Categories
Apple

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Availability for 10/16/2020 (Morning)

As has become my tradition when a new iPhone is available for pre-order, I post availability for the new iPhones. This is the first for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, which were made available for pre-order this morning. This data is the status at 90 minutes after the pre-orders went live. This year I have included some accessories as well. The accessories included are the MagSafe charger and the MagSafe wallets.

This data contains information only from Apple, the carrier information will be in a future post.

The iPhone 12 is still available for delivery from Apple for October 23rd, however the iPhone 12 Pro has a range of dates. Be sure to follow @waynesworkshop to be able to see further updates.

iPhone 12

ATT 64GB 128GB 256GB
White Oct 23 Oct 23 Oct 23
Black Oct 23 Oct 23 Oct 23
(PRODUCT)Red Oct 23 Oct 23 Oct 23
Blue Oct 23 Oct 23 Oct 23
Green Oct 23 Oct 23 Oct 23
Sprint 64GB 128GB 256GB
White Oct 23 Oct 23 Oct 23
Black Oct 23 Oct 23 Oct 23
(PRODUCT)Red Oct 23 Oct 23 Oct 23
Blue Oct 23 Oct 23 Oct 23
Green Oct 23 Oct 23 Oct 23
T-Mobile 64GB 128GB 256GB
White Oct 23 Oct 23 Oct 23
Black Oct 23 Oct 23 Oct 23
(PRODUCT)Red Oct 23 Oct 23 Oct 23
Blue Oct 23 Oct 23 Oct 23
Green Oct 23 Oct 23 Oct 23
Verizon 64GB 128GB 256GB
White Oct 23 Oct 23 Oct 23
Black Oct 23 Oct 23 Oct 23
(PRODUCT)Red Oct 23 Oct 23 Oct 23
Blue Oct 23 Oct 23 Oct 23
Green Oct 23 Oct 23 Oct 23
Sim-Free 64GB 128GB 256GB
White Oct 23 Oct 23 Oct 23
Black Oct 23 Oct 23 Oct 23
(PRODUCT)Red Oct 23 Oct 23 Oct 23
Blue Oct 23 Oct 23 Oct 23
Green Oct 23 Oct 23 Oct 23

iPhone 12 Pro

ATT 128GB 256GB 512GB
Graphite 5-7 business days 7-10 business days 7-10 business days
Silver 5-7 business days 5-7 business days Oct 23
Gold 5-7 business days 5-7 business days Oct 23
Pacific Blue 7-10 business days 7-10 business days 7-10 business days
Sprint 128GB 256GB 512GB
Graphite 7-10 business days 5-7 business days Oct 23
Silver 5-7 business days Oct 23 Oct 23
Gold 7-10 business days 5-7 business days 5-7 business days
Pacific Blue 2-3 weeks 7-10 business days 5-7 business days
T-Mobile 128GB 256GB 512GB
Graphite 7-10 business days 7-10 business days 5-7 business days
Silver 5-7 business days 5-7 business days Oct 23
Gold 2-3 weeks 7-10 business days 5-7 business days
Pacific Blue 2-3 weeks 2-3 weeks 7-10 business days
Verizon 128GB 256GB 512GB
Graphite 7-10 business days 7-10 business days 7-10 business days
Silver 5-7 business days 5-7 business days Oct 23
Gold 7-10 business days 7-10 business days 5-7 business days
Pacific Blue 7-10 business days 7-10 business days 7-10 business days
Sim-Free 128GB 256GB 512GB
Graphite 7-10 business days 7-10 business days 7-10 business days
Silver 5-7 business days 5-7 business days 5-7 business days
Gold 7-10 business days 7-10 business days 5-7 business days
Pacific Blue 2-3 weeks 7-10 business days 7-10 business days

iPhone Accessories
AccessoryShips By
MagSafe Charger 7-10 business days
iPhone Leather Wallet with MagSafe – Baltic Blue 4-5 weeks
iPhone Leather Wallet with MagSafe – California Poppy 4-5 weeks
iPhone Leather Wallet with MagSafe – Saddle Brown 4-5 weeks
iPhone Leather Wallet with MagSafe – Black 5-6 weeks
Categories
Apple

Apple’s “Hi, Speed” Event Recap

Apple had their “Hi, Speed” event today and it had a lot in a short amount of time. Apple only covered two items today, HomePod and iPhone. Let us look at each in turn starting with the HomePod.

HomePod

The HomePod is Apple’s smart speaker for the home. Back in 2017, Apple introduced the HomePod and released it in February of 2018. Since then, the speaker itself has not changed. Today, there is a new addition to the HomePod line, the HomePod Mini.

The HomePod Mini is a much smaller version of the HomePod. It stands at 3.3 inches high and 3.9 inches wide. This much smaller size means that the weight has also been significantly reduced. The HomePod mini is now 0.76 pounds versus the larger HomePod size of 5.5 pounds. The physical characteristics are not the only thing to change. The internals have changed as well.

The larger HomePod has 7 tweeters, and you cannot fit 7 tweeters in the small size of the HomePod mini. Instead, there are two tweeters with a new “acoustic waveguide”, which will direct the sound where it needs to go. The new HomePod Mini is powered by Apple’s S5 chip. The same one that powers the Apple Watch SE and the Apple Watch Series 5. This also includes the U1 chip, which will help detect the proximity of your iPhone.

What the U1 chip will do is allow you to move throughout your home and your audio can follow wherever you are. This means that you can go about doing housework without needing to carry around anything with you. The

There is also a new feature to the HomePod called Intercom. Intercom is a way of being able to address all of the HomePods in a home so you can get everyone’s attention. When someone hears an Intercom message, they can also respond back. The Intercom feature is not limited to HomePods. It can also work with iPhones as well as CarPlay devices. Additionally, you can address an individual room with an Intercom message.

