New Apple Watch 4 Offers ECG, Peace of Mind and Wellness Benefits
The new Apple Watch is here
The new Apple Watch Series 4 was announced today during Apple’s big presentation. The new design offers a wide-array of upgrades and features, with a focus on fitness and health. While the design still stays true to the original Apple Watch, the new generation features a display that is over 30% percent larger, while also fitting into a thinner and smaller casing. The new Apple Watch Series 4 will also help usher in the new watchOS 5, which offers new activity and communications features. The big updates increase the Apple Watch’s health and wellness capabilities, which use the accelerometer and gyroscope to detect hard falls and an electrical heart rate sensor that can take an electrocardiogram (ECG) using the new ECG app.
“We’re thrilled Apple Watch has become an essential part of people’s lives,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “The completely redesigned Apple Watch Series 4 continues to be an indispensable communication and fitness companion, and now with the addition of groundbreaking features, like fall detection and the first-ever ECG app offered directly to consumers, it also becomes an intelligent guardian for your health.”
Starting on September 14th, the new Apple Watch Series 4 with GPS will go live and the Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular) will be available to order in 16 countries and territories. Both models will be available in stores beginning Friday, September 21st. The new device will come in two sizes, 40mm and 44mm, so you can choose between the two in a wide-array of colors. The speaker is 50% louder according to Apple and is optimized for phone calls, Siri and a new Walkie-Talkie function. The microphone has been relocated in the model, this was designed to reduce echo for better sound quality. The device includes the next-generation S4 chip with a custom 64-bit dual-core processor, which will also help to improve battery life. On the back you will find a black ceramic and sapphire crystal, allowing radio waves to easily pass through the front and back for better cellular service. The Digital Crown now includes haptic feedback as well.
That bigger display should make using the Apple Watch 4 a lot easier. The app icons and fonts are bigger and easier to read, and the new faces include the Infograph face and the Breathe face, where the animation is timed around a deep breath. Additionally, a suite of motion faces, including Vapor, Liquid Metal, Fire and Water react uniquely with the curved edges of the case.
The big reveal with the Apple Watch Series 4 is the ability to take an ECG reading right from the wrist using the new ECG app. This is done with the electrodes built into the Digital Crown and new electrical heart rate sensor in the back crystal. With the app, users touch the Digital Crown and after 30 seconds, receive a heart rhythm classification. It can classify if the heart is beating in a normal pattern or whether there are signs of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), a heart condition that could lead to major health complications. All recordings, their associated classifications and any noted symptoms are stored in the Health app in a PDF that can be shared with physicians. With watchOS 5, Apple Watch intermittently analyzes heart rhythms in the background and sends a notification if an irregular heart rhythm such as AFib is detected. The watch can also alert the user if the heart rate exceeds or falls below a specified threshold.
The Fall detection is another amazing feature, utilizes a next-generation accelerometer and gyroscope, which measures up to 32 g-forces, along with custom algorithms to identify when hard falls occur. By analyzing wrist trajectory and impact acceleration, Apple Watch sends the user an alert after a fall, which can be dismissed or used to initiate a call to emergency services. If Apple Watch senses immobility for 60 seconds after the notification, it will automatically call emergency services and send a message along with location to emergency contacts.
The Activity competitions allow users to challenge other Apple Watch wearers, automatic workout detection provides an alert to start a workout while giving retroactive credit, and Yoga and Hiking are new dedicated workout types that accurately track active calories burned and exercise minutes earned. Running enthusiasts can take advantage of extended battery life — which is increased to six hours — for outdoor workouts and enjoy high-performance features, including cadence for indoor and outdoor runs, pace alerts for outdoor runs and rolling mile pace, which shows pace for the immediately preceding mile.
Users will also be able to reach their friends with just a tap of the wrist with Walkie-Talkie, a watch-to-watch connection that is an entirely new way to communicate around the world over Wi-Fi or cellular. The Siri watch face is more predictive and proactive, offering shortcuts and actionable content from favorite third-party apps. watchOS 5 also lets users listen to their favorite podcasts on the go with Apple Podcasts on Apple Watch, and stream any podcast in the catalog by using Siri.
The Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS) starts at $399 (US) and Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular) starts at $499, both featuring the updated design and new health features. Series 3 will be available at the new starting price of $279, making it even more accessible to customers. Along with the three aluminum finishes anodized in silver, gold and space gray, Apple Watch Series 4 now comes in a gold stainless steel with matching Milanese band, joining the silver and space black stainless steel models. A new collection of bands debut for fall and all bands continue to work with any generation of Apple Watch.
You can pre-order the newest and greatest Apple Watch at Apple.com.