Apple has officially unveiled the next generation of Apple Watches. The Apple Watch Series 7 will debut later this fall, and will be available in 41 and 45mm form factors.
Regardless of the size, Apple highlighted the redesigned watch face as one of the key selling points of the device. The tech giant has thinned the borders of the watch to deliver a screen that is 20 percent larger without significantly altering the overall dimensions of the watch itself. That bigger screen improves readability and makes many watch features easier to use, including the new QWERTY keyboard that supports QuickPath swipe word entry.
The new Always-On Retina display, meanwhile, is 50 percent thicker than the display on the Series 6, which makes it more durable and more resistant to cracking. The Series 7 matches its predecessor with a WR50 water resistance rating, and surpasses it as the first Apple Watch with IP6X certification for dust resistance.
The Watch also comes with a slew of built-in biometric sensors, including an electrical heart sensor and a blood oxygen sensor, the latter of which was first introduced with the Series 6. Both sensors are paired with a matching app, and can be used with Apple’s various fitness and wellness apps to track physical performance. In that regard, the watchOS 8 introduces a new Mindfulness app, in addition to new types of workouts and improvements for existing ones.
The new offerings cover Tai Chi and Pilates, as well as an Apple Fitness+ app built specifically for the Apple Watch platform. Fitness+ debuts on September 27, and offers guided meditation and SharePlay Group Workouts that allow 32 people to work out together in the same session.
As for the existing features, watchOS 8 will improve the quality of the data gathered during bike rides, on runs, and during regular workouts (such as HIIT routines). The platform tracks GPS position and heart rate, accelerometer, and gyroscope readings to gauge when someone is moving (rather than sitting at a stop light), and it will prompt people to start a workout if they start moving before they initiate a session. The platform will also announce workout milestones and track calorie burn.
The Apple Watch Series 7 will also bring basic updates for the Messages and Photos apps, and further integrate the Wallet and Home apps with smart cars, smart buildings, and other IoT devices. Finally, older users will benefit from an improved fall detection algorithm.