Apple Watch 6, SE and new iPad Air unveiled in livestream

Apple has shown off its latest smartwatch and tablet products in a virtual briefing filmed at the company's California headquarters.

A cheaper Watch SE model was unveiled along with the new iPad Air, which features Apple's most advanced chip in the A14 Bionic.

Much of the livestream focused on the new Apple Watch Series 6, while rumours of announcements for a new iPhone and Tile rival AirTags turned out to be false.

The new watch features include automatic handwashing detection and blood oxygen level measurement. That will work by shining red and infrared light onto your wrist and is said to be able to give an accurate blood oxygen reading in just 15 seconds.

The new watch's altimeter is now always on and there's a new paid subscription app, Apple Fitness Plus, which the company says offers "a first-of-its-kind personalised workout experience".

The service will feature workout recommendations for customers along with "an engaging, immersive experience to help them stay motivated throughout".

Apple is also now bundling together its paid subscription services including cloud access, music and TV streaming services as Apple One. In New Zealand that will be Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade and 50GB of iCloud storage for NZ$23.95 per month. 

Family Setup is a new feature that will let a parent manage multiple Apple Watch devices from their iPhone. The parent can control elements of their children's smartwatch use and track their location, while the kids have their own features - including school mode.

This feature will first be available in select Asian, European and North American territories, with more - potentially including Aotearoa - coming "later this year".

The Apple Watch SE will start at NZ$479 in New Zealand.

Like its namesake the iPhone SE, this is the company's first dedicated 'affordable' smartwatch, intended to compete with the likes of Fitbit.

"Apple Watch SE combines elements of the Series 6 design with the most essential features of Apple Watch, all at a more affordable price," said Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer.

Apple also showed off some cosmetic upgrades such as different watch faces and bands.

The new iPad Air features a larger 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display, which has pushed the fingerprint sensor off the face and onto the power button.

Apple talked up the tablet's power during the 'Time Flies' briefing, with third-party developers demonstrating their photo enhancing, game and DJing software.

"[The] A14 Bionic includes a new 16-core Neural Engine that is twice as fast, and capable of performing up to 11 trillion operations per second," said Apple.

The new iPad Air - the cheapest of which will cost NZ$999 - is also switching to USB-C and comes with a 7MP front-facing camera along with the same 12MP rear camera used in the current iPad Pro.

During the briefing, Apple also emphasised sustainability efforts it was making, including using recycled aluminium.