Apple September 2020 event
On September 15, Apple held its annual hardware event, showing off the latest and greatest Apple toys and services. Virtually, of course. Unfortunately, the new iPhone 12 wasn’t on the menu — but the company still showed off a range of gadgets to hold us over until the iPhone is finally released.
Notably, the company launched a few new Apple Watch models, a few iPads, and updates to its services lineup. It also talked software — with iOS 14 now set to finally be released on September 16.
Interested in checking out Apple’s new devices for yourself? Here’s everything Apple announced at its September 2020 event.
Apple Watch Series 6
The star of the show was the Apple Watch Series 6. The newest model offers a similar design to previous-generation Apple Watches but adds a few new colors, including a navy blue that may match the rumored color of the upcoming iPhone 12, and a red model.
More important is what’s under the hood. The Apple Watch Series 6 adds a sensor to track blood oxygen saturation, which can help the watch track information about breathing and heart rate. This should improve on the already-stellar fitness tracking features available on the Apple Watch.
The device also features a new processor called the S6 chip. The new chip is said to be 20% faster than the Series 5’s chip, which was already more than fast enough for everything the Apple Watch could do. The new processor is also fast enough to handle an always-on altimeter, for tracking elevation, and for the new blood oxygen monitor.
Other features include an always-on display that’s 2.5 times brighter than the Series 5, along with a series of new watch faces. The device supports the new “Family Setup” process too, which lets grown-ups set up a device for a family member without that family member needing an iPhone. And there are a number of new watch bands, including the “Solo Loop,” an uninterrupted expandable band that simply slips onto the wrist without a clasp.
The Apple Watch Series 6 starts at $399, and is available now to purchase, with full availability on September 18.
Apple Watch SE
As rumored, Apple also announced the budget-priced Apple Watch SE. The new device has the same overall design as the Apple Watch Series 6, supports features like Family Setup and Fall Detection, and has the already-powerful last-generation S5 processor.
Like the Apple Watch Series 6, the Apple Watch SE will be available starting on September 18. Perhaps the best thing about the device is that it starts at $279 — meaning that it’s more affordable than ever to get a latest-generation Apple Watch model. That said, if you want an even more affordable Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Series 3 is still available for $199.
Next up is the iPad Air, which is the first iPad since the iPad Pro to get an edge-to-edge display. The device features a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display, with relatively small bezels around the edges. Unlike the iPad Pro, however, the device still has Touch ID — which is now located inside the power button, rather than in the now-gone Home button. In other words, there’s no Face ID on the device at all.
Under the hood, the Air is far more powerful than the previous-generation model. The device offers the Apple A14 Bionic processor, the chip that’s expected to power the iPhone 12 and the first Apple chip to use a 5nm manufacturing process. According to Apple, it delivers a 40% CPU performance boost over the previous-generation iPad Air, along with a 30% increase in graphics performance. The device also has a USB-C connector, which helps ensure that it works with more third-party accessories.
The new iPad Air supports Apple’s most-loved accessories too. You’ll be able to use the Apple Magic Keyboard with it, along with the second-generation Apple Pencil. The iPad Air starts at $599, and will be available in October in a range of colors, including new green and sky blue designs.
The entry-level iPad has finally gotten a spec-bump as well. The new device offers the same overall design but gets the Apple A12 Bionic chip for improved performance. According to Apple, the new entry-level iPad offers a 40% GPU boost over the last-generation model. Not only that, but the A12 Bionic brings Apple’s Neural Engine to the entry-level iPad for the first time, enabling more artificial intelligence features.
The new iPad supports the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil; unfortunately, it only supports the first-generation Pencil. Like previous-generation models, it starts at $329, or $299 for students. The device is available for order today, with full sales beginning on Friday.
Apple is making it easier to access all its services. The long-awaited Apple One subscription service lets you bundle Apple’s services into one monthly payment while saving a little cash. Apple One includes iCloud, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple Fitness+, and Apple News+.
It starts at $15 per month for the individual plan, which includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 50GB of iCloud. The family plan comes at $20 per month and includes 200GB of iCloud storage and the ability to share with up to six family members. The Premier plan adds Apple News+ and Apple Fitness+, along with 2TB of iCloud storage — and comes at $30 per month.
Rumors pointed to Apple working on a fitness service, and the company took the wraps off of that service at the event too. The new service is called Apple Fitness+, and it integrates with the Apple Watch workout app to offer guided workouts, while still showing information like heart rate, time, and so on. Apple Fitness+ is available for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV — and when you start a video, it’ll automatically start the corresponding workout on your Apple Watch. It’ll even highlight data during segments, such as particularly challenging intervals data captured from the Watch, which is then shown in a summary for the workout.
Workouts include yoga, cycling, core, cooldowns, and so on. The service will be available before the end of the year and comes at $10 per month, or $80 per year. If you buy a new Apple Watch, you’ll get three months of Fitness+ for free, and it’s available in the Premier subscription of the new Apple One bundle.
Last but not least, Apple announced the availability of its latest and greatest software, coming to phones, tablets, watches and everything else starting today. The new updates include the likes of iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 7. The company has not yet announced the launch date of macOS Big Sur, which will presumably be released alongside new Mac models later in the year.