And for any Brits hanging on for prices in pounds:
- Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS) starts at £379 and Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS + Cellular) starts at £479
- Apple Watch SE (GPS) starts at £269 and Apple Watch SE (GPS + Cellular) starts at £319.
- New iPad Air starts at £579 for the base model, and Wi-Fi + Cellular models start at £709
- New iPad starts at £329 for the base model and £459 with a cellular connection.
- Apple Fitness+ is £9.99 or £79.99 a year
- Apple One’s Individual, Family and Premier tiers are £14.95, £19.95 and £29.95 respectively
What just happened?
That’s it from Apple.
If you want a round-up of the announcements:
Two new Apple Watches are being launched, the Series 6 and the SE. The former, $399, will come with a pulse oximeter for measuring blood oxygen saturation, as well as an always-on screen; the latter, $279, will be the internals of the previous generation’s watch, the Series 5, in a new shell.
A new Family Setup feature is also coming, to let parents set up a cellular watch for kids who don’t have an iPhone.
Two new iPads as well. The iPad Air gets a new squared-off bezel-free design, to match the iPads Pro, as well as the A14 bionic chip, which we were expecting to see first in next month’s iPhones 12. It doesn’t have FaceID, instead gaining a new TouchID sensor in the power button.
The new (budget) iPad, meanwhile, is basically last year’s iPad Air, rebranded and with a price cut to $329.
A fitness service “built for the ground up for Apple Watch” will feature guided workouts in ten activities, for $9.99 a month. And it will be included in…
A subscription service, starting at $15 for Apple Arcade, Apple Music, 50GB of iCloud Storage and Apple TV+, rising to $30 to include 2TB of iCloud storage, Apple News+ and Apple Fitness+
A surprise announcement! We don’t normally get these: iOS 14 is coming out tomorrow, along with iPadOS 14, WatchOS 7 and tvOS 14.
These free updates were largely detailed in July, but we didn’t previously have a release date. Tomorrow is very soon!
And the price! It starts at $599, and is on sale next month.
It’s 100% carbon neutral, with recycled aluminium, tin solder, and packaging.
Here’s the nice feature overview:
We’re getting a long overview of the A14 chip which is inside the iPad Air, which is, I’m afraid, an awful lot of not particularly informative exclamations (11 trillion operations a second! Twice as fast at machine learning as the A13 chip! Made with a 5 nanometre production process). But based on Apple’s past performance, we can probably believe them when they say it’s a very fast chip.
It’s also almost certainly going to be the chip inside next month’s iPhones as well, so we’re going to hear all about how great it is again next month.
New (midrange) iPad Air
On to the new iPad Air. A squared-off, bezel-free design resembles the iPads Pro, and supports the second gen Apple Pencil, but there’s only a single camera on the back, and no support for FaceID on the front – this is still unlocked by fingerprints. Great for face masks, bad for winter gloves.
It comes in five colours, including green and blue, with what Apple’s dubbing a “liquid retina” display.
Where’s the TouchID going? Into the power button at the top, freeing up the space on the face of the iPad.
New (cheap) iPad
After a slow start, we’re racing through things now. Next up is a new iPad, the 8th generation.
(In case you’ve forgotten Apple’s branding, the iPad line has the iPad Pro at the top, the iPad Air in the middle, and just “iPad” at the bottom).
So the iPad will have the A12 chip, the same one that was in last year’s iPad Air. It will still have the bezels at the top and bottom, as well as the TouchID home button, of previous models, but does support the Smart Keyboard and first-gen Apple Pencil.
Basically, it’s last year’s iPad Air, with a lower price and support for a few more recent accessories. It starts at $329, with a $30 discount for schools.
And with that, we’re on to the long-awaited services bundle: Apple One.
It comes in a bunch of tiers: the first, for $15, will include 50GB of iCloud Storage, Apple Arcade, and Apple Music; then, for $20, there’s a family bundle with 250GB of storage; and for $30, there’s the big kahuna, the premier tier, which adds Apple Fitness+ and Apple News+ and 2TB of storage.
Those prices are very good, for what it’s worth: simply buying the individual tier on its own would cost $21 a month; the premier tier would be $45 normally.
Here’s the nice feature list:
It’s going to cost $9.99 a month, or $79.99 a year; it’s launching in six countries including the US and UK before the end of the year.
And you get three months free with a new Apple Watch.
The service works between iPhones, Apple Watches, and extra screens like your Apple TV. Start the workout on your iPhone, and it will automatically start on the workout app on your app.
