Another Apple event is officially in the books as Apple’s ‘Far Out’ presentation has concluded. Unlike WWDC ’22 and despite members of the press being invited out to Apple’s campus in Cupertino, the Far Out event was yet another pre-recorded presentation. But that didn’t stop Apple from bringing the heat and introducing an incredible lineup of products that will be available soon.
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In true Apple fashion, the event kicked off with some nifty combined AI-generated and actual cinematography. But when the camera settled, it showed Apple CEO Tim Cook on the lawn at Apple’s Campus. Thankfully, there wasn’t much in the way of grandstanding, as Cook shared a promotional video talking about how the Apple Watch has saved lives. Cook also revealed that the Apple Watch has been the best-selling smartwatch over the past eight years and the company plans to keep the good times rolling.
Apple Watch Series 8
The introduction of the Far Out event was a fitting segue to the first product that was revealed. We all expected it to arrive, but the Apple Watch Series 8 was the first device off the board. It retains the same design changes from last year’s Series 7, namely the larger and more vibrant display.
The Watch Series 8 is water resistant up to 50 meters, while also being swimproof. All of the expected health and fitness tracking features are on board, including the ability measure your blood oxygen, ECG, and track your heart rate. The big new health addition this year is the all-new dual temperature sensors. These will help determine whether something is going on with your body that you aren’t aware of, but also introduce greatly-improved cycle tracking. Apple even detailed the Series 8’s ability to receive “retrospective ovulation estimates”.
Crash Detection is another new feature coming to all modern iPhone and Apple Watch models. This works thanks to the “High-g accelerometer” along with the built-in gyroscope, as your Apple Watch is capable of measuring up to 256g of force.
Pricing for the 41mm Apple Watch Series 8 starts at $399 for the GPS-only version, going up to $429 for the 45mm variant. Pre-orders for the Series 8 are available starting today, with the Watch Series 8 slated to launch on September 16.
Apple Watch SE
In the shortest segment of the Far Out event, Apple debuted an all-new Apple Watch SE. This was expected as watchOS 9 drops support for the Apple Watch Series 3. Now, the Watch SE will pick up the slack as the company’s most affordable smartwatch.
It seems that Apple is using the same design from the Series 6 with the Watch SE, as the old 40mm and 44mm case options make a return. And functionality speaking, there’s not much difference between the SE and the Series 8. You’ll miss out on the IP6X dust resistance and the SE does not feature an Always-On display.
And as you might expect, the Watch SE does not include the ability to track your Blood Oxygen or ECG. Nor does it feature the new temperature sensors that the Series 8 has to offer. But you will get the same 18-hours of battery life, along with Car Crash detection, and the SE is also available with an LTE configuration.
Pricing for the Watch SE starts at $249 for the 40mm version, and is also available for pre-order today. The Watch SE will make its way onto a wrist near you starting on September 16.
Apple Watch Ultra
We’ve been hearing rumors about an “Apple Watch Pro” for quite a long time, and for good reason. But instead of going with Pro, Apple instead decided to go with “Ultra”. The Apple Watch Ultra is the company’s most robust and most durable Apple Watch to date. It offers up to an incredible 36 hours of battery life out of the box, and a future update promises a battery optimization mode that could extend this up to 60 hours.
It’s also an incredibly large watch, compared to the other models, coming with a 49mm case size. The display is protected by a flat sapphire front crystal, with raised edges around the screen to provide “display edge protection”. Adding to the durability, the casing itself is made from Titanium, which is both extremely rugged and much lighter than aluminum.
The Apple Watch Ultra is also the first of its kind to feature a customizable Action button on the left side along with being rated with MIL-STD 810H certifications. Water resistance is doubled, going up to 100m, and the Ultra can also be used at depths up to 40m. All of the same features from the Series 8 are also on the Ultra, including the new temperature sensors.
Unlike the Series 8 or Watch SE, there is no “GPS-only” version of the Apple Watch Ultra. Instead, all versions are equipped with LTE out of the box, but you don’t need to have a cellular network attached. The Apple Watch Ultra is priced at $799, and there are a few different unique bands for you to choose from.
AirPods Pro 2
We’ve come a long way from the days of Apple releasing a new and popular product through a press release. Following the whirlwind that was the Apple Watch Ultra announcement, the AirPods Pro 2 were finally and officially revealed. These have been rumored for years at this point, but Apple decided now was the perfect time to make them available.
