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Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular

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OzBungy
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Re: Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular

Postby OzBungy » Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:21 am

So I bought an Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular. I have done a few sessions and made a few phone calls on the water. My friends have been able to find me using the Find My Friends app. So far I quite like it. It's a good toy and satisfies my core requirement. It is quite nice to be able to just make and answer calls without digging out the phone, and to be able to leave the phone at home.

A few things to note:
- You really need to hold the phone up near your ear to hear it properly. I stopped and sat in the water while flying the kite with one hand. It was doable, but quite difficult. I guess if I was calling for help then my kite would not be flying and I could relax in the water. I was on my foil with a 7m in about 20 knots so there was a bit of wave action.

- You need a clear line of sight to a cell tower. I could make calls but not be heard if I was standing at the foot of the cliffs near the beach. Out on the water was fine.

- The watch screen is meant to be locked when in the water so the touch screen doesn't react to water drops. You have to unlock it by turning the knob. It's easy enough to do but you have to do it. I dialed using Siri. I think I need to make some unique shorthand contacts so I don't have to say "Call Fred Smith Mobile". It would be easier to say "Call Fred". There might be problems with having the same number attached to multiple contacts.

- Sending a text should be more reliable because you don't need a strong continuous signal. You can use Siri to send texts. Siri can be a bit of a pain to yell at when you're bouncing around in the water. There doesn't seem to be a "Send" option, the message just goes. It would be nice to have something positive rather than waiting and hoping it has sent.

The activity tracking is quite fun and it's nice to see all the coloured rings link up. Apparently a 90 minute foiling session equates to 400% of my daily exercise target. :-D

I am messing with Xensr Sessions to record my kiting sessions. This app is the worst heap of shit I have ever tried to use. I have never come across such a flakey unreliable app on the iphone. Everything else on the watch works fine. I am exchanging emails with Xensr support and have worked through some of the problems. It's still garbage.

Some of the problems can be worked around. I don't care about jumps. I do care about speed and getting a decent record of my track. I am thinking I could start a Session then switch to the watch face so I can see the time. There still seems to be no way to get the GPS track off the iphone and onto something useful.

I have looked at other apps and there seems to be a few promising ones. There are some general sport ones that record tracks and allow export to GPS etc. There's a yachting app called Waterspeed Sail & Surf Tracker that might do all the good stuff, but there are monthly subscriptions to pay.

Plan B is to simply wear both the Apple watch and my Garmin Fenix. The Apple can be safely tucked away under my wetsuit sleeve and used only as an emergency device. The Garmin visible for doing the serious work. That would be a pity because the Apple watch is capable of everything I want, there is just a shortage of decent apps at the moment.

CaliRider
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Re: Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular

Postby CaliRider » Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:03 am

Heap? The watch app works great! Love the realtime jump information which seems to be to focus of the watch app. Perhaps thats why you don't like it. i don't really even look at my speed since its not the main number it shows. The maps on the phone look super basic but its not that important to me since I'm not a speed freak foiler. LOL
still its cool that they're working with you on your issues.sounds like you need a super garmin thingy instead.

OzBungy
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Re: Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular

Postby OzBungy » Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:59 am

I ended up deleting the Sessions app. It was too unreliable, gave no really useful information (do you really want to count jumps?), speed data was very inaccurate (don't know how that can happen with a GPS track), and the support guys were not the sharpest units on the planet. That's a little unfair. Sessions actually writes the data to the Apple Workouts data and you can view it on the Activity app on an iphone. You don't need to use the crappy Sessions programs to view the interesting stuff.

You can easily record each foiling session by using the native Workouts app on the Apple watch. Simply start a workout that requires movement (outdoor cycling, running, walking) and you get speed and distance and a map of your track. No subscriptions or other apps or logging in required. You still can't export the track to a GPX file. I did a mountain bike ride through dense forest today and it recorded nicely. I rang home during a break, and was located on the Find Friends app.

For export I have found the Trails app. The free version lets you export and import GPX files. I don't know if there's any limits on that, but so far so good.
Ultimately the Apple Watch series 3 is proving to be a decent little tool. I can make and receive calls. Record sessions. Be found my friends. My inclination is to just wear the watch for general sessions. If I am going further afield I might use my Garmin to record the session and save the battery in the Apple Watch for backup communications.

CaliRider
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Re: Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular

Postby CaliRider » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:25 am

How come you guys aren't using a locsys gw60? Ran into a guy who's really into speed today and he's all "this is the shizzle" device to use for speed tracking. Get the right tool for the job Googling the gw60 it looks slick but its not for me since the session app is for boosters, the gw60 is for series gps speeders. You guys probably complain when your hammer doesn't drive philips head screws very well and wonder WTF is wrong with the guys who made the hammer.

sedluk
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Re: Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular

Postby sedluk » Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:49 am

I bought the Apple Watch thinking that it would be a nice watch and possibly useful when kiteboarding. So far that is how it is turning out for me. I have tried and tried to get Siri to make a phone call or send a message while on my foil board. I have not once been able to send a txt message and only once been able to make a call. Then it was a one way conversation because I could not hear a thing.

