The Apple Watch Ultra, iPhone 14 Pro and new AirPods Pro

The new Apple Watch series 8 is possibly the most iterative release to date and if it had been released with no device above it in the range there would have been howls of ‘there’s no innovation’ and ‘boring!’. Quite rightly in my opinion because crash detection and temperature sensing (for women only of course) do not make for a new model number in my opinion.

The Apple Watch Ultra, however, is new and a bit of a leap for Apple. At 49mm x 44mm x 14.4mm it is a beast of a watch and being square will not help. The lug to lug is manageable, but I don’t see this as a daily wear watch for many people. I suppose Apple has evened up the temperature tracking on the series 8 being aimed at women with the Ultra being aimed at men because of its size.

It is easy to get carried away with the Ultra, but the majority of the features onboard are available in the Garmin Epix 2 which is arguably a better fitness watch. It is also just as tough and with a ‘much’ better battery life. I suspect that the Ultra will not be a big seller long term.

The iPhone 14 Pro is a somewhat expected update. Better camera, potentially a lot better, crash detection, a clever software mask over the notch (I will never call it Dynamic Island) and an always-on display are nice to have. No doubt the always-on display will be the sticky feature that is hard to move back from, but I have the 13 Pro and so it is hard to move forward to the 14 at this time. Maybe next year.

The new AirPods Pro appear to be an excellent update. Almost every major part has been updated and the ability to change the volume by sliding up and down the stalk could be a game changer. If the sound is improved markedly I may consider a new pair. My son will definitely get some as will my daughter- they both see the AirPods Pros as the best Apple product of all. And for them they just got better.

So, a decent set of new products, but as the years trundle on and the technology gets better I sense that Apple is having to reach into ever stranger places to find features that will make people upgrade. Of course they will sell by the billion and Apple will do very well indeed, especially the new iPhones, but perhaps this year the Apple Watch Ultra may become one of few Apple hardware failures in recent times.

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