Apple debuts new and enhanced watches, iPhones and AirPods
Apple debuted several new and enhanced products during an event Wednesday that emphasized increased safety and emergency features as well as women’s health with the introduction of the Apple Watch Series 8 and Ultra models, as well as updates to its SE series, the next generation of AirPods Pro and the new iPhone 14 series.
Apple Watch Series 8 places safety at the forefront
The Series 8 comes with advanced sensors and technology and features a large, always-on with narrow borders that push the screen to the edge. It has detailed watch faces and is swim- and dust-proof and crack-resistant.
Series 8 also comes with fall detection, Emergency SOS and medical identification. Like the Apple Watch Series 7, it has sleep tracking, cycle tracking, blood oxygen tracking and “mindfulness” that provides insights into your body to help you maintain healthy habits.
Apple officials said Series 8 has a greater commitment to women’s health with a new temperature sensor and introduces a suite of advanced cycle tracking to include information about ovulation. Women can get retrospective ovulation estimates on when they ovulate.
Apple officials stressed that the Series 8 is designed to keep data secure and private and information is encrypted on the device.
In terms of safety features, almost half of car crashes occur in rural areas, with the majority involving only a single vehicle, an Apple official noted, citing the U.S. Department of Transportation. With that in mind, the Series 8 can detect if you’re in a severe crash and will automatically connect you with emergency services and notify your emergency contact.
Even while incorporating the new temperature and motion sensors, the Series 8 continues to have 18-hour battery life.
Apple Watch Series 8 will be available in 100% recycled aluminum, midnight starlight silver, and red, and in three stainless steel finishes, silver, gold, and graphite.
International roaming will be available with more than 30 carriers by the end of the year. Pricing starts at $399 for GPS and $499 for cellular. The Series 8 can be ordered now and will be available on Sept. 16.
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Apple Watch SE is a family friendly option
Apple’s more affordable watch will now come in silver midnight and starlight and has a redesigned back case. It is now made of nylon composite materials and a 30% larger display.
The SE has a family setup feature that lets parents use their iPhone to pair watches for children who don’t yet have their own iPhone. Kids can make phone calls and send messages to contacts that parents specify, connect to emergency services and share their location.
Pricing starts at $249 for GPS and $299 for cellular. The SE is available to order now and available on 9/16.
Apple Watch Ultra designed for athletes
The Apple Watch Ultra is designed to “push boundaries” during rugged experiences. It comes in an “aerospace-grade titanium” 49-millimeter case for corrosion resistance and a flat sapphire crystal. Apple said it is its largest display ever in a watch and is designed to make it easier to read in harsh sunlight.
It comes with a new button that is customizable for a range of functions and Apple added a second speaker for increased volume to help ensure better call clarity even in windy conditions.
The Ultra also gets up to 36 hours of battery life on a single charge, and up to 60 hours with a new battery optimization setting.
Ultra comes in different bands all created for the outdoors—the Alpine loop, the ocean band and a trail band in a lightweight textile.
Apple Watch Ultra has a built-in, 86-decibel siren that you can activate to alert others to your location up to 600 feet or 180 meters away. Ultra has been designed to withstand “intense dynamic forces” and activities like kitesurfing and wakeboarding.
It has been engineered to be twice as water-resistant and for scuba divers, it creates a “dive computer” that shows current underwater depth, water temperature and current information.
The Ultra Watch can be ordered now and will be available on Sept. 23 for $799.
AirPods Pro receives enhancements with its second generation
The next generation of AirPods Pro comes with a new H2 chip with high bandwidth connectivity and “personalized spatial audio” that the company said makes sound “feel like you are onstage with your favorite band performing around you.” It has enhanced active noise cancellation and a new extra small ear tip.
AirPods Pro comes with new touch control so you can adjust the volume with a light swipe up or down, as well as a longer battery life of six hours on a single charge, and 30 hours of battery life in the charging case. If the case is misplaced, there is an added speaker on the bottom of the case to help you find it with louder tones.
The new AirPods Pro is priced at $249 and can be ordered on Sept. 9, with availability on Sept. 23.
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iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus featuring a larger screen
Apple also introduced its iPhone 14 and 14 Plus, which are 6.1 inches and 6.7 inches, respectively. Both models have super retina OLED technology, aerospace-grade aluminum and ceramic shield, and are water- and dust-resistant and come in five colors.
The 14 comes with all-day battery life and the 14 Plus comes with the best battery life ever in an iPhone, Apple officials said.
In terms of performance, the 14 series has an enhanced A15 bionic chip and 5-core GPU and is 18% faster. It comes with a new front camera with a larger sensor and faster aperture, and a 49% improvement in low-light capture. There is a new autofocus feature in the front camera that is designed to focus faster even in low light. The series 14 also has improved video stabilization.
In terms of connectivity, it comes with 5G and new eSIM support, which eliminates the need for a SIM card.
Apple also built a feature so that when the iPhone 14 is pointed at a satellite, its antennas can establish a connection to satellite frequencies for emergency service. The emergency SOS feature is available for free for two years.
The iPhone 14 starts at $799 and at $899 for the iPhone 14 Plus. They can be preordered on Sept. 9. The iPhone 14 will be available on Sept. 16 and the iPhone 14 Plus will be available on Oct. 7.
iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max make it easier to multitask
The Pro and Pro Max are 6.1 inches and 6.7 inches, respectively, with thinner borders. They have a new lock screen and an always-on display.
The iPhone Max introduces a space “that clearly and consistently surfaces alerts and background activity” called “dynamic island.” Now, when you receive an alert, the dynamic island will convey the information without distracting you from other phone activity, such as when your Lyft ride shows up. It also includes a new proximity sensor behind the display.
The Pro series is powered by Apple’s new A16 Bionic chip, which the company said is the fastest chip available in a smartphone and is focused on power efficiency, display, and camera. It has a six-core CPU, a new 48-megapixel camera and better low-light photography.
The Pro series can communicate with satellites when Wi-Fi and cellular service are unavailable. It has crash detection using a high G-force accelerometer gyroscope and automatically calls emergency services.
The iPhone 14 still starts at $999 and the Pro Max starts at $1,099. They come in black, silver, gold and deep purple. They can be preordered on Sept. 9 and are available on Sept. 16.