The long-awaited annual Apple event went down on Tuesday, September 15, with several new products, announced. The virtual event had millions of viewers streaming from various platforms such as YouTube, a live stream on Apple’s website, and the Apple TV app. While the new iPhone, what most people were eagerly awaiting, was not announced, the Tech giant announced other products to appease its customers, focusing on the Apple Watch and the iPad.
Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE
The company announced the new Apple Watch Series 6 as the first product launched during the event. The watch that comes in several colors (blue, gold, graphite, and red) has various features such as:
- An app to measure blood oxygen levels (SpO2) in 15 seconds using red and infrared light
- Better sleep tracking
- Cellular and non-cellular models, with the cellular model coming with a Family Setup feature that allows parents to set up their children’s Apple Watches without them having to own an iPhone. Children can get personal cell numbers for each watch, enabling communication between parents and children who don’t own phones. Parents can specify which contacts children can communicate with and get automatic location notifications.
- the new S6 processor with up to 20% faster performance than the Series 5 model
- faster charging time, with a full charge taking about 1.5 hours
- 2.5 times brighter (than the Series 5 watch) outdoor always-on display for easier reading of the watch
The watch starts at $399 for the 40mm GPS only model, and $499 for the cellular model, with the price going up according to the case size and band selected. Apple also released the Apple Watch SE, a watch with similar features but a lower-powered processor, that starts at $279.
iPad and iPad Air
Apple introduced the new iPad Air, the most powerful and versatile iPad so far, with various features such as:
- an all-screen design with a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display
- A14 Bionic chip (Apple’s most powerful chip ever) for a 40% more powerful performance than the previous iPad Air
- integrated Touch ID sensor in the iPad’s top button
- support for Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard
- upgraded camera, with a 7MP front-facing HD camera and a 12MP rear camera (same camera used in the iPad Pro)
The iPad Air, which will be available in October, will start at $599. Apple also updated its entry-level iPad with a more powerful chip (the Apple A12 Bionic chip) and Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil support, starting at $329.
- Fitness Plus – Apple launched a subscription service for the Apple Watch called Fitness Plus. The fitness streaming subscription service gives the user guided workouts and improved fitness tracking features using workout metrics from an Apple Watch. The Fitness Plus app can be used on the iPad, iPhone, or Apple TV, and syncs data from the watch to be displayed on whichever screen is being used. It costs $9.99 monthly or $79.99 annually, with the option to purchase it as part of the Apple One bundle.
- Apple One – this is a subscription service that bundles together multiple Apple services at a discount. It has different combinations of subscriptions with various services such as Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple TV Plus, Apple News Plus, iCloud, and the new Fitness Plus. It has three different payment plans that differ on the services offered, the amount of iCloud storage offered, and the number of people to access them, ranging from $14.95/month for the Individual Plan to $29.95 for the Premier Plan.
Apple also announced its latest software that will be available on September 16. The software updates include iOS 14, watchOS 7, iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14. While this Apple event was remarkably different from other events due to it being exclusively online, Apple surpassed expectations with their releases – all that is remaining is the new iPhone model.