Ultimately, the much smaller package comes with a smaller price tag as well. The new HomePod mini is $99 and comes in Space Gray or White. It will be available for pre-order starting on November 6th, with delivery the week of November 16th. Next, let us look at the iPhone.

iPhone

Apple unveiled a slew of iPhones, four in total. These are the iPhone 12 Mini, the iPhone 12, the iPhone 12 Pro, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Let us look at these in two groups, iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. Before we do that, let us look at the commonalities between all of the models.

iPhone 12 Common Features

Even though Apple introduced four new iPhones, within two different groups, there are some commonalities between all of the iPhone 12 models.

Internals

All of the iPhones have the A14 Bionic. This processor has six cores, a faster neural engine, and is built on a 5 nanometer process. According to Apple:

the A14 Bionic features a 16-core Neural Engine — for an 80 percent increase in performance — that is capable of completing 11 trillion operations per second, enabling improved performance on even the most intense ML models.

5G Connectivity

The biggest among the commonalities is the inclusion of 5G. All four models have 5G cellular radios within them, and in the U.S. the millimeter-wave variant of 5G will be supported. 5G will allow faster downloads and uploads. This includes up to 4Gbps download and 200Mbps upload. These are in ideal conditions, which means you will likely see speeds a bit slower than the ideal ones.

5G connectivity will use more battery, so if you do not need the speed, your iPhone 12 will automatically switch to LTE in order to save battery.

Cameras

The ubiquity of smartphones means that everybody has the potential to take pictures. One of the more common types of photos taken is the selfie. While some, myself included, hate taking selfies, there is a large contingent of people who like taking them. The entire iPhone 12 line has a new TrueDepth sensor array, including the front camera. With this new sensor comes a new option, the ability to take Night Mode selfies.

The new front camera will allow better low-light shots so you can take good selfies even if you are in a low-light area. To go along with this new night mode selfie option, you can now also take time lapse pictures and video with Night Mode enabled.

There are more changes with the cameras, but those will be covered in a bit.

Environmental Impact

Even though Apple introduced four new iPhones, within two different groups, there are some commonalities between all of them. The biggest among them is the inclusion of 5G. All four models have 5G cellular radios within them, and in the U.S. the millimeter-wave variant of 5G will be supported. All of the iPhones have the A14 Bionic. This processor has six cores, a faster neural engine, and is built on a 5 nanometer process, which allows for better efficiency of battery.

One of the areas where Apple is attempting to help the environment is by reducing waste. One way to do that is to not include some items in the box. Much like the Apple Watch, the iPhone 12 line will not include a power brick within the box. Furthermore, there will no longer be headphones included in the box. All of this means that the iPhone 12 boxes should be significantly smaller and will allow more to be packed onto a pallet, which should reduce fuel consumption overall.

A charging cable is still included in the box. But this has changed slightly. In the box will be a USB-C to lightning cable. This means that you will need to get a USB-C power brick, if you do not have one, or you can use wireless charging. Which all of the iPhone 12 models include.

The most interacted item on an iPhone is the screen. All of the iPhones have some similarities in their screen. All of the iPhone 12 models will have an HDR display that has a Wide P3 color gamut and supports True Tone.One of the experiences that all iPhone owners will likely eventually have is when they drop their phone and the glass breaks. Apple has made the glass a bit tougher over the years, but this year is a larger jump in protection with the new Ceramic Shield.

Ceramic Shield

The Ceramic Shield is a new feature that you will not see directly, as it is it built into the glass on the iPhone 12 line. This protective coating is designed to make the glass four times more resistant to breaking. This means that if you accidentally drop your iPhone it is less likely to have the glass break. According to Apple,

the Ceramic Shield front cover, which goes beyond glass by adding a new high temperature crystallization step that grows nano-ceramic crystals within the glass matrix, increases drop performance by 4x.

Whether or not the Ceramic Shield will indeed limit breaking of the front glass has yet to be seen, but it could prove interesting and a great enhancement. That concludes all of the common features, next let us turn to the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini.

iPhone 12/iPhone 12 mini

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini are essentially the same phone, except for the size. The iPhone mini has a 5.4-inch screen with a resolution of 2340-by-1080 pixels. Whereas the iPhone 12 has a 6.1-inch screen with a 2532-by-1170 pixel screen. Both models come in three storage options: 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB.

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini have an aluminum shell that will be pretty sturdy. The back will continue to be glass and, as mentioned above, the front will be the Ceramic Shield. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini will come in a variety of colors, let us look at those now.

Colors

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini will be available in five colors. These colors are:

  • Black
  • White
  • (PRODUCT)RED
  • Green
  • Blue

The iPhone 12 mini’s price depends on your carrier. There is a $30 instant discount for AT&T and Verizon subscribers. Here is the pricing for AT&T and Verizon for the iPhone 12 mini/iPhone 12:

  • 64GB is $699/$799
  • 128GB is $749/$849
  • 256GB is $849/$949

Pricing for T-Mobile, Sprint, or Sim-Free is $30 more.

  • 64GB is $729/$829
  • 128GB is $779/$879
  • 256GB is $879/$979

The 6.1-inch iPhone 12 will be available for pre-order this Friday, October 16th and will begin arriving on October 23rd. The iPhone 12 mini will be available for pre-order on November 6th, and will begin arriving on November 13th.

iPhone 12 Pro/iPhone 12 Pro Max

The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are very similar in features. The only difference between the two models is some features on the cameras. Before we dive into the differences in cameras, let us look at a new feature to the iPhone 12 Pro line, LiDAR.

