All About The Apple Watch Series 9 And Ultra 2
At Apple’s recent annual launch event, the announcement of the iPhone 15 dominated the headlines. But there was big news in the wearable market too, with the launch of the Apple Watch Series 9, and the second generation of the Apple Watch Ultra. Both new models offer improvements that bring it right up to date for 2023 – pink option included.
The combination of new tech and software in Watch OS10 give it an upgrade – in all, expect improvements to the interface, brightness, speed and new nifty features.
Tempted? Here’s the lowdown on what to expect from the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2.
More recycled material
In a bid to become more economically friendly (although really, they could start by extending battery life so we wouldn’t have to replace devices as often), they’re adding more recycled material into the components of their new products. The aluminium version of the Series 9 (it’s also available in stainless steel) is made from 100 per cent recycled aluminium, and the Ultra 2 is made from 95 per cent recycled titanium. It’s carbon neutral when combined with the Sport Loop strap, which is 82 per cent recycled yarn. As an alternative, the FineWoven strap is a 68 per cent recycled material that acts as a leather alternative. It might not seem like a major move forward, but consider Apple sell around 40 million watches a year, it all adds up.
A smoother experience
Fitted with a new processor, using the Apple Watch S9 is smoother than ever. Processing takes place 30 per cent faster than before, and diction is 25 per cent better. It gives Siri a glow-up too – you can issue commands offline, and they’re readying the release of health advice via Siri too.
It comes in pink!
Bringing the Apple Watch bang up to date, it comes in a new colour – and thanks to Barbie, it’s the colour of the year: pink, which is great for anyone who wants to add a bit of pop to their look.
And not just figuratively. When you’re out and about on a sunny day, it can get tricky to see a smartwatch screen clearly. But using power saving from the more efficient processor, Apple have upped the max brightness level. On the S9, the max brightness is doubled, while the Ultra 2 it’s up 50 per cent. Great news for those who want their Apple Watch to work well in the full range of lighting conditions.
Control the watch without touching the screen
Smart technology is clearly getting smarter. With these two new wearables, assistive technology is being brought into the default experience. You can navigate menus and control the watch without having to raise a finger to the screen. Instead, you just double tap your fingers, and the blood flow sensors in the watch recognise the gesture as if it were a mouse click. It needs a bit of trialling to get the hang of it, and we’re yet to see if it beats the ease of touching the screen directly, but it’s certainly an intriguing alternative with opportunities for the future. This feature will be released on a software update in October. Talking of which…
There’s brand new software
The Watch OS10 is Apple’s newest operating system, which is available to all the latest Apple Watch models, not just these two releases. It will make a big impact on how owners interact with their wearable, as amongst the changes, they’ve redesigned the interface to ‘smart stack’ widgets so owners get more information at a glance. Your watch will learn which apps you use and when and will give prominence to those apps accordingly. All these little changes mean a lot less effort is needed to carry out tasks – exactly the kind of improvements we expect from Apple.
Price and availability
The Apple Watch Series 9 is priced at £399 – down £20 from the cost of the Series 8 when it was released. Similarly, the Ultra 2 is £799 – £50 less than last year’s equivalent. Both go on sale on Friday 22 September.
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