as urban settings with tall buildings.

A GPS often more precise than on iPhone

On the tests that we have been able to carry out in recent months with the Apple Watch 8, SE 2022 and Ultra, we have thus been able to notice that the three watches offer excellent tracking of geolocation and therefore of distance, pace or real-time speed during physical activity. A follow-up which is sometimes even more precise than that of the iPhone. Note also that while many smartphone manufacturers offer L1 + L5 compatibility, Apple also reserves this functionality for the iPhone 14 Pro only, with more precise geolocation than on conventional models.

If Apple only communicates now on this independence of the watches, it is however indeed functional since the launch of the range, last January.

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