Apple Watch 3 gets more support for winter sports

Enjoy spending snowy days on the slopes skiing and snowboarding? You might not know that the Apple Watch 3 can gather detailed metrics for those activities – and has been able to since December 2017.

Today’s big news is that Apple is now allowing third-party app developers to incorporate these new APIs into their creations.

As far as how these winter activities utilize the hardware within Apple’s popular wearable, it triggers both the built-in GPS function and altimeter. 

Both work in tandem to provide metrics based on vertical and horizontal distance traveled, keeping tabs on your runs, your speed, as well as more obvious stats, like time spent working out and calories burned while doing so.

An ever-broadening fitness scope

Apple’s support for winter sports is a continuation of its efforts to broaden its offering even more. At this point, there’s not much else that the Apple Watch 3 can’t do, though we’d like to see this theme continued with niche activities like ice skating.

It’s unfortunate that this functionality is limited to the latest Apple Watch, which also stands out due to its eSIM-enabled LTE functionality. Though it makes sense from a hardware perspective, as it’s the only option with an altimeter – its altitude-detecting sensor.

If you want to check out a few apps that show the new APIs in action, check out Slopes, Squaw Alpine, Snocru, Ski Tracks and Snoww. We expect many other apps that begin with “S” to be added to the list soon.

Cameron Faulkner

Cameron is a writer at The Verge, focused on reviews, deals coverage, and news. He wrote for magazines and websites such as The Verge, TechRadar, Practical Photoshop, Polygon, Eater and Al Bawaba.