Everything You Need to Know about Apple Watch Series 4

The September 2018 Apple announcement was held today and like clockwork, it was time for Apple to update the Apple Watch. In previous iterations, Apple added cellular and GPS capability, plus waterproofing to make a compelling case to make the leap. This year the company focused less on dramatic new features and instead on enhancements (64-bit CPU, bigger screens, smaller bezel, thinner chassis, louder speaker, and better sensors). But that doesn't mean the Series 4 isn't a dramatically different watch. Thanks to a built-in ECG (electrocardiogram) sensor, the Apple Watch Series 4 is a healthcare provider’s dream—and one that fits on your wrist.

Related: Meet the Newest Generation of the iPhone Family: iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max & iPhone XR

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Apple Watch Series 4 Price & Availability

Price: Starting at $399 for GPS and $499 for GPS + Cellular.

Date(s) for pre-order and purchase: Order 12:01 a.m., September 14; available September 21.

Apple Watch Series 4 Specs:

  • Display size(s): 40 mm and 44 mm (measured vertically) superseding the 38 mm and 42 mm sizes, respectively.
  • Storage capacity: 16 GB.
  • RAM: undisclosed.
  • Processor: 64-bit dual-core S4, up to two-times faster performance over previous generation.
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Operating system: watchOS 5
  • Battery life: Same 18-hour battery life as previous models.
  • Screen type: OLED.
  • Digital Crown: Now offers haptic feedback for responsiveness.
  • Speaker: Louder speaker, which is great for the new Walkie Talkie feature and for phone calls.

New Apple Watch Features & Improvements:

Compared to previous models, the new Apple Watch has a more than 30 percent larger screen, thanks to the smaller bezel and it being slightly taller, but the new watches are thinner, so they take up less volume overall. And although new bands will be available for the new watch, your old Apple Watch bands will fit the newer models as well.

More content is displayed in watchOS 5 and Apple’s built-in apps. The larger screen can accommodate more complications (making that term even more appropriate). One complication I liked is the option to add photos of your favorite contacts right on your watch face so you can tap them for one-touch connect. Apple will support third-party app content, including graphics, directly on the watch face, such as flight boarding info, stock scores, and more.

On the health and safety front, Apple offered a number of enhancements. The new watch features an enhanced accelerometer and gyroscope, making the watch precise enough to detect falls! It can then dial 911 and share your location. The system supports notifications for low heart rate, irregular rhythm (atrial fibrillation), and even an electrocardiogram (ECG) using sensors on the back and the Digital Crown.Apple even earned clearance from the FDA (first of its kind) and had the head of the American Heart Association, Dr. Ivor Benjamin, on stage to endorse the watch.

Just as Apple’s iPhones are getting larger, so is its Apple Watch. As users depend more on these devices, the ability to view more content becomes more important. In both the case of the new iPhone models and the Apple Watch Series 4, Apple has managed to add more screen real estate while reducing the bezel, so the extra screen size doesn't add significantly to the overall size of the device.

The enhancements to the Apple Watch are welcome and ironically, could make carrying around an iPhone less important. A cellular-based Apple Watch with a larger screen is now more independent and more useful than ever.

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Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.