Apple said the Watch Ultra would be more useful for divers once a key app arrived, and that moment is finally here. Hush Outdoors and Apple have released Oceanic+, effectively giving Ultra owners a recreation-oriented dive computer. The software tracks fundamentals like depth, no-decompression time (a figure used to set duration limits for given depths) and water temperature. The app is designed to be used without the touchscreen, and you can set compass headings using the action button. Even the haptic feedback is strong enough to be felt through a wetsuit.
You can plan dives to make the most of your trips, including the tides and currents. An after-dive review will show data that includes your water entry and exit locations. You'll find more information on your iPhone, such as depth graphs and the temperature ascent rate.
Basic Oceanic+ functionality such as depth, time and dive logging is free. You'll want to pay $10 per month or $80 per year for decompression tracking, location planning and other more advanced features. A $129 per year family plan allows access to five people. The app requires at least watchOS 9.1 as well as an iPhone 8 or later using iOS 16.1.
Apple is quick to caution that Oceanic+ isn't for professional scuba divers. This won't track remaining air like some dive computers, for example — the Apple Watch Ultra doesn't support transmitters that connect to your tank. This is strictly for enthusiast use, and only down to 130 feet. The watch can officially survive depths of 328 feet.
Even so, the launch could be important. This fulfills a promise Apple made in early September, and makes the Watch Ultra considerably more useful if you frequently plunge underwater. The timepiece launched with only basic depth tracking that wasn't much help if you wanted to avoid the bends or find your way back. While this won't replace dedicated hardware for particularly committed divers, it might save money if you wanted one watch you could wear both above and below the surface.