Apple still did not unveil the new iPhone 12 smartphones at today’s event – rumors indicate that supply problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are to blame. So, perhaps the main announcement was the Apple Watch Series 6, which retained the design of the Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5, but acquired new sensors for functions such as monitoring blood oxygen and improved sleep control.
Apple says the Series 6 can measure blood oxygen levels in about 15 seconds using both red and infrared light. SpO2 is a measure of general physical fitness and well-being. Measurements can also be taken in the background, including during sleep.
The watch also received a new S6 processor, which promises a performance boost of up to 20%. The company says the chip is based on the same process technology as the Apple A13 in the iPhone 11, i.e. 7nm from TSMC. The new chip is encouraging given that Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5 used the same S4 processor (renamed S5 due to the addition of a compass and a new display controller).
Series 6 will run watchOS 7, which Apple unveiled at WWDC earlier this year. A software update, available for all models from Series 3, will add built-in sleep tracking support, but Series 6 will expand this feature with dedicated sensors. Other important updates coming to watchOS 7 include the renamed Fitness app with new workouts, auto-tracking of hand washing, blood oxygen monitoring app, the ability to share watch faces, and more.
The always-on Retina display is 2.5 times brighter in sunlight. Also, the watch now constantly works with an altimeter with an accuracy of 1 foot, using data from the barometer, GPS and nearby Wi-Fi networks. The battery life is estimated at 18 hours, and the full replenishment of the battery charge now takes place a little faster – in 1.5 hours.
The Series 6 is available in gold, graphite, blue or the new RED with a vibrant red finish. In addition, Apple is introducing a new Solo Loop, made from a single piece of silicone with no buckles or adjustments. It is available in various sizes and seven colors. There is also a braided version of the Solo Loop, made from yarn in five colors. Finally, Apple is releasing a new colored leather strap with a simple and comfortable buckle.
Maps now provide bike routes and Siri offers language translation. In addition, Apple is introducing a new feature called Family Customization, which allows parents to customize a managed Apple Watch for kids who don’t have their own iPhones. Parents can control who their child can send messages or call from the watch, set up location alerts, add Do Not Disturb modes for school time, and a new watch face informs teachers at a glance when the watch is in Do Not Disturb mode … Family setup requires a cellular model of Apple Watch.
Apple Watch Series 6 will be available for $ 399 for a 40mm Wi-Fi-only model – at the same price as the previous Series 5. For a version with support for not only Wi-Fi, but also cellular networks, you will have to shell out $ 499. Pre-orders will start today, September 15th, and deliveries will begin on the 18th. Apple no longer includes a USB power adapter in its kit – just a charging cable: all for the sake of goodness and reducing the world’s rubbish.