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Apple's Fitness+ is a new fitness experience built for the Apple Watch
by João Carrasqueira
Today, during its special event focused on the Apple Watch and iPad, Apple introduced a new fitness-oriented subscription service, Apple Fitness+. The service is designed for Apple Watch, and it offers personalized workout recommendations, and professional workout routines by renowned trainers.
Apple Fitness+ can offer recommendations based on past workout sessions the user has done, but users can also search for specific types of workout, specific trainers, duration, or even the music used during the workout. On the topic of music, if you happen to hear something you like during a workout and you want to listen to it later, Apple Fitness+ can tie with Apple Music so you can do that.
The integration with the Apple Watch means that when you select a workout from the Fitness app on your iPhone, your Apple Watch will automatically begin tracking that specific kind of workout. Metrics like the heart rate are measured during the workout, and you can even enable the Burn Bar, which compared your burned calories to other people who have done the same workout. An interface similar to the activity rings usually displayed on the watch will let users know how far along they are in the workout.
As for what kind of workouts you'll find, Apple's trainers will create a library of Studio Workouts targeting different activities like cycling, rowing, strength, yoga, and more, and each workout is paired with music specifically chosen by the trainer. New workouts will be added each week across different genres, and there's an "Absolute Beginner" program built into the app for those just getting into fitness. There's no specific brand or equipment required for the workout to be tracked, but if you have an Apple GymKit-compatible treadmill, you can connect it with the watch so the metrics are in sync.
Apple Fitness+ will cost $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year, with a free one-month trial available. However, if you buy an Apple Watch series 3 or newer starting today, you can get an expanded trial for three months. Additionally, the subscription will be included in the Apple One Premier plan in countries where it's available.
By Rich Woods
Apple announces new iPads bringing Pro features to lower-cost tablets
by Rich Woods
Today at its virtual event, Apple announced new iPads. Starting with the base model, it introduced a new eighth-generation iPad. Pretty much the only new feature is that it includes an A12 Bionic processor, with Apple promising that it's twice as fast as the top-selling Windows laptop, three times as fast as the top-selling Android tablet, and six times as fast as the top-selling Chromebook. Of course, these aren't necessarily comparatively priced devices.
The new iPad Air is more interesting, because it's using the design from the iPad Pro, with its flat sides and lack of a home button. In fact, it's actually keeping Touch ID though, by moving the fingerprint sensor to the power button. After all, in an age where wearing masks are so common, it wouldn't be smart to release a product that requires facial recognition.
With the iPad Pro design, it comes with USB Type-C connectivity, meaning you can plug in a USB drive. It has a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with a 2360x1640 resolution, so that's the area where the iPad Pro still has an advantage. In fact, the iPad Air even supports the newer magnetic Apple Pencil, which charges wirelessly.
And then there's the new A14 processor, which is actually making its debut today. It's the first time that a new Apple Silicon processor has debuted in an iPad instead of an iPhone since the A5 in the iPad 2. It's a 5nm chipset with 11.8 million transistors, and it offers a 40% increase in performance over the last iPad Air. It's got a six-core CPU, and an upgraded neural engine.
The eighth-gen iPad starts at $329, and you can pre-order it today with availability on Friday. The new iPad Air is coming next month, but starts at $599.
Apple One brings Apple's subscriptions services into one bundle
by João Carrasqueira
During its special event today, Apple announced a bundle subscription program that includes all of its individual subscription services. Called Apple One, the package comes in three variants, the individual plan, the family plan, and the Premier plan, which is technically the only one that includes all the services.
The individual plan is the basic package, and as you can see, it costs $14.95 per month. For that price, you get Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 50GB of iCloud storage. The family plan expands on this, including all the same subscriptions that can be shared between family members, plus upgrading the iCloud storage to 200GB instead of 50GB, and it costs $19.95 per month.
The Premier plan is the most expensive, but also the most comprehensive of the plans. If you're willing to pay $29.95, you can get Apple News+ and the all-new Apple Fitness+ program added to the subscription. Additionally, this subscription bumps up your iCloud storage significantly to 2TB. Just like the family plan, all of this can be shared with family members.
The Apple One individual and family plans will be available in over 100 countries this fall. However, the Premier plan is more limited in availability, because Apple News+ isn't available everywhere. This plan will be available in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. Apple Fitness+ will join the subscription later in the year, since it isn't available just yet.
Apple introduces the Apple Watch SE starting at $279
by João Carrasqueira
Today, during its special event, Apple announced a cheaper variant of the Apple Watch,the Apple Watch SE. The new watch features many of the features the Apple Watch is known for, but it starts at just $279.
The Apple Watch SE has a similar design to what was introduced with the Apple Watch series 4, with a larger display than the initial models. It also features a lot of the same sensors, like a compass, an always-on altimeter, sleep tracking, and fall detection. It also includes the new features announced today, including new watch faces, and the new Family Setup feature. This lets parents set up Apple Watch devices for their children, and this cheaper model makes sense for that purpose.
The watch is also still swimproof and it works with the new wrist straps introduced today, so the experience will be familiar if you have a previous generation of the Apple Watch. It will be especially familar if you have an Apple Watch series 5, since the SE is using the same chipset as last year's model, the S5. That's one of the biggest distinctions between the series 6 and the SE. Still, that processor is two times faster than the Apple Watch series 3, which Apple is still selling. That model start at $199, and it has an older design, making the SE a viable option.
As mentioned above, the Apple Watch SE starts at $279 for the GPS model, but you can also get it in a cellular variant. The cellular variant is required if you want to enable Family Setup, which allows the watch to be used by users without a personal iPhone, and that costs $329.
By Rich Woods
Apple announces Apple Watch Series 6 with blood oxygen tracking, new colors, more
by Rich Woods
Today, Apple is holding a virtual event, and it's about time. The company announced its next-generation Apple Watch, the Series 6. It comes in an array of new colors, and it also has some new features.
Starting with new colors, the Apple Watch Series 6 has a new blue aluminum variant, joining Space Grey, Silver, Gold, and Rose Gold. Blue isn't the only new aluminum color though, because you can also get it in PRODUCT (RED). If you're more of a stainless steel person, the gold color has been refreshed a bit, and there's a new Grey Black variant.
As for new features, the big one is blood oxygen (SpO2) tracking. This adds to Apple's health-tracking efforts, with Tim Cook leading off the presentation by telling stories about users whose lives were quite literally saved by an Apple Watch, which might have delivered a warning about the user's heart rate, causing them to get checked out by a doctor.
As usual, there are a bunch of new watch faces too. These include a GMT face, which lets you see different time zones, a countdown face, Chronograph Pro, Typograph, and more. There's also a new family setup feature that will let you give your kids an Apple Watch without them having an iPhone.
As for the internals, the smartwatch has a new S6 processor, which is dual-core and based on the A13 Bionic. Obviously, that's been optimized for the Watch.
The Apple Watch Series 6 will continue to be sold at the regular Apple Watch price, which is starting at $399. However, this time it won't come with a power adapter, with Apple claiming that it will cause less waste for the environment. You can order today with availaility on Friday.