Apple Event Coverage – Sept. 16, 2020

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Courtesy of Creative Commons

Tiara Starks, Entertainment Editor

On Sept. 16, Apple CEO Tim Cook virtually hosted a highly-anticipated annual Apple event titled “Time Flies.” The event was held to unveil upcoming releases of new mobile hardware and software updates to their current line of devices. Within the virtual event, Cook highlighted six major releases: the Apple Watch Series 6, the Apple Watch SE, the new 8th-generation iPad, the new iPad Air, Apple Fitness+ workout services, and Apple One service bundles.

Apple gave new updates to its watch operating system, WatchOS 7 while promoting the new Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE. The Apple Watch 6 will be offered in new colors and finishes, as well as an “always-on” display and expanded health measurements, including information about blood oxygen saturation, or Sp02. They’ve added a new single-band option for the watch, as well.

The watch will retail at $399 and will be available to ship on Sept. 18. The Apple Watch SE will come out with a bigger display and a more affordable price tag, starting at $279.

In an official press release on Apple’s Newsroom website, an updated version of the iPad Air is set to release Sept. 18th, and the 8th-generation iPad is starting at $329. The iPad Air will feature the newly-minted A14 Bionic chip. It is available for pre-order and will be available to ship this upcoming Sept. 18.

Among the newly announced services, a fitness service called “Apple Fitness+” will be released to the public at an undetermined time later this year. According to Apple’s website, the service will cost $9.99 per month and $79.99 for an annual subscription. Apple also said on its website that Apple Fitness+ is included for three months when you buy an Apple Watch. Current Apple Watch owners will get one month free and can share the service with five other family members under the subscription.

According to CNN, subscribers have the option of three tiers: an individual plan costs $14.95 per month and gets users Apple Music, upcoming gaming-service, Apple Arcade, Apple TV+, and 50GB of iCloud storage. A family plan costs $19.95 per month, which allows those aforementioned services to be shared with up to six family members and gets you 200GB of iCloud storage. The Premier tier costs $29.95 a month and includes those services plus Apple News and Apple Fitness+ subscriptions. This tier includes up to 2TB of iCloud storage. Additionally, the new “Family Setup” option doesn’t require pairing with an iPhone and provides expanded parental controls.

Apple also released its most recent operating system update, iOS 14, which officially launched and will be available as of Sept. 16.

Historically, Apple holds up to four media events annually, kicking off the year with a spring event in March, holding the recognizable Worldwide Developers Conference in June, an iPhone and Apple Watch-centered September event, and typically ending the year with an October event if there are updated iPads or Mac computers expected to be released in the fall. The absence of an iPhone 12 announcement at the event had also been noted. Apple said in July of this year, during its last earnings call, that “disruptions to its supply chain from the coronavirus pandemic could delay the latest iPhone”.

Consumers and tech enthusiasts are waiting to hear more about the company’s plans to announce the launch date of macOS “Big Sur”, previously unveiled at the WWDC Conference this past June. “Big Sur” is expected to be an overhaul of the current macOS, “High Sierra”. Historically, operating systems updates are released alongside their corresponding hardware. The new OS should become available as newer Mac models get announced later this year.

A minute to minute blog transcript of the event can be found on MacRumors.com and an American Sign Language interpretation can be found on the Apple website.