LiDAR

LiDAR, or Light Detection and Ranging, is used to measure the distance from one object to another. This is done by measuring the amount of time taken for the reflection of a light to bounce back to the source. LiDAR is not new to Apple products, as the 4th Generation 12.9-inch, and 2nd Generation 11-inch iPad Pro models are equipped with it. However, the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are the first iPhones to have the technology.

LiDAR is used heavily with Augmented Reality and allows you to map out a scene in extensive detail. You can then take this data and use it to build an Augmented Reality scene. Having LiDAR on the iPhone 12 Pro models will allow the technology to be used more heavily within the iOS ecosystem. Next, let us look at the other changes regarding the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Max, the Cameras.

iPhone 12 Pro/iPhone 12 Pro Max Cameras

One of the biggest uses of any iPhone is its camera. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Max have similar cameras, but they are different. To quote Apple:

iPhone 12 Pro features the new seven-element lens Wide camera with an ƒ/1.6 aperture, the fastest ever on an iPhone, for 27 percent improved low-light performance in photo and video; the Ultra Wide camera with a 120-degree field of view, perfect for capturing more scene in tight spots or epic landscapes; and a 52 mm focal length Telephoto camera, great for framing portraits, bringing the optical zoom range to 4x.

iPhone 12 Pro Max takes the pro camera experience even further. The new ƒ/1.6 aperture Wide camera boasts a 47 percent larger sensor with 1.7μm pixels for a massive 87 percent improvement in low-light conditions. It also includes the expansive Ultra Wide camera and a 65 mm focal length Telephoto camera for increased flexibility with closer shots and tighter crops. Combined, this system offers 5x optical zoom range.

Both of the iPhone 12 Pro models can shoot photos in a few feature called Apple ProRaw. Apple ProRaw is a way of taking RAW photos, like you would on a non-smartphone camera, and combine it with Apple’s Machine Learning to provide a combination of the two technologies.

The two iPhone 12 Pro models have the same camera setup of three lenses of Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto lenses. The Ultra Wide lens features an ƒ/2.4 aperture with a 120° field of view and the Wide lens has an ƒ/1.6 aperture.

Here is a breakdown of the differences between the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro, in terms of camera features. These will be in the format of iPhone 12 Pro/iPhone 12 Pro Max.

  • Telephoto lens: ƒ/2.0 aperture ƒ/2.2 aperture
  • Optical Zoom in: 2x/2.5x
  • Optical Zoom out: 2x/2x
  • Optical Zoom Range: 4x/5x
  • Digital Zoom: 10x/12x

The above differences are for still pictures. There are some variations between the two when it comes to video as well. The iPhone 12 Pro has a digital zoom up to 6x for video, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max has up to 7x digital zoom for video.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max wide camera sensor has exclusive feature to it, Sensor-shift optical image stabilization. The Sensor-shift optical image stabilization will allow minor vibrations to be compensated for, so you will not get blurry and bouncy images when using the Wide sensor.

One of the differences for the iPhone 12 Pro models, as compared to the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini, is the back and shell. The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro max have a Textured matte glass back and stainless steel design. The stainless steel edges should allow the color iPhone you choose to really shine. Speaking of colors, let us take a look at the options.

Colors

Similar to the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will be available in four colors. These colors are:

  • Silver
  • Graphite
  • Gold
  • Pacific Blue

The iPhone 12 Pro models will come in three different storage options, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. The base storage has been doubled from last year. Unlike the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12, the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max pricing is a bit simpler. The base price remains unchanged from last year, however, the higher storage options have actually been reduced in price. The pricing for the iPhone 12 Pro/iPhone 12 Pro Max is:

  • 128GB is $999/$1099
  • 128GB is $1099/$1199
  • 256GB is $1299/$1399

The 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro will be available for pre-order this Friday, October 16th and will begin arriving on October 23rd. The 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max will be available for pre-order on November 6th, and will begin arriving on November 13th.

Let us turn to one additional thing that is new, and that is one last item that is common to all of the iPhone 12 models, MagSafe.

MagSafe

There is one thing that is featured on all of the new iPhones and that is a new MagSafe connector. This connector allows you to more easily position your iPhone on a wireless charger, meaning that you will be able to get an efficient charge. MagSafe is built into all of the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models. To go along with this is a new set of cases. There are cases for each size in a variety of colors. These colors are:

  • Black
  • Clear
  • Cyprus Green
  • Deep Navy
  • Kumquat
  • Pink Citrus
  • Plum
  • PRODUCT(RED)
  • White

These will be available for $49 each. Sometimes you want to travel with as few things as possible. There is a new accessory that allows you to leave your wallet at home, and that is the new “iPhone Leather Wallet with MagSafe”. These leather additions have a MagSafe connector on the back of them and allow you to put the important items in the wallet and attach it to the back of your iPhone. These wallets will come in four colors:

  • Baltic Blue
  • California Poppy
  • Saddle Brown
  • Black

Each of these Leather Wallets will be $59. While Apple is producing MagSafe accessories, other manufacturers are not being locked out. They are free to create new accessories that will work with the MagSafe charger on the iPhones 12 line.

The image at the top of this section is called a MagSafe Duo. There is no release date, nor pricing on this, but it should be able to charge both an iPhone as well as an Apple Watch.

Older iPhones

It is not uncommon for Apple to keep older iPhone models around, however they have not done so the last few years. This year is an exception to that. The iPhone XR, and iPhone 11 will remain in the lineup of iPhones, but at new prices.

