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Apple Reveals: Watch Provides Blood Oxygen Sensor, New Colour Choices

September
15, 2020

5 min read

This story originally appeared on PC Mag

Apple today announced two new wearables: the Watch Series 6 and the lower-cost Watch SE, as well as a new Fitness + Workout service.

The new Apple Watch models are available for pre-order today and are expected to arrive on Friday. The Series 6 with a new blood oxygen sensor and app starts at $ 399 for the GPS-only model and $ 100 more for the GPS and cellular versions. Featuring Series 6 design cues with key health and safety features like fall detection, the Watch SE starts at $ 279 for the GPS-only model or $ 329 for the GPS and cellular versions.

The Series 6 and SE are supplied without a USB power supply unit. Apple made this decision to help the environment, and it will have the same impact as removing 50,000 cars from the roads each year.

In the meantime, the new Fitness + service will be available to Apple Watch users before the end of the year for $ 9.99 per month or $ 79.99 per year.

Apple today also announced a new Family Setup service that lets you set up an Apple Watch for your child or an older family member using your own iPhone.

Let's take a closer look at the following new products and services.

Apple Watch Series 6

The standout feature of the 6 Series is a new sensor that can measure the oxygen saturation of your blood, also known as SpO2. Essentially, the sensor shines light into your skin and measures the color of your blood, which indicates the amount of oxygen present. The watch can calculate your SpO2 value in 15 seconds at any time. The sensor also takes regular background readings when you are asleep and inactive.

The new Samsung Galaxy Watch3 and Fitbit Sense can also measure your blood oxygen levels.

The Series 6 also has an altimeter that is always on, so you can see the change in elevation in real time on your watch face while hiking. It also features an improved Always-On display, which is 2.5 times brighter than the Series 5 outdoors with your wrist lowered, making it easier to see in sunlight. Further improvements are a new dual-core processor based on the A13 Bionic in the iPhone 11, which promises a speed improvement of 20 percent.

When Apple announced watchOS 7 with sleep tracking, we hoped that would be an indication that it would extend the battery life of its latest wearable, but it didn't. The Series 6 offers the same 18 hours of battery life as the Series 5, although Apple says it should use less battery when tracking certain workouts like indoor and outdoor runs.

The 6 Series is available in a few fresh colors including blue aluminum, a gray and black stainless steel model called Graphite, an updated classic yellow gold stainless steel model, and a (PRODUCT) RED model. Apple is also introducing new styles of strap, including a lightweight, stretchy solo loop with no clasp or buckle, and a leather link strap that attaches with magnets.

Apple Watch SE

The affordable Watch SE offers Apple's largest, most advanced retina display yet on a wearable device. Compared to the Series 3, which will continue to be available for $ 199, the SE's display is 30 percent larger and the processor twice as fast.

It has the same accelerometer, gyroscope, and altimeter as the Apple Watch Series 6, plus a compass and microphone to measure the ambient noise level around you. It supports fall detection, emergency SOS so you can easily call for help, international emergency calls, and the sound app which can be used to notify you when the decibel level in the area can cause hearing damage.

It is available in three housing designs made from 10 percent recycled aluminum and is compatible with all Apple Watch straps.

Apple Fitness +

The new Fitness + service with Apple Watch offers instructor-led workouts that you can play on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. When you start a workout, metrics and activity rings from your Apple Watch appear on the screen. The service kicks off with a range of workouts including yoga, cycling, dancing, walking and running on the treadmill, strength, core, HIIT, rowing, and mindful cooldown. Apple plans to update the service with new workouts every week.

The service integrates with Apple Music, and the trainers curate the music for each session. Apple Music subscribers can save songs they discovered while exercising. You can use any brand of fitness equipment with Fitness +, although most workouts require only a set of dumbbells or no equipment, Apple said.

For a limited time starting today, those who purchase Apple Watch Series 3 or later will get three months of Fitness + free. It will also be available as part of the new Apple One subscription package.

Family setup

Apple's new Family Setup feature lets you set up an Apple Watch for your child or an older family member using your own iPhone. This should come in handy when you want to connect someone who doesn't have an iPhone of their own.

Parents can use Family Setup to approve the contacts their child can communicate with. The service also offers automatic location notifications, so you can get a notification when your child comes home from school, for example.

Family Setup will be available tomorrow for Series 4 and higher cellular models. The user you are setting it up for has their own account and phone number on a separate cellular plan.

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