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2o18 Apple Announcements: Apple Watch Series 4

Beautifully redesigned with breakthrough communication, fitness, and health capabilities

Apple just unveiled an updated Apple Watch that has been re-engineered to help us stay connected, be more active, and mange our health in a powerful new way.  Check out my write up below as I highlighted some of the new features. Apple Watch Series 4 GPS and GPS+Cellular will be available to order on September 14th.

Design

This year’s new watch is all about the display. Compared to it’s predecessors, the Series 4 is a larger watch in a thinner body. The display now has rounded edges (just like on the iPhone X) which increased the screen’s display size up to 35%.  The digital crown has been redesigned to give you haptic feedback. Apple also updated the speaker – now 50% louder – and updated the microphone. This improvement will make conversations over phone calls (cellular models), chats with Siri, and the soon to be released walkie-talkie feature so much better.  The back of the Series 4 Apple Watch is now made of black ceramic and sapphire crystal which should improve cellular reception allowing radio waves to travel through the front and back of the watch.

The beautiful new display aside – the new Series 4 Apple Watch is a powerhouse under the hood. Technically the Series 4 has an upgraded chip (the S4) which is expected to be twice as fast as the Series 3. This upgraded chip will help the battery by default, allowing 18 hours of life before needing a charge. Even better it allows for 6 hours of continuous GPS tracking (I’m looking at your marathon runners and large resort skiers).

All of the above changes are great, beautifully crafted, and worth considering spending your money on if you’re using an older Apple Watch or none at all.  However, for me – what sets the Series 4 apart from it’s predecessors are the technical advancements which allows for more health and fitness tracking.

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In a Nutshell

“Apple Watch Has Become an Intelligent Guardian
For Your Health.”

Health

The Series 4 has an upgraded accelerometer gyroscope (ya know, the mechanism that can detect which specific swim stroke you’re doing, if you’re running or biking, etc.).  I predict a flurry of apps taking advantage of this upgraded gyroscope.  But Apple didn’t make this change for app developers – thanks to the new gyroscope the watch can now DETECT A FALL. If the watch senses a fall and you don’t move for one minute, the Apple Watch will automatically call emergency services, send a message along with your location, and send a text to your emergency contacts. (I’m looking at you baby boomers and back country skiers)

In addition to the heart beat data collected on previous series, it can now track heart rhythm and notify you if you have Atrial Fibrillation (a heart condition that could lead to major health complications).

The Series 4 also enables you to take an Electrocardiogram (ECG) reading right from the wrist using a new ECG app. With the app, you touch the new digital crown and after 30 seconds receive a heart rhythm classification.  All recordings, their associated classifications, and any noted symptoms are stored in the health app in a PDF you can share with your physician.

These 3 upgrades are life changing and are what sets the series 4 apart from all other smart watches on the market. Of course there are updates to the Fitness features like telling you when to breath or tracking a workout better but those don’t compare and are not even worth mentioning.

Should You Buy The Series 4 Apple Watch?

Well here are the numbers.  The Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS) starts at $399 and Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular) starts at $499.  The Series 3 received a price reduction and is now selling for $279 (GPS) and $379 (GPS + Cellular) making it an affordable option. Both will easily run the new watchOS 5 which is jam packed with updated software features and releases on September 17th.

Bottom Line: If you’ve never owned an Apple Watch or are looking to upgrade from a series 1 or 2, I feel the new Series 4 design is worth the extra $120 difference over the Series 3.

As Tim Cook said “Apple Watch isn’t just the #1 smart watch, it’s the #1 watch in the world period.”  Just. Take. My. Money.

 

Stay tuned as I highlight the iPhone announcement and new features you’ll see on iOS12 and Mac OS Mojave.

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