From today, Apple Watch Ultra owners can download the tech giant’s new dive app Oceanic Plus to turn the latest wearable into a recreational dive computer.
The Watch Ultra already has the Depth app, which can tell you the depth and temperature of the water. Oceanic plus (opens in new tab) displays the same information, but if you want to take diving more seriously, you need more. The app includes a no-decompression timer to set limits on how deep you can dive and for how long, so users don’t suffer from decompression sickness. The user interface (UI) displays bright color-coded indicators to let you know when it’s okay to dive deeper, stop or slow down. It seems that the user interface was a major focus for the developers, as typical dive computers can be difficult to understand, especially for newbies.
Present on the app is a dive planner where you can see what conditions, such as the tide and current, are for that day. You can also create a surface time in case you need to return. Once you’ve jumped out of the water, you’ll get a short post-dive summary report that shows, among other things, how far you’ve dived. For a more in-depth report, you can download the iPhone version to tell you the exact speed at which you dived and even record any local wildlife you may have seen. Some reports (opens in new tab) claim that the iPhone app “needs a bit of work” due to some “graphical inconsistencies” such as text misalignment.
Notifications from the scheduler are sent via vibrations powerful enough to penetrate wetsuits 7 mm (approximately 0.27 in) thick. According to the announcement, haptic feedback was chosen because sound propagates more underwater. If you are diving with someone who has a dive computer that beeps, it can be difficult to determine where a sound alert is coming from. Oceanic Plus also reconfigures the action button so that the app can be used even when you have a wetsuit on. Pressing the button before diving opens Oceanic Plus in a predive screen. If you press mid-dive, your location will be marked.
Before downloading the app, make sure your Watch Ultra is running watchOS9.1 and paired with an iPhone 8 or newer. However, you can use a second-generation or later iPhone SE with iOS 16.1 installed. Oceanic Plus is free, but $9.99 per month can add new features such as “decompression tracking” [and] location planner…” The basic app has “general dive functions” such as a timer and depth indicator.
It is important to reiterate that Oceanic Plus is more for recreational diving. The app only works up to 40 meters (130 feet) underwater. Also, it cannot keep track of the oxygen level of a scuba tank like other dive computers can.
We highly doubt that Oceanic Plus will be released on any other Apple device as it was made specifically for the Watch Ultra. The device is even WR100 and EN 13319 certified. The former means the Watch Device can survive depths of up to 100 meters (although Apple recommends going no deeper than 40 meters), while the latter means it is “internationally recognized” as a diving accessory.
With an $800 price tag, the Watch Ultra can be more expensive than typical dive computers, which can range from a few hundred dollars to $1,500, according to our research. But given the usefulness and friendlier user interface of the Watch Ultra, Oceanic Plus could potentially set a new standard for recreational divers.
If you’re looking for a new wearable device, check out Best Product’s recently updated top 10 smartwatch list.