Apple's new Watch Series 6 with SpO2 tracking and cheaper Apple Watch SE
The Apple Watch stole the show at Apple's September launch event.
We have two new models, a bunch of new features and a new fitness service.
There's a lot to talk about.
So let's get started.
The Apple Watch finally got its chance to shine today as the main headliner of the event partially because The iPhone 12 was well delayed, but also because it's just become such an important product for Apple as health and fitness becomes priority.
I'm gonna run through the most important announcements starting with that flagship device,the Apple Watch Series six.
It looks Exactly the same as previous models with just a slight difference.
In the screen the always on display is slightly brighter and it also has new color options to choose from.
So the aluminum version gets a product red and a blue option and the stainless steel now comes in gold as well.
The most important feature of the series six hands down is the new blood oxygen app which allows you to track the oxygen saturation in the blood.
Now we've talked about this before.
It's something we kind of expected, but I was curious to see how Apple was going to pull this off.
On the Apple Watch and well now we know.
So it did require new hardware.
It has new red and infrared sensors that are able to determine your exact percentage on demand.
But the interesting thing is that it's also going to be doing it in the background taking periodic readings throughout the day.
Throughout the night so that you can later go in and see in the Health app now the only thing that I was disappointed about is that it's not going to have those notifications.
So if your blood oxygen levels dip below a certain level, you're not going to get an alert, like what you would with the heart rate the high or low heart rate alerts.
This to me would have been key because I don't want to have to be checking in the Health app or on demand, but you know, maybe it's coming later.
I'm hopeful of that.
It is a game changing feature for the Apple Watch, especially during this time.
Tracking your blood oxygen levels has become key during the Covid 19 pandemic because it's one of the most dangerous symptoms of the virus.
So if your levels dip below a certain level, that would be reason enough to take yourself to the hospital.
Now we haven't tested this on the Apple Watch.
We don't know how accurate it is, but I suspect it's still Wouldn't replace a pulse oximeter which is the gold standard for this type of metric, but it would be a good starting point.
It is important to note, however, that the Apple Watch is not the only device to do this.
Samsung just launched a similar feature on the Galaxy.
Watch three And Fitbit and Garmin have also had different SPO two related features on their watches as well.
The other key upgrade to the series 6 is its processor.
It is the first Apple product to debut Apple silicon with that S6 chip, which is actually modeled after the a 13 bionic chip found in the iPhone 11 but obviously Customized for the watch.
So it's going to make the watch a lot faster among other things, so it's faster to load etc.
We obviously have to try it to actually see how it'll impact it.
But it'll also have some effects on the battery and not the ones that at least I was hoping for.
So it'll help it charge faster.
It's going to take an hour and a half now to charge Completely compared to the two hours that it used to on the predecessors, but battery life remains at around 18 hours at least according to Apple.
That's exactly the same.
Now, obviously it's running that SPO two tracking feature in the background.
It has that brighter display.
There's other things to consider, but I was just really hoping.
To get to the two hour mark with the Apple Watch and we did not get it two other features exclusive to the series six number one that ECG feature that Apple debuted on the series four.
Apple no longer sells a series for no longer sells the series five.
So this one becomes your only option if you do want that electrocardiogram and then number two Continuous elevation tracking.
So if you want to monitor elevation in real time during a hike, you get the Series 6.
And the price, like with other models, starts at 399, that's for the Wi-Fi only model of the Apple Watch.
They will be available starting Friday.
Now ,let's move on to that cheaper Apple Watch se which starts at $279.
So, not that much cheaper, but it does have more features than we were expecting.
I was personally expecting a copy of the series three with that $200 price point, but maybe with a faster processor, but instead we kind of got a The series five, just a stripped down version of it with a S5 chirp.
So that's twice as fast as the series 3.
And it does have that fall detection feature, that newer form factor that we saw in that they view on the series 4 with a slimmer body and that larger screen, we just don't get the always on display and we don't get that electrocardiogram or ECG feature.
