No, we didn’t get to see the long-rumored iPhone 12, BUT Apple did have plenty of announcements when it comes to its wearable the Apple Watch, the iPad, and subscription services.
Apple Watch Series 6 & Apple Watch SE
To make up for the absence of the iPhone 12, Tim Cook and Apple spent plenty of time beaming about the Apple Watch. The latest model, the Apple Series 6, was first introduced and it was described as the “most colorful lineup” of its popular smartwatch, and it comes chock full of new advancements with health-focused monitor features. We already knew about the handwashing feature coming to the Apple Watch, but today we now know that there will be a blood oxygen monitoring feature as well. As described during the presenting, the watch uses infrared sensors that scan the color of your blood and will provide you with a reader in 15 seconds.
A feature Samsung’s Galaxy Watch3 already has.
The Series 6 will also feature updates to Apple’s heart-monitoring technology and a sleep app that will better track your sleeping patterns. There will also be a new watch face interface that makes it easier to track your elevation in real-time that will also assist in monitor oxygen levels while working out.
Under the hood of the Series 6 is a new dual-core processor based on A13 Bionic in iPhone 11, plus an upgraded S6 SiP that Apple says will help the watch and apps run 20 percent faster while still maintaining the all-day 18-hour battery life. The watch face has been given a few tweaks like the new Memoji display, GMT Time Zone display, and other customizable features that cater to photographers, surfers, doctors, and creatives.
There will also be new band options for the Apple Watch Series 6 as well as color options. Pre-orders for the watch begin today. It will retail for $399 and will be available Friday (Sept.18).
Also announced was a budget model, the Apple Watch SE ($279), which the company believes will be the perfect wearable to bring in new customers. It features the now discontinued Series 5 chip and is much faster than the Series 3 Apple Watch, which saw it’s price gets chopped down to $199 but will run the latest version of Watch OS. Sadly the Blood Oxygen monitoring feature will not be available on the Apple Watch SE.
iPad 8th Generation & iPad Air
The base-level iPad is getting a much-need refresh. With the unveiling of the 8th Generation iPad, users can look forward to a better camera, an all-day battery, the upgraded A12 Bionic Chip, and, of course, Apple Pencil support. The iPad 8th Generation will cost $329, $299, if you’re eligible for the education price.
It was the new iPad Air that got all of the attention. The revamped iPad Air features a complete redesign sporting a 10.9-inch display, new 12MP rear camera, and next-generation Touch ID sensor. It FINALLY will have a USB-C port and comes in five color options, rose gold, green, blue, grey, and silver. As far as performance, it will work 40% faster than the previous model and features a 2x jump in graphics. The new iPad Air will cost $599 and should be available sometime in October.
When you finally get your hands on one, the new OS14 brings new enhancements to the Apple Pencil technology. The iPad will now recognize shapes and differentiate your notes from your doodles, thanks to a new feature called Apple Scribble. You will also be able to copy and paste your notes to text boxes.
Apple One, Fitness+ & iOS14
Apple has finally found a way to put all of its subscription services under one umbrella. The company that jobs built introduced Apple One. The new three-tiered monthly subscription service includes Apple TV+, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, and some much needed iCloud Storage space for your photos. You can opt for the individual $14.95 or if you want to put your parents, siblings, or the wife and kids, consider the $19.95 family plan.
Of course, there is a premium tier for $29.95 a month, and it features all the services mentioned above, including Apple News+ and Apple’s answer to Pelaton, Fitness+.
Oh, and before they closed out the show, Tim Cook did announce iOS14 will finally roll out worldwide on Wednesday (Sept.16). We just hope it doesn’t brick our phones.