What to expect at Apple’s ‘Time Flies’ event

Sooner than perhaps any of us might have anticipated, Apple news is upon us. On Tuesday, the company will unveil its first products of the fall as it ramps up for the holiday quarter to come.

A September event is, obviously, nothing new for Apple, which has been holding them regularly for the last decade. In years past, that’s meant rolling out new models of iPhones, but expectations have been set by Apple (during its last quarterly conference call) and what seem like some strategic leaks that the iPhones will be arriving later than usual this year. To wit: don’t look for them this week.

So, with Apple’s new smartphones out of the running, what exactly is in store for this event? Let’s run down the most likely contenders.

Watch out!

Apple’s invitation was light on details, as always, but it’s hard to look at its “Time Flies” tagline and think that this won’t mean showing off new models of the Apple Watch. Presumably that means a Series 6, but rumors have also circulated around an additional lower cost model to replace the aging Series 3.

apple watch series 5 titanium Apple

Expect a new Apple Watch to take the spotlight on Tuesday.

Of course, the bigger question is what new features might find their way into a Series 6 Apple Watch. Having last year rolled out the always-on screen for which users had been clamoring since the wearable’s introduction, Apple seems to have checked off many of the features that customers are looking for. And while a new chip and enhanced performance seem like no-brainers for a Series 6, those seem like table stakes for the device, rather than something new to draw in upgraders and new buyers alike.

Current speculation has largely focused around the addition of new health sensors, including potentially an oximeter for measuring blood oxygen levels. However, such measurements might be possible using the same sensors Apple already leverages for monitoring heartrate, so it’s unclear whether this feature would be exclusive to a Series 6 watch. (Such a model might include an upgraded sensor to provide more precise readings, even if the feature is available to all models.) Other health sensors have been hoped for—such as glucose monitoring—but they seem to be farther off.

One thing that you can probably lay odds on: it seems likely that Apple will take this opportunity to refresh its collection watchbands. What’s autumn without some fall colors?

Air refreshener

While the iPad Pro received a minor update this past spring, the midrange iPad Air has remained unchanged since March 2019. Eighteen months is about the refresh cycle for iPads these days, so a revamped Air seems like a pretty good bet for this week’s event.