Now alongside the SE Apple also launched something called Family Setup, which basically allows you to have multiple Apple Watches set up from the same account or the same iPhone.
So you don't have to give someone a. On an iPhone to have an Apple Watch, you can give it to a child to an older adult and give them their own phone line as well and you control it from the parent device so you can set up what contacts they can interact with.
You can limit apps and usability with the new school time mode, and you can also keep tabs on location by setting alerts When they've arrived at a specific location.
And the move ring will also look a little bit different if you're setting this up for a kid, because it will be focusing on move minutes.
Which Apple says is a more appropriate metric for children.
Parents can also customize the green activity ring and the standard ring for something more appropriate for children.
Now the only caveat with the family setup feature is that it does require the cellular version of the Apple Watch.
And now you're looking at an investment of $300 plus, which seems a little bit ridiculous.
If you are giving this to a kid, the only way to justify this is If you just don't look at it as giving, your kid a fitness tracker, it's like giving your kid a phone, but even then it seems a little bit expensive.
We'll have to see over time, how this actually works, and maybe it is a better alternative, than giving your kid a full fledged phone.
Now I'm not gonna get into the weeds about all the features coming with watch OS seven but Apple did announce that the update will launch on September 16, which is tomorrow.
And that includes things like sleep tracking, the hand washing feature, and dance tracking.
I'll put a link to the video we did about watch seven below.
But what struck me as interesting was something that they mentioned in the keynote that hadn't been said before.
That's probably related to a future software update and that's the ability to notify you of low cardio fitness levels.
So with watch OS seven Apple introduced something that was kind of, Seemed boring at the time called mobility metrics, which measured a bunch of different things among them low range VO2max.
We know VO2max as the maximum oxygen consumption during exercise, which is a pretty good indicator of cardio fitness.
Well, looking at the lower range is an even better indicator of this.
So now if the Apple Watch detects that you have a low range VO2 max or too low, then it will send you an alert.
Apple didn't say if it was going to explain what to do or how to improve your cardio fitness levels or what it's going to do with it, but I thought that was interesting to point out it's not I'm gonna be available with watchOS 7 but it's coming later in the year.
We'll have to dive deeper into that as the information becomes available.
I wanna end with the fitness plus service which actually might tie very well into that low cardio fitness alert.
That you will be getting on your watch.
And this is basically a service that provides guided workouts.
We've seen a lot of third party apps that do this.
Fitbit has Fitbit premium that's a similar service.
And Samsung just launched something similar on their own health app.
But what's interesting about the fitness plus service on the Apple Watch is that it Uses the Apple Watch as the core so it basically syncs all your information from the Apple Watch to the guided workout that you can cast either on your Apple TV, on your iPad on your iPhone, it does require a screen.
So the iPad and the Apple TV will be getting the fitness plus app as well.
So you, you cast the workout on the screen, and but it automatically starts tracking the corresponding workout on your Apple Watch.
You don't have to do a thing and then what's cool is that you'll be able to see your stats displayed on On the screen live as you're going through the workout, and so the instructors actually give prompts about heart rate or activity rings or things like that throughout the workout to keep you motivated and to keep you working harder.
This is a very good time to launch a feature like this, especially as we're all locked in doors trying to work out from home.
And Apple said it's launching it, in the next couple of months, probably before the end of the year.
Didn't give a specific date.
It's going to cost 999 a month, or 7999 if you're paying for the entire year.
Of the Fitness+ service or you can also get it with Apple One which is their new bundle deal, which you can also learn more about on CNET.
But I just think it's a genius move, and I am definitely on board mainly because of that Apple Watch integration.
I think I covered everything.
I'm probably forgetting something because there were so much said about the Apple Watch.
But a lot of these things you really need to try out to talk more about.
So I will be trying out the Apple Watch Series six and hopefully the SEC in the next few days.
So please check back in with us for more information and for my first impressions in the coming days.
I'll see you next time.
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