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Apple announces Apple Watch Series 6 with ability to measure blood oxygen levels


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Apple announces Apple Watch Series 6 with ability to measure blood oxygen levels

Including a Product (RED) model for the first time

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Apple has announced the Apple Watch Series 6, the latest in its line of popular smartwatches. The Series 6 model maintains the same overall design introduced with the Apple Watch Series 4 and continued with the Series 5, but it adds a variety of new sensors to allow for things like blood oxygen monitoring and better sleep tracking.

 

Apple says the Series 6 can measure blood oxygen levels in about 15 seconds, using both red and infrared light. The company says it’s partnering with health networks to start large-scale studies using the new blood oxygen measurement feature, including testing to see if it can detect if a person is infected with COVID-19.

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The Series 6 can measure blood oxygen levels in about 15 seconds.
GIF: Apple

The Series 6 also comes with the new S6 processor, which promises up to 20 percent faster performance. It’s based on Apple’s in-house A13 chip and brings the first major update to the Apple Watch’s performance since the Series 4, given that last year’s Series 5 model used the same S4 CPU (rebranded as the S5 with other additions like a compass and a new display controller). Apple says it provides this improved performance while maintaining the 18 hours of battery life of the prior model. The Series 6 can recharge faster, though, going from zero to full in about 1.5 hours.

 

The always-on display is said to be 2.5 times brighter than the one on the Series 5, so it’s easier to read when your arm is on a desk or when outdoors. It’s also now possible to access notifications, Control Center, change watchfaces, or tap on complications without fully waking the screen.

 

Another new sensor is the always-on altimeter, which provides real-time elevation information. Apple says it is accurate down to a foot of measurement. Lastly, Apple says the Series 6 has the same U1 ultrawideband chip that first debuted in the iPhone 11 line, but it did not elaborate on how it would be used by the Apple Watch, other than to “support new experiences, such as next-generation digital car keys.”

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A Product (RED) version of the Apple Watch Series 6.
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The Apple Watch Series 6 is powered by the new S6 processor.

You’ll be able to get the Series 6 in gray, silver, gold, or blue aluminum finishes or a new Product (RED) version that has a striking red finish on it. The stainless steel model is available in either graphite or yellow gold, but the silver chrome model appears to be no longer available. The top-end Edition model is available in natural or black titanium, but no ceramic options this year.

 

Apple says the aluminum models are made of 100 percent recycled aluminum, much like the newer MacBook Pro models. In addition, Apple is announcing a new strap called the “Solo Loop” that is made from one piece of silicone, without any buckles or adjustments. It is available in a range of styles and seven different colors. There is also a braided Solo Loop made from yarn that’s available in five colors. Finally, Apple is releasing a new leather link strap.

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The new Solo Loop strap has no buckles or clasps.
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The braided Solo Loop is made from yarn.

The Series 6 will run watchOS 7, which Apple revealed at WWDC earlier this year. The software update — available for all models dating back to the Series 3 — adds native sleep tracking support, but the Series 6 will take that feature even further thanks to dedicated sensors. Other major updates coming in watchOS 7 include a rebranded Fitness app with new workouts, a hand-washing feature tailored for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, richer complications, and the ability to share watchfaces with others.

 

In addition, Apple is debuting a new feature called Family Setup, which allows parents to set up managed Apple Watches for their kids who don’t have iPhones of their own. Parents will be able to manage who the child can message or call from the watch, set up location alerts, and add do not disturb modes for school time. A new watchface will inform teachers that the watch is in DND mode from a glance. Family Setup requires a cellular Apple Watch model and will be available through a handful of carriers at launch.

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Family Setup allows parents to remotely manage a child’s Apple Watch.

Apple is also debuting a new service for the Apple Watch called Fitness Plus, a subscription service for virtual workouts and improved fitness tracking features. It costs $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year. Fitness Plus can also be purchased in a bundle, called Apple One, with Apple’s other subscription services, such as Apple Music, News Plus, and TV Plus.

 

The Apple Watch Series 6 will be available starting at $399 for a 40mm model, the same price as the outgoing Series 5. Cellular models start at $499. The Series 6 is available to order starting today, September 15th, and will start shipping on Friday, September 18th. As part of its efforts to reduce waste, Apple says it will not be including a USB power adapter in the box with the Series 6 watch, just the charging cable.

