Apple Launches the Watch 6, Watch SE, iPad Air 4, Subscription Bundle

Adam Rowe

Apple has just debuted the Apple Watch 6, which starts at $399, and the budget Apple Watch SE, starting at $279.

Two other notable reveals from today's live-streamed event are the new Apple One subscription bundle and the iPad Air 4.

On top of all that, iOS 14 is coming out tomorrow. Here are the details to know.

Apple Watch 6

The new Watch 6 honestly looks a lot like the previous model, albeit with a few new colors, including red. The specs are better, though, with the new S6 processor, the A13 chip, and a faster charge time of just one and a half hours to full charge.

An impressive new blood oxygen feature measures the oxygen in your blood in just fifteen seconds, using infrared light sensors that measure the color of your blood in real time.

The display is now two and half times brighter when you're outside, addressing the glare factor, which was a big complaint that users had with previous watches.

A huge range of new watch faces make it easier than ever to personalize your watch, along with the custom watchbands themselves. A new band style, the “solo loop,” is a stretchable, sleek band made out of silicon. A braided version is available in five colors.

It's available to buy today and it ships this Friday. It starts at $399, the cost of a 40mm model, while cellular models start at $499.

WatchOS 7

The Apple Watch 6 will run on this new OS, which includes sleep tracking support, a Fitness app rebrand, and a new hand-washing tracker fit for any pandemics you might find yourself in.

One of the bigger watchOS 7 updates? A new Family Setup feature, which lets parents manage the parental controls over their kids' Apple Watches. They can manage which contacts a watch is able to message or call, add location alerts, and establish timestamped “do not disturb” modes for school periods.

Apple Watch SE

The new Apple Watch SE also debuted at the event today. It's a lower cost alternative to the Watch 6, starting at $279. It'll have the S5 chip and the dual-core processor from the Apple Watch 5, though the general look is similar to the Watch 4.

It pulls a few cool new features from the Watch 6, though: An accelerometer, gyroscope, altimeter, sleep tracking ability, and hand-washing tracking ability. The blood oxygen feature is not included.

As I mentioned earlier, it's starting at $279. The cellular version starts at $329, and they're both available for purchase today and set to ship on Friday.

Apple Fitness+

This is a new subscription service that's designed for Apple Watches and all about helping people work out. It's a virtual fitness program that pairs with your watch so that you can easily track a variety of vital signs as you progress through the workout.

New workouts are added each week, with a range of instructors, music styles, and classes to choose from. Classes include cycling, yoga, rowing, core, strength, treadmill, and HIIT routines. You'll see your active calories, total calories, and BPM on your watch screen as you work out.

Plus, it integrates with iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs as well, so you're not entirely left out if you don't get a Watch.

It's $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year. If you buy an Apple Watch, you'll get three months of a Fitness+ subscription for free.

Apple One

Apple also debuted its new all-in-one subscription: Apple Music, TV+, Arcade, News+, and Fitness+.

They'll also throw in 50GB or more of iCloud storage, depending on which subscription plan you pick. Here are the plans they're offering:

  • Individual – $14.95 per month
  • Family – $19.95 per month
  • Premier – $29.95 per month (the only tier with Fitness+ and News+)

Apple's been pushing for subscriptions for a while, so this isn't a huge surprise.

Should you get Apple One?

If you love all of those services, sure! But I suspect you're not flipping open Apple News+ or Apple Arcade first thing in the morning, and Apple TV+ has yet to come out with a smash hit TV show. Given how many other streaming TV and news services we're already shelling out for, this one doesn't look compelling.

That said, Apple One will likely look a lot more attractive in the future: Apple hasn't said anything about this, but the company is all but certain to eventually add a hardware element to its subscription service, essentially leasing the latest iPhone or Watch model to customers for a monthly fee. It'll be a hit.

Apple Fitness Plus

iPad Air 4

The new completely redesigned iPad Air looks a lot like an iPad Pro, complete with thin bezels surrounding the entire display. It supports the Apple Pencil and Apple's Magic Keyboard, as well, just like the Pro.

It's powered by Apple's impressive new A14 Bionic chip, a slim 5nm model with a six-core CPU and a tidy 11.8 billion transistors. Apple claims the new chip will boost performance by 40% over the previous iPad Air model.

Other specs include a 10.9-inch, 2360 x 1640 Liquid Retina display, a Touch ID fingerprint sensor integrated into the power button (a first for iPads), USB-C ports, a 12-megapixel rear camera with video stabilization, and a 7-megapixel FaceTime HD camera on the front.

It starts at $599, and will be available sometime next month in five colors: silver, space gray, rose gold, green, and sky blue.

Learn more about the 2019 iPad Air here

iPad 8th Generation

Finally, Apple revealed the 8th Gen iPad. It'll have a faster A12 chip and a 10.2-inch panel, but no price hike: It still starts at $329.

It runs iPadOS 14, which brings new features including a handwriting-to-text function available with the Apple Pencil (an ability that the new iPad Air also boasts).

Not updated? The Lightning port. There's still no USB-C port available on the 8th Gen iPad, despite the fact that it'll be available on the new iPad Air.

It's available to order today, ships this Friday in two configurations, 32GB and 128GB, both of which are available in three colors: Space gray, silver, and gold. An LTE model is out, too, starting at $459.

In short: This year's Apple event packed a huge punch, debuting some fascinating products and subscription services — even with barely a mention of an iPhone.

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Adam is a writer at Tech.co and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for the last decade. He's also a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry (and Digital Book World 2018 award finalist) and has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect. When not glued to TechMeme, he loves obsessing over 1970s sci-fi art.

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