It’s that time of year again! Apple’s fall event is finally here, and the folks from Cupertino have delivered a plethora of game-changing product and software announcements.
But unlike previous years, something familiar was totally missing. From start to finish, not a single word was said about the upcoming iPhone 12 — which lines up with insider scoops that the product has been delayed. Tap or click here to see what we know about the iPhone 12’s delay.
During Apple’s Fall 2020 Event, we got a sneak peek at Apple’s newest iPad and Apple Watch — as well as a tease for two brand new services that will help you get even more out of your devices. Here’s when you can expect these new Apple goodies to arrive.
Apple debuts the Apple Watch Series 6
After taking the stage, Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the company’s latest wearable device: Apple Watch Series 6.
Designed in line with Apple’s mission to create an essential health and productivity device, the new Apple Watch includes a range of new features like blood oxygen tracking, sleep tracking and background health monitoring. It will continue to monitor your heart rate and vitals even while you sleep — and you can even participate in partner health studies with several universities.
Under the hood, the Apple Watch Series 6 boasts speeds up to 20% faster than the Series 5, as well as an always-on display that’s 2.5 times brighter outdoors. This is critical for those of us who love to hike, run or exercise in nature.
The Apple Watch Series 6 comes in four new colors: Blue aluminum, Gold and Graphite stainless steel, and Product Red aluminum. In addition to the watch itself, you can pick from several new band options like the silicone or braided Solo Loop — which can stretch to slip over your wrist without any fastening.
You can also pick from several new watch faces from Apple developers — including custom Animoji faces.
But the Series 6 wasn’t the only new watch on display today. For those looking for all the Apple Watch essentials on a budget, the new Apple Watch SE is also available.
This new device contains all of the design cues and features of Series 6 with a few key differences:
- No ECG monitoring on SE
- No Always-On display on the SE
- No Blood Oxygen app on the SE
- An S5 processor on the SE versus an S6 processor
And for those of you who are curious about trying out Apple Watch but don’t have an iPhone to go with it, Apple has you covered. Debuting with the new watch models is a new service called Family Setup.
Under Family Setup, a primary user with an iPhone can activate multiple Apple watches to work without a phone. The primary user can set up who can call or message who, as well as restrict certain features like apps and music during times like school or bedtime. It’s a great option for kids and older adults — but you have to buy multiple watches with cellular data for it to work.
The new Apple Watch Series 6 starts at $399, while the discounted Apple Watch SE starts at $299. Both watches can be preordered today and will be available to ship Friday, September 18.
And if both these options are too expensive for you, you can always pick up 2017’s Apple Watch Series 3 for under $200.
Body by Apple? Introducing Apple Fitness+
Apple also announced the perfect companion service for new Apple Watch owners: Apple Fitness+. Much like Peloton, which uses a smart workout bike and an app, Apple Fitness+ brings you full-fledged fitness classes that you can view and participate in on your device.
The service runs on iPhone and iPad devices and requires an Apple Watch to track metrics. Data is shown on the screen to help you keep track of your progress. Available classes and courses include core, cycling, dance, rowing, strength, treadmill and mindful cooldowns. All classes also include a free bonus feature: curated music playlists for every taste.
Apple Fitness+ costs $9.99 monthly or $79.99 per year, and the service is set to debut later this fall. And if you’re an Apple Music subscriber, you can also download the playlists and songs you heard during your workout.
Speaking of Apple Music, Apple also announced that it would be significantly lowering the cost of several of its subscription services by bundling them into a new group of plans called Apple One. Tap or click here to see the predictions surrounding Apple One.
Apple One includes access to the following Apple subscription services:
- Apple Arcade
- Apple Fitness+
- Apple Music
- Apple News+
- Apple TV+
Plans start as low as $14.95 per month, and include different combinations of services. The more expensive plans, naturally, include more services
- Individual Plan – $14.95: Includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and 50GB of iCloud storage. These services cannot be shared.
- Family Plan- $19.95: Includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and 200GB of iCloud storage. Services can be shared with up to five other people.
- Premier Plan- $29.95: Includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, Apple Fitness+ and 2TB of iCloud storage. Services can be shared with up to five other people.
Two new iPads and a whole lot of new features
Apple’s two most popular iPad models, the iPad Air and mainline iPad, also got some fresh updates of their own.
The base model iPad is now on its 8th generation and was upgraded under-the-hood to feature the A12 Bionic Chip. This processor gives it the power to handle complex tasks like handwriting recognition with the Apple Pencil accessory. You can even hand-write in text fields and have your scribbles converted into real text.
The iPad Air, on the other hand, got an even bigger facelift. The newest iPad Air has a redesigned shell that hews closer to the look of the iPad Pro and features a Touch ID fingerprint reader hidden in the screen lock button at the top of the device.
It’s packing an updated A14 Bionic chip and a USB-C port. Improved cameras on the front and back give it an edge in photography and speedy Face ID scans. You can also choose from several colorful new finishes like rose gold, green and sky blue.
The new 8th generation iPad starts at $329 (or $299 for education) and can be ordered now. The new iPad Air starts at $599 and will be available to order in October.
One more thing: Ready for iOS 14?
Despite the lack of iPhone presence, it wouldn’t be an Apple keynote without mention of iOS. In this case, the new iOS 14 and iPad OS updates are ready for public release — and will be available for download starting September 16.
To update, all you need to do is tap on the Settings icon, followed by General then Software Update. If iOS 14 or iPadOS updates are available, tap Install Now to download them to your system. You may want to take some time to back up your device before getting started.
Hopefully, we’ll know more about the new iPhone 12 before too much longer. Rumor has it the phone will be making an appearance in October, and we’ll keep our fingers crossed that it pans out. It’d be proof that at least one yearly tradition is still happening.
Otherwise, if you want to see more from the keynote, just watch the video below.
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