Apple Makes Its Watches More Affordable and Accessible

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Apple introduced two new Watch series yesterday, the Watch 6 and “affordable” Watch SE, both of which go on sale today and will available on Friday, September 19, 2020. A new Family Setup lets you pair multiple Watches a single controlling iPhone so you can manage them for your kids or elderly parents. And, a new Fitness+ service will delivers guided video workouts to your Apple mobile devices, including Apple Watch. 

The big add to the new Watch Series 6 is a blood oxygen sensor. Combined with the Watch’s other health sensors, adding a blood oxygen sensor can warn a wearer of serious health issues and help maintain good overall health. A rear sensor shines red and infrared light onto your wrist, measures the amount of light reflected back, calculates the color of your blood which indicates the amount of oxygen present, all in 15 seconds.  If you wear your Series 6 Watch to bed, it’ll also capture and store periodic background readings.

The Series 6 models, available in seven colors include Product RED, and is powered by a faster and more power-efficient A13 Bionic chip that enables a new always-on display that’s easier to read in bright sunlight, and an always-on altimeter that provides real-time elevation information.

Apple Watch 6 colors

Also on the way is a new stretchable Single Loop watch bands without clasps, buckles or overlaps (see above) and, with WatchOS 7 (see below), available today, new Watch faces including customizable Memojis.

Apple WatchOS 7

Starting at $279, which can be broken into monthly Apple Card installments, is the new “affordable” Apple Watch SE, which Apple is aiming at children and seniors. The SE offers what appears to be nearly full Watch performance, including fall detection, but with a slightly less powerful processor than the Watch 6 and made from less expensive materials.

Apple Watch SE

Making it easier to provide your kids and elderly parents with Watches, Apple’s new Family Setup app lets you pair and monitor multiple cellular-enabled Watches from a single iPhone. Each individual Watch – Series 4 models and later are compatible – would get assigned its own phone number and safety contacts. But the app also includes location notifications so you can keep track of your vulnerable loved ones, and a School Time Mode to help keep your kids engaged during remote learning sessions.

Apple Family Setup

Apple Watch SE is available for pre-order starting at $279 on Apple in gold, silver and space gray and in 40mm or 44mm sizes. Apple Watch 6 is available for pre-order starting at $399 on Apple in gold, silver, blue, red and space gray and in 40mm or 44mm sizes. Both watches will be available on September 19, 2020.

Apple Fitness+

Adding to the selection of workout-at-home services, Apple will launch its Fitness+ guided workouts app before the end of this year. Priced at $9.99/month or $79.99/year, Fitness+ will present new guided workouts each week led by “the world’s best trainers” in 10 different types including yoga, cycling, dance, treadmill walk and run, strength, core, rowing and mindful cool down, all accompanied by tunes from Apple Music. Fitness+ workouts can be viewed in iPhones or iPads, and all your live bio data is tracked on your Watch and visible on the screen. If you buy a new Watch Series 6 or Watch SE, you get three free months of workouts.

Apple Fitness+ class

Fitness+ is just one app Apple is bundling into multi-app single Apple One subscription accounts. For $14.95/month for an individual or $19.95/month for a family plan for up to five users, you get access to Apple iCloud, Apple Music, Apple TV+, and Apple Arcade. A Premier package at $29.95 adds Apple News+ and Fitness+.

[Image credit: Apple, screenshots via Techlicious] 

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