The annual end-of-summer Apple event may have come and gone without even the slightest whiff of a the rumoured new iPhone 12, but the Cupertino tech giant still had loads of new gadgets, software and ideas to share.
From the brand new Apple Watch 6, to the cheaper Apple Watch SE wearable, smart timepieces continued to get more feature-rich and accessible, while a new iPad and iPad Air proved that the tablet is still one of the most useful gadgets you can have in your home.
But what about the smaller announcements? Here’s some of the stuff you might have missed during Apple’s big reveal event.
- What you need to know about the new iPhone
- Here's how you can watch the Apple event
- Everything to know about the Apple Watch 6
- What's going on with Apple's AirTags?
- The iPad Air 4 is set for one big change we didn't expect.
Apple One is here to bundle your favorite services
We’ve been hearing rumors of an all-in-one Apple subscription package for a while now, and it was finally confirmed at the Apple Watch 6 event.
Apple One combines some of Apple’s biggest products into a number of differently-priced bundles, making it cheaper to subscribe to multiple services in one go.
The cheapest Individual package gets you access to Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, and 50GB of iCloud storage for $14.95 a month (about £11 / AU$20), while a Family subscription provides all the above, plus 200GB of iCloud storage that can be shared among up to six family members. A Family Apple One account will set you back $19.95 per month (about £15 / AU$25).
The most expensive bundle adds access to Apple News Plus and Apple Fitness Plus alongside the other services, plus 2TB of iCloud storage for $29.95 (around £25 / AU$40) – again, this can be shared by up to six family members.
Fitness Plus is a workout service that integrates with your Apple Watch
The 2020 Apple event was hugely fitness focused, with new health monitoring features announced alongside the Apple Watch 6, Apple Watch SE, and WatchOS 7 – and most interestingly of all, the company has launched its own workout subscription service.
Called Apple Fitness Plus, it gives you access to a huge collection of workouts that you can watch on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV – and with Apple Watch integration, you can even see your health metrics on screen in real time as you sweat.
It looks like the new service gives you lots of choice when it comes to customizing your workouts. You can select the workout type (including yoga, cycling, HIIT, and more), trainer, the length of the exercise, as well as the music – and if you have an Apple Music account, you can even link the two, so that any playlists you create for a workout can be listened to later on.
You'll be able to find Fitness Plus in the Fitness app on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, and the company says it will be available before the end of 2020 in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand.
It’ll cost $9.99 per month or $79 for an annual subscription. While global pricing is still to be confirmed, that works out at around £7 / AU$14 per month or £60 / AU$100 per year.
The Apple Watch 6 can look at your blood (and tell you if you’re healthy)
It might sound like something from a sci-fi film, but the new Apple Watch 6 can actually take a peek at your blood and monitor your oxygen levels, potentially alerting you to the early signs of health problems.
Apple says that the Blood Oxygen sensor “employs four clusters of green, red, and infrared LEDs, along with the four photodiodes on the back crystal of Apple Watch, to measure light reflected back from blood” – essentially, it looks at the color of your blood in your wrist to see how much oxygen it contains.
You can take measurements yourself (but you’ll need to hold still for it to work), while the Blood Oxygen app also takes background measurements when you’re inactive – that means that, over time, you’ll be able to see how your blood oxygen level fluctuates and hopefully take action if things don’t look right.
iOS 14 is launching tomorrow
… and so is iPadOS 14, WatchOS 7 and tvOS 14. The new operating systems, which cover everything Apple makes aside from its computing line up, were first announced back in June of 2020. After several months of beta testing, they’ll be launched to the general public from tomorrow. Keep an eye on your device for a notification letting you know when you can download and make the upgrade, and be sure to check out our hubs for all the new features the new operating systems offer:
- iOS14: what you need to know
- WatchOS 7: all the new features headed to your wrist
- tvOS 14: the bigscreen updates coming to your Apple TV devices
- iPadOS 14: get tablet makeover with the new features
You can now use Apple Watch to track your kids
Got a few older Apple Watches stuck in a drawer? Unlikely, but if you’re super rich and like the idea of being able to remotely monitor your family members young and old, the new Apple Watch Family Set Up could be for you.
It lets you hook up multiple Apple Watches to one iPhone account, allowing one person to monitor and manage what’s going on with those wearing the smart timepieces.
Requiring an Apple Watch 4 or newer (and that each smartwatch be an LTE-enabled variant), each member of the Family Set Up gets their own phone number, letting them make calls, send messages, and make and receive FaceTime calls too. The Family Set Up overseer can keep track of up-to-date location movements via notifications, as well as the wearer’s vital signs and any SOS Emergency alerts that may be triggered.
The wearer gets other benefits of the Apple Watch (providing they don’t mind being snooped on) including memoji messaging, access to shared calendars and reminders, and any fitness tracking features they’d care to use. School kids also get work timers to prove they’ve been studying, with a watch face that lets teachers know they aren’t just playing games on the smartwatch.
Ostensibly for kids, it could also be useful for keeping an eye on older, more vulnerable members of the family, too.
Apple Cash Family brings pocket money management to smart watches
Also buried away in the Apple Family Set Up press release was a new feature called Apple Cash Family which, essentially, lets you give pocket money to your kids via their Apple Watches, ready to be spent using Apple Pay contactless payments.
“With the new Apple Cash Family, parents can securely send their kids money to spend on their watch using Apple Pay,” reads the press release. “Parents can choose to receive notifications when their kids pay, and view their child’s purchases right in Wallet on their own iPhone."
We can’t help but be envious of any kid given an Apple Watch AND an allowance though…