The AirPods Pro 2 bring with them improved Active Noise Cancelation with Apple claiming these will cancel out two times the amount of sound compared to the original AirPods Pro. Even with the improved ANC functionality, the AirPods Pro 2 are also rated for longer battery life as you’ll be able to get 6 hours on a single charge. This is up from the 4.5 hours of battery life offered by the AirPods Pro.
Many of the improvements were made possible thanks to Apple’s implementation of the new Apple H2 chip. This works with the custom drivers to provide better ANC Performance, along with the new Adaptive Transparency mode. Now, your AirPods Pro 2 will be able to automatically adjust the transparency mode to match your surroundings. Apple even went so far as to bring a redesigned case complete with a lanyard loop, a built-in speaker, and the U1 chip.
The AirPods Pro 2 are priced at $249 and will be available for pre-order beginning on September 9. Then, these earbuds will become available for purchase everywhere starting on September 16.
iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus
The writing was on the wall, but today’s event officially confirmed that the iPhone Mini is no more. Instead, Apple is going in the opposite direction as the iPhone 14 Plus will take its place in the lineup. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus match up, size wise at least, with the Pro and Pro Max models. This means the smaller of the two sports a 6.1-inch display, while the larger version comes in at 6.7-inches.
Apple is repurposing the chipset from last year’s iPhone 13 series, as the Apple A15 Bionic is providing the power. However, the company made it seem as though there were slight tweaks made to the chip. As expected, both of these devices feature an IP68 water and dust resistance rating, along with available with up to 512GB of storage.
Besides the improved OLED display panel, the biggest change to the iPhone 14 lineup comes via the cameras. Apple is sticking with a dual-camera setup, with a 12MP wide-angle lens accompanied by a 12MP ultra-wide sensor.
With the combination of the Apple A15 Bionic’s image signal processor and the updated hardware, these might be the best cameras found on a non-Pro iPhone. Apple leaned heavily into showcasing the low-light improvements that will be available. Compared to the iPhone 13, the iPhone 14 series will provide 2x better performance for the selfie and ultrawide lenses. Meanwhile the main wide angle camera will be up to 2.5x better in low light compared to the iPhone 13.
Pricing for the 128GB iPhone 14 starts at $799, while the 128GB iPhone 14 Plus is priced at $899. Per-orders for both of these devices begins on September 9. However, the iPhone 14 will be available starting on September 16 while the iPhone 14 Plus will become available starting on October 17.
iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone Pro Max
Rounding out today’s slew of announcements were Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. It was another year of hearing “these are the most Pro iPhone’s ever”, and for good reason. Last year, Apple trimmed down the notch just slightly, but in 2022, the notch is gone for good. Well, at least on the iPhone 14 Pro lineup.
But instead of just leaving the oblong cutout at the top all of the time, Apple introduced the “Dynamic Island”. This transforms the camera cutout into a usable area where you can see notifications, interact with messages, and much much more. For instance, when you start playing some music, you’ll be able to see the album artwork and the song’s progression. Tap the Dynamic Island and your iPhone will present a larger widget that includes easily accessible playback controls.
The fun doesn’t stop there, as early builds of the iOS 16 Developer Beta kind of spilled the beans. Nevertheless, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are now both equipped with an Always-On Display. This will make it easier than ever to glance at your iPhone and see important pieces of information. Apple also confirmed that the Live Activities feature announced alongside iOS 16 will take full advantage of both the Dynamic Island and the Always-On Display once it’s made available.
As for cameras, Apple is finally moving away from the 12MP lens. Well kind of. The primary wide-angle lens is getting a massive upgrade, as the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max now use a 48MP lens. Along with vastly-improved image quality, this also brings an additional zoom option within the camera app. Now, you’ll have 0.5x, 1x, 2x, and 3x when snapping photos or recording videos.
But all four of the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max’s cameras are being upgraded (including the selfie camera). Apple continued to drive home the importance of low-light photography improvements and it looks like the company is delivering.
Both the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will be available in storage configurations up to 1TB, just like the iPhone 13 Pro series. Pricing for the 128GB iPhone 14 Pro comes in at $999, while the iPhone 14 Pro Max with 128GB of storage retails for $1,099. Pre-orders for both of these devices begins on September 9, and will hit store shelves near you on September 16.
Andrew Myrick is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is having a never-ending supply of different keyboards and gaming handhelds that end up collecting more dust than the consoles that are being emulated.