The iPhone XR is still available in its six colors:

  • White
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Yellow
  • Coral
  • (PRODUCT)RED

It is still available in two sizes, 64GB or 128GB. The 64GB model is $499 and the 128GB model is $549.

Similarly, the iPhone 11 is still available in its six colors:

  • White
  • Black
  • Green
  • Yellow
  • Purple
  • (PRODUCT)RED

The iPhone 11 is also still available in its three storage sizes, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. The prices for each is $599, $649, and $749 respectively.

The iPhone SE is still $399 for the 64GB model, and $449 for the 128GB model, and $549 for the 256GB model. It is still available in the same three colors, White, Black, and (PRODUCT)Red.

Closing Thoughts

The new iPhones are great additions to the existing lineup. The fact that Apple kept the older models around will be good for those who may not want, or be able to afford, the latest technology but still may want a great phone. The fact that the only changes are the prices means that you can still get your favorite colors.

If you do want the latest iPhone technology but do not want a large phone, the new iPhone 12 mini may be a great solution for you. The iPhone 12 mini is identical to the iPhone 12, except for the screen size. The 5.4-inch screen should be a nice happy medium between the iPhone SE, which has a 4.7-inch screen, and the iPhone XS, which had a 5.8 inch screen.

The iPhone 12 is a solid upgrade to the iPhone 11, with the new A14 processor and new night mode selfie options will be great updates for everyone. The iPhone 12 Pro line has the new LiDAR sensor as well as the new Apple ProRaw feature. Although ApplePro Raw will not be available until later this year.

The new HomePod mini should be great addition to the HomePod line, and the $99 price tag should allow you to add HomePods in more rooms of your home.

The 6.1-inch iPhone 12 and the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro are available for pre-order this Friday, October 16th. The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max, and HomePod mini will be available for pre-order on November 6th.

Source: iPhone 12 & iPhone 12 mini, HomePod mini, iPhone 12 Pro & iPhone 12 Pro Max

Categories
Apple

Apple “Hi, Speed” Event Predictions

As I posted last week, Apple is holding another virtual event on Tuesday, October 13th at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. The iPhone announcements are the most anticipated each year. Even though Apple is attempting to get have a larger portion of its revenues from services, the lion’s share of revenue is still from hardware, specifically the iPhone. Here is what I think we will see at the October 13th, event. I am going to do something a bit different this time. Instead of giving my likelihoods throughout the post, I will just provide a recap at the end.

iPhones

I think there will be four iPhones, and iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. Here is what I think each will break down to.

iPhone 12 mini

This will be the rumored a 5.4-inch model but it will not be available for pre-order until later. It’ll come in the same sizes as the iPhone 11, meaning 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB variants. I think we will see a different color for these models as compared to last year. The big question for this is the pricing, and I am going to agree with the rumors of $699 as the starting price, with $749 for the 128GB, and $799 for the 256GB model.

iPhone 12

The iPhone 12 will likely replace the existing iPhone 11 and being in the same sizes and colors and the iPhone 12 Mini. I think the pre-orders will be on October 16th, and available the following week. I think the pricing may increase a bit to $749 instead of the current $699 for the iPhone 11. I am guessing the screen size on this model will be 6.1-inches, just like the current iPhone 11.

iPhone 12 Pro

I think the iPhone 12 Pro will be similar to the iPhone 11 Pro, in that it starts at $999, comes in four colors, with the Midnight Green model being replaced with a dark metallic blue similar to the other iPhone 11 colors. Just like the iPhone 12, I think this model will be available for pre-order on the 16th and available the following week. One change that I think will happen with this model is that the base storage will increase to 128GB, up from 64GB with the iPhone 11 Pro. I predict that the screen size will be 6.1 inches on this model. I think the iPhone 12 Pro will have LiDAR capabilities. It seems odd to have it only on the iPad Pro, but having it on the iPhone Pro lineup is likely.

iPhone 12 Pro Max

The iPhone 12 Pro Max will be a behemoth at a whopping 6.7-inch screen, which is slightly bigger than the 6.5-inch screen the iPhone 11 Pro Max. I think the storage sizes will be the same as the iPhone 12 Pro at 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB with the pricing being the same as the iPhone 11 Pro Max at $1099, $1249, and $1449 respectively. As with the other models, I think this will have 5G capabilities. I also think this will be later than the other models and not available for pre-order until November with a ship date of one week after pre-orders. Just like the iPhone 12 Pro, I think it will include a LiDAR sensor.

iPhone Probabilities

I am giving the probability of Apple announcing four new phone models at 100%. I give the probability of all models having 5G at 90%. I am giving screen size probabilities at 100%, if all four are announced. I am predicting that the Midnight Green on the iPhone Pro line will be replaced with a Blue, the same shade as the Blue Series 6 Apple Watch. I am giving the new color a 95% chance of happening.

HomePod mini

There have been rumors sailing around for a while indicating that Apple has been working on a new smaller HomePod. I think we will finally see this at the October event. I think this will be a somewhat competitive price for the HomePod. The current large HomePod costs $299. I think Apple is going to be aggressive with this and have this at $99. I think this is for a couple of reasons. First, $99 is a lot easier for many to justify. Secondly, the $99 price point will make it quite easy to add another HomePod mini to create a stereo pair.

I am guessing that this will be announced but will not be available for pre-order until November and it will be available in two colors, Black and White.

Other Announcements

I think there will be two other announcements as well.

The first of these is an order date and availability date for the 10.9-inch iPad Air. The iPad Air was announced at the September event with an “Available in October” date. It is now October. I would not be surprised if this was available for order on the 13th, with it starting to arrive on October 16th.