Fitness+ is launching with ten workout types: Yoga, Cycling, Dance, Treadmill walk and run, strength, core, HIIT, rowing and mindful cooldowns. Many of them require just a set of dumbells, and some need no equipment at all.
“Each week our incredible trainer team will deliver a wide variety of new workouts,” Apple says, and if you’re an Apple Music subscriber, you’ll be able to save those playlists there as well.
The app is also coming to Apple TV and iPad, so you can work out with whatever screen you want.
Apple is creating a new fitness service, “built around the Apple Watch”, which will guide people through “ten types of workouts” with “world-class trainers” and Apple Music soundtracks.
“New workouts added every week”, the company says, as it shows a very aspirational montage of people getting sweaty.
It’s called Apple Fitness+.
An overview of Apple’s environmental efforts follows, most of which we’ve already covered in July. But there is some news: the new Watches are dispensing with the USB power adapter, which Apple says is usually unnecessary and wasteful given we all have tens of them lying around the house already.
It’s true! But it’s likely to be unpopular anyway.
A nice overview of the Watch SE features:
More pricing: The Series 6 starts at $399, and the Series 3, which is sticking around, gets a new price of just $199.
(UK pricing will follow at the end.)
Apple Watch SE
Alongside Family Setup is the second new Watch: the Apple Watch SE, which has the same design as the Apple Watch Series 6 did, and the same interior chips as the Apple Watch Series 5.
It starts at $279, or $12 a month.
A new feature, Family Setup, is going to let parents set up an Apple Watch for their kids, even if they don’t have an iPhone. It requires a cellular watch, and lets the adult set up a limited version of the Watch that they can use to to keep in touch with their kid without needing to give them a full phone.
Now we get a run-through of the new watch faces. Some of these will likely be exclusive to the Watch Series 6, but many will come to all watches that support WatchOS 7.
There’s some specialist faces, including one for surfers and one for photographers; there’s a unique “art” face; there’s a nice face that lets you set a specific pattern of stripes to show your pride in your orientation, nationality or football team.
It’s not all about health measurement. The watch also has a new, brighter, always-on screen, and an always-on altimeter for measuring elevation. Perfect if you, say, live in San Francisco’s Bay Area and go hiking a lot! Not coincidentally, this is true of many Apple engineers.
Apple Watch Series 6
And so we see the new hardware, the Apple Watch Series 6. It comes in a range of new colours, as expected, and also includes a new pulse oximetry sensor for measuring blood oxygen saturation.
That means that users can track their health over the long term, as well as receive alerts if there’s an acute problem. The company is also partnering with academics to use this rich information to investigate ailments including asthma and covid. The hope is to uncover how to use low blood oxygen saturation as an early warning signal for Covid infections.
We turn to Apple’s new chief operating office, Jeff Williams, who begins by walking us through some of the previously announced features arriving with WatchOS 7, the software update which will come to most recent Apple Watches this autumn.
The key health feature, Williams says, is new VO2 Max monitoring, which will allow users to keep track of their lung capacity.
We’re starting with the Apple Watch, as Cook runs down the benefits of his own: it helps him keep fit, unlock his garage, and stream his favourite music, he says.
It’s the “most loved watch in the world”, he says, citing messages from Watch users who say it has “changed, and sometimes saved” their lives, before introducing a mini-documentary profiling some of those users.
And we’re off, with a bright and calming video of Apple Park leading to Tim Cook talking to camera about “the challenges that Covid-19 is causing in communities around the world.”
For this second remote conference, Cook’s not standing in the big empty Steve Jobs theatre; instead, he’s walking around a scarily empty corridor in the company’s head office, like a very slow Aaron Sorkin character.
I’d normally do a little “what to expect” here, except it really is very little: we’re thinking there’s going to be two new Apple Watches, one expensive and one less expensive; two new iPads, one at the mid-range and one at the budget end; and possibly the launch of Apple’s long-awaited subscription bundle, Apple One.
What we won’t see is what would normally lead this September event: new iPhones. Covid-related production delays have pushed that launch back to October, leaving this event quite thin and, hopefully, short.
Hello and welcome to the Guardian’s live blog of Apple’s latest press event. We’ll be kicking off at 10am Pacific Time – that’s 6pm UK time, and 3am in New South Wales if you’re staying up for all the latest news.
If you want to watch along live, Apple is streaming the event on YouTube, which I’ve also embedded above. Otherwise, stick around here, and we’ll keep you up to date with the important news, translate the technobabble, and just quietly ignore the advertising over the next few hours.