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Apple Launches Watch Series 6 and Watch SE

Apple doubles down on health

Apple launched two new models of its highly successful watch Wearable during their Time Flies event today. Both smartwatches, the Series 6 and Watch SE are integral parts of Apple’s push into health services. The company has already made big strides into the wearable market and leads the pack with a massive 29.3% of the market as of the first quarter of 2020, according to IDC.

So what’s new with the two wearables? Let’s break it down for you:

A few new colors, but no major design changes – Apple’s design for their Watches has been iconic since its inception, so it’s no surprise here that the company hasn’t really revamped the look of the Series 6 all that much.

You can now grab the Series 6 in blue, along with the silver, space gray, and gold aluminum case options, along with a (PRODUCT)RED Apple Watch with exclusive matching bright red bands. Stainless steel models are now also available in Graphite color, and Apple has also updated the classic yellow gold color as well.

Oxygen blood sensor that might be able to help detect COVID-19 – the biggest update to Apple’s new Series 6 is the ability to measure blood oxygen levels in 15 seconds, using both red and infrared light. Being able to detect blood-oxygen levels will help health professionals diagnose and detect a large swath of respiratory illnesses before they become a problem.

And yes, that also potentially might also include the modern plague AKA COVID-19, though that’s still to be determined. That hasn’t stopped Apple from partnering with health networks to start large-scale studies with the new feature to determine if it indeed helps with COVID-19 detection.

Brand new S6 processor – Aside from the new sensor, the Series 6 also gets a brand-new S6 processor that delivers 20 percent more performance from the last iteration. Based on Apple’s in-house A13 chipset, it promises to deliver 20-percent more performance VS the previous model (the Series 5 still used the S4 chip that shipped on the Series 4). The Series 6 still maintains the 18 hours of battery life that the previous generation enjoyed.

A new subscription service for the Apple Watch, dubbed Fitness+ – Apple is also launching a new subscription service for the Apple Watch family dubbed Fitness Plus that gives users access to virtual workouts and improved fitness tracking features.

The app gives you access to 10 different workout types to your iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, and works in tandem with your watch to track your progress on the screen of your choice. Fitness+ is priced at $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year.

A cheaper variant that won’t break the bank – Apple also launched a more affordable version of their Watch dubbed the Apple Watch SE during the event. The watch doesn’t have the Series 6’s shiny new S6 processor nor the blood oxygen sensor, but still retains most of the same features and hardware as the current model. It’s priced at a lower $279.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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