Oceanic+, developed by Huish Outdoors, made a splash at this year’s Apple Fall Event in September, when Apple pulled a surprise new watch out of its proverbial hat, the Apple Watch Ultra. One of the surprises was that the $800 watch is rated for recreational scuba diving, enabling owners to take it underwater to 40 meters or 130-ish feet.

Pre-installed on the watch is a Depth app, which shows depth, water temperature and a few other things. As a scuba diver, however, you need more than that. To avoid decompression sickness (the bends), you need a dive computer that logs how long you stay at certain depths. The precise instruments measuring and logging depth and time, paired with an algorithm, makes up a dive computer. This is pretty specialized stuff, and it makes sense that Apple decided to partner with an external supplier — in this case the scuba veterans at Huish Outdoors.

I reviewed the app and watch combo, but I wanted to talk about the pricing model and how it, in itself, is a game changer for scuba divers.

You can rent a dive computer from most dive shops, of course, but this comes with some (very slight) risk: If the computer was used by another diver the day before, their dive profile might influence yours. The worst that can happen is that the computer believes that you have less no decompression time than you really do. In other words: You may have to do shorter, shallower dives.

Because of this, and a few other reasons, serious divers usually have their own dive computers. The issue is that these often lay around for long stretches of time. Turning up to go diving, only to discover that the battery in my dive computer is low, is frighteningly common both for many of my fellow divers and for myself. When that happens, you end up scrambling to get a replacement battery (not trivial, as the dive computer needs to be re-sealed properly afterwards, and not everyone has the right tools to do that), or rent a dive computer and bring that with you as a backup.

apple and huish devise clever pricing model for divers with oceanic+ app

A Scuba diver observes that the target 30 minute dive time alarm has been reached. Image Credit: Bang Bang Studios

The Oceanic+ app has a number of features available for free:

Snorkeling Gauges Depth meter Max depth tracking Last dive time Maximum elapsed time Total activity time GPS location for an actiity Logbook Cumulative lifetime dive time Total number of dives Deepest dive Longest dive Dive ratings (you can rate your dive and specifics about the dive) Sharing activities to social networks Storing pictures

To get its advanced features, however, you have to pony up for a subscription. This is where things get clever. Renting a dive computer from a dive shop can cost anywhere from $5-$30 per day, and very few divers would choose to go without these days.

This is where the Oceanic+ makers did something clever. Instead of only having very long-term subscription plans (such as $80 per year, for example), the app makers devised shorter plans that suit divers extremely well:

$4.99 per day $9.99 per month $79.99 per year $129 per year for “family share” up to five people.

apple and huish devise clever pricing model for divers with oceanic+ app

You subscribe to the app for a day, month, or year via the Oceanic+ iPhone app. Image Credit: Huish Outdoors

Assuming you already have an Apple Watch Ultra, the above becomes a no-brainer. For the same price as the cheapest dive computer rental I could find, you can use your existing Apple Watch as a dive computer. Most dive trips last less than a month, so for $10, you’re covered for as much diving as you can stomach. And if you’re planning more than one dive trip in a year, you can shell out a bit extra.

The cool thing about the features that are added when you subscribe is that they are only strictly needed when you are actively diving. If you just want to refer back to your past dives once you’re safely back at home, that’s made possible by the free app.

The paid app adds the following features:

Tissue loading – the bit you need to avoid decompression sickness Decompression info – that’s the part you need to stay safe as you are in the water, and calculates the surface intervals, and the time it takes before you can safely fly in an airplane after you’ve been diving Community dive conditions – water temperature, visibility, and currents, etc. Local 3-day weather forecast for your dive sites Local 3-day temperature forecast for your dive sites UV index

Of course, not everybody will be falling over themselves to spend $800 on the Apple Watch Ultra, but for those who did for the diving feature, the days of having to use a rented dive computer may be counted. If you can afford to buy the watch, the pricing plans mean that you’d be crazy to spend more than you have to in order to go meet some fish.

