What just happened?
That’s it from Apple.
If you want a round-up of the announcements:
Two new Apple Watches are being launched, the Series 6 and the SE. The former, $399, will come with a pulse oximeter for measuring blood oxygen saturation, as well as an always-on screen; the latter, $279, will be the internals of the previous generation’s watch, the Series 5, in a new shell.
A new Family Setup feature is also coming, to let parents set up a cellular watch for kids who don’t have an iPhone.
Two new iPads as well. The iPad Air gets a new squared-off bezel-free design, to match the iPads Pro, as well as the A14 bionic chip, which we were expecting to see first in next month’s iPhones 12. It doesn’t have FaceID, instead gaining a new TouchID sensor in the power button.
The new (budget) iPad, meanwhile, is basically last year’s iPad Air, rebranded and with a price cut to $329.
A fitness service “built for the ground up for Apple Watch” will feature guided workouts in ten activities, for $9.99 a month. And it will be included in…
A subscription service, starting at $15 for Apple Arcade, Apple Music, 50GB of iCloud Storage and Apple TV+, rising to $30 to include 2TB of iCloud storage, Apple News+ and Apple Fitness+
A surprise announcement! We don’t normally get these: iOS 14 is coming out tomorrow, along with iPadOS 14, WatchOS 7 and tvOS 14.
These free updates were largely detailed in July, but we didn’t previously have a release date. Tomorrow is very soon!
And the price! It starts at $599, and is on sale next month.
It’s 100% carbon neutral, with recycled aluminium, tin solder, and packaging.
Here’s the nice feature overview:
We’re getting a long overview of the A14 chip which is inside the iPad Air, which is, I’m afraid, an awful lot of not particularly informative exclamations (11 trillion operations a second! Twice as fast at machine learning as the A13 chip! Made with a 5 nanometre production process). But based on Apple’s past performance, we can probably believe them when they say it’s a very fast chip.
It’s also almost certainly going to be the chip inside next month’s iPhones as well, so we’re going to hear all about how great it is again next month.
New (midrange) iPad Air
On to the new iPad Air. A squared-off, bezel-free design resembles the iPads Pro, and supports the second gen Apple Pencil, but there’s only a single camera on the back, and no support for FaceID on the front – this is still unlocked by fingerprints. Great for face masks, bad for winter gloves.
It comes in five colours, including green and blue, with what Apple’s dubbing a “liquid retina” display.
Where’s the TouchID going? Into the power button at the top, freeing up the space on the face of the iPad.
New (cheap) iPad
After a slow start, we’re racing through things now. Next up is a new iPad, the 8th generation.
(In case you’ve forgotten Apple’s branding, the iPad line has the iPad Pro at the top, the iPad Air in the middle, and just “iPad” at the bottom).
So the iPad will have the A12 chip, the same one that was in last year’s iPad Air. It will still have the bezels at the top and bottom, as well as the TouchID home button, of previous models, but does support the Smart Keyboard and first-gen Apple Pencil.
Basically, it’s last year’s iPad Air, with a lower price and support for a few more recent accessories. It starts at $329, with a $30 discount for schools.
And with that, we’re on to the long-awaited services bundle: Apple One.
It comes in a bunch of tiers: the first, for $15, will include 50GB of iCloud Storage, Apple Arcade, and Apple Music; then, for $20, there’s a family bundle with 250GB of storage; and for $30, there’s the big kahuna, the premier tier, which adds Apple Fitness+ and Apple News+ and 2TB of storage.
Those prices are very good, for what it’s worth: simply buying the individual tier on its own would cost $21 a month; the premier tier would be $45 normally.
Here’s the nice feature list:
It’s going to cost $9.99 a month, or $79.99 a year; it’s launching in six countries including the US and UK before the end of the year.
And you get three months free with a new Apple Watch.
The service works between iPhones, Apple Watches, and extra screens like your Apple TV. Start the workout on your iPhone, and it will automatically start on the workout app on your app.
Fitness+ is launching with ten workout types: Yoga, Cycling, Dance, Treadmill walk and run, strength, core, HIIT, rowing and mindful cooldowns. Many of them require just a set of dumbells, and some need no equipment at all.
“Each week our incredible trainer team will deliver a wide variety of new workouts,” Apple says, and if you’re an Apple Music subscriber, you’ll be able to save those playlists there as well.
The app is also coming to Apple TV and iPad, so you can work out with whatever screen you want.
Apple is creating a new fitness service, “built around the Apple Watch”, which will guide people through “ten types of workouts” with “world-class trainers” and Apple Music soundtracks.
“New workouts added every week”, the company says, as it shows a very aspirational montage of people getting sweaty.
It’s called Apple Fitness+.
An overview of Apple’s environmental efforts follows, most of which we’ve already covered in July. But there is some news: the new Watches are dispensing with the USB power adapter, which Apple says is usually unnecessary and wasteful given we all have tens of them lying around the house already.
It’s true! But it’s likely to be unpopular anyway.
A nice overview of the Watch SE features:
More pricing: The Series 6 starts at $399, and the Series 3, which is sticking around, gets a new price of just $199.
(UK pricing will follow at the end.)