Our highlights from Apple’s ‘Time Flies’ event

Mobile Intern - Haroon

Although shorter than the typical WWDC, Apple’s ‘Time Flies’ event earlier this week was still packed with exciting news from the company, and some of their latest iterations of products we all know and love.

Our Software Developer Haroon Chishty has summarised all the key highlights below…

Apple Watch Series 6

The Apple Watch Series 6 marks the 7th generation of watches to come from the company since the Series 0 debuted in mid 2015. The Series 6 packs a dual core S6 chip which (thanks to its increased efficiency) allows for the always-on display introduced in the Series 5 to get up to 2.5 times brighter, all while retaining the same all-day battery life.

They’ve also packed in an altimeter – great for those of you who love hiking and checking your elevation levels. It’s worth noting though that its functionality is based on air pressure, so unfortunately you won’t be able to check your altitude in a plane!

There’s also a new blood oxygen sensor packed in, which uses infrared to check the colour of your blood to determine a reading. This new sensor paired with the heart rate monitor, ECG capabilities and fall detection, make the Apple Watch a great buy for any health fanatic.

Aside from that, the aesthetics of the Apple Watch are the exact same. Maybe we’ll see a redesign next year – the Series 6 starts from £379. (Did we also mention that there’s a new red and a new blue colour choice available?)

Apple Watch SE

On the same topic, Apple also introduced the Apple Watch SE – this has really got people talking. It’s a new lower cost watch starting at £259, allowing the Apple Watch to be more accessible to everyone. It features many of the same sensors as the new Series 6 except for an always-on display or blood oxygen sensor, and is powered by the still powerful S5 chip from last year’s watch.

It’s worth noting that Apple won’t include a USB power adaptor with either of the new Watches, to help reduce their environmental impact. Rumours have it that this trend will continue with the much-awaited iPhone 12, but we’ll have to wait and see!

iPad Air

A new iPad has joined the seemingly ever-growing iPad family in the form of the iPad Air. The iPad Air shares a lot of design cues from its box-y elder brother, the iPad Pro, but starts at a much lower price of £579.

It has an all-new A14 bionic chip paired with a 10.9” display with essentially no bezels and comes in 5 colours: sky blue, green, silver, space grey, and rose gold – so there should be something for everyone. To achieve such thin bezels, Apple have integrated the Touch ID sensor into the sleep/wake button for the first time, as the iPad Air doesn’t have a home button or Face ID.

The enthusiasts here are hoping that Apple continues this new Touch ID placement in the upcoming iPhone 12, so they can get rid of the notch and increase the screen-to-body ratio. Fingers crossed.

There was also an update to the original iPad – it still carries on the traditional look that comes to mind when someone says ‘iPad’. It still has fairly large bezels and a home button – but if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it, right? The only noticeable difference in the new 8th generation iPad is a spec bump to an A12 bionic chip. The 8th generation iPad starts at £329.

Fitness Plus

Apple also announced a new premium subscription service called Fitness Plus. Fitness Plus is built around the Apple Watch, but integrates with a host of other Apple devices, such as iPhones, iPads and even with the Apple TV.

Fitness Plus uses metrics from the various sensors on the Apple Watch paired with on-screen fitness instructors to guide you through 10 different workout types, including yoga, cycling and dance. There are even specially curated playlists for you to jam out to while burning those calories.

The whole idea behind this new service is to be able to turn any space into a workout space, no matter where you are, whether at home or on holiday – sounds perfect for a pandemic. Plus, a great feature is that your new workouts will be added under the workout types every week. Fitness Plus costs £9.99 per month for £79.99 per year and will be available late 2020.

Looking ahead…

Previously, we touched on the new software Apple was working on that they previewed. After the ‘Time Flies’ event closed, Apple released iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and watchOS 7 to the public. You can read about them in a recent post by Pat Cavanagh.

Does anyone else prefer the new pre-recorded cinematic style that Apple is taking on to deliver these presentations? I find it a lot more entertaining! It’ll be hard to get used to their normal styled reveals again when live events make a return.

Waiting on bigger news? The new iPhones or MacOS Big Sur? Worry not – it’s very likely that there will be another Apple Event coming our way as soon as October. A few future predictions from me:

  • The iPhone 12 (or one of its variants) is rumoured to have 5G and a high-refresh screen. While we don’t know if this means 90Hz or 120Hz, we know it’ll be an improvement on what we already have.
  • There’s also talk about AirPods studio, which is said to be a new addition to the AirPods line-up, but instead of earphones, they’re dedicated over ear headphones – should make for much better noise cancellation!
  • We can also expect a revision to Apple TV and a new HomePod.

Keep your eyes on our channels over the next few weeks, and I’ll be back to take you through any key Apple developments and what they mean for the wider mobile world.