The second announcement will be a Big Sur release date. We know it is coming, but we are not sure when. It is possible that Apple will wait and have the release date be the same time as the Macs with Apple Silicon, but I think Apple needs to announce a date for Big Sur sooner rather than later.

Recap

Here is a recap of what I am predicting for the October 13th event.

  • iPad Air order date – 100%
  • iPad Air release date – 100%
  • iPhone 12 mini – 100%
  • iPhone 12 – 100%
  • iPhone 12 Pro – 100%
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max – 100%
  • iPhone 12 mini screen at 5.4 inches – 100%
  • iPhone 12 screen at 6.1 inches – 100%
  • iPhone 12 Pro screen at 6.1 inches – 100%
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max screen at 6.7 inches – 100%
  • iPhone 12 Pro new blue color – 95%
  • iPhone 12 Pro Pro new blue color – 95%
  • All four models having 5G – 90%
  • HomePod mini – 90%
  • HomePod mini available in November – 90%
  • HomePod mini for $99 – 90%
  • Big Sur release date – 90%

The “Hi, Speed” announcement starts at 10a.m. on Tuesday, October 13th. Like usual, I will have a recap of what was announced and later in the week I will have a recap of how well I did with my predictions.

Categories
Apple

Apple Announces “Hi, Speed” Event

Today Apple sent out invites for their next event titled “Hi, Speed”. The event is slated for October 13th, at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. It is highly anticipated that Apple will announce the new group of iPhones. Apple indicated at their July shareholder call that the iPhones would be a few weeks late, and this would be the time for the iPhones to be released.

Just like with the September event, if you visit the Apple Events page using your iPhone you will see an Augmented Reality animation with the date of the event.

As has been the case with the previous events, I will be making a predictions post for this event and a recap of the event after the fact.

Categories
Apple Apple Watch Review Technology

Apple Watch Series 6: A Review

From time to time, new product lines are announced by a company. In September of 2014 Apple announced a whole new product line, the Apple Watch. It took a bit more than six months until the first Apple Watch was released, but it did arrive in April of 2015.

When it was introduced the Apple Watch was positioned as a replacement for the iPhone, however that is not the focus of the Apple Watch today. Recently, Apple announced new watch, The Apple Watch Series 6.

Each year I have purchased a new Apple Watch and I have always purchased the Space Gray aluminum model. For the first Apple Watch through the Apple Watch Series 4, I ordered it with the Black Sport Band. With the Apple Watch Series 5, I ordered the Anchor Gray Sport Loop.

The reason I ordered the Gray Sport Loop was because I purchased and reviewed the Black Sport Loop and I liked the Sport Loop. Apple no longer sold the Black Sport Loop, so I went with something as close as I could. Therefore, I ordered the Apple Watch with the Anchor Gray Sport Loop. If they would have had the Black Sport Loop, I would have ordered that.

When the Apple Watch Series 6 was announced it was available for ordering that day and would begin arriving on September 18th. I ordered an Apple Watch Series 6. As mentioned above, I have always ordered the Aluminum Space Gray, but this year I have done something a bit different. Instead of getting the standard Aluminum Space Gray, I went with the Aluminum Space Gray Nike Apple Watch.

Specifically, I ordered the Space Gray Nike Watch with the Anthracite/Black Nike Sport Band. Along with this, I also ordered a Nike Black Sport Loop, as well as one of the new Black Sport Loop. All of this provides me a couple of new areas to review. The areas that I will review are:

  • Series 6 Watch
  • Sport Bands
  • Sport Loops
  • Solo Loop

Each of these will be looked at in turn starting with the Series 6 Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Series 6

If you were to upgrade your Apple Watch year over year, as I have done, you will only see incremental updates over the previous year. However, if you upgrade from an older model, you might notice significant changes. Each new Apple Watch has some change that goes along with it. Typically, these updates are hardware. The Apple Watch Series 6 is no exception. The biggest feature of the Apple Watch Series 6 is a new sensor for testing your blood oxygen levels.

Blood Oxygen

The Apple Watch Series 6 has a new sensor that allows you to determine the amount of oxygen within your blood. This is done by shining a bright infrared light through your skin. The amount of reflected light that is reflected back is put through an algorithm that will determine how much oxygen is in your blood.

The way that you test your blood oxygen is by opening up the “Blood Oxygen” app. When you open up the Blood Oxygen app you will be presented with an animation. Additionally, you will see the last time that your blood oxygen was taken and the recorded ratio. You can start measuring your blood oxygen by tapping on the “Start” button.

The test will take 15 seconds. In order to get the best results, you will want to rest your wrist on a table or flat surface. This is because movement can cause the test to be inconclusive and not be able to be taken. Furthermore, it is best to not tap your fingers, because this can also cause the test to not be able to be done properly.

The result that you will get is a percentage.Obviously, the higher the percentage, the more oxygen that is present in your blood. A majority of individuals have a level between 95% and 100%. There are those who may have a lower blood oxygen level.

Blood Oxygen levels are not only recorded when you take the test. They are also performed in the background, particularly while you are sleeping. All of your tests are stored in the Health app. You can get to this data by performing the following steps:

  1. Open the Health App.
  2. Tap on the “Summary” tab.
  3. At the bottom of “Favorites” tap on “Show All Health Data”.
  4. Scroll down to “Blood Oxygen”.
  5. Tap on “Blood Oxygen” to open up the Blood Oxygen data.

Here you will see a standard Health data chart with the Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and Yearly options. You can also select any of the options at the bottom, which will highlight the necessary information or a line to the graph so you can see the variations throughout the day.

