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iPhone 14, AirPods Pro, Apple Watch 8 pre-orders open – Are they worth it?

The next generation of Apple devices start rolling out this month, but the Cupertino company released details about the software at its WWDC earlier this year.

iOS 16 will let you unsend text messages, while iPadOS 16 brings the Weather app to Apple tablets. Tap or click here to see what else is coming to your iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch.

Apple’s “Far Out” event showcased new additions to the iPhone, AirPods and Apple Watch lineups. Here’s everything you need to know.

Apple Watch Series 8

The Apple Watch Series 8 features a large, always-on screen Retina display. It’s crack resistant, waterproof and dustproof. The battery lasts 18 hours on a full charge and can go to 36 hours on low-power mode.

Women’s health is one focus of the new Apple Watch. A new temperature sensor tracks menstrual cycles and provides information about ovulation. Knowing when ovulation has occurred can be helpful for family planning.

The sensor also works while you sleep, so you can see shifts in baseline temperature, which can be caused by exercise, jet lag or illness.

Here are more highlights for the Apple Watch Series 8:

  • Better car crash detection: Crash detection can contact emergency services and emergency contacts.
  • Privacy: Health and fitness data is encrypted on the device and only accessible with your passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID. Data sent to iCloud is encrypted end-to-end. Not even Apple can see it. You can control the data you share and who you share it with.
  • Watch OS9: A redesigned compass app, improved sleep tracking and a new medications tracker come to all Apple Watches that support the new OS (Series 4 and later).
  • Color, material and size choices: The Series 8 comes in aluminum and stainless steel cases in two sizes: 41mm and 45mm. Aluminum case colors for Apple Watch Series 8 include starlight, midnight, silver and (PRODUCT)RED, while the stainless steel case offers silver, graphite and gold.

The Apple Watch Series 8 can be ordered now and will be available on Sept. 16. The GPS model goes for $399 and the cellular model goes for $499.

RELATED: An Apple Watch detected a tumor and saved her life — here’s how it can do the same for you

Apple Watch SE (2nd generation)

Apple Watch SE is an affordable way to get into Apple Watch. It features durable construction and waterproofing and includes the following core Apple Watch experiences:

  • Workout and activity tracking.
  • Emergency SOS.
  • Fall/crash detection.
  • Color and size choices: The SE is available in 40mm and 44mm aluminum cases. Your color choices are midnight, starlight and silver. 

The Apple Watch SE can be ordered now and will be out on Sept. 16. The GPS model goes for $249 and the cellular goes for $299.

Apple Watch Ultra

Apple Watch Ultra is the most rugged and capable model yet and is designed for active people. Swimmers, runners, cyclists, divers, hikers and climbers will appreciate the titanium construction, corrosion resistance and tough sapphire glass.

That’s not to say that more casual adventurers or people inspired to try new activities won’t appreciate this new addition to the Apple Watch family. The Ultra has the biggest and brightest display of any Apple Watch at 49mm. It still gets 36 hours of battery life, or 60 hours with a new optimization setting.

Here are more features you get with the Ultra:

  • Action button: Customize this to do what you want: mark segments, start or stop runs, drop a waypoint and more.
  • Larger crown and side buttons are designed for use with gloves.
  • A second speaker and three microphones let you hear and see better.
  • A built-in siren for emergencies can be heard up to 600 feet away.
  • Night mode makes the interface red for better visibility in the dark.

All Ultra watches are cellular. You can order yours today for $799. It will be available on Sept. 23.

AirPods Pro (2nd gen)

The new AirPods Pro features the H2 chip, which ups the ante in almost every respect. Noise cancellation is twice as effective as the original AirPods Pro and the adaptive transparency mode reduces harsh noises while letting you hear the world around you.

With iOS 16, personalized spatial audio lets you customize what you hear to your preference. Spatial audio makes you feel you’re onstage with your favorite band performing all around you.

You’ll get six hours of battery life on a single charge — a 33% improvement over the original AirPods Pro. Using the case for four additional charges, you’ll get up to 30 hours of total listening time, which is six hours more than the previous generation.

