The latest Apple event, “Time Flies,” has concluded. The live streamed event introduced us to upcoming devices and services, as well as announced the launch date for the new operating systems. True to predictions, the iPhone 12 was not announced, but there is still plenty of news app developers will want to be aware of.
With no new iPhone, the Apple event focused first and foremost on the Apple Watch. The presentation covered the many uses of the Watch, including video testimonials from users who managed to avoid medical emergencies or get back in shape by using the Apple Watch. After that lead in, two new devices were revealed: the Apple Watch series 6 and the Apple Watch SE.
The series 6 Apple Watch is the latest wearable device, powered by an S6 chip. It features:
- New watch faces
- An always-on display that’s 2.5x brighter outdoors than previous models
- Continuous elevation information
- A new health sensor that can track blood oxygen saturation
- Interchangeable bands for wearability
Users can also enable Family Setup, which enables control over multiple Apple Watches from a single iPhone. This allows users to get the full usage out of an Apple Watch without needing an iPhone of their own.
Parents can manage their childrens’ Watches, set up automatic location notifications and control “do not disturb” settings with School Time mode without needing a phone for each person. Users can still make calls through their Apple Watches and send messages, including Memoji and stickers.
The Apple Watch series 6 will retail for $399.
Apple Watch SE
Along with the new flagship model of Apple Watch, Apple introduced another more affordable model. The Apple Watch SE uses an S5 chip and includes core Apple Watch features, such as accelerometer, gyroscopes and fall detection.
Cellular enabled models of the Apple Watch SE can also make phone calls and send messages, even without a paired phone nearby.
The Apple Watch SE will retail starting at $279.
Along with the Apple Watch, Apple revealed new iPad devices. There were two new devices on display: the iPad 8th generation and the New iPad Air.
The 8th generation iPad uses an A12 bionic chip and a neural engine that makes it faster than competing tablets. The new device includes:
- 10.2-inch retina display
- Smart keyboard and Apple Pencil support
- 4-core GPU and 6-core CPU
- Gigabit-class LTE
- 8-megapixel camera
New iPad Air
Accompanying the iPad 8th generation is the New iPad Air. The latest version of the iPad Air includes:
- A 10.9-inch screen, 2360x1640 liquid retina display
- Touch ID integrated into the top button
- A new A14 bionic chip
- Improved 12MP front and back cameras
Both the 8th generation iPad and New iPad Air will come with iPadOS 14. The presentation put a big focus on the Apple Pencil compatibility, which includes handwriting and shape recognition to turn handwritten notes into type text.
Following last year’s announcement of Apple Arcade and TV+, the “Time Flies” event included announcements for new services. In addition to Apple Fitness+, Apple also introduced the Apple One bundle program that combines multiple subscriptions into one.
Apple Fitness+ is a new subscription service powered by Apple Watch. Users can sync their watch with their iPhone, iPad or Apple TV to monitor their fitness data as they follow workout videos streamed on their devices. The end of each session will include a summary to show users how much they exercised.
There are ten workout courses available, with new videos added each week. These include:
- Beginner sessions
Users can also select music to play for each workout, which can sync with their Apple Music playlists.
The service will cost $9.99 a month or $79.99 a year, but new Apple Watch users will get three months free.
Apple has several different subscription services, so true to rumors, they are being compiled into a single bundle offering. This bundle, Apple One, can provide multiple subscription services in a single plan, including:
- iCloud storage
- Apple Music
- Apple TV+
- Apple Arcade
- Apple News+
- Apple Fitness+
The individual and family plans provide Apple Music, TV+, Arcade and iCloud subscriptions. Users can also opt for the Premier plan, which includes Apple News+ and Fitness+.
Apple’s “Time Flies” event also revealed the release dates for previously announced operating systems.
iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7 and tvOS 14 will all launch on Wednesday, September 16th. All the new devices, including the upcoming Apple Watch and iPad devices, will include the latest operating systems at time of launch.
While there is still no word on the next iPhone, the new Apple Watch and iPad devices, as well as the new subscription services, provide developers with much to prepare for. App developers should ensure their apps are updated for the latest devices.
Just as music app developers have to compete with Apple Music, fitness and workout app developers will face competition from Apple Fitness+. The fact that Fitness+ requires an Apple Watch may provide some leeway for developers, but it is still important that they optimize their app listings to show what makes their app different from the competition.
While iPhone 12’s release date is still away, the new Apple Watch and iPad Pro devices will be available in stores this Friday.
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