In its first-ever entirely virtual product event this week, Apple introduced updated versions of their Apple Watch and iPad, software updates and new subscription plans. We tuned into the highly-anticipated event and have everything you need to know below!
The Apple Watch Series 6 is an upgrade from previous models, featuring a new A6 chip, increased watch faces, hand washing reminders, and highly-anticipated sleep tracking capabilities. The biggest new feature is a blood oxygen level monitor built right into the watch. Using infrared technology, the watch will scan the color of a user’s blood and produce a blood oxygen level reading in just 15 seconds.
If that’s not enough to excite you, the Series 6 color offerings will include the existing Apple Watch colors as well as blue aluminum, gold stainless steel, black stainless steel, and a ProductRED color. This model will also be compatible with the new “Solo Loop” claspless watch bands available in a variety of colors and sizes.
Similar to the iPhone SE model, Apple is introducing the Apple Watch SE at a more affordable price. The new model will have the best features of the Series 6, such as the latest heart rate sensor, fall detection, and all workout tracking capabilities, but won’t include the full variety of watch faces, the new A6 chip, or EGC sensor built into the digital crown.
Although there don’t seem to be major changes in the 8th generation iPad, the model’s upgrade will be most noticeable to users with older iPads. An A12 bionic processor replaced the A10 fusion chip for faster performance, improved graphics, and greater CPU power. With this power, the iPad is well-equipped for immersive AR experiences. The iPad will also run on iPad OS14, which involves other exciting features including superior handwriting recognition with the Apple Pencil, redesigned widgets, and Safari upgrades.
The iPad Air received a substantial redesign, complete with a Touch ID fingerprint reader built into the lock button (the smallest authentication Apple has made to date!) and six colors to choose from, including new blue and green options. Apple equipped this new model with the A14 bionic processor, boosting iPad Air’s power and speed, and also majorly upgraded both the speakers and the camera to enhance the user experience.
This new feature brings Apple Watch to users who do not have their own iPhone. Instead of pairing the watch with their own phone, users can use a designated family member’s iPhone to set up their Apple Watch. During the event, Apple emphasized the benefits of Family Setup for children and the elderly, highlighting features such as Parental Controls, Emergency SOS, Maps, and fall detection.
Along with expanded workout tracking promised in Watch OS7, Apple will be introducing the Fitness+ app in late 2020. Much like Nike Training Club and the Peloton app, Fitness+ will be a subscription service with a variety of pre-recorded workouts from world-class fitness trainers. Some of the workout categories will include Indoor Walk, Indoor Run, Yoga, Strength Training, High Intensity Interval Training, and Dance. The program will be optimized for Apple Watch, automatically recording the correct workout on the watch and displaying statistics such as heart rate and fitness goal progress on the iPhone, iPad, Mac, or AppleTV screen.
Apple introduced three subscription bundle plans to pair with their new subscription offerings. The Individual Plan includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 50 GB of iCloud storage for $14.95/mo. The Family Plan offers the same Apple Music, Apple TV+, and Apple Arcade, but includes 200 GB of iCloud storage and can be shared with up to five other people for $19.95/mo. Finally, the Premiere Plan boasts Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, 2TB of iCloud storage, Apple News+, and Apple Fitness+, shared with up to five other people for $29.95/mo.
The software updates will be available beginning September 16th and the products will be released on September 18th. Let us know your thoughts about the virtual Apple Event in the comments or on Twitter!
Image Credits: Apple.