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Apple today unveiled Apple Watch Series 8 and the new Apple Watch SE, which bring new technology and performance, and important safety innovations to the two best-selling smartwatches.
Apple Watch Series 8 features the design of Apple Watch, including a large, Always-On Retina display and a strong crack-resistant front crystal. With all-day 18-hour battery life, Apple Watch Series 8 builds on health and safety features like the ECG app and fall detection by introducing temperature-sensing capabilities, retrospective ovulation estimates, Crash Detection, and international roaming.
The new Apple Watch SE delivers the core Apple Watch experience, including Activity tracking, high and low heart rate notifications, and Emergency SOS, as well as the new Crash Detection feature and a completely redesigned back case that perfectly matches the three classic case finishes.
Both models are powered by watchOS 9, introducing new and more customizable watch faces like Lunar and Metropolitan, an enhanced Workout app, sleep stages, a first-of-its-kind AFib History feature, and an all-new Medications app.
“We hear from customers how Apple Watch helps them stay connected with loved ones, be more active, and live healthier lives,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer.
“Apple Watch Series 8 reinforces our commitment in these areas with the addition of pioneering technology, while Apple Watch SE brings advanced core features at a new starting price. Powered by watchOS 9, the best smartwatches deliver more capabilities than ever before.”
Wrist Temperature Sensing for Women’s Health
The menstrual cycle is an important marker of health, and many physicians consider it a vital sign. Apple Watch Series 8 features innovative new temperature-sensing capabilities that give women further insights into their health, designed with the same privacy protections as with all other health data.
Apple Watch Series 8 takes a unique approach to temperature sensing with a two-sensor design — one sensor on the back of the watch, nearest the skin, and another just under the display — reducing bias from the outside environment.
Night-time wrist temperature can be a good indicator of overall body temperature. The sensors in Apple Watch Series 8 sample the wrist temperature during sleep every five seconds and measure changes as small as 0.1° C. In the Health app, users can see nightly shifts in baseline temperature, which can be caused by exercise, jet lag, or even illness.2
Utilizing 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.
Additionally, with iOS 16 and watchOS 9, all Cycle Tracking users can now receive a notification if their logged cycle history shows a possible deviation, such as irregular, infrequent, or prolonged periods, and persistent spotting, which can be symptoms of underlying health conditions.
To enable Crash Detection, Apple developed an advanced sensor-fusion algorithm that leverages a new, more powerful gyroscope and accelerometer on Apple Watch, which now has the highest dynamic range accelerometer in any smartwatch.
To create the algorithm, data was collected from these new motion sensors at professional crash test labs with common passenger cars in simulated real-world accidents, including head-on, rear-end, side-impact, and rollovers.
In addition to motion data, Crash Detection uses the barometer, GPS, and the microphone on iPhone as inputs to detect the unique patterns that can indicate whether a severe crash has taken place.
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.
When combined, Crash Detection on Apple Watch and iPhone work seamlessly to get users help efficiently. When a severe car crash is detected, the emergency services call interface will appear on Apple Watch, as it is most likely to be in closer proximity to the user, while the call is placed through iPhone if it is in range for the best possible connection.
Low Power Mode
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. This new mode temporarily disables or limits select sensors and features, including the Always-On Retina display, workout AutoStart, heart health notifications, and more.
The latest software brings new features and enhanced experiences to the world’s leading wearable operating system:
With international roaming coming later this fall, users can stay connected to a cellular network while traveling abroad. Plans can be extended to Apple Watch from iPhone for little or no additional fee and will be available with over 30 carriers worldwide.
Users who are diagnosed with AFib can turn on the FDA-cleared AFib History feature and access important information, including an estimate of how frequently their heart rhythm shows signs of AFib, providing deeper insights into their condition.
Users will receive notifications with an estimate from the previous week and also have access to a detailed history in the Health app on iPhone, including lifestyle factors that may influence AFib, like sleep, alcohol consumption, and exercise. In addition, users can download a PDF from the Health app on iPhone that details the history of their AFib and lifestyle factors, which can easily be shared with doctors and care providers for more informed conversations.
The first-of-its-kind AFib History feature in watchOS 9 has received a number of local clearances and approvals from health authorities around the world, and will be available in more than 100 countries and territories, including the US, Australia, Canada, Europe, Hong Kong, Mexico, South Africa, the UK, and more.
The completely redesigned Compass app in watchOS 9 surfaces more in-depth information and three distinct views. The app displays a new hybrid view that simultaneously shows both an analog compass dial and a digital view.
Turning the Digital Crown reveals an additional view that includes latitude, longitude, elevation, and incline, as well as an orienteering view showing Compass Waypoints and Backtrack. Backtrack uses GPS data to create a path showing where the user has been, which is useful if they get lost or disoriented and need help retracing their steps. It can turn on automatically in the background when off the grid.
Compass Waypoints are a quick and convenient way to mark a location or point of interest directly in the app. Tapping the Compass Waypoint icon drops a waypoint. Selecting one provides a targeted view of the direction of the waypoint and an approximation of how far away it is.