TECH NEWS RELATED

Today in Apple history: Sequel to ‘1984’ Mac ad bombs hard

The “Lemmings” ad became a massive disaster for Apple. Photo illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac January 20, 1985: Apple attempts to build on the triumph of the previous year’s “1984” Macintosh commercial with another Super Bowl ad. Called “Lemmings,” the ad for a new business platform called Macintosh Office ...

View more: Today in Apple history: Sequel to ‘1984’ Mac ad bombs hard

Apple Just Released Code for Its 40-Year-Old “Lisa” Computer

John Couch / Computer History Museum The Lisa was Apple’s first computer with a graphical desktop interface, predating the Macintosh by a year. Now, 40 years later, you can see exactly how the computer worked. Apple released the Lisa computer on January 19, 1983, as a high-end workstation computer ...

View more: Apple Just Released Code for Its 40-Year-Old “Lisa” Computer

Saddle up for some solitaire with Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On!

Play Solitatire to win horse races in an interesting mashup game that debuted in Apple Arcade on Friday. Screenshot: Game Freak A classic Nintendo 3DS game trotted over to Apple Arcade. Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On! merges Solitaire and horse racing into a unique combination. It launched January 20 ...

View more: Saddle up for some solitaire with Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On!

Apple appeals to UK competition watchdog investigation about mobile browser dominance

Apple has filed an appeal against the UK’s competition watchdog regarding its dominance of mobile browsers in the cloud gaming market, reports Reuters. The Competition and Markets Authority started investigating this dominance by the Cupertino firm and Google. Lawyers representing Apple believe the investigation should be reviewed as CMA ...

View more: Apple appeals to UK competition watchdog investigation about mobile browser dominance

Amazon Prime Music Unlimited changes streaming prices, now matches Apple Music

Prices for subscription services have been going up in the past few months, and Amazon Music Unlimited is the latest service to see a hike. Amazon increased the costs for its Music Unlimited tiers in the US and UK, matching Apple’s similar price hike for Apple Music from a ...

View more: Amazon Prime Music Unlimited changes streaming prices, now matches Apple Music

Shape Island squares the circle: It’s stop-motion perfection for kids and parents [Apple TV+ review]

★★★★★ Minor problems deliver major entertainment in excellent new stop-motion animation series Shape Island. on Apple TV+. Image: Apple TV+ Shape Island arrives on Apple TV+ today to teach kids about social interactions and to help them ward off the anxiety inherent in such things. Based on the critically acclaimed ...

View more: Shape Island squares the circle: It’s stop-motion perfection for kids and parents [Apple TV+ review]

HomePod 2 praised in exclusive hands-on before launch

This week, Apple announced HomePod 2. After discontinuing the original version in 2021 due to poor sales, the company bet on its mini model to lure new customers. Although the smaller version of the company’s smart speakers does have a “surprising sound” for its size, it’s not quite as ...

View more: HomePod 2 praised in exclusive hands-on before launch

M2 Pro MacBook Pro Amazon preorder deal gives you $50 off

Apple unveiled the 2023 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models earlier this week. The laptops feature the expected M2 Pro and M2 Max chip upgrades. The notebooks are available for preorder from Apple and other retailers before their January 24th release date. But there’s already a great preorder deal for ...

View more: M2 Pro MacBook Pro Amazon preorder deal gives you $50 off

Apple offers discounts on iPhone 14 Series, MacBooks, Watch Ultra & more via its official website in India

Samsung is reportedly making OLED displays for iPad Pro, MacBook Pro

Apple needs to fold the iPhone and forget about Glasses

Apple TV outage means no stream for you!

Newest Android version installed on a mere 5% of devices

Apple's Black History Month plans may tip an earlier than expected iOS 16.3 launch

Why Apple’s 14-inch M2 Pro MacBook Pro is worth the upgrade

Dump your bulky wallet for this slim MagSafe alternative [Review]

Apple’s Next iPad Could Double as a Smart Display

HomePod head-to-head: How Apple’s new smart speaker compares to original

Rumor says another Apple TV 4K upgrade is coming; we say 'why?'

Apple’s Biggest Computer Failure Turns 40 Years Old Today

OTHER TECH NEWS

Top Car News Car News