Apple Event: Watch, iPad, IPad Air, iOS 14

I am sure I missed some key items. This was written up as they were presenting. But a lot of nice items and ideas were shown.

Apple Watch

It is all about fitness. And style. And more health. As a person who uses activity to offset the desk time, this could be a nice option.

Apple Watch Series 6: S6 processor, Blood O2, Brighter screen, Always-On Altimeter, Solo Loop band (Silicon with 7 colors, Braided Version in 5 colors) and many other bands, Family Setup (using single iPhone to manage watches, say for children, giving them their own number and monitoring), starts at $399. Available Friday (September 18, 2020). There was no mention

Apple Watch SE: Lower-cost version, uses the S5 processor, starts at $279. It offers a lot of the motion capabilities of Series 6. Series 3 is still available at a starting price of $199.

WatchOS 7: Sleep Monitoring, VO2 Max, Hand washing, New Watch Face Designs (GMT, Count Up, Chronograph Pro, Typography, Art-oriented, Emoji, Stripes, and App-Specific faces).

Fitness+ Service: Workout, Trainer, Time, Music. Check! A new service by Apple for the Apple Watch. Select the activity in the Fitness App on Apple TV, iPad, or iPhone. The activity information is synchronized to the watch, closing the health rings. Yoga, Dance, Cycling, Treadmill, Core, Strength, Rowing, HIIT, and Mindful Cool Downs. Weekly new workouts made available from Fitness Studio trainers. $9.99/month or $79.99/year. The family can share for no additional cost. It will be available at the end of the year. New Apple Watch owners get 3 months free.

Apple One: All Services in one plan. iCloud. Apple Music. Apple TV+. Apple Arcade. Apple News+, and Apple Fitness+. The Individual plan is $14.95/month and includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and iCloud storage (50GB). The Family Plan is $19.95 (up to 6 family members) with 200GB iCloud storage. The Premier Plan is $29.95/month adds News+, 2TB iCloud storage, and Apple Fitness+.

Overall: I am getting my first Apple Watch (in red), which could replace my Garmin Fenix 5 for fitness if the heart rate tracking is accurate enough.

iPad (8th Generation)

Now around for ten years, more than 500 million devices, the new 8th generation iPad has the A12 Bionic chip to crank up the performance. It still has the button and larger bezel. It works with the full size Apple Keyboard and Apple Pencil.

iPadOS 14 adds new Apple Pencil capabilities. There is shape recognition. The context of written text is better understood. Scribble allows writing with Apple Pencil rather than use a keyboard. 10.2″ Retina screen, 8MP camera, starts at $329 ($299 for education customers). Can order today, available Friday (September 18, 2020).

Overall: good minor upgrade, good starting price point continues

iPad Air

Completely redesigned, the side looks like an iPhone 4 with the square sides. It has no button on the front, instead using touch ID on the power button! It is edge-to-edge and comes in five colors. It has a 10.9″ liquid retina display (2360 x 1640).

It has a new chip: The A14 Bionic. It is a 5nm-based process for this new processor (11.8 billion transistors) with 6 core CPUs. The previous A13 Bionic uses a 7nm-based process. It has significant improvements with performance with running applications, video display, neural network, and machine learning.

It has a USB-C connector, providing 5Gb transfer (10x than previous Air).

The camera is improved, useful for conferencing. It has improved stereo that knows the iPad Air orientation. Networking includes WiFi 6 and LTE that 60% faster.

Apple Pencil can pair and affix magnetically to the side. It supports the Apple Magic Keyboard with the trackpad.

It starts at $599, available beginning next month (October 2020).

Overall: nice! I am considering buying this one. The iPad Pro is too expensive as a companion device. This has a nice balance between the iPad and iPad Pro.

Environment

By 2030: All products 100% Carbon Neutral. USB Cable eliminated from Apple Watch (e.g., sold separately) to help reduce waste.

iOS 14

Just a brief blurb was added at the end of the presentation. All its features are already known. It is being released tomorrow (September 16, 2020).

Overall: evolution, not revolution

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