Apple Event Launches Apple Watch Series 6, iPad Air Updates, and More

Apple's event debuted updates for the new Apple Watch and iPad Air, including a new iOS and iPadOS.
Brad Bergan

Apple Store is down, which means it's time for another round of product launches. The company hosted a virtual launch event today and while we didn't see an iPhone 12 debut, we still caught the Apple Watch Series 6, in addition to other newcomers to the iPad tablet family, according to a blog post on the company's official website.

The event happened on September 15, at 1:00 PM EDT, and streamed live on Apple's YouTube page (featured below).


UPDATE Sept. 15, 2:30 PM EDT: Apple's iOS 14, iPadOS 14 come out Sept. 16

Apple's upcoming software updates for the iPad, Apple Watch, iPhone, and Apple TV are nearly here. The iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 — in addition to the newest watchOS and tvOS updates — will be available starting Wednesday, Sept. 16.

Apple iOS 14
Apple's iOS 14 will be available Sept. 16. Source: Apple / YouTube

The iOS 14 will bring widgets to the iPhone home screen, for the first time. It will also collect all apps into a new App Library, and add picture-in-picture mode. Additionally, Apple is adding a new Translation app.

iPhone Test Boards
iPhone test boards were shown during the event. Source: Apple / YouTube

However, the iPadOS 14 won't let users place widgets wherever they want on the home screen — but there will be more functionality for the Apple Pencil, including a new Scribble feature for the iPadOS 14, which lets users "write by hand in any text field across iPadOS, and your words automatically convert to text," according to the Sept. 15 event.

Lastly, more of Apple's native apps will include sidebars, with expanded menus — to utilize the iPad's larger screen.

UPDATE Sept. 15, 2:10 PM EDT: Apple debuts new iPad Air, resembles iPad Pro, $599 starting price

Apple debuted a new iPad Air — resembling the iPad Pro — which breaks from the norm of the current Air model. The new iPad Air has thinner bezels surrounding the display.

Apple New iPad Air
Apple's newest iPad Air will start at $599. Source: Apple / YouTube

Apple's newest iPad Air will be available for purchase next month, for $599. The company is using a larger, 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display, with a fully-laminated screen. It also comes with True Tone support, in addition to reflective coating.

The Touch ID fingerprint sensor is integrated into the power button at top — which makes this the first iPad with functional biometrics integrated into the power button.

It will include Apple's A14 Bionic — a 5-nm chip including a six-core CPU, along with 11.8 billion transistors. Apple claims the new iPad Air will feature a 40% improvement over the previous iPad Air model — with improved graphics support.

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UPDATE Sept. 15, 2:00 PM EDT: Apple updating eighth-generation entry-level iPad, 10.2 inches, for $329

Apple debuted an eighth-generation version of its entry-level iPad during the Sept. 15 live stream. It includes a faster A12 chipset — also seen in the 2019 iPad mini and iPad Air models — for the same $329 price, The Verge reports.

Apple iPad Update
The renewed entry-level iPad will use an A12 chipset. Source: Apple / YouTube

The A12 chip's processing power will have twice the graphics performance of earlier models. Apple will include the keyboard case, and the first-generation Apple Pencil.

The renewed iPad will run on iPadOS 14 — offering new features Apple unveiled for the upcoming software upgrade. The Apple pencil will allow hand-written text input.

UPDATE Sept. 15, 1:56 PM EDT: Apple announces Apple One subscription bundle with TV Plus, Music, Arcade

Apple announced the long-awaited bundle on Tuesday, bringing Apple TV Plus, Apple Music, Apple News Plus, Apple Arcade, and iCloud storage into one, according to the Sept. 15 live stream. The company will offer customers varying options on combining its streaming services in its new Apple One bundle.

Apple One Bundle Subscription
Apple bundle comes in three varying plans. Source: Apple / YouTube

There are three bundle types offered: Premier, Family, and Individual. Individual subscribers will have Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, Apple Music, and iCloud storage of 50 GB — for a $14.95 monthly fee.

The Family option will feature 200 GB of storage on iCloud, and include the same apps. The Premier plan includes Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, Apple News Plus, Apple Music, 2 TB of iCloud storage, and also the newly-debuted Apple Fitness Plus for $29.95 per month.

UPDATE Sept. 15, 1:55 PM EDT: Apple Debuts Virtual Workouts on Fitness Plus

Apple has unveiled a new subscription service, offering virtual fitness classes in a new product called Fitness Plus, according to the Sept. 15 live event. The new service integrates iPads, iPhones, and the Apple TV, but is designed for the Apple Watch, according to the company.

Service subscription will cost $9.99 per month ($79.99 per hear) — but customers get three free months with the purchase of an Apple Watch. It also comes as part of the bundle for the Apple One subscription, and will go live for purchase before the end of 2020.

Several workouts need a set of dumbbells or no equipment at all, which might give users to plan their workout around what feels most convenient at the time.

