[WATCH] Apple unveils Watch Series 8 and rugged Watch Ultra

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Apple has announced its latest wearable, the Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE, and Apple Watch Ultra — at its “Far Out” event on Wednesday, 7 September 2022.

Apple Watch 8 and Apple Watch SE

The new smart wearables include a new temperature sensor, which Apple says “takes its commitment to women’s health”.

The Apple Watch Series 8 also includes two new motion sensors to detect if you’ve been in a severe car crash.

Apple says it can track temperature changes as slight as 0.1 degrees Celsius and that it checks your temperature every five seconds.

The company says that tracking your body temperature overnight can help give you insights into your ovulation cycle, which it can use to enhance the watch’s cycle tracking feature for those who menstruate.

“Utilising the new temperature-sensing capabilities in Apple Watch Series 8, users can receive retrospective ovulation estimates. Knowing when ovulation has occurred can be helpful for family planning, and Apple Watch Series 8 makes it easy and convenient by providing these estimates in the Health app.

“Temperature sensing also enables improved period predictions,” Apple said.

Apple says this data is encrypted on the watch itself — an important consideration for anyone tracking their cycles after the repeal of Roe v. Wade.

Apple also says that anyone using Cycle Tracking will now get a warning if their period is irregular, which could be a sign of “underlying health conditions.

When Apple Watch detects a severe car crash, the device will check in with the user and dial emergency services if they are unresponsive after a 10-second countdown.

Emergency responders will receive the user’s device location, which is also shared with the user’s emergency contacts.

To keep users connected for even longer, a new Low Power Mode can extend battery life to reach up to 36 hours for Apple Watch Series 8 with iPhone present.

Apple said this new mode temporarily disables or limits select sensors and features, including the Always-On Retina display, workout autostart, heart health notifications, and more.

Apple Watch Ultra

Apple has finally announced Apple Watch Ultra, which brings a new bold design and a wide range of features built for endurance, exploration, and adventure.

Apple Watch Ultra introduces a 49mm titanium case and flat sapphire front crystal that reveals the biggest and brightest Apple Watch display yet.

A customisable Action button offers instant access to a wide range of useful features.

The Action button can instantly begin workouts and move users to the next interval of a Custom Workout or the next leg of a Multisport workout.

It can also be used to mark segments, complementing the new Track running experience, which automatically provides the ultimate pacing and distance estimates for runners at a track.

Apple Watch Ultra has the best battery life of any Apple Watch, reaching up to 36 hours during normal use. Additionally, a new low-power setting, ideal for multi-day experiences, can extend battery life to reach up to 60 hours.

The Wayfinder watch face is designed specifically for the larger Apple Watch Ultra display and includes a compass built into the dial, with space for up to eight complications.

Apple Watch Ultra also brings three new bands — Trail Loop, Alpine Loop, and Ocean Band — offering unique design features that provide a secure and comfortable fit for every adventure.

They cater to different environments and are meant to endure “long runs, hard falls, and rippling currents.

The Trail loop is designed for runners and is made of a lightweight textile with a tab to help adjust fit easily. The Alpine Loop has two layers made of high-strength yarn to provide adjustability and security via a G-hook fastener. Meanwhile, the Ocean band is designed for water sports since it stretches and uses tubular geometry for a better fit.

There’s a new button guard on the side which can be customized for various purposes, including workouts, compass waypoints, and a new backtrack feature.

The display has sapphire crystal as well as 2000 nits of brightness.

The buttons and crowns are also designed to work with gloves, which is a big concern for outdoor athletes.

There are three built-in microphones to improve sound quality as well as reduce ambient noise like wind.

The Ultra also has improved multiband GPS, which includes the new L5 frequency. It also has a trackback feature, which helps you retrace your steps in case you accidentally go off the grid.

 There’s a new Compass app in watchOS 9, which adds Compass Waypoints so you can mark points of interest on a map.

Compass Waypoints are a quick and convenient way to mark a location or point of interest directly in the app.

Pressing the Action button or tapping the Compass Waypoint icon drops a waypoint that can be edited by tapping the icon that appears.

The Compass Waypoint complication updates dynamically in real time with both the direction of the waypoint as well as the approximate distance.

Meanwhile, for triathletes, the Action button also lets you transition from one leg of a race to the next (i.e. switching from swimming to running).

There’ll also be auto-detect for when athletes arrive at tracks later this year. And it has an 86-decibel siren to help others locate you.

For water sports, it can handle kiteboarding and has WR 100 water resistance.

It automatically launches a new depth app when you’re underwater to show time, depth, and temperature.

It’s also certified to EN 13319 for scuba divers, with a diving depth of up to 40m and has a new Oceanic Plus app for recreational and scuba divers.

Apple Watch Ultra includes all of the connectivity, activity and health features from heart rate monitoring and the ECG and Blood Oxygen apps, to Activity rings and Mindfulness, along with additional health, safety and navigation features.

Pricing and Availability

The Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE 2, and Apple Watch Ultra will be available for pre-order today, with shipping starting on 23 September 2022.

The Series 8 is available in seven colours: midnight, starlight, silver, product red, and three brushed stainless-steel finishes — silver, gold and graphite.

Prices start at $399 for the GPS-only model and $499 for the variation with cellular connectivity and GPS.

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