If you don’t have a Watch - or you have an older Apple Watch - the Series 6 is a pretty good upgrade. Much faster, oxygen sensor, and some new watch faces. $430 for the basic model. If you already have a Watch Series 5, there is little reason to upgrade. All you’ll get are some new watch faces and the oxygen sensor. And it will be a bit faster.
Then there’s the new Watch SE. This has a lot of the upgrades of the Series 6, but lacks the fancy sensors and I believe the chip is one generation slower. But the price is only $310 for the basic model, which is much cheaper. So if you don’t need to know your oxygen level or whether you’re currently having a heart attack, the SE might be right for you. Both watches look pretty much the same in terms of case and bands.
I’ve had a Watch since the very first version, and I am consistently surprised at how much I use it, and how much it has put me in touch with my daily routine.
There’s a new iPad Air, which is super-fast and now has a TouchID sensor on the power button, meaning the front is nothing but screen. It comes in five colors. It also has a USB-C port for easy transfer from cameras and whatnot. It has a magnetic recharger for the Apple Pencil as well. It does all the things. $600.
For something a bit more basic but still quite capable, there’s the 8th Generation iPad. Pretty sure it’s 8th. Not as fast, slightly smaller screen, still has the old Home button, and no easy charging of an Apple Pencil. On the plus side, it’s only $330, so almost half the price of the Air.
Which is best for you? That depends on how often you do serious work (or drawing) on your iPad. The more you use it, the more the $600 price is worth the Air.
If you have Apple Music (and why don’t you? It’s awesome,) and, say, Apple Arcade and, perhaps, a bunch of stuff you want to back up to the cloud, Apple One is worth it.
You get six services for up to five family members for one price. $30/month. For that one payment, everyone gets Music, Arcade, iCloud, TV+, News+, and Fitness+.
There’s also a $20/month family tier that doesn’t include News and Fitness, perfect if you want to remain uninformed and sedentary.
How the Hell am I Supposed to Pay for All This?
Good question. Three things that I find helpful:
Trade In: if you have an older iPad or Watch and want to get a new one, Apple will give you some money for your older model, so long as it still works.
Apple Card: I’ve been using the Apple Card since the start of the year, and it’s great. You can sign up right on your phone. You get 1% daily cash back for any transaction, or 2% back if you use Apple Pay or pay with your Watch or Phone (for example, at Trader Joe’s,) or 3% back at certain retailers and when you buy an Apple product. For Apple products, they also offer 0% interest and 24 months to pay for your new toy… er… productivity tool. On your iPhone, go to Wallet, and then the sign up stuff should be obvious.
Refurb Store: This is where returns and “open box” items end up. I’ve used it many, many times, and I’ve recommended it to others, and nobody’s ever had a problem. The items come as new, in box, with the same warranty as a new item. CAUTION: when you find a deal on the Refurb Store, make sure you’re looking at the version of the product you’re expecting. You might find a cheap Mac that says, “Originally released April 2018” or some such, indicating that it’s an older, close-out model.
So that’s the new stuff announced today. I 100% guarantee we’ll be seeing a new iPhone announced in the next month.