Apple's press event today was all about the Apple Watch and the iPad. The company introduced two new Apple Watch models and added two iPads to its lineup. Continue reading to browse coverage of their showcase features, price points, and availability.
Apple Watch Series 6
The new Apple Watch Series 6 is focused on health and fitness. First and foremost is the new, but totally expected blood oxygen monitor. The new pulse oximeter integrates with an also new blood oxygen monitoring app. The Watch not only tracks blood oxygen in the background throughout the day and overnight, but it also offers an on-the-spot measurement with results available in an astoundingly fast 15 seconds. This data is stored and can be analyzed as a part of your overall health profile. Like it has done in the past, Apple lets you share your health and SpO2 data with research teams studying asthma, heart failure, and COVID-19.
Powered by the S6 chipset, the Apple Watch Series 6 has a dual-core processor based on Apple's A13 Bionic chipset. Its power efficiency lets Apple do more with the Apple Watch than ever before. For example, the Watch Series 6 features a continuous elevation detection feature and an improved Always-On Display. These two power-hungry features were not possible on less efficient, previous-generation Watch models.
Apple didn't just focus on the hardware. The company also improved the services available to Apple Watch users. Apple made the Watch even easier to use among families with a new Family Setup feature. Family Setup lets you configure and control the Watch worn by your children. It's a type of parental control for the Watch. Apple also introduced the new Fitness+ service. The monthly add-on expands the number of available workouts, adds trainer-led studio workouts, and integrates music more tightly into the workout experience.
Apple realizes people like to customize their Watch and created a new solo loop band with clasps or closure. The loop is available in both a flat and braided design. There's also a set of new watch faces display multiple time zones, a tachymeter, and a timer depending on your preferences. There even are new Watch faces for health care providers, photographers, and athletes.
The Apple Watch Series 6 starts at $399 and is available for pre-order today. The Watch Series 6 will go on sale in retail stores beginning on September 18th.
Apple Watch SE
Apple took the essential features of the Apple Watch and cut out the expensive fluff when it designed its new Apple Watch SE. The Apple Watch SE sticks with the same overall design and an easy-to-read Retina display found in the new Apple Watch Series 6. Apple does bundle the very-capable S5 chipset in the Watch SE, lowering cost without sacrificing performance.
Equipped with some of the same core motion sensors used in the Apple Watch Series 6, the Apple Watch SE is ideal for fitness tracking and outdoor adventures. It's also water-resistant down to 50 meters, so you can jump right into water sports without worrying about your Watch.
It'll be available in both a Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi+Cellular model that will support the new Family Setup feature. Pricing starts at $279 for the base Apple Watch SE. For those searching for an even more "budget" model, Apple also kept the Series 3 in its lineup, selling the older Watch model for $199.
iPad 8th Generation
Apple surprised us with not one, but two new iPads today. Up first is the iPad 8th generation. The affordable 10.2-inch tablet ships with Apple's A12 Bionic chipset, which debuted in the 2018 iPhone XS.
The entry-level iPad 10.2 gets a hefty 40% boost in performance when compared to previous modes and neural engine capability for the first time. It also offers all-day battery life, a big plus for those working on the go.
Most of the other features of the 8th generation iPad are similar to the 7th generation. Both tablets share a similar 10.2-inch display, and support for the first-generation Apple Pencil. The 10.2-inch iPad will ship with iOS 14 on board, which improves support for handwriting, widgets, and more.
The new iPad starts at $329 with pre-orders starting today. The iPad will land in retail stores this Friday, September 18th.
Apple has transformed the new iPad Air with new hardware and an improved display. The mid-range tablet has a revamped design with a high-resolution, edge-to-edge 10.9-inch retina display. With a new no-bezel design, Apple was forced to remove the Touch ID button from its traditional home at the bottom of the screen. Rumors suggested the company was looking into embedding Touch ID into the display, but the company is not ready to unveil that technology, at least not on this iPad. Apple instead embedded Touch ID technology into the top button. It's one of the smallest Touch ID buttons Apple has built to date.
Another Apple innovation is the new A14 Bionic chipset, which makes its official debut in the iPad Air. The A14 is the company's first 5nm process chipset, packing 11.8 billion transistors into this tiny die. It offers a 6-core CPU with a 40 percent performance increase and a new GPU with a 30% boost in performance than previous iPad Air models. Also bundled into the A14 is a faster neural engine and more powerful machine learning that enables mind-blowing graphics and smart interactions with the tablet. For those who eat, sleep, and drink multimedia on a budget, the new iPad Air is a dream.
The new iPad Air will retail for $599 and comes in five new colors, including sky blue and green. You can buy the iPad Air starting sometime in October.