Apple Flips the September Product Script

Did the more health- and fitness-conscious Apple Watch Series 6 and sexy iPad Air satisfy those aching for an iPhone 12?

Apple CEO Tim Cook reveals the latest Apple gadgets

What we got

Apple moved forward with product introductions in September, but from its B Team. Now this is not to say that the Apple Watch and iPad are not important devices. Based on their recent sales track records, they’re clearly important (iPads have become a critical part of the Remote Learning ecosystem) but it’s been a while since either of them led the fall Apple Product launch schedule.

New silicon

Even more startling, the introduction of Apple’s most advanced mobile silicon did not happen this year on the new iPhone. Instead, the sexy, new 10.9-inch iPad Air, which looks like a younger (fun colors!), smaller version of the iPad Pro (it has fewer cameras — 12 MP and 7 MP — and no LiDAR), has the all new A14 Bionic, Apple’s first 5 nanometer process chip.

The new 10.9-inch iPad Air

Watch this

Apple pushing the Apple Watch Series 6 ($399) front and center makes sense when you consider how invested Apple is in health and fitness. The company loves touting “lives saved” by the ever-watchful device’s heart sensors. With its new blood oxygenation reading capabilities, which did require the redesign of the watch back, Apple further expands its wearable health repertoire. However, unlike the Watch’s EKG capability, Apple did not seek FDA approval for this new body sensor and is instead positioning the oxygenation reader and app as a wellness feature.

The new Apple Watch Series 6
  • The S6 Chip, which probably helps maintain the 18-hour battery life even with a brighter sleep screen and watchOS 7’s new sleep tracking capabilities
  • Always-on altimeter so you always know how high you are
  • A new U1 chip for upcoming capabilities like using your watch to unlock or start your car
  • No power adapter to lower the device’s environmental impact (hope you have one handy)
  • New single-piece Loop bands (there are nine size options)
Apple Watch’s new Family set-up

Working out and Bundling up

What Apple did and didn’t do with the Watch, though, becomes more interesting when you consider the brand-new service Apple’s adding: Fitness+. It’s a from-the-ground-up fitness service, featuring hand-picked trainers and custom routines across 10 categories. The service is launching with dozens of routines now, but will quickly add hundreds more as they are filmed in each week in a special Los Angeles studio. The integration between various Apple screens (iPhone, iPad, Apple TV) and the Apple Watch is impressive. If you already work out with your Apple Watch, why not start doing it in front of your TV with some guidance?

Fitness+. Note the real-time integration between the Apple Watch and iPhone screen and video.

Tech expert, journalist, social media commentator, amateur cartoonist and robotics fan.

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