Historically, Apple has included software support for a new device's hardware features at launch, but the Apple Watch Series 3's altimeter was a somewhat different story. Apple is also making that fact known and has officially announced that its new smartwatch is now capable of tracking skiing and snowboarding activities.
In addition to updates in Apple's Activity app, you'll find similar changes to related apps such as Slopes, Squaw Alpine, Snocru, Ski Tracks and snoww (not a typo). Apple is relying on third-parties to use the functionality.
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What sort if metrics will be measured?
watchOS 4.2 has been updated with custom workout APIs, enabling developers to track ski- and snowboard-specific metrics, including total vertical descent, horizontal distance, number of runs, and average/maximum speeds. Obviously, all of this data will be synced with the Health app so you have a better track of how it all went down during your session. Though that might not sound groundbreaking just yet, but you'll understand the convenience when you are scrambling on the little screen in negative temperatures. The update applies to Apple Watch Series 3 models running WatchOS 4.2 or newer.