Apple is using its new blood oxygen measurement tool to study COVID

Apple launches $399 Watch Series 6, $279 Watch SE, new iPads

Apple introduced a cheaper version of its smartwatch, its latest attempt to broaden the appeal of its trend-setting products while many consumers are forced to scrimp during the coronavirus pandemic. The company says it's partnering with health networks to start large-scale studies using the new blood oxygen measurement feature, including testing to see if it can detect if a person is infected with COVID-19. These include the same accelerometer, gyroscope and always-on altimeter as the new Apple Watch Series 6.

Apple Watch Series 6 design and specsThe Apple Watch series 6 keep Apple's popular rectangular design alive this year.

Crammed inside the Watch Series 6 is a new S6 processor which is based on the A13 chip. At Apple Park (the company's campus) today, CEO Tim Cook wasted no time diving into two new products: an iPad and the new Apple Watch Series 6.

Underneath, pressed against your skin are new sensors allowing you to measure your Blood Oxygen levels in just 15 seconds.

Apple Watch SE will start at $279, and Series 3 is staying at $199. Sporting some cool specs and new features, Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch 6 are now ready for us, so let's check out what they have to offer. Yoga, Cycling, Dance, Treadmill, Core, Strength, HIT and Rowing are all workout options. You don't need special workout equipment, and there are 10 different workouts to take advantage of. Finally, Apple is releasing a new leather link strap.

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There's also some data regarding accessory sales, overall content spending, and other financial stats if you're so inclined. In the U.K., Switch hardware sales more than doubled in the first half of 2020 compared to the first six months of 2019.

The Watch SE could also benefit Apple by allowing it to hold on to its position as market leader in global sales of wearables. Fitness+ starts at $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year.

With the introduction of a one-of-a-kind bundle like Apple One, not only does Apple have yet another channel to accelerate monthly recurring revenue in its Services business, but it brings more people into its software ecosystem and gets them to stay.

Apple has long touted the fitness features of its Apple Watch, but now it's going after at-home fitness enthusiasts with a new on-demand exercise service known as Fitness+.

Family Setup offers other helpful tools for parents and kids, with Schooltime and Downtime features that offer controls over when and what kids can do with their Apple Watch, kid-focused Activity rings, and more. If you've been curious about Apple TV+, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple News+ or Apple Fitness+, now you have more incentive to try them out. While the trio of options is definitely great for those already using Apple services and looking to save a little cash, the inability to customize any of the plans is disappointing. It retains the same looks, Lightning port, and lack of support for the newer Apple Pencil, but gains a faster A12 Bionic processor that makes it twice as quick in the graphics department. Available Friday, the iPad will retail for $329, but schools can buy them for $299.

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