On Tuesday Apple held their annual September product announcement event. Like WWDC it was a prerecorded event which was good but I think that the format works better for WWDC. At the event they announced updates to the iPad and Apple Watch lineups, they also announced a lot of updates around services.
At the event they announced two new Apple Watch models the SE (budget model akin to the iPhone SE) and the Series 6. They also lowered the price of the Series 3 to $199.
The SE is has most of the features that the past models have it just doesn’t have the new features, always-on-display and, is based on an old chip. The Apple Watch SE is available now starting at $279 US.
Apple Watch Series 6 has some cool new feature but overall is actually a relatively small incremental update. As announced at WWDC all Watch models are getting sleep tracking but the 6 will get an enhanced version of the feature. The headline feature is the addition of Sp02 detection, as always the new Apple Watch will have an upgraded chip. The Apple Watch Series 6 starts at $399 for the WiFi version and $499 for cellular.
There are a few new watch faces including the Chronograph Pro (I can’t remember what features it added but it seemed cool) and the GMT face which allows you see multiple timezones. Also new in WatchOS 7 is Family Setup which allows kids and “older adults” to use Apple Watch without having an their own iPhone (but the person running family would requite an iPhone).
Apple announced their long rumored Fitness+(their workout subscription service) and Apple One a bundle of all their subscription services.
Fitness+ is like any other fitness service but provides integrations with Apple Watch and Apple Music. It uses a recommendations engine to suggest workouts and the subscription also provides access to studio workouts. Fitness+ will be available for $9.99/month ($79.99/month) it launches later this year in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, and the US.
Apple One a bundle that includes all of Apple’s services (only the highest tier actually has all of them).
At the event Apple announced the 8th gen iPad and a new iPad Air.
8th Gen iPad
The 8th gen iPad has a 10.2 inch screen and the chip from two generations ago. But, it gains some features from the mid-higher end iPads like compatibility with the first gen Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard. they are now going provide a charger that has USB-C on the plug end to increase
The new iPad Air is an interesting choice for Apple to make because it appears to actually be competitive with the iPad Pro lineup not reconnoitering screen size.
Spec wise the iPad Air has the newest A14 Bionic chip and a 10.9 inch screen. This year they finally brought back TouchID but now it’s on the power button. The screen supports P3 wide color and True Tone. It gains last years iPhone camera and it also gains USB-C and the port will gain all of its features if I understand correctly.
Pricing and Availability
|Apple Watch Series 6 (WiFi)||$399||out now|
|Apple Watch Series 6 (LTE)||$499||out now|
|Apple Watch SE (WiFi)||$279||out now|
|Apple Watch SE (LTE)||$329||out now|
|8th Gen iPad (WiFi)||$329||out now|
|8th Gen iPad (LTE)||$459||out now|
|iPad Air (WiFi)||$599||next month|
|iPad Air (LTE)||S729||next month|
Apple is expected to hold another event next month where they’ll announce the new iPhones and some accessories. They may also hold an event in November about Mac and Apple Silicon
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This week has been super busy in tech the aforementioned Apple Event was on Tuesday. Both Sony (a PS5 game announcement) and Facebook (Facebook Connect formerly Oculus Connect) held events on Wednesday. On Thursday, Nintendo held a direct. I’m planning an article on Connect but may not. I’m definitely going to do a This Week in Tech article this week.