The annual affair of Apple that’s held in September every year was launched on September 15. The virtual press conference – ‘Time Flies’ – from Apple Park, the company’s headquarters in California, kicked off with Apple CEO Tim Cook announcing the latest addition to its long-running iPad Air line of tablets.
Cook announced that Apple will be focusing on Apple Watch and iPad during this event, which indicates that the iPhone 12 series should be launched a little later this year. During the event, Apple launched the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8th Gen, and iPad Air (2020). The company also unveiled its Apple One subscription bundle service and announced that iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and watchOS 7 will be released on September 16.
Here’re the highlights:
Apple Watch Series 6
The first product that Apple announced was the Apple Watch Series 6. The primary feature of this product is its ability to measure blood oxygen saturation. It’s a measure of how well your cardiovascular system is functioning. If you have the Series 6, you need not use a dedicated pulse oximeter.
This is the first Apple Watch to ship with a Product Red edition, which has a red band and Apple contributes a part of the proceeds from sales of Product Red edition products to charities. The Apple Watch Series 6 is more energy efficient, has a brighter display, and ships with the S6 processor that’s 20% faster than its predecessor. It can also measure your elevation in real-time, which will be useful to hikers. There are some new watch faces such as stripes and Memoji faces.
The Apple Watch Series 6 has a new Solo Loop, which has a single band with no clasp, and made of silicone in seven colours. There’s another version of this called Braided Solo Loop. Apple Watch Series 6 price starts at Rs 40,900 in India.
Apple Watch SE
Another useful feature is Apple Watch Family Setup, which allows you to pair multiple Apple Watch devices to the same iPhone. With focus being kept on children, it comes with new features such as automatic location notifications and a school time mode that has restricted interactions with the watch during school time. It requires Apple Watch Series 4 Cellular and later and is not launching in India at the moment.
The Apple Watch Series 3 has become an important product for Apple. A few-years-old, but it still has some important features such as a built-in GPS, swim tracking, and accurate heart rate tracking. The Apple Watch SE appears to be an upgraded version of the Series 3. It uses the S5 chip for up to two times better performance than Series 3. Cellular models for Apple Watch SE will be available. Apple Watch SE also supports Fall Detection, altimeter, swim-proofing, etc. Apple Watch SE has been launched at $279 in the US. The Apple Watch Series 3 will continue to be in the market at $199.
Apple has announced that the Apple Watch will not ship with USB power adapters, as part of its bid to be more eco friendly.
Apple has launched a fitness service called Apple Fitness+, which is targeted at Apple Watch users. Fitness+ allows you to choose workouts from the catalogue of videos that can be played on iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV.
You will be able to view your fitness data and activity rings on the screen, along with the trainers’ videos. The set of workouts on the service appears to be quite diverse and not dependent too much on equipment. Apple says its workouts will be refreshed weekly and that you can pick your choice of music while working out. Fitness+ integrates with Apple Music to let you carry over your music.
Apple Fitness+ costs $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year in the US. Fitness+ will be available by the end of the year, and you get it free for three months if you buy an Apple Watch in regions that support the service. Users in India will have to wait a bit longer as they are currently focussing on other countries.
iPad 8th Gen
The iPad 8th Gen has the A12 Bionic chip, a Touch ID and a similar form factor as compared to its predecessor. The processor is a big upgrade over the A10 that was powering the older iPad. The A12 Bionic was first seen on the iPhone X series. The iPad 8th Gen also supports Apple’s Smart Keyboard cover and Apple Pencil. The iPad 8th Gen price is $329 in the US.
iPad Air (2020)
iPad Air (2020) has a redesigned body with flat borders that allows it to support the second-generation Apple Pencil. This iPad has a single rear camera and a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina Display. One important feature here appears to be the integration of the Touch ID fingerprint sensor into the power button on the iPad Air (2020). The iPad Air (2020) has the new A14 Bionic chip, which is expected to ship with the iPhone 12 series too. Apple says, the A14 is based on the 5nm process technology and offers 40% better CPU performance and 30% better graphics performance than the iPad Air (2019).
The iPad Air (2020) also gets more iPad Pro features such as support for Magic Keyboard, USB-C, better camera performance, and faster LTE performance too. iPad Air (2020) price starts at $599.
We all know services contribute a significant portion to Apple’s revenue. The company offers Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple News+, Apple Arcade, Apple Fitness+ and iCloud and that adds up to a big sum for those who need all of these services. Apple One subscription bundle is expected to solve the problems faced by their customers. It has been priced at $15 per month for Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 50GB iCloud. There’s a family plan too at $20 per month with 200GB iCloud and a Premier plan for Apple One with Apple News+ and Apple Fitness+ at $30 per month and 2TB iCloud storage, which will be available only in regions that have all Apple services.
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