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Apple watch makes needed improvements

On Sept. 21, Apple introduced the new Apple Watch Series 4, and it’s official: we’ve reached the age where we can wear mini smartphones on our wrists. The ability to call, text and even search the web now lay on our wrists saving us the extra step of pulling our phones out of our pockets.

Here’s what the Series 4 offers:

* Thinner but bigger sizes: 40 mm and 44 mm (previously 38 mm and 42 mm)

* Bigger displays with rounded corners

* Faster processor improving overall performance

* Better speakers

* Bluetooth 5.0

* Fall detection mode

* Raise to speak function for Siri

* The new watchOS 5 software update right out of the box

* Stainless steel option adding more durability

* A new gold color option to match the new iPhones

The Series 4’s overall design has improved when compared to the Series 3. The watch slightly increased in size, yet it’s thinner and has an even bigger and more vibrant display. The position of the microphone has been moved to improve call quality, and the faster processor makes everything more fluent as expected.

The watch includes a new raise to speak function for Siri which allows users to simply raise their Apple Watch and immediately begin speaking to it. When it works, and I seriously mean when it chooses to work since it’s not 100% guaranteed, it makes you feel like a secret agent. Regardless, users can still use the preferred method of holding the button on the side for Siri.

The new watchOS 5 update brings a new gimmick: Walkie-Talkie mode. The feature, which is available to Series 3 owners, is essentially a press-to-talk FaceTime call: tap and hold the screen to speak, then wait for the other person to reply.

The Series 4 is equipped with a new safety feature called “Fall Detection.” If you’ve fallen due to some unfortunate circumstance, the watch will prompt to contact emergency services or dismiss the notification. The watch can detect if you’re motionless, which means if you don’t respond within a few minutes, it will automatically contact emergency services and text all emergency contacts.

Apple has also included an electrical heart sensor. The watch is now capable of tracking how well the heart is functioning. While being your fitness buddy, the Series 4 can inform your doctor of warning signs towards any heart related diseases. The ECG app that will use this function will not be available until later in the year, but will definitely save lives.

The price of the Series 4 depends solely on the consumer’s preferences. The basic 40 mm and 44 mm models start at $399 and $429 respectively, but any extra accessories will exponentially inflate the price. It’s possible to spend about $800 on this device by, for example, choosing the gold stainless steel, GPS + Cellular model.

Overall, the Series 4 is a major improvement over the Series 3 and is worth the upgrade. This would be a great introduction to wearable technology if you own an iPhone, but don’t already own an Apple Watch. If you already own a Series 3 but want the Series 4, you can go through the Apple GiveBack program to receive up to $250 worth of credit towards a Series 4.

Written by Tristen Petty, Staff Writer. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

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