As of writing, there are 10 separate workout kinds available — including yoga, core, cycling, treadmill, strength, rowing, and HIIT routines. Additionally, there's another program for beginners, and each workout may be selected on the basis of duration.

UPDATE Sept. 15, 1:45 PM EDT: Apple's Fitness+ app

Apple's Fitness+ app is designed to be complementary with the Apple Watch. The live event played a group fitness workout video, showing metrics in-sync, and on-screen. 

Apple Fitness Plus 1
Apple's Fitness+ is designed around the Apple Watch build. Source: Apple / YouTube

In a challenge to Peloton, Apple referenced Music integration, which as of writing is an issue wrapped up in copyright disputes.

Apple Workout iPhone Watch
Apple's Fitness+ comes with 'new workout classes every week.' Source: Apple / YouTube

Fitness+ will feature "new workout classes every week," and includes a catalog of workout videos for iPad, Apple TV, or iPhone. Metrics are delivered in real-time — but there's no word yet on live classes.

UPDATE Sept. 15, 1:35 PM EDT: Apple's carbon-neutral goals

Apple's VP of Environment Lisa Jackson appeared to speak on Apple's carbon-neutral goals. As of writing, Apple cut its carbon footprint down by 35%.

Apple Carbon Neutral
Apple aims for 100% carbon-neutral functionality by 2030. Source: Apple / YouTube

When 2030 comes, Apple aims for 100% carbon-neutral functionality, which includes all products and supply chains, according to the live event.

The Apple Watch is moving toward carbon neutrality, and is made from 100% recycled rare earth elements, including tungsten "in the taptic engine," said Jackson. She also said the USB power adapter will be removed from the Apple Watch.

UPDATE Sept. 15, 1:30 PM EDT: Apple Watch SE officially released, $279 starting price

Apple just debuted a new Apple Watch SE — a lower-cost watch — which uses an older S5 chip. Despite the older tech, it's definitely an upgrade over the Series 3, and starts at $279 — or a $12 per month payment plan via the company's Apple Card.

Apple Watch SE
The Apple Watch SE also comes in a cellular model. Source: Apple / YouTube

The Apple Watch SE looks like a Series 4, but comes with a new "Braided Solo Loop" look. It comes with a heart rate monitor, gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, fall detection, and motion sensors.

UPDATE Sept. 15, 1:20 PM EDT: Apple partnering with UC Irvine, Anthem to study blood-oxygen monitoring, health correlation

Apple is joining with Anthem and UC Irvine to study the effectiveness of blood-oxygen-level monitoring, according to Apple's VP of Health Sumbul Ahmad Desai.

Apple Watch Blood Oxygen
Apple Watch Series 6 will monitor blood-oxygen levels in 15 seconds. Source: Apple / YouTube

The consortium will involve a pulmonary study to see how changes in blood oxygen levels might correlate with respiratory conditions.

UPDATE Sept. 15, 1:15 PM EDT: Apple Watch measures blood-oxygen from wrist

The new watch has a sensor on the back, and takes a blood oxygen level measurement in only 15 seconds, according to the live event.

The new Apple Watch Series 6 will come in blue, gold, and a gray-black called graphite, including a proprietary red color. Additionally, the new watch has a similar design as the previous iteration, but now comes in a new blue and red aluminum.

UPDATE Sept. 15, 1:10 PM EDT: Apple Watch Series 6 debuts

Apple opened the Sept. 15 event with a welcome from Apple CEO Tim Cook. He stressed the value of working remotely and studying from home amid the COVID-19 crisis, especially where Apple products contribute to these activities.

Tim Cook Apple CEO
Apple CEO Tim Cook welcomes viewers from Apple's headquarters. Source: Apple / YouTube

Apple Watch revolutionized what a watch can do, he continued. Beyond a simple measurement of time, it tracks workouts, and allows remote access to smart-home essentials like the garage. It also offers heart monitoring, cycle monitoring, and heart-tracking.

One Apple Watch user was alerted to an elevated heart rate via her device, and later learned from her doctor that she had gone septic — a life-threatening condition.

Apple shared a number of stories of close-calls from illnesses that Apple Watch wearers had.

Apple event launches Apple Watch, iPad, and more

The new and improved Apple Watch will succeed the Apple Watch Series 5, and will run on WatchOS 7. Rumors abound that the new edition comes with longer battery life, including new updates to its sleep-tracking function and metrics to measure blood-oxygen levels in the wearer's body, reports CNET.

The iPad Air will probably get an update too. Improvements may include a faster processor (possibly the A13 Bionic chipset), a larger display, and perhaps a USB Type-C connection instead of Apple's Lightning port.

iPhone 12 could go live Oct. 13 or 14

The iPhone 12 itself remains a mystery, since Apple has yet to release official information on its next phone launch — but we shouldn't act surprised if the company gives a quick tease during the Sept. 15 event. While the company confirmed the new iPhone will be up for purchase "a few weeks later" than the typical, mid-September launch, it could see a launch event on Oct. 13 or 14, according to CNET.

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