In this week’s top stories: Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE announcement, new iPad Air, iOS 14 released to everyone, and more. Read on for all of this week’s top stories.
Apple this week officially held its September “Time Flies” event. During the virtual event, the company announced new Apple Watch hardware, new iPad hardware, and more details about its fall software releases.
Apple Watch announcements
For the Apple Watch Series 6, one of the tentpole features is the addition of a new Blood Oxygen sensor. On the Apple Watch itself, there is a new Blood Oxygen sensor, which works through a new Blood Oxygen app in watchOS as well. In terms of performance, the Apple Watch Series 6 is powered by Apple’s newest S6 processor, which is up to 20% faster than the Series 5. Apple says that the Apple Watch Series 6 features the same 18-hour battery life as before.
The new Apple Watch is available to order now and it starts at $399.
Apple also unveiled the all-new Apple Watch SE, which sits at $279 as a lower-cost alternative to the Series 6. The Apple Watch SE does not feature an always-on display, nor does it support ECG or blood oxygen features, but there is support for fall detection and Emergency SOS. It features the same physical design as the Series 4.
Interestingly, the Series 3 is still available in Apple’s lineup for $199. This means the Apple Watch lineup starts at $199 for the Series 3, $279 for the Apple Watch SE, and $399 for the Apple Watch Series 5.
For the iPad lineup, Apple had two announcements this week: a more powerful 8th generation iPad and an all-new iPad Air.
The new iPad Air features a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with P3 wide color, True Tone, and a laminate coating. Touch ID is located in the power button, so while it is similar to the iPad Pro in terms of design, you do miss out on Face ID. The new iPad Air also features a “huge leap in performance” thanks to the newest A14 Bionic processor. You can learn more about the iPad lineup in our full comparison right here.
Apple continued its focus on the Apple Watch and fitness with the introduction of its newest subscription service, Apple Fitness+. Apple Fitness+ will integrate with the Apple Watch and the Fitness app on the iPhone. Fitness+ costs $9.99 per month, or $79.99 per year.
Users can watch fitness classes hosted by Apple, with health workout metrics shown over the top of the video, synced from Apple Watch. The data can then be automatically saved to the Health app. Apple Fitness+ classes can be viewed on iPhone through the Fitness app, or through an all-new fitness app on iPad and Apple TV. Fitness+ will debut before the end of the year.
Alongside the introduction of Apple Fitness+, Apple also introduced its long-awaited bundle of Services, branded as Apple One.
Apple One starts at $15 per month for Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and 50 GB of iCloud storage for individuals. The Family version of the plan will run $20 per month with 200GB of storage. For $30 per month, you can upgrade to the Premiere Apple One bundle, which includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, 2TB of iCloud storage, Apple News+, and Apple Fitness+.
The Apple One bundle will be available later this fall.
iOS 14 release
Finally, Apple this week released its latest round of software updates to the general public.
One of the leading features of iOS 14 is the ability to add widgets to your Home screen for the first time. This includes widgets for official Apple applications, such as Music, Calendar, and Fitness, as well as widgets for third-party applications. We have a full roundup of countless third-party widgets for iOS 14 at the link in the show notes below.
watchOS 7 includes a variety of new features, such as support for sleep tracking capabilities, the ability to share watch faces with other people, and new built-in watch faces to choose from. watchOS 7 also enables Family Setup to let parents pair a new Apple Watch on their own iPhones instead of using another device. Apple has also made improvements to Siri, Maps, and even included handwashing detection.
Elsewhere, tvOS 14 imposed integration with accessories like cameras and smart doorbells, support for 4K videos in YouTube for the first time, improved multi-user and Picture-in-Picture video across the system.
And finally, iPadOS 14 also includes support for new widgets, though you can’t add them to the home screen itself. Instead, iPadOS 14 widgets can only be added to the Today view. Other iPadOS 14 enhancements include a new sidebar design, Apple Pencil improvements, and much more.
These and the rest of this week’s top stories below.
iOS 14 |
Apple Watch |
Top Apple stories, retail |
Apple TV |
Top Apple stories, company |
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This week’s top videos |
9to5Mac Daily |
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9to5Mac Watch Time |
Jeff Benjamin joins Zac Hall to give Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 5 an exit interview before new models are announced. 9to5Mac Watch Time is a podcast series hosted by Zac Hall. In this series, we talk to real people about how Apple Watch is affecting their lives.
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