Apple compensates with two new iPads, Watches after ditching annual iPhone launch

Apple tried to compensate for any disappointment by giving its fans several new devices to play with while they wait for a new 5G iPhone.

On a virtual product launch on Tuesday, the company announced  latest versions of its Apple Watch and iPad, as well as a new subscription bundle that combines several of its services.

New Apple iPad:

The company revealed the 8th generation of the iPad. Apple claims its an all-day battery, faster graphics and processing, a better camera and the A12 bionic chip, which Apple says is “more powerful than ever.”

The device has a 10.2-inch display and comes with new iPadOS 14 features that better integrate its Apple Pencil stylus. It’s available from 18th September, starting at US$ 329.

New Apple iPad Air:

Apple chose to double down on the iPad, announcing what CEO Tim Cook described as an “all new, completely redesigned iPad Air.”

The new iPad features a larger 10.9-inch screen, a smaller Touch ID sensor for fingerprint unlock, and a new A14 silicon chip that Apple says is its most advance yet and will significantly improve performance.

The tablet comes in five different colors, including rose gold, green and blue, and will be available from next month starting at $599.

Another big change to the iPad Air: It’ll support the more universal USB-C adapter instead of Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector, meaning you’ll be able to charge it with the same cable that charges a new MacBook Air or a Google Pixel.

Apple already switched to USB-C with the iPad Pro released earlier this year, and the latest update could provide hope that more of the company’s future devices will enable cross-connectivity outside its ecosystem.

New Apple Watch Series 6:

Apple made a pitch for the Covid-19 era with the sixth generation of its flagship wearable device, adding new health and fitness features to help monitor oxygen levels, hand-washing techniques and home workouts.

The Apple Watch 6 uses LED lights and photo sensors on its bottom surface to measure the amount of oxygen in a user’s blood, by monitoring how much light the blood reflects. The device can also notify users if they are at a higher altitude, to remind them that their blood oxygen levels may be different than normal.

But Apple warns that its blood oxygen measurements “are not intended for medical use, including self-diagnosis or consultation with a doctor, and are only designed for general fitness and wellness purposes.”

The Apple Watch Series 6 also includes previously announced software updates including automatic hand-washing detection and sleep tracking.

The watch starts at $399, with a version that has cellular capability costing $499. Both will officially hit stores on 18th September.

New Apple Watch SE:

Apple unveiled a slightly cheaper version of the watch with more limited features.

Starting at $279, the Apple Watch SE uses a slower chip than the Apple Watch Series 6 but is still twice as fast as the $199 Series 3 model.

It will run the latest version of watchOS. The cellular model allows for phone calls, messages and more. Like other models, it has fall detection, the latest motion sensors and it’s swimproof.

The Apple Watch won’t come with a USB power adapter anymore.

Subscription Service Apple One:

Services have become a big business for Apple, accounting for more than 20% of its revenue in the most recently completed quarter. Now it’s giving customers a way to buy all of them in a bundle called Apple One.

The subscription service comes in three tiers. The cost for an individual subscription is $14.95, which gets you Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple TV+ and iCloud. A family subscription goes for $19.95, which allows those services to be shared with up to six family members. Finally, a premier subscription for $29.95 a month includes all those services plus News and Fitness subscriptions. It also bumps up the storage to 2TB.

The company is offering another new subscription service, called Fitness+, which provides members with exercise classes like yoga and cycling. It costs $9.99 per month and you’ll need an Apple Watch to use it. It’s also bundled with Apple One.