In Apple’s annual event, all eyes are usually on the newest iPhone series. However, Apple also tends to announce a range of upgraded tech and accessories, and 2022 is no different.
Featuring a whole new lineup of Apple Watches for all users — from the budget-conscious to the dedicated athletes — plus a new generation of AirPods Pro, there’s a lot to look forward to if you’re an Apple tech enthusiast. Read on for our round-up of what’s on offer.
1. Apple Watch Ultra: Designed for serious athletes and outdoor adventurers
- Designed for serious athletes and outdoor explorers
- Brightest-ever Apple Watch display and precise GPS
- Ultra-durable and with bands designed for underwater, alpine and trail athletes
Offering a next-level display and best-ever battery life, Apple’s new Apple Watch Ultra is aimed at athletes, outdoorsmen, explorers and water sport enthusiasts — this is no ordinary wearable, and it comes with a price to match. The Ultra is made from aerospace-grade titanium and features a sapphire front crystal with a 2,000 nit display (that’s twice as bright as any other Apple Watch), plus three microphones for call and audio clarity, along with larger Digital Crown, side and Action buttons.
It’s designed to work while wearing gloves and in more extreme environments, and comes with band options including Trail Loop for runners and athletes, the Alpine Loop for outdoor explorers, and the Ocean Band for underwater and wetsuit wear. The Ultra includes watchOS 9 with advanced running and workout metrics, as well as Apple’s accurate dual-frequency GPS for precise training and location data. The new Action button can stop and adjust workouts with a single touch, and can also be used in emergencies to help retrace steps and pinpoint a user’s location.
Apple states that its new Watch Ultra can handle temperatures from -20° C up to 55° C, and has been tested to withstand a variety of conditions including rain, ice, sand and dust, humidity, temperature shock, and vibration. The Ultra also switches to a bright red Night Mode interface for viewing in darkness, and includes all the standard Apple Watch features available in the more casual Series 8 (such as fitness, heart rate and health monitoring, plus new women’s cycle tracking and the new Crash Detection car accident alert system).
The Apple Watch Ultra can be ordered now but will be available in stores and shipping from September 23, 2022. Prices and options include:
- Titanium Case with Trail Loop: from $1,299 AUD
- Titanium Case with Alpine Loop: from $1,299 AUD
- Titanium Case with Ocean Band: from $1,299 AUD
2. Apple Watch Series 8: Best-in-class health features
- Available in your choice of 41mm and 45mm sizes + aluminium and stainless steel cases
- Crack-resistant front crystal and Always-On retina display
- 18 hour all-day battery life
For the everyday user looking for a watch packed with great health features and general tracking, Apple’s new Watch Series 8 is designed to keep up with what you need, and in a more affordable package compared to the high-performance Watch Ultra.
Featuring Apple’s classic watch design in both 41mm and 45mm sizes, you get a choice between aluminium and stainless steel casing. There’s also a crack-resistant front crystal and Always-On Retina display with up to 1,000 nits, plus ‘swim proof’ water resistance of 50 metres and IP6X dust resistance. You’ll also get an 18 hour all-day battery life, along with a range of health and safety features including the ECG app and fall detection with temperature-sensing capabilities.
The Watch Series 8 includes the latest watchOS 9 software, which also includes more customisable watch faces, and an enhanced Workout app with new in-session views with more precise workout data. Going with the aluminium case gives you a choice between starlight, midnight, silver and (PRODUCT) Red colours, while stainless steel cases come in silver, graphite and gold. The Watch Series 8 is also compatible with any available band in the same collection, and there are new Apple Watch Nike and Apple Watch Hermès bands and watch faces available for that designer touch.
