Apple also took the wraps off a new high-end watch model, a next-generation iPad and a couple of new subscription services during a virtual event held Tuesday.
At today's media event, Apple announced Family Setup, a new feature coming tomorrow as part of watchOS 7 that will allow kids, elderly relatives, and others take advantage of numerous capabilities of the Apple Watch without the need for their own paired iPhone. Its design, almost identical to the previous iPad Pro, ditches both the curved edges and Lightning port in favor of the much-desired USB-C port, along with support for the newest version of the Apple Pencil, as well as a smart connector on the back that works with the trackpad-equipped Magic Keyboard originally made for the iPad Pro.
The feature requires requires a cellular model of Apple Watch Series 4 and later and will be available at launch with select carrier partners, including AT&T, T-Mobile and (TechCrunch parent's parent) Verizon, and other global carriers. Blood oxygen is one indicator of pulmonary health, and Apple is already putting the new capability to very timely use.
Apple says a blood oxygen measurement can be recorded in just 15 seconds, done with an updated sensor on the rear of the Apple Watch.
Apple Watch Series 6 will be running watchOS 7 out of the box and is powered by the S6 processor. This device may look much closer to the iPad Pro - ditching the physical Home Button and shrinking the borders to maximise the screen real estate available in the footprint.
In addition to the Series 6 there's an all new model which is the same size, but slightly paired back.
Despite the cheap pricing, the Watch SE comes with an array of features that are found on the Watch Series 6 such as built-in accelerometer, gyroscope, and always-on altimeter, as well as sleep tracking and hand-washing detection. Apple watches have been selling for an average of $377, based on Walkley's calculations. There are also watch faces for photographers, health-care providers and surfers.
Apple Fitness Plus: Apple also launched Fitness Plus service for watch users. You can order both today and availability starts this Friday, September 18. It will also be included in Apple's new Apple One plan. You can handle setup from one iPhone, and family members can be given a Watch with a separate number and Apple ID. Like the affordable iPhone, the Apple Watch SE combines the best of Series 6 with affordability.
When the Series 5 was announced, Apple opted to lower the price of the Watch Series 3, providing an entry-level model for potential owners. Pricing starts at $9.99/month or $79.99 per year and is coming by the end of 2020.