Since Apple Watch first broke into the wearables market in 2015, it has been continuously redefining what a watch can do beyond tell time: Sleep track? Check. Monitor heart rate? Check. Become your exercise companion? Check. And in the most defining step since putting a ring on it with Activity, the smartwatch company announced at today’s online streaming event that by year’s end, Apple Fitness+ will definitively change the way Apple users work out forever. Suffice it to say that the $2.9 billion on-demand fitness industry has a new one to, ahem, watch.
In tandem with the announcement of Apple Watch Series 6 (from $399) and Apple Watch SE ($279)—both of which will launch on September 18, Fitness+ is meant to further integrate movement into your day in a more seamless way. The app will offer wrist-access to HIIT, yoga, running, cycling, and strength training content on Apple compatible devices like iPads, iPhone, or Apple TV. And, because we’re all slowly learning that recovery rounds out any good fitness routine, Fitness+ also offers a guided mindful cooldown for the moment you cross the finish line on your run or unstrap from your stationary bike.
On top of becoming the workout of choice for 2020 and beyond, Apple Watch’s newest iteration also offers some pretty cool features, such as the ability to test your blood oxygen levels in just 15 (yes, 15) seconds. That’s pretty damn cool because, as the Cleveland Clinic explains, “oxygen is the fuel your body needs to function. Insufficient oxygen in the blood can interfere with the function of the heart and brain.” It’s an especially relevant metric in 2020 as COVID-19 patients tend to have very low blood oxygen levels.
Beyond Fitness+ and blood oxygen monitoring, Apple Watch Series 6 will also come pre-programmed with the much-anticipated sleep tracking function that Apple announced in early July as part of WatchOS7. Meaning, your wrist will come programmed with smart ways to approach bedtime and wake-up to make sure you nail those seven-plus hours of sleep that one-third of Americans miss out on each night.
In 2020, a watch can absolutely be your workout studio and your heart health companion and your speed-dial access to Mr. Sandman—and Apple Watch Series 6 just proved it.