Apple Watch & iPad Event Recap

No big surprises today…it seems more had leaked out about the Watch and iPad updates than is usual for Apple. There will be two new lines of Watch…the Series 6 and a new, cheaper SE. Apple is also keeping the Series 3 as an entry level model. The banner feature of the 6 is the blood oxygen sensor. The Watch can check this in 15 seconds. The top line Watch has a new processor (of course) which Apple claims is 20% faster than the last model, Series 5. It is supposed to have better performance but still keeps 18 hours of battery life. Charging time has been improved from dead to full in 1.5 hours.

The always-on display is 2.5 times brighter, for better outdoor viewing. It also has an always-on altimeter, and in fact, if you take a blood oxygen reading at high altitude, it will notify you of that fact below the reading number. Apple has added a new blue to sliver, gray, and gold colors, and a first…you can get a Product(RED) version, too. Stainless steel comes in either graphite or yellow gold, but no silver. The high line comes in either natural or black titanium…ceramic is gone. There are a number of new strap and face options, including a Memoji watch face. Family Setup lets a person connect a Watch for a child or children or with elder adults that don’t have an iPhone.

Apple has also bowed the Watch SE, which is a cheaper watch with the features of last year’s Series 5. The Series 6 starts at $399, and i available for order today, shipping this Friday. Note that there is no longer a USB power adapter included. The SE starts at $279. The Series 3 stays in the lineup at $199, but won’t have a number of the features of the new models, and has a smaller display size. You can finance the Watch via Apple Card and spread out payments if you like. (Apple has become like Sears…with Easy Pay, LOL!)

Apple also showed off the new iPad Air today, which is very similar to the Pro. It has thinner bezels all around, for more screen space, and the Touch ID has moved to the ON button at the top of the unit. The Air has a 10.9 inch screen in the same size package as the older model. Naturally, there is a new chip, the A14 Bionic, which Apple says gives a 40% bump in performance. The new Air will also get a USB-C port, will support the Pencil (which not only attaches magnetically to the side but charges that way, too.) The Air supports the $179 (yikes) Smart Keyboard Folio. It starts at $599 and is available next month. Five colors are available: silver, space gray, rose gold, green, new sky blue.


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