The Apple Watch Series 8 can be ordered now but will be available in stores from September 16. Prices and variations include:
- Apple Watch 8 Aluminium 41mm: from $629 AUD
- Apple Watch 8 Aluminium 45mm: from $679 AUD
- Apple Watch 8 Stainless Steel 41mm: from $1,179 AUD
- Apple Watch 8 Stainless Steel 45mm: from $1,259 AUD
3. The New Apple Watch SE: Affordable price, great features
- 40mm and 44mm aluminium cases in midnight, starlight and silver finishes
- Features the same S8 SiP dual-core processor found in Watch Series 8 and Watch Ultra
- Retina display with 1,000 nits
It’s no secret that Apple’s smartwatches are typically on the expensive end of the market, but the Watch SE is Apple’s more budget-friendly watch — but it doesn’t skimp on the features. Apple has announced an upgraded Watch SE as part of a new lineup of accessories, with the new watch available in stores from Friday, September 16.
The new Apple Watch SE gives you all the same core features of an Apple watch, including activity tracking, low and high heart rate notifications and the new Crash Detection feature (available on the other new Apple Watches and new iPhone 14 series). It’s also ‘swim proof’ up to 50 metres, but doesn’t have the dust-resistance of the 8 series.
There’s a choice between 40mm and 44mm aluminium cases in midnight, starlight and silver finishes (which are compatible with all wristbands). It features a new nylon composite material making it a lighter watch, and has a retina display with up to 1,000 nits. It also features the same S8 SiP dual-core processor featured in the Watch Series 8 and Watch Ultra, which makes it 20% faster than the last generation of watches, and you’ll also get watchOS 9 software. Prices start from $399 AUD.
4. Apple AirPods Pro: Big upgrades for immersive listening
- Features enhanced Active Noise Cancellation and new charging case
- Easier setup and Touch control
- Extended battery life
Apple’s second-generation AirPods Pro are powered by the company’s new H2 chip, and feature big upgrades to both Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency modes. New Adaptive Transparency reduces environmental noise for more immersive listening, while a new, low-distortion audio driver and custom amplifier offers deeper bass and clearer sound.
Personalised Spatial Audio allows users to pair their AirPods with their iPhone’s TrueDepth front camera to register the unique shape of their head and ears, and create a personal profile suited to their precise measurements. iPhone users can also easily access and control AirPods features in their phone settings, as well as use Touch control on the buds themselves to adjust playback and volume, and to answer phone calls.
Apple has also extended the battery life when compared to the first-gen AirPods Pro, and says this year’s AirPods offer an additional 1.5 hours of listening time. Buyers can expect up to 30 hours from four in-case charges with Active Noise Cancellation activated, and the newly-designed case itself is sweat and water-resistant and comes with a lanyard loop for easy access. The case also includes a built-in speaker for easy locating, and can be customised with Memoji, Animoji and engraving via the Apple Store.
The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) will be available to pre-order from Friday, September 9, with stock hitting stores on September 23. The AirPods Pro are priced at $399 upfront, and available solely in white.
5. Apple Fitness+: Available to all iPhone users — Apple Watch not required
- Apple Fitness+ to be available to all iPhone users later in the year
- New seasons of ‘Time to Walk’ and ‘Time to Run’ available
- New Yoga instructor and Pilates series ‘Pilates for More Than Your Core’
If you’re looking to kick your fitness into gear, Apple’s fitness app, Apple Fitness+, will now be available to all iPhone users to subscribe to. This means you no longer need an Apple Watch to use the app, with this update available later in the year.
Fitness+ will also be introducing the fourth season of ‘Time to Walk’ featuring new guests, along with a new season of ‘Time to Run’ with new locations including Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and Queenstown, New Zealand. There are also new Artist Spotlight workouts with music from The Rolling Stones, The Weeknd and Mary J. Blige. For getting into balance, there’s also a new Yoga instructor along with new Pilates collection, ‘Pilates for More Than Your Core’.
Apple is yet to release a date on when Apple Fitness+ will be available to all iPhone users, but if you’re keen to give the fitness subscription service a go, keep your eyes peeled for more news later in the year. Keep in mind this isn’t a free service, and will set you back $14.99 AUD per month or $119.99 AUD annually, although you can get three months free when you buy an Apple Watch.
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