I have been able to recieve txt messages and that could be a useful thing. I wear sunglasses most of the time and they get wet, it does add to the difficulty in reading messages.

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CaptainArgh
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Re: Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular

Postby CaptainArgh » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:22 pm

foilonfoil wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:11 pm
.... A small prepaid cell phone in a waterproof case under your wetsuit will set you back less than $100.
That is the most logical thing I've heard in awhile. Rather than looking for ways to adapt expensive new tech to our sport.

Makes sense assuming you have a relatively calm water environment to take it out and make a call. If you are in rough seas or a storm, it's best to have something attached to you that's waterproof.

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foilonfoil
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Re: Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular

Postby foilonfoil » Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:28 am

CaptainArgh wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:22 pm
foilonfoil wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:11 pm
.... A small prepaid cell phone in a waterproof case under your wetsuit will set you back less than $100.
That is the most logical thing I've heard in awhile. Rather than looking for ways to adapt expensive new tech to our sport.

Makes sense assuming you have a relatively calm water environment to take it out and make a call. If you are in rough seas or a storm, it's best to have something attached to you that's waterproof.
I would add -

If you arrive at the ocean/lake/river without previous boating experience, it's easy to miss the fact the the first and foremost method of safety and communication on the water is a Marine Band radio as It's a legal requirement to carry one. Everything else is nice to play with.

OzBungy
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Re: Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular

Postby OzBungy » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:28 am

Several sessions in on the Apple Watch Series 3 and I am pretty happy with it. It does a reasonably good job of all the functions you would want and is very convenient to have. I have made calls on it while kiting and mountain biking in forest, using Siri to voice dial. My partner has located me using Find My Friends and Find My iphone. I have recorded sessions using the Workout app, and recorded sessions with GPX files using the free version of the Trails app.

What is surprising is how convenient it is to have a phone on your wrist. No more trying drag the phone out of the pocket or trying to remember where I left it. No need to take the phone at all if I'm around the house or going out for a walk. Very handy.

On the down side:

- using it on the water can be difficult, especially while flying a kite. It's best to have everything set up to go before you launch your kite. You can configure your favorites and contacts so that things are easier to do on the water. It's still a pain if you're on the wrong screen and trying to get it back while riding.

- battery life is ok, but not generous. Using the watch for a day, including GPS tracking a 2 hour session, a couple of phone calls and having it on, ended up with 30% battery remaining. I would want more than that if I was relying on it to call for assistance. See next.

- the currently available apps are adequate but not super configurable. It is much easier to get the data I want and the display I want using my Garmin Fenix 3. If I was going on a mini-expedition I would wear the Garmin for tracking and have the Apple on the other watch as a backup device.

So, if you want a smart watch that will do for recording sessions and you can make and receive phone calls, go for it. It's great.

If you want dedicated session recording then consider a dedicated GPS watch like the Garmin Fenix 3 or 5.

If you want simple, readily accessible communications, also go for it.

For you marine radio and plastic bag guys, get a grip. We're riding around on a little board in shorts or a wetsuit. No pockets. No extra gear. Nothing except what you wear. There is no legal requirement to carry a marine band radio while kiteboarding. Even if you were in a country that did have that rule, nobody would obey it. Most small boats, kayaks, sailboards and kiters carry nothing. An Apple Watch is a convenient device to have, especially if you're going to wear a smart watch anyway.

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foilonfoil
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Re: Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular

Postby foilonfoil » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:47 am

OzBungy wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:28 am

For you marine radio and plastic bag guys, get a grip. We're riding around on a little board in shorts or a wetsuit. No pockets. No extra gear. Nothing except what you wear. There is no legal requirement to carry a marine band radio while kiteboarding. Even if you were in a country that did have that rule, nobody would obey it. Most small boats, kayaks, sailboards and kiters carry nothing. An Apple Watch is a convenient device to have, especially if you're going to wear a smart watch anyway.
If you read the original question, it was about what safety device to use for longer coastal runs. I normally stuff my radio down my front between wetsuit and rash guard. A long trip the other day from Seaford with a plan to get to Port Melbourne, I also wore a small dry bag back pack with sandals, credit card, cash, strap for kite, cover for foil, my phone in a plastic bag, and a small multi tool. Depending on what happened to the wind, I was prepped for a walk to the station and a train home.

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RagingGrandpa
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Recovery options for offshore foil touring

Postby RagingGrandpa » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:16 pm

(post moved to another thread)
Last edited by RagingGrandpa on Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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