The Five Key Takeaways From Apple’s September Launch Event
The Series 6 watch is a stunner, and the company is doubling down on fitness
COVID-19 has delayed and disrupted almost every country and industry over the past nine months, a fact that even Apple couldn’t hide in its latest hardware launch.
“It’s so inspiring how people everywhere have adapted,” CEO Tim Cook noted in his introduction on Tuesday, who also used the ubiquitous phrase “troubled times” and suggested Apple had a “deep responsibility to keep innovating.”
So while the usual fall iPhone debut event has been pushed back, the Cupertino tech giant was able to give major updates on the Apple Watch, new iPads, iOS 14 and a few new health, fitness and family apps and plans.
Overall? While the tech specs continue to improve, Apple truly embraced design, features and subscriptions this time around.
The five key takeaways from today’s Apple event …
The New Apple Watch Is Really Colorful
The Series 6 debuted some eye-popping red and blue aluminum cases, as well as a gold stainless steel colorway. As well, there’s now the “Solo Loop,” a stretchable silicone band for your wrist that has no clasp, buckle or overlapping parts — instead, you just buy a custom fit for your wrist (a braided version is also available).
This Year’s Health Metric Is Blood Oxygen
A new health sensor on the Series 6 can measure your blood-oxygen levels via infrared lights and advanced algorithms (all in about 15 seconds), and also continue to perform background measurements while you sleep. It’s an interesting look at your overall respiratory and cardiac health, and could be useful — or a good warning sign — in these COVID-afflicted times.
Apple’s All in on Fitness (Plus)
Fitness+ is Apple’s new watch-based training program. The plan is $10/month and features constantly updated workouts (with real trainers) that are attuned to your Apple Watch and Apple Music. It launches later this fall and integrates with iPhone, iPad or Apple TV.
Subscriptions Are the Key to Apple’s Future
Notice we’re not talking a lot about the hardware part of the new iPads or the Apple Watch? While all of those specs were exponentially improved, we’re reaching a point where the devices probably do everything you need them to do. But bundling is a big new idea at Cupertino; the Apple One subscription brings together Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, Apple News Plus and iCloud storage in various price configurations. Then there’s Family Setup, which gives children and “older members of the household” some iPhone capabilities — but also some adult controls — on their Apple Watch without the need for a separate phone.
You Can Finally Go Relatively Cheap With Apple
The new Apple Watch SE is probably more than enough smartwatch for most people, and it’s only $279. And the latest iPad starts at $329 — plus, with an Apple Card, you can space payments on these devices out over 12 to 24 months. Even the new Series 6 watch starts at only $399, though some models are nearly twice that amount.
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