Apple Watch Series 6Today, Apple finally released Apple Watch Series 6 (S6). Featuring a new blood oxygen sensor, a faster processor, an improved always-on-display, an always-on altimeter, new watch colors and bands, and the latest watchOS 7. WatchOS 7 allows users to share their watch faces, has sleep tracking capabilities, wind down features, fitness app, and even a new handwashing detection! All geared towards improving the overall health and lifestyle of the user. We'll explore more in detail in this article.
Design and Performance
Apple Watch Series 6 comes with an improved S6 Chip that offers 20% better performance than the previous generation while maintaining the same 18 hours all-day battery life. It is running a dual-core processor based on the A13 Bionic chip in iPhone 11.
Also, it features the U1 chip and Ultra-Wideband antennas. The features that Apple intends to bring with the U1 is currently unknown. However, we know that U1 is designed by Apple to provide spatial awareness and precise location tracking capabilities—rumored to be used for the upcoming AirTags.
Charging is now faster with Series 6, completing a full charge in less than 1.5 hours, while Series 5 takes about 2.5 hours. Series 6 also offers improved battery life for tracking specific workouts, such as indoor and outdoor runs.
Always-On Display and Altimeter
Always-on-display is a new feature released in Series 5 that allows the apple watch display to be always on even if you're looking away. Despite being a cool feature, it's not always useful because the always-on-display is dim and practically unusable in low-light or high-light settings. This year, the always-on-display brightness has been improved and offers a 2.5 times brighter than Series 5.
Another always-on feature is the always-on altimeter. An altimeter is a device that measures altitude, commonly used to measure the distance between you and the sea level. Using an advanced barometric altimeter, alongside GPS and nearby Wi-Fi connection, Series 6 can detect small elevation changes up to 1 foot. A handy tool for hikers or climbers.
Blood Oxygen Sensor
The most notable feature of the S6 is the new Blood Oxygen Sensor. It works similar to a pulse oximeter. A pulse oximeter measures your blood's oxygen levels by shining and measuring the light reflected through your bloodstream. It compares the number of bright red cells to dark red cells. Bright red cells are the ones that carry oxygen, and dark red cells are those that don't carry oxygen.
So, for instance, A reading result of 95% indicates 5% of the blood cells are not carrying oxygen. Reading between 95% and 100% is generally considered normal. Reading below 90% is deemed to be unsafe. It only takes 15 seconds for a reading, and on-demand, users can set to have readings done periodically even when asleep. With the new sensor, users can now have insights about their overall respiratory and cardiac health.
New Cases and watch Bands
A new type of watch band is introduced for Series 6, termed "Solo Loop." Solo Loop is a minimalistic watch band designed by Apple, which offers no clasp, buckle, and overlapping parts. It comes in 7 different sizes, so no worries in finding the right fit. As for the material, there are two choices to choose from, soft silicone or braided yarn. There is also an overlapped design for the leather variation.
Latest watchOS 7
These days, the hardware is only as good as the software, and Apple delivers with the watchOS 7. With watchOS7, users can be personalized with seven new watch face options, curate their personalized watch face, and share watch faces with friends.
From fitness to sleep wellness, Apple has it all covered. The activity app has renamed fitness, and it comes with new workout types such as dance, functional strength training, core training, and cooldown. For sleep wellness, Apple has included a sleep tracking and a wind-down feature that allows users to set shortcuts to the things they do before bedtime, such as reading or meditating.
Even handwashing could use some encouragement. The new handwashing app detects by listening to the sound of water flow, and it will start a 20 seconds countdown timer to encourage proper handwashing. Why not, right?
With the family setup in watchOS 7, kids and family members who don't have an iPhone can now pair their watches to their parents' iPhone. Through pairing, parents can now keep track of the location of their family members. Kids and older family members also benefit from connectivity, safety, and fitness features.
One of the safety features includes fall detection, which is highly beneficial for the elderly. It can detect a fall, slip, or trip. Upon detection, a notification will prompt to inquire if the user is alright, and if there's no response within a minute, a 15 seconds countdown timer will start. After that, it will automatically contact emergency services.
Parents can manage and limit their kids' contacts, set up automatic location notifications, and enable SchoolTime. SchoolTime mode limits notifications, restrict interactions and have a distinctive SchoolTime watch face. The distinctive watch face allows parents and teachers to know that the watch is in DnD mode at a glance.