So, Apple’s first big fall event didn’t bring us any new iPhones (or much talk of augmented reality, which feels weird based on the invite), but it did show how much the company has changed. Welcome to the bundle life. Apple is kicking back discounts if you’ll just sign up for multiple plans that ask for recurring payments.
That includes options for its new Fitness+ package, which wants to take a bite out of Peloton, with workouts that tie together all of your Apple equipment. If you need a new wearable, there’s the Watch Series 6 or, for a cheaper option, the Watch SE, and even its iPad Air has been refreshed. The zero-cost option is to wait for iOS 14’s rollout later today, before Engadget starts our live coverage of Sony’s PS5 showcase at 4PM ET — they just have to reveal the price now, right?
Arcade, Music, TV+ and iCloud for $15 a month.
Confirming months of rumors, now Apple customers can subscribe to a One subscription bundle of its various services. Despite the name, there are actually three tiers: an Individual base package for $15 per month, a Family plan for $20 that covers six people and boosts iCloud storage from 50GB to 200GB and, last but not least, a Premier tier for $30 that has 2TB of cloud storage to go with Fitness+ and Apple News+ access.
Simple, right? Apple is bringing the Individual and Family plans to over 100 countries this fall, but the Premier plan is limited to countries where News+ is already available.
And then there’s the Apple Watch SE.
Series 6 has landed, with a variety of new colors, and a new health sensor that’ll deliver blood oxygen monitoring. Apple says the new health sensor will be able to check your blood oxygen levels within 15 seconds, using a red light together with the existing infra-red sensor.
As for other upgrades, Apple Watch Series 6 is powered by a new S6 chipset, which is faster and more energy efficient. The company says it will charge 20 percent faster and offer an always-on display that’s 2.5 times brighter than its predecessor.
It’ll cost $399 at launch, but if that sounds a bit too much, you might be interested in the Apple Watch SE, new for 2020. It’s a $279 smartwatch with the same altimeter, compass, accelerometer and gyroscope as the new Series 6, as well as fall detection and emergency SOS. It doesn’t have the new flagship’s faster S6 processor or blood oxygen sensor, however.
The Watch SE also has the same size screen as the Series 6, which is 30 percent larger than the Series 3 — Apple’s previous budget smartwatch. The Watch SE will be available from September 18th.
iPads, in color!
The company revealed the 2020 iPad Air at today’s Time Flies event, and as expected, it has a lot in common with the iPad Pro — at least at first glance.
The 2020 model uses a slightly larger 10.9-inch display, which stretches almost from edge to edge across the iPad’s face — that means only the basic iPad and iPad mini retain Apple’s classic tablet design. That screen is just a touch smaller than the screen on the 11-inch iPad Pro; we’re guessing Apple kept the same size enclosure with slightly bigger bezels on the new Air. The old-school Touch ID sensor has been excised, too, in favor of a new fingerprint sensor baked into the top button. For the first time, Apple is making the iPad Air in five colors, including rose gold, blue and green alongside the traditional black and silver enclosures. Oh, and it has USB-C! For nerds like me, it’s a good change.
The new iPad Air starts at $599 with 64GB of storage, or $729 with 64GB of storage and LTE. It’ll be available in October, but no concrete release date just yet.
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The 8th-generation tablet includes the company’s A12 Bionic chipset.
Don’t worry, it’s still $329. Apple’s refreshed entry-level iPad includes the company’s A12 Bionic chipset, which should offer significantly improved graphical performance and includes a Neural Engine for the first time. The latter is for FaceID and Animoji.
In fact, the update might be ready right now.
Apple's not waiting until it reveals this year's iPhone lineup. The company has opted to release iOS 14 before announcing its latest iPhones, widely expected next month. When you update your current iPhone, you’ll have access to a boatload of new features, such as home screen widgets and a different way to organize your apps in the App Library.
You’ll be able to watch shows on Netflix and Apple TV+ while you do other things on your iPhone, thanks to the handy picture-in-picture mode. Siri gets an audio translation feature, like Android, and it’ll pop up at the top of your screen instead of taking over your entire display.
In Messages, you’ll be able to pin your most important conversations to the top for easier access and group chats will have in-line replies. Cycling directions are coming to Maps, which’ll have improved location-finding features, too.
Alongside that, watchOS 7 will bring sleep tracking and more to Apple Watches. And it’s coming out today, too.
The walled-off store offers pickup and Genius Bar service.
Not part of the big showcase, but coronavirus-relevant. Apple has made a new format of store called Apple Express. 9to5Mac reports the company is testing the format at its location in Burlingame, California. The existing store has been walled off, with a small window left for staffers to serve a single customer at a time.
Customers who have pre-ordered a product online can, after waiting in line, grab their purchase, while genius bar appointments happen at another window. It all looks a bit rough compared to the typical glossy experience — but it’s probably safer.