The Blood Oxygen sensor in the Apple Watch Series 6 is a nice addition for users to be able to add one additional data point to their health records. Apple is very cautious when it comes to health-related items, and it makes sense to be cautious. The data from the blood oxygen sensor will help users, and their physicians, have a record of blood oxygen levels and can help should any issues arise in the future. Let us now turn to a couple of other hardware changes.

Other Hardware Changes

The Apple Watch Series 6 has a coupe lot other hardware-specific items. With each new version of the Apple Watch, there is a new chip that powers the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch Series 6 has an S6 chip. The S6 Chip has some new features which are not present on the S4 and S5. The S6 has an always-on Altimeter.

The always on Altimeter will allow you to see your current altitude above sea level. You can add a complication to your Apple Watch face so you can see your current altitude. This is great addition particularly if you are on a hike that will bring you up or down a hill with significant change in elevation.

Another new feature of the S6, which does not have much usage right now, is the inclusion of the U1, which is Apple’s ultra Wideband chip. The U1 is present in the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. The U1 is used for spatial awareness, which currently only used with Air Drop. It might be used for other features in the future though.

The U1 chip is capable of allowing you to communicate between devices that are local. There are other ways of communicating. One feature that the Apple Watch has had since the first version is the ability to connect to the Apple Watch to Wifi. Every Apple Watch has had the ability to connect via Wifi, except this is only able to use the 2.4GHz spectrum. For most uses this is acceptable, however the 2.4GHz Wifi can be quite crowded and a crowded

The last hardware change is the screen. The Apple Watch Series 6 has a brighter screen. According to Apple it is 2.5x brighter while in sunlight. With previous models it may have been difficult to see the items on your watch face while using your watch in direct sunlight. This should be reduced with the Series 6. An additional change with the Series 6 Apple Watch, which has not necessarily been mentioned by other reviews. While your wrist is down you are now able to access complications

Nike Watch Specific Features

This year I ended up getting a Nike Apple Watch Series 6. The reason for this was two fold. First, I have actually wanted to get the Nike version of the Apple Watch just to see what the differences were. It is not likely that I will use the Nike specific features, like the Nike Run Club, but I still want to see the differences.

The second reason is that it was available for release day delivery. I had not gotten any of the Nike models in the past is because they were not usually available until two weeks after the other models. I generally like to have the devices the day they are released, so I just always got the standard model. This year though, the Nike version was available for release day delivery, so I opted for that model.

The Nike Apple Watch Series 6 does not have any hardware difference from the standard Apple Watch. Instead, the changes are only software related. There are a couple of specific differences.

The first software change is that when you look at the settings within the Watch app on your iPhone, you will see a new option, the “Nike Run Club” app. This is a direct shortcut to install the app. If you do not have it installed, you are able to install it with a single tap.

The biggest change software change is the inclusion of Nike-specific Apple Watch faces. There are a variety of unique watch faces that are not present on the standard Apple Watch. The additional watch faces available are:

  • Nike Compact
  • Nike Hybrid
  • Nike Analog
  • Nike Digital

Nike Compact

The Nike Compact Watch Face allows you to have three complications and a clock. The three different complication spots are Top, Middle, and Bottom. These are small, small, and large complications respectively.

The clock is in the upper right corner and can be either an analog clock or a digital one. For the analog clock, there are two different options. One of the analog faces has large numerals for 12, 3, 6, and 9. The hour, minute, and second hands will sweep around the clock face. The second analog watch face only has the watch hands, and is two tones. The upper portion is one color and the bottom portion is another color.

With the Nike Compact face you have an option for selecting the color of the face, just as you would with other watch faces. There are 27 different color options. You have 13 different sets, that all match the various Nike Watch bands. As an example, one of the sets is Pure Platinum/Black. With this color option the clock face color will be Platinum, as will the tint for all of your complications also being Platinum. The color of the digits of the analog and digits of the clock will be black. If you choose Black/Pure Platinum, the background of the clock face switches and the color of the digits will flip. This is the same for all of the other 24 colors. There is one last color option, Multicolor. This color will show your complications in color and the clock faces will be the same as Platinum/Black.

Nike Hybrid

The Nike Hybrid watch face has the same three options for the clock. However, each clock face has two options for the dial itself, Rectangle or Circle. The Rectangle option does not have any room for complications. However, the Circle option allows for five complication options. Four of these options are the ones around the outside corners. The fifth option is along the top of the dial.

As is the case with the Nike Compact watch face, you have a variety of choices for color options. There are 40 different options. It does not make sense to list all of the possible combinations. However, many of the colors have three options. As an example there is Obsidian Mist/Black, Black/Obsidian Mist, and just Obsidian Mist. The last item listed is a single color but with two different shades of the color. There are some color options that do not have this last choice. Anthricite/Black and Lime Blast/Black are only available in the two choices. Let us turn to the next Nike Watch Face, Nike Analog.

Nike Analog

The Nike Analog provides places for three complications. These are in the top left, top right, and bottom. The top left and top right that are small complications while the bottom is just a line of text.

You can choose amongst four different styles of analog watch face. Style 1 does not have any numbers, just indicators. Style 2 had small numbers for hours 12, 3, 6, and 9. Style 3 has small numbers for hours 12, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 19. Style 4, the last style, has the standard large numbers for hours 12, 3, 6, and 9.

There are 35 different color choices, 32 of these are solid colors. While three of these, White/Volt, White/Red, and Rainbow provide multiple color options for the watch face.

Nike Digital

The Nike Digital Watch Face has the time in large font along the left and three complications. The complication locations are Middle Left, Bottom Left, and Bottom. The Middle Left and Middle Right options allow you to select a small complication. Just like the Nike Analog, the “bottom” option will allow a complication that is a line of text.