The Workout app in watchOS 9 includes new in-session views, such as Segments, Splits, and Elevation, that offer more precise workout data. Users can also improve their training with advanced workout experiences, including Heart Rate Zones, Custom Workouts, Pacer, and, coming later this year, Race Route.
For triathlons or activities with any sequence of swimming, biking, or running, the new Multisport workout uses autodetection to easily switch between workouts and records transition times. watchOS 9 also brings more data and features to help track how efficiently users run.
New running form metrics, including Stride Length, Ground Contact Time, and Vertical Oscillation, can all be added as metrics on Workout Views.
Sleep tracking in watchOS 9 provides even more insights with the introduction of sleep stages. Apple Watch uses signals from the accelerometer and heart rate sensor to estimate when users are in REM, Core, or Deep sleep.
Sleep stage data can be viewed directly on Apple Watch in the Sleep app, and users can view more detailed information in the Health app on iPhone, including interactive sleep stages charts, as well as time asleep alongside heart rate or respiratory rate, in sleep comparison charts.
The new Medications experience on Apple Watch and iPhone helps users manage and track their medications, vitamins, and supplements, allowing them to create a medications list, set up schedules and reminders, and view information on their medications in the Health app.
Apple Watch Series 8
Apple Watch Series 8 will be available across a range of case finishes, colours, and band types to fit a variety of personal styles. Apple Watch Series 8 comes in aluminum and stainless steel cases in two sizes, 41mm and 45mm, and is compatible with all bands.
Aluminum case colours for Apple Watch Series 8 include starlight, midnight, silver, and (PRODUCT)RED, while the stainless steel case offers silver, graphite, and gold. With Apple Watch Studio, Apple Watch Series 8 can be paired with any available band in the same collection.
Apple Watch Nike and Apple Watch Hermès also debut new bands and watch faces this fall. Nike has vibrant new Sport Band colours and a new Sport Loop with the “Just Do It” logo woven right into the band.
Starting this fall, any Apple Watch user running watchOS 9 — even those without a Nike model — will be able to access all the Nike watch faces, including the fresh colours coming to the Bounce face.
Apple Watch Hermès introduces two new bands: H Diagonal, which creates a sporty pattern of the Hermès H with hundreds of microperforations, and Gourmette Metal, which features a polished stainless steel chain and noir leather wrapping twice around the wrist.
A whimsical new Hermès watch face called Lucky Horse beautifully complements the new bands and celebrates the equestrian roots of the house with an animated horse that sleeps when the wrist is down and comes alive when it is raised.
Apple Watch SE
The new Apple Watch SE delivers advanced features at a new low price, and is a great way for users to start their Apple Watch journey, use with Family Setup, or gift to their loved ones.
Powerful upgrades include the S8 SiP advanced dual-core processor, the same processor that is in Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra, making it 20 percent faster than the previous generation, along with Crash Detection and international roaming.
Apple Watch SE maintains the same case design, but features a redesigned matching back case made of a nylon composite material, making it lighter than ever.
With watchOS 9, Apple Watch SE users can enjoy the benefits of the new Compass app in addition to the enhanced fitness and wellness features.
Apple Watch SE is available in 40mm and 44mm aluminum cases, in midnight, starlight, and silver finishes, and is compatible with all bands.
Apple Watch and the Environment
Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch SE are designed to minimize their impact on the environment. Both models are made with 100 percent recycled aluminum in the case, 100 percent recycled tungsten in the Taptic Engine, and 100 percent recycled rare earth elements in all magnets.
In a first for Apple Watch, both models feature 100 percent recycled gold — in the plating of multiple printed circuit boards on Apple Watch Series 8, and in the plating of the SiP on the new Apple Watch SE.
Both models are free of mercury, BFRs, PVC, and beryllium. No Apple Watch packaging uses outer plastic wrap, and 94 percent or more of the packaging is fiber based, bringing Apple closer to its goal of completely removing plastic from its packaging by 2025.
When a user’s iPhone is locked with a passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID, all of their health and fitness data in the Health app — other than Medical ID — is encrypted. Any Health data backed up to iCloud is encrypted both in transit and on Apple servers.
When using iOS and watchOS with the default two-factor authentication and a passcode, Health app data synced to iCloud is encrypted end-to-end, meaning that Apple does not have the key to decrypt the data and therefore cannot read it.
Pricing and Availability
Customers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, the UAE, the UK, the US, and more than 40 other countries and regions can order Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch SE today, with availability in stores beginning Friday, September 16.
Apple Watch Series 8 starts at £419 and Apple Watch SE starts at £259.
Apple Watch Nike bands and Apple Watch Hermès bands will be available to order today from apple.com/store and in the Apple Store app, with availability in stores beginning Friday, September 16.
watchOS 9 will be available for Apple Watch Series 4 and later on Monday, September 12, and requires iPhone 8 or later and iPhone SE (2nd generation) or later running iOS 16. Not all features are available on all devices and in all regions.
Three months of Apple Fitness+ are included for customers who purchase Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE, or Apple Watch Ultra, or new purchases of Apple Watch Series 4 or later.