The Apple Watch Series 4 drew more attention at the Cupertino launch because of a new range of innovative functions, especially around health, activity and communications.

Health, activity and communications features include: an improved accelerometer and gyroscope that can detect hard falls. And an electrical heart rate sensor that can take an electrocardiogram (ECG). Its new ECG app which has a De Novo classification by the FDA.

Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, said

We’re thrilled Apple Watch has become an essential part of peoples’ lives. The completely redesigned Apple Watch Series 4 continues to be an essential communication and fitness companion. With the addition of ground-breaking features, like fall detection and the first-ever ECG app, it also becomes an intelligent guardian for your health.

Apple Watch Series 4

Health

Apple Watch Series 4 enables customers to take an ECG reading from the wrist. It uses the new ECG app, which uses electrodes built into the Digital Crown and new electrical heart rate sensor in the back crystal. Users touch the Digital Crown and after 30 seconds, receive a heart rhythm classification. Itstores all recordings, their associated classifications and any noted symptoms as a PDF in the Health app.

It intermittently analyses heart rhythms in the background. A notification is sent if it detects an irregular heart rhythm suggestive of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib). It can also alert the user if the heart rate exceeds or falls below a specified threshold.

Fall detection utilises a next-generation accelerometer and gyroscope. It measures up to 32g-forces, along with custom algorithms to identify when hard falls occur.

By analysing wrist trajectory and impact acceleration, Apple Watch sends the user an alert after a fall. This can be dismissed or used to initiate a call to emergency services. If Apple Watch senses immobility for 60 seconds, it will automatically call emergency services and send a message along with the location to emergency contacts.

Fitness

  • Activity competitions allow users to challenge other Apple Watch wearers.
  • Automatic workout detection provides an alert to start a workout while giving retroactive credit.
  • Yoga and Hiking are new workout types that accurately track calories and exercise minutes earned.
  • Running enthusiasts can take advantage of extended battery life to six hours plus cadence, pace alerts and rolling kilometre pace

Staying Connected

Walkie-Talkie, a watch-to-watch connection is an entirely new way to communicate around the world over Wi-Fi or cellular.

The Siri watch face is more predictive and proactive. It offers shortcuts and actionable content from favourite third-party apps.

watchOS 5 also lets users listen to podcasts on the go with Apple Podcasts on Apple Watch, and stream any podcast in the catalogue by using Siri.

Apple Watch Line-Up

Australian website here.

  • Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS) starts at $599
  • Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular) starts at $749
  • Apple Watch Series 3 is repriced to start from $399

Available in two sizes (40 and 44mm) three aluminium finishes – anodised in silver, gold and space grey.

Apple Watch Series 4 now comes in a striking gold stainless steel with matching Milanese band, joining the silver and space black stainless-steel models.

Apple Watch Nike+ remains a customer favourite, and the new collection features redesigned Nike watch faces that match the new band colours, including a Pure Platinum/Black Sport Band and a Summit White Sport Loop with reflective yarn.

Apple Watch Hermès introduces an elegant assortment of colour-blocked bands and exclusive watch faces that shift from one colour to the other with the passage of the minute hand.

Apple Watch Series 4

Availability – Apple Watch Series 4

Pre-orders begin Friday 14, September, with availability beginning Friday 21, September.

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