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22 Dec, 2022
1 min time to read

The latest versions of the Apple Watch no longer rely on the iPhone's GPS and instead use only their own GPS capabilities.

The Apple Watch Ultra, the Apple Watch Series 8, and the Apple Watch SE 2 can all now use their built-in GPS even when an iPhone is nearby, according to Apple's documentation. This is a new feature for these three models.

Apple has recently added an explanation to its support document on "Calibrating your Apple Watch for improved Workout and Activity accuracy." According to the company, the Apple Watch Ultra, Series 8, and SE (2nd generation) are equipped with built-in GPS, allowing them to function independently of an iPhone even when the two devices are close to each other.

On the other hand, older Apple Watch models rely on the GPS from an iPhone to conserve battery life. It is worth noting that the Apple Watch Ultra has a longer battery life than the Series 8, which may be an incentive for outdoor exercise enthusiasts to consider upgrading or opting for one of these newer models. The inclusion of the Series 8 and SE 2 in this feature is notable, as the hardware of these models is similar to that of the Series 7.

To provide more accurate GPS data during outdoor workouts, future versions of the Apple Watch will capture GPS data from your wrist instead of your pocket or back. This minimizes obstructions that can affect the accuracy of the data.

Additionally, the GPS performance of the Apple Watch has been enhanced for the Apple Watch Ultra. The iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max, and Apple Watch Ultra are equipped with dual-band GPS frequency, which improves location data in urban areas with high levels of obstruction.