Here’s more on the new AirPods Pro:

  • A new audio driver and amplifier offer better bass and clearer sound across a range of frequencies.
  • A smaller ear tip gives another option for a better fit.
  • Touch control lets you swipe up and down on the stem for media playback and volume adjustments.
  • Charging compatibility: Power up your new AirPods Pro with an Apple Watch charger, MagSafe charger, Qi-certified charging mat or the Lightning cable. 

You can preorder the new AirPods Pro for $249 starting on Sept. 9. They’ll be available on Sept. 23 with free engraving, including Memoji.

Headphones vs. earbuds vs. speakers: what’s the best sound solution for your WFH office?

iPhone 14/iPhone 14 Plus

The new 6.1-inch iPhone 14 is joined by a 6.7-inch Plus model. It’s powered by the A15 chip, which gets a bump up in speed.

A 12MP camera offers better night vision, autofocus, better selfies and twice the low-light performance compared to iPhone 13. An action mode helps you capture smooth video without needing a gimbal and it supports HDR.

A significant new feature is emergency SOS via satellite. If you’re off the grid and out of cellphone range, your iPhone can connect to satellites if you need help. There’s an app that shows you where to point to capture a signal. This eliminated the need for a bulky antenna.

Apple was skimpy on details but did state that the iPhone 14 Plus has the best battery life ever in an iPhone.

Here’s more to expect from the next iPhone:

  • Better car crash detection notifies emergency services and contacts when you can’t.
  • An eSIM replaces the physical SIM card. This is more secure and allows for multiple cellular plans on a single device. It also makes it easier to activate and start using your iPhone.
  • A ceramic shield protects the OLED screen.
  • Color choices include midnight, blue, starlight, purple and (PRODUCT)RED.

The iPhone 14 starts at $799, and the Plus model starts at $899. You can get up to $800 off when trading a qualifying iPhone. Both iPhone 14 models are available for preorder on Sept. 9, with the standard model releasing on Sept. 16 and the Plus on Oct. 7.

iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max

Apple’s flagship phones come with a new display with thinner borders. Choose between the standard 6.1-inch Pro or the 6.7-inch Pro Max.

An always-on display makes it easy to see time or notification without raising iPhone or tapping the screen. The lock screen will also support an always-on display. This makes the information you want available to be there with just a glance.

The new True Depth camera uses 30% less space. Apple is now calling that black area at the top of your display Dynamic Island. This feature keeps you apprised of alerts and background activity. It can expand to show up to two activities at once. Each alert is unique so that you can identify it at a glance.

You can interact with an app through the Activity Island without leaving the one you’re in. It’s always visible and active, even on the lock screen. The iPhone 14 Pro is powered by the A16 chip, which Apple says is the “fastest chip ever in a smartphone.”

The 48-megapixel Pro camera features better light capture — twice the low-light capability compared to the iPhone 14 Pro. The flash is brighter and more dynamic to suit any shooting situation.

An action mode stabilizes video, and cinematic mode now supports 4K video at 30fps or 24 fps. Apple breaks out the “all-day battery” label but won’t reveal hard numbers yet.

Here’s what else is coming along with the iPhone 14 Pro:

  • A new 2x telephoto lens option.
  • A new 12MP ultra-wide camera means sharper images with more detail, including greater macro photography.
  • Apple ProRAW gives pro photographers more control over their photos and editing. You can shoot ProRAW at full resolution.
  • Color choices: space black, silver, gold, deep purple.

The iPhone 14 Pro starts at $999, while the Pro Max starts at $1,099. You can get up to $1,000 off when trading a qualifying iPhone. You can preorder the Pro models beginning Sept. 9, and they’ll be available on Sept. 16.

Should you buy a new iPhone?

You should consider upgrading if you have an older phone, especially one that won’t support iOS 16. But you don’t need to jump to the newest generation.

The iPhone 12 and 13 are great phones, and you’ll likely find deals on them when the iPhone 14 is released. Tap or click here to see which iPhone models are getting left behind when it comes to iOS 16.

The iPhone 14 Pro is undoubtedly tempting, with its always-on display, higher-resolution camera and interactive notch. You’ll appreciate the new telephoto and ultra-wide cameras if you’re into photography.

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