There are three style choices, Solid, Two-Tone, and Outline. The Solid style will display the time with a solid fill color. The Two-Tone option will show the hour with a solid fill and the minutes will have an outline. The Outline style will display both the hour and minute in an outline.

There are a number of different options for the Nike Digital face, 32 to be exact. 30 of these are solid colors, and there are two dual-color choices. The two dual-color choices are Volt/White and Red/White. If you select one of these dual-tone colors, the displayed time will appear white and the complications will be either Volt or Red, depending on your choice.

All of the Nike Watch Faces offer a unique style and option for your Apple Watch which can help differentiate your watch from other Apple Watches. Now that we have covered all of the Nike-specific watch faces, let us look at various bands for the Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Bands

Not everything is a “one size fits all” type of situation. People like the ability to customize things and the Apple Watch is designed to be a fashion item. While there are plenty of ways to customize the watch face, not everyone may notice this. However, others may notice if you are wearing a specific Watch Band. Watch Bands are an easy way to customize the look and feel of your Apple Watch. There are a number of Apple Watch Bands, as well as many third-party bands available. One thing that has remained the same throughout all of the generations of the Apple Watch is that bands that were purchased early in the lifespan of the Apple Watch may work with the newest watches, provided you are using the same size watch.

For instance, if you bought the 38mm Apple Watch Series 2 and bought a 40mm Apple Watch Series 5, the watch bands should, for the most part, work with both watches. However, if you bought a 38MM Apple Watch Series 2, but then got the 44MM Apple Watch Series 5, the bands would not work between the two models, due to the size differences. Let us look at some of the available bands from Apple and the differences between the standard models and the Nike models. Then we will look at a brand new band from Apple.

Sport Bands

The sport sand has been around since the first Apple Watch was released. Until the Series 4, the default band was the sport band. The sport band is made of Fluoroelastomer. Fluoroelastomer is a rubber product. The sport band is designed to be comfortable and used all day. The fact that the sport band is rubber, it is odor resistant.

The sport band can be worn while swimming, exercising, or any other activity. Due to its ability to be done doing just about any activity, it means that its designed to stand up to use. Even though, by its very name, it is usable in sports, it means that it is designed to be cleaned. The sport band can be cleaned with mild soap and water.

The Nike Sport Band is similar to the standard sport band. The biggest difference between the two, outside of the available colors, is that the Nike Sport Band has additional holes along the left and right side of the central holes. The additional holes are designed to help wick away sweat and provides a bit more air around your wrist.

The Nike Sport Band that came with my Apple Watch Series 6, it is my first time using the Nike version of the sport band. The Nike Sport Band is a pretty good band and just like the standard sport band.

With the additional holes, you technically can use any of the other holes, but then you would have to bend the sport band a bit to get the clasp to fit into the clasp where the excess Since the sport band is two pieces, you can mix and match them. So you can mix and match the parts of the bands, which can allow you to create your own design.

You might expect that all sport bands are the same. However, they are not. The Nike Sport Band feels just a tad bit lighter weight than the regular sport band. This makes sense given that there is less material than the standard sport band. If you are using the Nike Sport Band for exercise, being able to have a lighter band can help make exercising a bit nicer.

The sport band, no matter which specific model, is the standard band and a great overall band to use with the Apple Watch. The various holes allow each person to adjust it to their wrist, but the preset holes can result in some people not getting the exact fit they need. Let us turn to a slightly different take on the Sport Band to a band that has been around for a while, the Sport Loop.

Sport Loops

The Sport Loops are made of two layers of woven nylon. The sport loop uses a hook and loop fastener that will keep the band classed. The hook and loop mechanism allows for the Apple Watch to easily be removed and put on. Additionally, the sport loop band allows you to fit the band even better than other bands, because you can adjust it to the size you need.

There is only one subtle difference between the standard Sport Loop and the Nike Sport Loop, and that difference is that the Nike Sport Loop includes reflective nylon that is woven throughout the band. This is designed to be reflective when light is shown on the band. This is particularly useful for those who exercise when the light may not be the best. While you will likely have other items to indicate your presence, like neon clothing, a head lamp, or flashing light, it is one more item that will allow vehicles and others to see your while exercising.

After a year of usage, and even with regular cleaning, the Sport loop can accumulate odors. Apple indicates that you can clean the sport loops with water and a lint-free cloth, but this does not work in practice. Instead, you may want to let the band soak with a touch of soap for a while. Once the band is soaked, a light scrubbing may help with the cleaning to remove the odors. Another possible option, which may sound strange, is to shower with your watch band. The soap that you use should help a bit as well. Plus, the Apple Watch can certainly handle getting wet in the shower.

Overall, the sport loop is a lightweight band that is much easier to take off and put on than the sport loop. Over time, the clasping mechanism does seem to reduce the strength of the clasping mechanism. So this is something to keep in mind.

The Sport Loop is probably one of the more comfortable bands and the infinite adjustability allows the band to be versatile as band that can be used throughout the day and that you can adjust throughout the day, if needed. Next, let us look at one of the newest additions to the selection of Apple Watch Bands, the Solo Loop.

Solo Loop

The Solo Loop is a new type of Apple Watch Band. The Solo Loop is compatible with the Series 4 and newer. The Solo Loop is a single piece band that is made with silicone rubber. This is similar to the fluoroelastomer of the Sport Band.

The Sport Loop does not have any clasps, buckles, or any sort of mechanism that allows for adjustment. So it is important to choose the proper size. Apple has a printable tool to be able to help size the Solo Loop. If you visit an Apple Store, you may be able to obtain one.

