Apple has shown off the next iteration of its Apple Watch, which has been “redesigned and re-engineered.” Revealed during its keynote, the company showed off the Series 4‘s bigger screen, which utilises a new user interface to make use of the additional real estate. We also got a release date and prices for the various models, along with the new iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR.
To make the most of the extra space, there are now new customization options for faces and Complications. The modular face can now surface more detailed information from stocks and healths apps. The Breathe app will now be available as a watch face and will guide you through a deep breath exercise when you raise your wrist. Other dynamic watch faces that interact with the larger screen and its curved edges.
The Digital Crown now has haptic feedback and the speaker has been redesigned to be 50 percent louder, which is handy for phone calls and talking to Siri. The microphone has been shifted away from the speaker to reduce echo, while the back of the Series 4 Apple Watch is made of black ceramic and sapphire crystal. Radio waves can pass through the front and the back, which means better reception.
Inside the device is the S4 chip with a dual-core 64-bit processor, which deliverers 2x faster performance. The accelerometer gyroscope has been improved significantly too, to the point where it can tell when a wearer has fallen over. If it senses you’re immobile for more than a minute it starts informing emergency services.
Three new heart features were also announced. The first is a notification when your heart rate is too low. Apple Watch can also screen your heart rhythm in the background and send you information if it detects atrial fibrillation. The final new feature is the ability to take electrocardiograms (ECG); this is the first time an ECG product has been offered over the counter to consumers, according to Apple. Built in electrodes in the back of the watch and the Digital Crown detect electrical signals from the heart and the S4 chip processes this information, before surfacing it to the wearer in the Health app. This information can be exported as a .pdf file and given to doctors. All this data, Apple says, will be protected, as the information is encrypted on the devices and in the cloud.
The Apple Watch Series 4’s battery life has the same 18-hour battery life as its predecessors, even with the enhancements.
Series 4 will be available in silver, gold, and space grey. A stainless collection will also be available, alongside a gold stainless finish. Band colours and styles that are already available will still fit the new watch. Apple Watch Series 4 starts at $399 with GPS, $499 with cellular and will be available to order from September 14 and picked up from September 21. The Series 3 Apple Watch will drop in price to $279. The latest version of WatchOS, meanwhile, will launch on September 17.