Wrap up for the Apple Event "Time Flies"
Apple just finished its “Time Flies” event, its first fall event this year, and although we’re still waiting on new iPhones, the company took the wraps off new Apple Watches and iPads to hold us over until the iPhone is finally released.
Apple Watch Series 6
Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 6, and it has a new health sensor on board: you can measure your blood oxygen saturation with the new Watch. The Series 6 is also powered by a new S6 chip, which Apple says is a dual-core processor based on the A13 Bionic in the iPhone 11.
Apple says the Apple Watch Series 6’s screen can get 2.5 times brighter outdoors and also has an always-on altimeter. The Series 6 comes in a number of new colors, including a blue aluminum case, a gold stainless steel, a gray stainless steel called graphite, and for the first time, there’s an Apple Watch Product Red model. There is a number of new watchfaces, including a watchface that shows a Memoji.
Apple also announced a new type of wrist band called the Solo Loop. It’s a stretchable silicone loop with no clasp. It’s available in multiple sizes and comes in seven different colors. There’s also a braided Solo Loop available in five colors.
The Apple Watch Series 6 starts at $399, and is available now for pre-order, with full availability on Sept. 18.
Apple Watch SE
Apple also debuted a lower-priced Apple Watch called the Apple Watch SE. It has many of the same features as the Series 6, including a built-in accelerometer, gyroscope, an always-on altimeter, and fall detection, but it’s powered by the S5 chip used in last year’s Series 5 model. Notably absent is an always-on display, which the Series 5 had.
Like the Apple Watch Series 6, the Apple Watch SE will be available starting on Sept. 18. Of course, perhaps the best thing about the device is that it starts at $279 -- meaning that it’s more affordable than ever to get a latest-generation Apple Watch model. That said, if you want an even more affordable Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Series 3 is still available for $199.
Apple iPad Air
Next up is the iPad Air, which is the first iPad since the iPad Pro to get an edge-to-edge display. The device features a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display, with relatively small bezels around the edges. Unlike the iPad Pro, however, the device still has Touch ID -- which is now located inside the power button, rather than in the now-gone Home button. In other words, there’s no Face ID on the device at all.
The new iPad Air also has a new Apple-designed chip: the 5nm A14 Bionic. Apple says it has a 6-core CPU, a new 4-core GPU architecture, and a 16-core neural engine. As for cameras, it’s got the same 12-megapixel rear camera on the iPad Pro but with improved video stabilization, and it also has a front-facing 7-megapixel FaceTime HD camera. The Lightning port has also been switched out for USB-C.
The new iPad Air comes in five colors — sky blue, green, silver, space gray, and rose gold — and it starts at $599. Apple says it will be available next month.
The entry-level iPad has finally gotten a spec-bump. The new device offers the same overall design, but gets the Apple A12 Bionic chip for improved performance. According to Apple, the new entry-level iPad offers a 40% GPU boost over the last-generation model. Not only that, but the A12 Bionic brings Apple’s Neural Engine to the entry-level iPad for the first time, enabling more artificial intelligence features.
The new iPad supports the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil, however unfortunately it only supports the first-generation Apple Pencil. Like previous-generation models, it starts at $329, or $299 for students. The device is available for pre-order today, with full sales to begin on Friday.
Apple is making it easier to access all its services. The long-awaited Apple One subscription service allows you to bundle Apple’s services into one monthly payment, while saving a little cash. Apple One includes iCloud, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple Fitness+ and Apple News+.
Apple One starts at $14.95 per month for the Individual plan, which includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 50GB of iCloud. The Family plan comes at $19.95 per month and includes 200GB of iCloud storage and the ability to share with up to six family members. And, the Premier plan adds Apple News+ and Apple Fitness+, along with 2TB of iCloud storage -- and comes at $29.95 per month.
Apple is launching a new premium subscription service called Fitness Plus. Though it integrates with iPhones, iPads, and the Apple TV, Apple says it’s built for the Apple Watch. There are 10 different workout types, including yoga, cycling, and dance, and the company says new workouts will be added every week. The service will launch before the end of the year. It will cost $9.99 per month, or you can subscribe for a full year for $79.99.
Last but not least, Apple announced the availability of its latest software, coming on Sept. 16. The new updates include the likes of iOS 14, Watch OS 7, and tvOS 7. The company has not yet announced the launch date of macOS Big Sur, which will presumably be released alongside new Mac models later in the year.