The Sport Loop comes in one of twelve sizes, 1 to 12. Sizes 1 to 8 are available for the 40mm Apple Watch, and sizes 4 to 12 are available for the 44mm. The difference between each size of the Sport Loop band is very little, hence why there are a bunch of different sizes.

There are actually two methods for the tool. The first is to print out an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper, cut out the measurement tool, and then wrap it around your wrist to determine the proper band size. The second method is to use a piece of paper and a measuring tape. You measure from the end of the paper to the point where the paper matches the end. Once you have this, you can then enter in the length into Apple’s conversion tool, which on the page, and it will provide you with the proper band size.

I tried both methods. First, I used the tape measure approach and it said it could either be a size 8 or a size 9. I then tried with the print-out and it said 8. With the physical measuring tool from the Apple Store, it would be between 7 and 8.

It is important to make sure that you have the correct size. Having a Sport Loop that is too loose will not allow the watch to sit properly on your wrist. You may be able to get a Sport Loop that is one size larger than what the tool indicates. When I did the measurement with Apple’s tool, it indicated that I was a size 8. I was able to order one for pickup at my local Apple Store.

When I opened the package, and put the Sport Loop on my Apple Watch, it seemed like it might be too small, but once I put on my Apple Watch, it did fit, although it was a bit loose. I would probably be better with a size 7, but the size 8 that I have does fit. Even though the Sport Loop is a bit loose, it is not too loose that it stops the Apple Watch from functioning. Furthermore, if the Sport Loop was too loose, the Apple Watch would lock because it lost contact with the skin. So far, I haven to experienced that.

While having a Sport Loop that is too loose could be a problem, you also do not want a super tight band either. This is for a few of reasons. The first is that a band that is too tight can cut off circulation and would be quite uncomfortable. The size of ones wrist can change over time depending on my factors, including but not limited to, heat, hydration levels, and just natural body cycles. The second reason is that if the band is too tight, the blood oxygen sensor will not work properly.

There is one last item to note about the Solo Loop. According to its support document for Apple Watch bands, quote:

If you have a Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop, the band size should be comfortable, but snug against your wrist. Simply pull from the bottom of the band to stretch it over your wrist when you put it on and take it off. Solo Loop may increase in length over time.

I would guess that this may take some time to occur, but it is something to be cognizant of when purchasing a Solo Loop.

Overall, the Sport Loop is a pretty good band and a great addition to the various bands available for the Apple Watch. The lack of a clasp is nice, however its biggest downside is that you need to get the size correct. The only problem will be finding the right fit. If you have an Apple Store nearby, you can see if they have a measuring tool and you can get the proper size. The Sport Loop comes in a variety of colors. The available options are:

  • Deep Navy
  • Ginger
  • Cyprus Green
  • Pink Citrus
  • White
  • Black
  • PRODUCT(RED)

Closing Thoughts

Overall the Apple Watch Series 6 is a solid upgrade, provided that you are upgrading from certain Apple Watches. If you have an Original Apple Watch, a Series 1, 2, or 3, and you are looking to upgrade, the Apple Watch Series 6 is a worthwhile upgrade. However, if you have an Apple Watch Series 4, the new Blood Oxygen sensor and speed increase may be enough to persuade you to upgrade. For Apple Watch Series 5 owners, the only changes are the inclusion of the Blood Oxygen sensor. For some, and particular during these times, it may be a worthwhile upgrade.

With the Series 6 being my first Nike edition of the Apple Watch, it is different to see the distinct Nike Watch Faces in person. I am not sure if I will end up using them on a daily basis, because I do like my Apple Watch to be a mini computer on my wrist, where I can quickly glance at information and the Nike Watch Faces do not allow the breadth of complications on the watch faces. The best part though, is that the Nike Apple Watch does not restrict you to using just the Nike Watch Faces, but you can use any of the Watch Faces that are included in watchOS.

Customizing your Apps Watch face is huge, but a lot of people may not see your watch face unless you show them specifically. What many others can see though, is the Watch Band that is attached to your Apple Watch. There are a variety of bands available. The newest one, the Solo Loop is a great choice if you do not want to use a clasp of any sort. The biggest downside to the Solo Loop is that you need to get the size exactly correct, otherwise it may end up being too tight or too loose. There is one last thing to note, if you purchase an Apple Watch Series 6, or an Apple Watch SE, with the Solo Loop and the Solo Loop is the wrong size, you may have to wait for a replacement, because they are popular.

The differences between the standard Sport Band, and the Nike Sport Band, as well as the standard Sport Loop, and the Nike Sport Loop are very minimal. The Nike Sport Band feels a bit lighter than the standard Sport Band. The lighter weight of the Nike Sport Band is due to the band not having as much material. The only difference with Nike Sport Loop, as compared to the original, is that the Nike version has reflective threads woven in so that in the dark vehicles are able to identify that there is someone there.

I am not sure if I will end up settling on a single band. I do like the Sport Loops due to their overall comfort and adjustability, but the Solo Loop is also quite comfortable and can allow me to easily rest my wrist anywhere without worrying about a clasp. I guess only time will tell which one, or ones, I end up using the most.

The Apple Watch Series 6 is quite popular and some models have longer lead times than others. If you are planning on getting one for the holidays, ordering now is prudent. The Apple Watch Series 6 starts at $399 for the 40mm GPS model, and $429 for the 42mm model. You can add cellular for $100 more on either size.

You can read a lot more about watchOS 7 in my book, iOS 14, iPadOS 14, tvOS 14, and watchOS 7 for Users and Developers. It is available on Apple, Amazon, for $3.99 each, as a black & white paperback for $14.99 or a color paperback for $39.99.