 

Alongside the Series 6, Apple has also announced the Apple Watch SE, a lower-cost model that has the features of last year’s Series 5.

 

 

Apple announces Apple Watch Series 6 with ability to measure blood oxygen levels

 

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The New Apple Watch Would Like to ‘See’ Your Blood

The new wearable uses an LED array to measure your blood oxygen level, among other new features.
Image may contain Wristwatch
Photograph: Apple 
 

The products Apple announced in its short, one-hour presentation Tuesday morning were in line with the rumors and speculation that preceded the event. We’ve known the company’s September product showcase was going to focus on wrist-worn wearables ever since Apple invited us to watch the streaming presentation with a graphic titled “Time Flies.”

 

So, we were expecting a couple of Apple Watches, and today, they’re here. There’s a premium model called Apple Watch Series 6 and a lower-cost model called Apple Watch SE.

 

The premium model starts at $399 for the version with GPS; the model that adds cellular capabilities starts at $499. It runs off a modified version of Apple’s A13 processor that was introduced in the iPhone 11. The SE model, with a lower-powered processor, starts at $279. You can ready your wrist now: Both will ship this Friday, September 18.

 

As usual, much of Apple's Watch pitch focused on features that help improve and maintain its users’ health. The company delivered the same message last year, when it highlighted features like emergency calling and fall detection. This time around, of course, that appeal to safety might hit a little harder than in years past, with much of the country living through multiple life-threatening disasters. And while a wearable computer might not be able to protect you from wildfire smoke or a deadly virus, Apple is still keen to point out how it can do a body good.

 
Gas Light

 

The big health feature announced for the Watch Series 6 was a long-rumored blood oxygen sensor. A cluster of LEDs on the Watch’s belly shines a red light through your skin, and a set of photodiodes measures the light that bounces back. Based on the perceived color of your blood, Apple says, the Watch can measure the level of oxygen saturation in your blood within 15 seconds. Apple framed this announcement by pointing out the increase in interest in blood oxygen level measurement due to the respiratory effects of Covid-19, but then was quick to note that the Watch’s new feature is to be used for general “fitness and wellness purposes.”

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The new Watch gives you detailed reports about the levels of oxygen in your blood.

Photograph: Apple 

The budget-conscious Watch SE doesn’t have the blood monitoring tech, always-on display, or ECG capabilities of its more expensive brethren, but it still has some of the new features introduced in Watch Series 5. Inside is an S5 chip that powers an accelerometer, an altimeter, and a compass. The lower-priced SE doesn’t quite replace the Apple Watch Series 3, which is still available as the true budget option at a price of $199.

 
Band Together

 

In terms of accessories, Apple showed off several new watch band styles, including a new one called the “Solo loop” that is just one stretchy piece of silicone with no clasp or buckle. It’s available as a smooth band or in a braided style. The Series 6 is also available in a variety of new colors, including blue aluminum, a shiny Product Red finish, or a couple of stainless steel options.

 

The Apple Watch was in part designed as a way to prevent you from being tethered to your phone. To that end, Apple also introduced a feature coming to WatchOS 7 called Family Setup. It allows parents to set up multiple cellular-equipped Watches through one iPhone. Now helicopter parents everywhere can track the movements of their kids—or their elderly parents—as well as monitor their messaging and content consumption, regardless of what model phone they have, if they have one at all.

 

There are new faces too, including colorful options that use stripes to support your favorite sports team, wave a pride flag to support queer rights, or just match the Watch face to that day's outfit. There are also new complications, new typefaces, and other on-screen tweaks that refine the Watch's software design.

 

See everything Apple announced by reading our event wrap-up.

 

 

The New Apple Watch Would Like to ‘See’ Your Blood

 

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                                                                                   Apple Watch Series 6

 

 

                                                                              Apple Watch Series 6 includes a new health sensor ,

                                                                      for measuring blood oxygen levels.

 

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Edited by Ubiaquitrian
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@Ubiaquitrian  thanks for your post, but (1) posted News needs to be the complete article and (2) contain a link to the source article.

 

Also, searching before posting would have found this earlier topic.

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