Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Series 8 Apple Watch adds temperature to check health

Temperature checking for ovulation is just one new feature, joining crash detection in the S8 Apple Watch.

While the week was largely dedicated to the launch of the iPhone 14 and the more premium edition with the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, it wasn’t just about the phones. There was also a change to the Fitness service, and the watch models associated with it.

You won’t need an Apple Watch to use Apple Fitness+ in the coming months, but if you still want an Apple Watch, there are plenty of reasons to consider a new one, as Apple makes some modest changes to an already solid platform, even if those changes suggest the wearable’s mediocre battery life will likely still be a thing.

The good news is if you held out on buying any of the Apple Watch models — because buying any Apple gadget in September is always risky! — you will now have two newly updated models to choose from: the Apple Watch Series 8 and the 2022 Apple Watch SE. So what’s new in each, and when can you get them in Australia?

Series 8 Apple Watch adds temperature checking and crash detection

Built on the already solid template we’ve seen time and time again, the Series 8 Apple Watch adds some extra smarts for 2022 onto the still excellent smartwatch that was the Series 7 Watch model, even if the changes may not feel like a huge deal to all.

The outside will still look the same, but the inside is a little different.

There’s a new chip inside — the S8 processor — and some new sensors set to join the already solid heart-rate tracking, blood oxygen check, and the ECG which now works in Australia.

New to the package is a crash detection technology not unlike what Apple is rolling out to the new phones, which will pick up on gyroscope and accelerometer data from severe g-forces to work out if someone has been involved in a crash, matching it to the sounds, GPS position, and even barometric pressure alongside algorithms to work out if you have been in an accident.

If you have been in a severe car accident and you’re unresponsive, the Apple Watch Series 8 will kick in a 10 second countdown before calling emergency services, with device location shared with both emergency responders and folks on the emergency contact list.

In short, Crash Detection is Apple’s way of making sure you’re safe.

In contrast, Apple’s addition of a temperature sensor is Apple’s way to keep you informed about aspects of your health, which at launch is being used primarily for women’s health.

While Apple could very use the tech to find out if you’re sick in other ways — such as how Whoop used wearable tech to look for signs of covid — the main use for temperature sensing in the Series 8 Watch is to improve period predictions in the cycle tracking the company added to its wearables, as well as make estimates on ovulation timing.

Apple also notes its Health app can track wrist temperature at night during sleep, which may be used to diagnose illness or jet lag, monitoring temperature changes both on the back of the watch near the skin and another just under the screen.

As with previous “Series” models, you’ll find two main variations of the Watch, with the less expensive rocking up in an aluminium body protected by Apple’s “Ion-X” glass from $629, while the more expensive model starts at $999 and arrives in a more durable stainless steel body with the much more durable sapphire glass.

Lighter Watch SE is one update, the chip is another

Both cost quite a bit more than the new Watch SE, which sees an update this year, as well.

Still Apple’s entry level wearable, the 2022 Watch SE will get the same S8 chipset and get the new Crash Detection technology, but will skip out on the temperature sensor, blood oxygen checking, and ECG. The 2022 Watch SE will track heart rate, though, offering health capabilities, but the case has changed slightly.

While the Watch SE is still an aluminium-only model — no premium variation here — it will use a nylon composite material on the back, helping to make the whole thing slightly lighter, and possibly a little different on the skin.

Australian pricing and availability for the 2022 Apple Watch

Both the Apple Watch Series 8 and Watch SE look set to be arrive locally from September 16 in Australia, arriving from $629 and $399 respectively, but only for the WiFi/Bluetooth models with GPS. If you want the 4G variation with calls, prepare to add a little more on top.

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