What's new with the Apple Watch

So far it's just a slightly cheaper entry price, new bands and updated software, but more exciting news will come later this year.

James Martin/CNET

The Apple Watch wasn't a focal point during a press event on Monday at Apple's Cupertino headquarters. The company instead shone the spotlight on two new products: a smaller 4-inch iPhone called the SE and a 9.7-inch version of its iPad Pro tablet.

Apple CEO Tim Cook spent only a minute discussing the company's first smartwatch, which was released last April. The biggest news was a slight price drop for the entry-level Sport model. The 38mm Apple Watch Sport will now start at $299, down from $349. In the UK, it's listed starting at £259, and in the Apple Australia store it's listed starting at AU$429.

Apple also introduced a variety of new bands. There's a woven nylon band that is available in four different colors, a "space black" version of the Milanese Loop and additional colors of the sport and leather straps.

James Martin/CNET

The Apple Watch's new bands are...well, new bands. But the colorful nylon straps look nicer than I expected. They feel good, too. You can get a lot of third-party bands for Apple Watch already, so you don't need to get Apple's options at all. But Apple's now selling new models with some of these bands packaged in. As an alternative to the slightly tired-looking elastomer bands, the nylon straps seem like an equally good choice for everyday wear.

In addition to iOS 9.3 rolling out for iPhones and iPads, Apple also quietly rolled out a minor software update to the Apple Watch. The update isn't all that significant. In fact, the iPhone maker didn't even mention it during today's event.

The WatchOS 2.2 update, which has been in beta testing since January, adds a couple of new features along with minor bug fixes and performance improvements. One of those features is you can now pair multiple Apple Watches with a single iPhone -- like we said, it's a minor update.

Overall, it was a rather boring day for the Apple Watch, but things will start to heat up over the next few months. A second-generation model is expected to arrive sometime in 2016, likely in the fall. Details are still slim, but we would expect Apple to address battery life and improve overall performance.


Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference is expected to take place in June, and while we may not see any new hardware, we could very well get a look at the next version of WatchOS and Apple's other operating systems.

See all of the news from Apple's March 21 event.

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