Tech Watch: Apple rolls out new updates to Apple Watch and collaboration with Singapore government, new iPads and more in latest Keynote
Apple’s latest keynote on Wednesday unveiled a wealth of updates and initiatives from the tech giants, following the opening of their new state-of-the-art retail store at Marina Bay Sands last week.
Singapore and Apple have partnered on a brand new national health initiative. Named LumiHealth, the personalised program is intended to encourage healthy activity and behaviours using Apple Watch. The first-of-its-kind program was designed by Singapore’s Health Promotion Board in conjunction with Apple as part of the country’s Smart Nation initiative, a national effort to leverage technology to deliver benefits to its citizens and businesses. Created in collaboration with a team of physicians and public health experts, LumiHealth uses technology and behavioural insights to encourage Singaporeans to keep healthy and complete wellness challenges through their Apple Watch and iPhone®. The LumiHealth app, designed with user privacy and security at its core, is available in the App Store® for pre-order now, and the two-year program will be offered from late October 2020.
“Even as all of us around the world are dealing with the challenges of COVID-19, we must keep investing in our future. And there is no better investment than in our own personal health,” said Heng Swee Keat, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister. “This partnership between Singapore and Apple will enable Singaporeans to lead healthier lives, but equally important, it will contribute valuable insights to improving the health of people all over the world.”
“Singapore has one of the world’s leading healthcare systems, and we are thrilled to be partnering with them to incorporate Apple Watch and LumiHealth into their holistic approach to well-being,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “Apple Watch has already helped millions of our customers manage their activity levels to improve their health, and we look forward to applying our expertise here in the same privacy-friendly way that distinguishes all Apple products and services.”
In essence, LumiHealth was created with the intent to encourage and empower Singaporeans and residents to adopt healthy habits through personalised reminders, programs, activity coaching, and incentives. The app allows users to perform tasks and achieve weekly activity goals tailored to their profile. The app will also reminds users to go for health screenings and immunisations, participate in wellness challenges and even encourage better food choices. To further add to the incentives, users can earn rewards worth up to S$380 over the two-year duration of the program.
Meanwhile, Apple has also announced Family Setup in watchOS® 7, bringing the communication, health, fitness, and safety features of Apple Watch® to kids and older family members of the household who do not have an iPhone®. For the first time, Apple Watch can be set up through a parent’s iPhone, so kids can connect with family and friends through phone calls and Messages, stay motivated with personalised Activity goals, and express their creativity through custom Memoji™.
“For family members who do not have an iPhone, Apple Watch offers a remarkable set of features that can help them keep in touch with loved ones, be more active, and stay safe,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “With Family Setup, we’re thrilled to extend these features to the entire family, so everyone can gain more independence and live a healthier life.”
Apple has also unveiled Fitness+, the first fitness experience built for Apple Watch®, set for release later this year. Apple Fitness+™ intelligently incorporates metrics from Apple Watch for users to visualise right on their iPhone®, iPad®, or Apple TV®, offering a first-of-its-kind personalised workout experience. Everyone from beginners to committed exercisers can access studio-style workouts delivered by world-class trainers and underscored by motivating music from renowned artists, making it easier and more rewarding for customers to exercise, whenever and wherever they like.
“We’re so excited to energise our customers with new ways to get active and stay active with Apple Watch,” said Jay Blahnik, Apple’s senior director of fitness for Health Technologies. “With diverse studio workouts that are suitable for all ability levels, led by a phenomenal group of unique trainers, and an approachable program designed for beginners all the way through to the fitness enthusiast — as well as the flexibility to work out anywhere — there’s something for everyone. We know Fitness+ will take working out with Apple Watch to the next level with unparalleled engagement, convenience, and inspiration.”
Using a custom recommendation engine, Fitness+ considers previously completed workouts and suggests new options to match users, with customers having the ability to filter based on workout type, the trainer, the duration, or the music. Apple Fitness+ will launch with the most popular workout types including Cycling, Treadmill, Rowing, HIIT, Strength, Yoga, Dance, Core, and Mindful Cooldown, each one accompanied by music thoughtfully curated by the trainers. An Absolute Beginner program is also built into Fitness+ to help coach the basics of movement and exercise, and give customers an option to prepare for Studio Workouts. At launch, Fitness+ features a team of celebrated, charismatic, and passionate trainers who are specialists in their fields, working as a collective team to design and create outstanding fitness content, and appearing in each other’s videos welcoming everyone into the experience.
Apple has also introduced the eighth generation iPad and an all-new iPad Air. The new iPad features a 10.2-inch Retina® display, advanced cameras, and all-day battery life, while the iPad Air features an all-screen design with a larger 10.9-inch Liquid Retina® display, camera and audio upgrades, a new integrated Touch ID® sensor in the top button, and the powerful A14 Bionic for a massive boost in performance, making this the most powerful and capable iPad Air ever made. The new eighth-generation iPad is designed to be environmentally friendly and supports Apple’s plan to become carbon neutral by 2030. iPad uses a 100 percent recycled aluminium enclosure and 100 percent recycled tin for the solder on its main logic board, remains free of harmful substances, is highly energy efficient, and uses wood fibre packaging that is recycled or comes from responsibly managed forests.
“We’re excited to offer customers an even faster and more powerful experience with the eighth-generation iPad,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “With its beautiful 10.2-inch Retina display, the performance boost from the A12 Bionic, great cameras, and so much more, the new iPad is an incredible value at a time when, more than ever, our customers need powerful and versatile ways to work, play, learn, and connect with loved ones.”
Finally, Apple has also announced Apple One, a consolidated plan that brings together all of Apple’s subscription services, including Apple Music®, Apple TV+™, Apple Arcade℠, and iCloud. “Apple One makes enjoying Apple subscription services easier than ever,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “With Apple One, you can access the best of Apple entertainment across all your favourite devices with one simple subscription.”
For more information and purchases, head to Apple’s website here