For the first time ever, Apple held an event in September without announcing an iPhone. No reason to fret though, we still got two new Apple Watches, two new iPads and a whole lot more. So, let’s check it out.
Apple Watch Series 6
First up was the new Apple Watch Series 6. The new Apple watch comes with updated hardware and features including the new Blood Oxygen monitor and app. The Apple Watch Series 6 improves performance through redesigned hardware using a new dual-core processor based on A13 Bionic in iPhone 11. The upgraded S6 SiP runs up to 20 percent faster and allowing apps to also launch 20 percent faster.
The Apple Watch Series 6 will also feature the U1 chip and Ultra Wideband antennas, which will enable short-range wireless location to support new experiences, such as next-generation digital car keys.
Last year’s Always on Retina display is back on the Apple watch but is up to 2.5x brighter while allowing further functionality like accessing the Notification Center and Control Center, tap on complications, and swipe to change faces without having to wake their watch screen. There’s also an always-on Altimeter on the Apple Watch Series 6 which allows for real-time elevation all day long for those who need it.
Unfortunately, the Apple Watch sees no major updates in battery-life maintaining it at an ‘all-day 18 hours battery-life” but it does offer faster charging, completing a full charge in under 1.5 hours, and improved battery life for tracking certain workouts, such as indoor and outdoor runs.
The Watch Series 6 will come running Apple WatchOS7 which now includes Sleep Tracking, new watch faces and much more. The Apple Watch Series 6 will be available for Dh1599 (GPS) and Dh1999(GPS+Cellular) in new colours including the Blue Aluminium case (joining Silver, Space Gray, Gold) and the special Product(RED) edition.
For more detailed information on the Apple Watch Series 6, click here.
Apple Watch SE
Next up was the Apple Watch SE. Apple introduced the Watch SE with features from the Series 6 at a better price to make the ‘Watch experience’ more affordable for users.
The Apple Watch SE comes with a Retina display, the S5 System in Package (SiP) and dual-core processor, the always-on altimeter, fall detection, watchOS7 and much more. The Apple Watch SE (GPS) starts at Dh1,149 and Apple Watch SE (GPS + Cellular) starts at Dh 1,349 and is available from today on Apple.com.
For more detailed information on the Apple Watch SE, click here.
Apple Watch Family
Apple stressed on making the Apple Watch more accessible to users this year. One of the methods they’re using for the same is Apple Watch Family.
Family members can set up Apple Watches for members who do not have iPhones. So for example, parents can levy the features of an Apple Watch while tracking their children’s activity levels, location, etc and even send Messages and make calls without the children having an iPhone. Similarly, the Apple Watch brings such benefits for older adults too with features such as Fall Detection and health monitoring.
Family Setup will be available on Wednesday, September 16, as a free software update and requires cellular models of Apple Watch Series 4 or later or Apple Watch SE running watchOS 7, paired with iPhone 6s or later running iOS 14.
Another Watch-related updated came in the form of Apple’s latest online subscription service, Apple Fitness+. Coming later in the year (unfortunately not the UAE initially), Fitness+ will be a subscription-based service for those looking to take their fitness regimes to the next level.
Apple Fitness+ will launch with the most popular workout types including Cycling, Treadmill, Rowing, HIIT, Strength, Yoga, Dance, Core, and Mindful Cooldown, and each will be accompanied by music thoughtfully curated by the trainers. Each week, the team of Fitness+ trainers will deliver fresh workouts from the studio across a range of lengths, disciplines, and music genres so there are always new workouts to explore.
Users will be able to watch and follow workouts with their exercise stats live on their displays whether that might be their iPhone, iPads or Apple TVs. There will also be a special mode for beginners.
Apple is also making combined packages with multiple services for their customers under the Apple One umbrella. Starting this fall, customers with Apple subscriptions will be recommended the right Apple One plan for them so they can sign up and get even more for less.
Plans are as follows:
• Individual includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 50GB of iCloud storage for AED 39.95 per month.
• Family includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 200GB of iCloud storage for AED 52.95 per month, and can be shared among up to six family members.
• Premier, where available, includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, Apple Fitness+, and 2TB of iCloud storage for $29.95 per month (not coming to the UAE yet), and can be shared among up to six family members.
Apple One includes a 30-day free trial for any services that customers do not already have. With Apple One, customers will receive only one invoice each month, and they can easily change or cancel their Apple One plan at any time. With the Family and Premier plans, up to six family members can access all the included services with their own personal accounts and preferences.
Apple iPad 8th Generation
It’s been 10 years since the first iPad, with Apple having sold more than 500 million iPads and the most affordable iPad in the line-up got an update too at the event. The updated 8th generation iPad comes with the same body and shape but with the A12 Bionic and its neural engine on the inside. This is said to give the iPad 40% more processing power and 2 times better graphics.
Combined with iOS 14 and the capability to be written on with the Apple Pencil (1st generation), the iPad 8th-generation will cost Dh1,349 for the Wi-Fi model and Dh1,879 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model, and will come in Silver, Space Gray, and Gold finishes in 32GB and 128GB configurations.
For more detailed information on the 8th-generation iPad, click here.
Apple iPad Air 2020
Last but not least came the iPad Air. This was the iPad which showed the largest update of all the products shown at today’s event.
The new iPad Air joins the iPad Pro as far as design is concerned. Slimmer, streamlined bezels all around the display and an edgier and boxier body in five colours. As far as internals are concerned, we get our hands-on Apple’s latest chipset, the A14 Bionic, on the iPad Air. Using the 5-nanometer process technology, the A14 Bionic is packed with 11.8 billion transistors. This is said to give the iPad Air a 40% increase in CPU performance and a 30% increase in graphic performance. The A14 Bionic also includes Apple’s second-generation machine learning accelerators in the CPU for 10 times faster machine learning calculations.
The display on the iPad Air is a Liquid Retina 10.9” display with full lamination, P3 wide color support, True Tone, and an anti-reflective coating. The Touch-ID sensor is now moved to the power button on top of the iPad. The new iPad Air comes with two cameras, one on the front and one the back. The front camera is a 7MP (f/2.2) sensor while the one on the back is a 12MP (f/1.8) which is capable of shooting 4K video. The new Air also comes with type-C connectivity, a first for the series.
The new iPad Air will be available starting next month on apple.com. Wi-Fi models of the iPad Air will be available with a starting price of Dh 2,499 and Wi-Fi + Cellular models start at Dh3,029, in 64GB and 256GB configurations and will be available in five finishes including Silver, Space Gray, Rose Gold, Green, and Sky Blue.
For more detailed information on the iPad Air (2020), click here.
All OS updates including iOS 14, watchOS 7 and more will be available starting tomorrow across applicable devices.