Apple Announces 9th Generation Watch, New Ultra Model

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You can double tap your thumb and index finger together to operate Apple Watch Series 9 without touching the watch. Apple announced the quirky feature today when it unveiled three Apple Watch models.

They are Apple Watch 9, Apple Watch Ultra 2, its second generation tough watch, and an upgraded version of its Watch SE entry level model.

Watch Series 9 starts at $649, Watch SE at $399 while the Ultra costs from $1399. All will be available from September 22, along with a new series of watch bands.

Double tapping your thumb and finger to operate Watch Series 9 obviously must occur on the arm wearing it. Apple says it can isolate the motion using a combination of the watch’s accelerometer, gyroscope and heart sensor.

You can use the gimmicky gesture to control a primary button function, for example to start or stop a timer, end a call or pause the watch’s alarm when you’re half asleep.

(It’s clever but maybe avoid playing the castanets with Series 9 on your arm.)

Apple Watch Series 9

Apple Watch Series 9 uses the company’s S9 SIP chip with 5.6 billion transistors, which Apple says is 60pc more transistors than with S8, and it operates 30pc faster.

A four-core neural engine powers machine learning tasks and lets Siri process some voice requests on the watch itself, such as when you ask it how many hours sleep you had last night. Dictation on Series 9 watches is 25pc more accurate than Series 8 ones, Apple says.

a3 1 Apple Announces 9th Generation Watch, New Ultra Model
Apple Watch Series 9

Innovations include being able to ask Siri about your health data, and a Watch NameDrop feature which lets you share contact details with other Apple users.

Apple has made much of its ultra wideband chip on the iPhone 15 and there’s new functionality for Apple Watch too, such as being given media suggestions when you bring your watch nearby a HomePod device.

Apple says the watch face brightness of 2000 nits is double Series 8 and brightness can drop to just one 1 nit in a dark movie theatre.

Series 9 comes in 41mm and 45mm sizes in starlight, midnight, silver, product red and with a new pink aluminium case, with stainless steel models in gold, silver, and graphite cases.

Apple has dropped leather bands in its move towards carbon neutrality and instead is adopting a new range of “fine woven” bands.

Apple Watch Ultra 2

The Ultra 2 offers an even brighter screen with up to 3000 nits.

There’s more support for recreational diving with the depth app saving a log of each diving session. Users can review recent sessions on the watch or view the complete history of all dives with a GPS entry point in the Fitness app on their iPhone.

The Ultra 2 also sports the S9 SIP chip and the functionality offered with Series 9 watches such as the double tapping gesture, on-device Siri voice command processing, faster dictation, and ultra-wideband support for locating nearby devices.

Apple claims 36 hours of battery life in a single charge, or 72 hours in low power mode.

Apple Watch SE

Apple’s entry level watch misses advanced features such as some of the heart monitoring capability.

It still offers activity tracking, high and low heart rate notifications, fall detection, emergency SOS, crash detection, and new features available with Apple’s latest watchOS operating system.

The new watchOS features target cycling with Bluetooth connectivity for power meters, speed sensors, and cadence sensors and a workout view. There’s also compass waypoints.

Watch SE comes in starlight, midnight, silver, product red, and in a pink aluminium case, as well as in stainless steel in gold, silver, and graphite cases.

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