Apps INSIGHT Apple Special Event

Insight

Apple’s September 2020 Special Event

Briefing

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  • United States

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Apple held its September event today, which included a handful of exciting hardware announcements. And, critically, Apple also announced the release dates for the newest versions of iOS, iPad OS, watchOS, and tvOS.

OS Updates

In a surprise move, Apple announced that iOS 14, iPad OS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14 will be officially available starting tomorrow, Wednesday, September 16th. Apple typically announces their OS release dates to developers many weeks in advance, so this is a different cadence than usual.

Our team began testing our apps on the new OS versions right when the initial beta versions became available during WWDC, so we don’t expect any major surprises at this point. The Golden Master (GM) versions of the new OS SDKs became available today, and our team is actively working with those GM SDKs to test the compatibility of our apps with the final OS versions.

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Apple Watch

Apple Watch Series 6

Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 6, with a focus on fitness, health, and style.

Series 6 includes a new sensor that monitors blood oxygen levels, which are key indicators of overall health. Paired with the ECG sensor that debuted in series 5, the Apple Watch continues its evolution as a health-oriented tool for wearers.

Series 6 also includes a brighter always-on display and will debut in new colors including blue, red, gold, and graphite. It starts at $399.

Apple Watch SE

Apple also announced Apple Watch SE, a lower-cost model that is built around the series 6 form factor but removes some of the advanced functionality offered by the higher-end units.

Starting at $279, Apple Watch SE will likely bring a new set of users to the platform who had been holding out for a more affordable alternative to the previous models.

Watch Faces and Complications

Apple continues featuring Apple Watch faces and complications as the main app interaction paradigms, rather than focusing on having users launch full modal app experiences. This is a key strategy we’ve picked up on during the past few Apple Watch events, and it suggests Apple is now considering those glanceable interfaces to be the most important and useful on the platform.
Overall

Apple Watch Series 6 and SE are now available for preorders and will be available this Friday, September 18th.

A great comparison of Apple Watch Series 6, 3, and SE can be found here:

https://www.apple.com/watch/compare/

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iPad

iPad Air

The new fourth-generation iPad Air features an updated form factor that closely mirrors the iPad Pro’s slim-bezel, all-screen design, but as a smaller and less-expensive model. It also features upgraded technical specifications and camera technology over the previous model.

Interestingly, the new iPad Air also features Touch ID integrated on the side power button of the unit, rather than utilizing Face ID like the iPad Pro. A Touch ID integration independent of the home button has been long-rumored, so this is a significant update to the Touch ID technology. We’ll see if this also makes its way to other hardware in the iPhone or iPad lineup.

The new iPad Air will be available starting in October.

iPad

The standard iPad is also being updated to a new eighth-generation iteration. This upgrade is primarily a hardware specification upgrade and doesn’t include any other major form factor or hardware updates. But it does demonstrate that Apple continues to offer great options to iPad users across the entire spectrum, from entry-level to professional.

The updated iPad will be available starting this Friday, September 18th.

Overall

A comparison of all the current iPad models is available here:

https://www.apple.com/ipad/compare/

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Apple Services

Apple Fitness+

Apple announced their new Apple Fitness+ service today. It provides video-based, virtual, guided workout classes on iPhone, iPad, and tvOS devices, and uses the Apple Watch to record workout statistics and summaries. The tightly-integrated experience across all Apple’s platforms should provide a compelling way for users to exercise at home, while traveling, and everywhere in between.

The service will be available for $9.99 per month, or $79.99 per year. You can find a summary of the service here:

https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2020/09/apple-fitness-plus-a-personalized-fitness-experience-comes-to-life-with-apple-watch/

Apple One

Apple is now also offering the option of bundling a handful of their subscriptions into a single service, called Apple One. Apple One will be available in three different tiers. Apple Music, TV+, Arcade, and iCloud are included in all tiers, and the Premier tier also includes News+ and Fitness+.

More details are available here:

https://www.apple.com/apple-one/

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