At its September 7 event, Apple launched the iPhone 14 lineup but in addition, also introduced the Apple Watch Series 8 and the new Apple Watch SE.
As always, the Apple Watch remains focused on health and well-being. Adding to the ECG, heart rate tracking and oxygen saturation measurements, a new sensor now brings temperature sensing. The idea behind this continuous measurement is to help women track ovulation and enhance their chances of conception.
Temperature charts can be shared with the wearer’s healthcare givers and are not accessible to anyone else, including Apple. The menstrual cycle is considered an important marker of health for women. The Apple Watch Series 8 takes a two-sensor approach to temperature sensing — one sensor on the back of the watch, nearest the skin, and another just under the display — reducing bias from the outside environment.
The Apple Watch already has a Fall Detection feature and now there is also a Crash Detection. A car crash can trigger this and send calls to emergency contacts and services. This feature is not to be immediately available in India, and this is likely because the conditions the feature was tested on in the U.S. are very different than in other countries. including India. The Watch 8 also brings international roaming and the ability to make a call or message in an area where there is no cellular reception by aiming it at a satellite.
The Apple Watch SE delivers the core or basic experience, including activity tracking, high and low heart-rate notifications, Emergency SOS and a completely redesigned back case that matches the three-case finishes, at a more affordable price of ₹29,900. Both models are powered by watchOS 9, introducing new and more customisable watch faces like Lunar and Metropolitan, an enhanced Workout app, sleep stages, a first-of-its-kind AFib History feature, and a new Medications app. Many new features will come to these and more recent watches via the WatchOS 9 update.
Battery life on the Apple Watch 8 is rated at 18 hours, with a new low power mode that conserves battery when needed. Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch SE are available to order now, with availability beginning Friday, September 16. The Watch lineup includes the more sporty Nike variant. Watch Series 8 begins at ₹45,900.
This time, there is also an Apple Watch Ultra to cater to those who indulge in extreme sports and activities. This watch is rugged and includes a compass, extendable battery life, a room for multiple ‘complications’ or information types. Apple Watch Ultra is available to order now for ₹89,900, with availability beginning Friday, September 23.
Apple also introduced the next generation of its earphones, AirPods Pro, with a personalised Spatial Audio enhancement for greater immersive listening. Apple promises much clearer and more detailed sound, with a new chip driving the earphones.
AirPods Pro (2nd generation) will be available to order online and in the Apple Store app starting Friday, September 9, with availability in stores beginning Friday. These are priced at ₹26,900.