Apple Watch Series 7 is official. It comes with a bigger and more robust display, but everything else is pretty much unchanged.
Yes, it’s that time of the year again. Apple’s September event was held earlier today. We saw the launch of the Apple Watch Series 7, along with new iPads, iPhones and more.
You will not be surprised to hear that the gathering was entirely in virtual format. This time last year we had hoped that in September 2021 the coronavirus pandemic would be a thing of the past. However, the numbers infected are still high so Apple has made a sensible decision not to hold a physical gathering. This is actually the second year in a row that the event was held entirely in a virtual space.
Lots of “leaks” ahead of the event this year so let’s get right into what is new with the Apple Watch. It seems some of the leaks were not correct.
Apple Watch Series 7 – what’s new?
Better, larger, more robust display
A change in the display was always on the cards. But there was talk that Series 7 would come with flat sides – similar to the iPhone 12 and iPad Pros. This turned out to be incorrect. So much for the rumor mill… The watch still has the familiar design, albeit with softer, more rounded corners.
Apple says the new models have more 20% screen area. The larger display comes courtesy of smaller bezels (down to 1.7mm), along with slightly larger size options. Almost the entire front area now is the screen. All of this is 70% brighter than on Series 6. Apps can fit 50% more text in part thanks to redesigned software.
The screen is also more crack-resistant so more durable (50% thicker than previous models). The watch has snagged for the first time IP6X certification for dusty environments. And it retains the WR50 rating for swimming.
Apple is taking advantage of the larger screen real-estate by adding new ways to input text. There’s now a full keyboard that you can tap or slide and machine learning predicts words you are typing in real time. The thing also comes with redesigned and enlarged user interface buttons on the screen. And of course, Series 7 comes with several new watch faces, including one that monitors time zones around the world.
A new processor this year (yet to be confirmed) called S7 but it is mostly the same as S6. Battery life is also unchanged at around 18 hours. However, Apple says the watch charges 33% faster than on Series 6. And that it uses a new fast-charing USB-C Cable.
Series 7 comes in 41mm and 45mm size options. This is slightly up from 40 and 44mm of previous models.
The entry-level model comes in a choice between 5 colors. You can see them pictured below.
Further customization options come in the form of aluminum, steel, and titanium cases, all priced differently. If you’ve invested in older watch bands you’ll be happy to know they will work with Series 7.
All things considered, we’ve received an iterative upgrade this year. Not really that much to get excited about. Also no new Watch SE so two of the three models Apple is selling have stayed the same.
Watch Series 7 costs $399 and up, with availability starting “later this Fall”. Watch SE will retail for $279 and Watch Series 3 for $199.
Apple Fitness+ is expanded
Some changes were announced to Apple Fitness+. The service will now be available in 15 countries, up from 6. Workouts will still be in English but there will be subtitles in a number of local languages.
Pilates and Guided mediations are also coming to Fitness+. New workouts will be added each week – from beginners to advanced. Some of the meditations sessions mentioned include Calm, Gratitude and Kindness.
Apple is also introducing workouts to help you get ready for the snow season. These build up strength to help you stay on the slopes longer.
Group workouts will be introduced for the first time. You’ll be able to follow both your and your friends workouts stats. The service supports up to 32 people at the same time.
WatchOS 8 and beyond
These changes are in addition to everything that comes as part of WatchOS8. A health-related highlight of this is that respiratory information will be tracked by an Apple device for the first time.
Bigger additions are set to arrive in 2022. A Bloomberg piece says at that point we’ll see a more rugged version for extreme sports athletes. That one would be useable in extreme environments. To this end it would come with a sturdier design which offers more protection.
As far as sensors, Apple had planned to integrate temperature tracking tech into Series 7. This appears to heave been delayed for Series 8. Such tech would be useful considering the pandemic. The highly anticipated non-invasive glucose monitoring might still be a few years off.
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