New (cheap) iPad
After a slow start, weâ€™re racing through things now. Next up is a new iPad, the 8th generation.
(In case youâ€™ve forgotten Appleâ€™s branding, the iPad line has the iPad Pro at the top, the iPad Air in the middle, and just â€œiPadâ€ at the bottom).
So the iPad will have the A12 chip, the same one that was in last yearâ€™s iPad Air. It will still have the bezels at the top and bottom, as well as the TouchID home button, of previous models, but does support the Smart Keyboard and first-gen Apple Pencil.
Basically, itâ€™s last yearâ€™s iPad Air, with a lower price and support for a few more recent accessories. It starts at $329, with a $30 discount for schools.
And with that, weâ€™re on to the long-awaited services bundle: Apple One.
It comes in a bunch of tiers: the first, for $15, will include 50GB of iCloud Storage, Apple Arcade, and Apple Music; then, for $20, thereâ€™s a family bundle with 250GB of storage; and for $30, thereâ€™s the big kahuna, the premier tier, which adds Apple Fitness+ and Apple News+ and 2TB of storage.
Those prices are very good, for what itâ€™s worth: simply buying the individual tier on its own would cost $21 a month; the premier tier would be $45 normally.
Hereâ€™s the nice feature list:
Itâ€™s going to cost $9.99 a month, or $79.99 a year; itâ€™s launching in six countries including the US and UK before the end of the year.
And you get three months free with a new Apple Watch.
The service works between iPhones, Apple Watches, and extra screens like your Apple TV. Start the workout on your iPhone, and it will automatically start on the workout app on your app.
Fitness+ is launching with ten workout types: Yoga, Cycling, Dance, Treadmill walk and run, strength, core, HIIT, rowing and mindful cooldowns. Many of them require just a set of dumbells, and some need no equipment at all.
â€œEach week our incredible trainer team will deliver a wide variety of new workouts,â€ Apple says, and if youâ€™re an Apple Music subscriber, youâ€™ll be able to save those playlists there as well.
The app is also coming to Apple TV and iPad, so you can work out with whatever screen you want.
Apple is creating a new fitness service, â€œbuilt around the Apple Watchâ€, which will guide people through â€œten types of workoutsâ€ with â€œworld-class trainersâ€ and Apple Music soundtracks.
â€œNew workouts added every weekâ€, the company says, as it shows a very aspirational montage of people getting sweaty.
Itâ€™s called Apple Fitness+.
An overview of Appleâ€™s environmental efforts follows, most of which weâ€™ve already covered in July. But there is some news: the new Watches are dispensing with the USB power adapter, which Apple says is usually unnecessary and wasteful given we all have tens of them lying around the house already.
Itâ€™s true! But itâ€™s likely to be unpopular anyway.
A nice overview of the Watch SE features:
More pricing: The Series 6 starts at $399, and the Series 3, which is sticking around, gets a new price of just $199.
(UK pricing will follow at the end.)
Apple Watch SE
Alongside Family Setup is the second new Watch: the Apple Watch SE, which has the same design as the Apple Watch Series 6 did, and the same interior chips as the Apple Watch Series 5.
It starts at $279, or $12 a month.
A new feature, Family Setup, is going to let parents set up an Apple Watch for their kids, even if they donâ€™t have an iPhone. It requires a cellular watch, and lets the adult set up a limited version of the Watch that they can use to to keep in touch with their kid without needing to give them a full phone.
Now we get a run-through of the new watch faces. Some of these will likely be exclusive to the Watch Series 6, but many will come to all watches that support WatchOS 7.
Thereâ€™s some specialist faces, including one for surfers and one for photographers; thereâ€™s a unique â€œartâ€ face; thereâ€™s a nice face that lets you set a specific pattern of stripes to show your pride in your orientation, nationality or football team.
Itâ€™s not all about health measurement. The watch also has a new, brighter, always-on screen, and an always-on altimeter for measuring elevation. Perfect if you, say, live in San Franciscoâ€™s Bay Area and go hiking a lot! Not coincidentally, this is true of many Apple engineers.
Apple Watch Series 6
And so we see the new hardware, the Apple Watch Series 6. It comes in a range of new colours, as expected, and also includes a new pulse oximetry sensor for measuring blood oxygen saturation.
That means that users can track their health over the long term, as well as receive alerts if thereâ€™s an acute problem. The company is also partnering with academics to use this rich information to investigate ailments including asthma and covid. The hope is to uncover how to use low blood oxygen saturation as an early warning signal for Covid infections.
We turn to Appleâ€™s new chief operating office, Jeff Williams, who begins by walking us through some of the previously announced features arriving with WatchOS 7, the software update which will come to most recent Apple Watches this autumn.
The key health feature, Williams says, is new VO2 Max monitoring, which will allow users to keep track of their lung capacity.
Weâ€™re starting with the Apple Watch, as Cook runs down the benefits of his own: it helps him keep fit, unlock his garage, and stream his favourite music, he says.
Itâ€™s the â€œmost loved watch in the worldâ€, he says, citing messages from Watch users who say it has â€œchanged, and sometimes savedâ€ their lives, before introducing a mini-documentary profiling some of those users.
And weâ€™re off, with a bright and calming video of Apple Park leading to Tim Cook talking to camera about â€œthe challenges that Covid-19 is causing in communities around the world.â€
For this second remote conference, Cookâ€™s not standing in the big empty Steve Jobs theatre; instead, heâ€™s walking around a scarily empty corridor in the companyâ€™s head office, like a very slow Aaron Sorkin character.
Iâ€™d normally do a little â€œwhat to expectâ€ here, except it really is very little: weâ€™re thinking thereâ€™s going to be two new Apple Watches, one expensive and one less expensive; two new iPads, one at the mid-range and one at the budget end; and possibly the launch of Appleâ€™s long-awaited subscription bundle, Apple One.
What we wonâ€™t see is what would normally lead this September event: new iPhones. Covid-related production delays have pushed that launch back to October, leaving this event quite thin and, hopefully, short.
Hello and welcome to the Guardianâ€™s live blog of Appleâ€™s latest press event. Weâ€™ll be kicking off at 10am Pacific Time â€“ thatâ€™s 6pm UK time, and 3am in New South Wales if youâ€™re staying up for all the latest news.
If you want to watch along live, Apple is streaming the event on YouTube, which Iâ€™ve also embedded above. Otherwise, stick around here, and weâ€™ll keep you up to date with the important news, translate the technobabble, and just quietly ignore the advertising over the next few hours.