What’s new in the Applesphere? The hits just keep on coming. Last week it was iOS 12, then new iPhones started shipping, Watch Series 4 hit the streets to much acclaim, and this week macOS Mojave made quiet debut. What’s next? iPad Pro and new Macs seem to be on the horizon.
While I need to wait for iPhone Xs Max, Apple Watch Series 4 made a dent in my credit card. If you’ve waited until Watch became a hit, you waited too long. If you have a Series 0 or Series 1, the time to upgrade is now. Even Series 3 owners may find the new features and functions to be worthy upgrades.
What’s new and different?
Display – this is what you’ll notice right away. Watch Series 4 display is larger and brighter. The 40 mm model has a larger display than Series 3’s 42 mm.
Size – 4 comes in two sizes, each slightly larger than last year, but slightly thinner, too; 40 mm and 44 mm, respectively.
Digital Crown – in Series 4 it has more parts, does more, but is smaller than previous models. Goodbye red dot on the Crown tip for the LTE model; instead it’s a red ring. No notch movement as you dial, but haptic feedback is used instead.
ECG/EKG – Watch Series 4 has a model with a built-in electrocardiogram. I would like to tell you how it works but Apple needs to update software first.
Gold – Apple continues to experiment with colors. Gold was on display at the nearby Apple Store but out of stock. This gold is more subtle than typical gold watches; almost rose, but not quite.
S4 – most Watch users won’t care or notice, but the Apple-designed S4 chip which powers the device is fully 64-bit; think more powerful, less power hungry.
Bluetooth 5 – this is the Bluetooth you want; more range, faster throughput. I have a pair of Bluetooth earbuds for iPhone X and they are far less prone to skipping than Bluetooth 4.2. Still waiting for AirPods with Bluetooth 5.
Speakers – sound output on previous Watch models was notably lame (what do you expect from such a tiny device) but Watch Series 4 sound is surprisingly loud.
Walkie-Talkie – I wanted this to be a great feature, and it might be between Series 4 users with the improved speakers, but with older Watch models it’s lame. Too slow. The Talk button is truly walkie-talkie-like; press and hold to speak. That’s disconcerting.
Fall Detection – I have not tried this but maybe I should as I plan to get Watch Series 4 for my parents. Apple put in a new gyroscope accelerometer which can detect movements much faster, hence the built-in fall detection.
Watchfaces – a number of new watchfaces made it to older Watch models with watchOS 5, but the ones that are most useful are the new modular versions with more complications, but only available on Watch Series 4 with the larger displays.
That’s my basic rundown of the new Series 4 model. Because 4 is so much more advanced than competitors, Apple is just showing off.