The much-awaited annual Apple event kicked off with CEO Tim Cook holding a virtual press conference from Apple Park, the company’s headquarters in California. The CEO announced that Apple will be focusing on Apple Watch and iPad during this event, and unveiled 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.
Apple Watch Series 6
The headline feature of the new Apple Watch Series 6 is its ability to measure blood oxygen saturation. It’s a measure of how well your cardiovascular system is functioning, which basically replaces the need for a dedicated pulse oximeter.
This is also the first Apple Watch to come 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 ships with the S6 processor that’s claimed to be 20% faster than its predecessor. The Series 6 is also more energy efficient, and its always-on display is twice as bright. It can measure elevation in real-time, and has some new watch faces such as stripes and Memoji faces.
The Apple Watch Series 6 also features a Solo Loop, with a single band with no clasp. It’s made of silicone and is being launched in seven colours. There’s another version of this called Braided Solo Loop. The price of this Apple Watch Series 6 starts at $399 in the US and Rs. 40,900 in India.
The company has introduced a useful feature called Apple Watch Family Setup, which allows you to pair multiple Apple Watch devices to the same iPhone. The feature requires Apple Watch Series 4 Cellular and later and is not launching in India currently.
Apple Watch SE
The Apple Watch SE is more or less an upgraded version of the Series 3. It uses the S5 chip, and cellular models for it will be made available. Apple Watch SE supports Fall Detection, altimeter, swimproofing, etc. Apple Watch SE has been launched at $279 in the US.
In addition to this, Apple has announced that the Apple Watch will not ship with USB power adapters, in a bid to be more eco-friendly.
iPad 8th Gen
The iPad 8th Gen sports the A12 Bionic chip, a Touch ID and a similar form factor as compared to its predecessor. If you recall, 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, and is priced at in the US.
iPad Air (2020)
Coming to the highlight of the launch – the iPad Air (2020). This iPad has a redesigned body with flat borders that allows it to support the second-generation Apple Pencil. It features a single rear camera and a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina Display. Apple has integrated the Touch ID fingerprint sensor into the power button on the iPad Air (2020). It has the new A14 Bionic chip, which is based on the 5nm process technology, an industry first according to the company. Apple claims that the iPad Air (2020) offers 40% better CPU performance and 30% better graphics performance than the iPad Air (2019).
It also has more iPad Pro features such as support for Magic Keyboard, USB-C, better camera performance, and faster LTE performance too. The price for the iPad Air (2020) starts at $599.
Apple One has been priced at $15 per month for Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 50GB iCloud. There’s a family plan at $20 per month with 200GB iCloud. There’s 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.
Apple has also 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 seeing your fitness data on the screen, along with the trainers’ videos. You will be able to see your Activity Rings on screen too.
The Apple Fitness+ feature costs $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year in the US. Fitness+ will be available by the end of the year, and users could get it free for three months if they buy an Apple Watch in regions that support the service. Fitness+ is currently not coming to India.