I watched Apple’s new presentation (that they called “Time flies”), so you don’t need to. If you missed the event and you want to watch it, click here and watch it on Apple’s Youtube channel. Without any further ado, let’s see what is new.
1. Apple Watch Series 6
Apple introduced the new generation of their famous Apple Watch. The biggest news is the addition of a sensor to measure blood oxygen saturation. They claim that the measurement lasts only 15 seconds, using red and infrared light at the same time. It was also said that they would enter into partnerships with health companies to investigate whether the sensor could help detect COVID-19. A new processor, the S6, has been installed, which is a dual-core processor based on the A13 Bionic processor found in the iPhone 11. The screen and the entire exterior of the watch have remained largely unchanged. Apple claims that the screen is two and a half times more visible outside in the sun, and that the height sensor (altimeter) is now always active. New colors have also been added, blue for the aluminum case, and gray and gold for the case made of stainless steel. For the first time, a red version of the watch is available, which belongs to Apple’s Product Red product category.
In the cheapest version, the price of the Watch starts at $ 399 for a model with GPS and aluminum housing only. As with the Series 5, the new Series 6 supports a permanently lit screen. So, it is not necessary to raise the wrist or turn it to turn the screen on. However, if you turn on this option, it consumes significantly more battery.
2. APPLE WATCH SE
Like the iPhone, the Apple Watch got a new, cheaper version for the first time ever. Although it shares many essential features with the Series 6, the cheaper Watch SE does not have any more advanced features. For $ 120 less, or $ 279, customers will have to give up the always-on screen, ECG measurements, and blood oxygen saturation sensor that debuted on the Series 6. The processor is also weaker, and it is last year’s S5 processor that powered the Series 5. However, Apple claims that the new Watch SE has twice the performance of the Watch Series 3, which was introduced in September 2017. In terms of design, the SE is remarkably similar to the Series 4, which came out in September 2018. But if the Watch SE is too expensive, Apple will continue to sell the Series 3, whose price now starts at $ 199.
3. No charger
Well actually, no charger adapter. They claim they want to reduce their impact on the environment, ie to reduce electronic waste. Although the adapter is missing, the watch will still come with a magnetic charging cable, which can be charged via any other USB, whether it is a charger or an (older) Apple laptop. It has long been rumored that Apple will stop shipping adapters to the iPhone this year, but we will find out more at the presentation of the new iPhone, probably in October.
4. New iPad Air
The new iPad Air was also unveiled yesterday, whose design is now very similar to the iPad Pro. So the screen is bigger, it extends almost from edge to edge, and the sides are no longer rounded. The screen now measures 10.9 inches with a resolution of 2360 x 1640. Since Apple stretched the screen almost to the very edges, there is no room left on the case for the fingerprint sensor (Touch ID). While it might be expected that Apple would incorporate Face ID sensors into the iPad Air, which are now traditional on iPhones, Apple has opted for a different solution. Namely, the sensor was built into the power on button, which is still located on the top of the device. This made it the first iPad to have biometric sensors built into the power button.
Does this mean that iPhone users in the next generations could get the same option as an alternative to Face ID? We don’t know yet, but it’s possible. The processor has been upgraded to the A14 Bionic, which Apple claims offers 40 percent better performance compared to last year’s Air. Along with the design, the new iPad Air has taken over another essential item from the iPad Pro. The timed Lightning port, the cable slot found on iPhones since the iPhone 5, has now been replaced by the standard USB-C slot, found on most cell phones and on more and more laptops. So the iPad Air brings some essential features with the iPad Pro in a cheaper package, for $ 599. All it lacks is a faster 120 Hz image refresh screen, Face ID, and a new Lidar camera.
5. The iPad (8th generation)
The basic iPad, still called simply the iPad, has entered its eighth generation. The design is still the same as last year’s 10.2-inch version, and users have been used to that design for years. The processor has been upgraded to the A12, which was used in last year’s iPad Air and iPad mini models. What hasn’t changed in turn is the Lightning slot on the bottom, which has been changed on the new iPad Air this year. Practically except for the processor, nothing has changed, not even the price. Price is $ 329.
A new subscription service offering virtual fitness workouts, Fitness Plus, was introduced. Although the service is available on iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs, Apple claims that its primary purpose is to be on the Apple Watch. The service costs $ 9.99 a month or $ 79.99 a year, but Apple will give customers of the new watch a three-month trial period. Users who want to use this service will need to have an Apple Watch, and the oldest supported and currently cheapest on offer, the Watch Series 3 which costs $ 199. Apple says some exercises only require weights, and most can be done without any equipment. When doing exercises, the watch monitors various parameters, such as heart rate, so it will be able to immediately show how many calories have been burned. After the training, a short summary of the training will be displayed. During exercise, the clock will tell you if you are exercising too fast or too slow, in order to train as efficiently as possible.
7. Apple One
One subscription that will unite all Apple subscriptions, ie digital services, has been talked about for a long time. Last night, they introduced just that, the Apple One subscription, which combines Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, Apple News Plus, and iCloud storage service.
There are three levels of service: Individual, Family, and Premier. In the Individual Plan, one user for $ 14.95 a month gets access to Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, and 50 GB of iCloud storage. Family Plan offers the same services for $ 19.95 a month, but increases iCloud storage to 200 GB. The Family Plan can be shared with six users. The premier level of service is comprehensive, so it offers access to Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, 2 TB of storage in iCloud, Apple News Plus, and last night.
For Apple users, the Apple One subscription seems like a good deal. The Individual Plan is $ 6 cheaper compared to individual subscriptions to all the services it offers, the Family Plan is $ 8 cheaper, and the Premier Plan offers savings of $ 25 per month. The growing emphasis on services is quite logical, since CEO Tim Cook announced back in 2017 that Apple would be a growing player in software services, not just hardware.
8. iOS 14 is now available
At the end of the presentation, Apple announced that new versions of their operating systems will be available today, September 16th. At the conference at the end of June, they presented iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14, and they will therefore be available today during the day.
While this is great news for Apple users, the developers aren’t exactly thrilled. Apple has so far notified app developers a week earlier than it will launch new operating systems. They would also send them the final versions of the OS, so they would have time to customize or complete their applications. Although applications could be developed for beta versions of the OS, sometimes bugs that cause problems for individual applications are not resolved until the final version of the operating system. With this, the developers have been given a week to implement the new features presented at Apple Events. In addition, Apple has to manually approve each application, which of course takes some time. Developers have so far had a week to submit final versions of their apps adapted to the new operating system, and Apple would also have plenty of time to approve apps. Now that process is getting longer, which is causing some problems.