In a press release touting new content to celebrate Black History Month, Apple also revealed, “The Unity 2023 watch face will be available next week, and requires Apple Watch Series 4 or later running watchOS 9.3, and iPhone 8 or later and iPhone SE (2nd generation) or later running iOS 16.3.”
Apple commemorates Black History Month with exclusive content and curated launches celebrating black culture and community. Starting today, customers can show their support with this year’s Black Unity Collection, which includes a special-edition Apple Watch Black Unity Sport Loop, alongside a new matching watch face and iPhone wallpaper. Beginning in February, all-new activations — including a series of Apple Maps Guides created by the Smithsonian, TV and film collections curated by Dr. Jelani Cobb, and more will be available to explore. Additionally, through its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI), Apple is expanding its support of five organizations focused on uplifting black and brown communities by unlocking creative potential through technology.
Apple Watch and iPhone
Members of Apple’s black creative community and allies came together to develop this year’s Black Unity Collection and designed the new expressions inspired by the creative process of mosaic, celebrating the vibrancy of Black communities and the power of unity.
The Black Unity Sport Loop features the word “Unity” woven abstractly into the band using red, green, and black yarns that pay homage to the Pan-African flag, while a unique layering of yarns lends a sense of three-dimensionality to the letters. Additionally, the Unity Mosaic watch face incorporates geometric shapes in green, black, red, and yellow, and as the minutes change, each number uses pieces of other numbers to morph into new forms. iPhone users can also show their support with the new Unity wallpaper for their Lock Screen.
Apple is supporting Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney), Ghetto Film School (New York, Los Angeles, London), Music Forward (Los Angeles), Shout Mouse Press (Washington, D.C.), and The National Museum of African American Music (Nashville, Tennessee). Apple’s support for these organizations is a continuation of REJI grants over the past two years that helped organizations committed to providing economic, educational, and creative opportunities in communities of color.
The App Store will spotlight apps and games forging creative solutions for black communities in areas such as music, banking, and gaming. Among these apps and games are Dot’s Home, a 2022 App Store Award-winning game designed to educate users on housing disparities experienced in communities of color and financial wellness apps such as Goalsetter, Altro, and CapWay that are empowering the community with financial resources. The App Store will also celebrate 50 years of hip-hop culture by spotlighting numerous apps that allow users to listen, watch, and learn the significance of this creative movement in both the past and present.
Apple Music will underscore the innumerable ways that black artists have contributed to music and culture through healing, improvisation, reinvention, and so much more across all genres. The For Us, By Us playlist will be updated to capture expressions of resilience and resistance, and users can also enjoy new episodes of The Message and additional radio programming on Apple Music 1, Country, and HITS.
Apple TV App
Viewers can visit the Apple TV app to explore series and films curated by Dr. Jelani Cobb, dean of the Columbia University School of Journalism and a staff writer at The New Yorker. The theme of this year’s collections is “The Matter of Black Lives,” focusing on stories that illustrate three specific pillars: “Freedom in Black,” “Love in Spite Of,” and “The Mosaic.”
Apple Fitness+ will share new workouts featuring playlists celebrating black artists, as well as a new meditation dedicated to Black History Month led by Fitness+ trainer JoAnna Hardy. On January 30, Fitness+ will release a new episode of Time to Walk — an audio experience with some of the world’s most inspiring people — featuring legendary singer Patti LaBelle. On this walk, LaBelle talks about her famous cooking and the powerful role her late sister played in her life. That same day, Time to Run, an audio running experience featuring playlists and coaching designed to help users become more consistent and better runners, will introduce a new episode with Fitness+ trainer Cory Wharton-Malcolm, celebrating Black History Month with a run through South LA and songs from the artists who helped put West Coast hip-hop on the map.
Throughout the month, Apple News will highlight compelling articles, interviews, and audio stories about the black experience in America, including perspectives and analysis from top journalists. Curated collections will showcase stories from black-led newsrooms, including Capital B, Essence, NewsOne, Howard University’s The Hilltop, and more.
During Black History Month, Apple Books will showcase its Read More Black Authors collection, connecting readers and listeners with great books and audiobooks across different genres.
The Smithsonian created a series of Guides in Apple Maps to spotlight key landmarks in the struggle for civil rights over the past century (1900-1957, 1960-1978, 1980-2020). Users can explore the Guides to learn more about the events, people, and places that have shaped the nation’s history.
Pricing and Availability
• The Black Unity Sport Loop is available for order on apple.com and in the Apple Store app today, and will be available in select Apple Store locations beginning January 24 for $49 (US).
• The Black Unity Sport Loop is available in 41mm and 45mm sizes, and is compatible with Apple Watch SE, Apple Watch Series 4 or newer, and Apple Watch Ultra (45mm band only).
• The Unity 2023 watch face will be available next week, and requires Apple Watch Series 4 or later running watchOS 9.3, and iPhone 8 or later and iPhone SE (2nd generation) or later running iOS 16.3.
• The new Unity iPhone wallpaper for the Lock Screen will be also be available next week and requires iPhone 8 or later running iOS 16.3.
• Apple Watch Black Unity Sport Loop packaging, Apple Store locations, and the Apple Store app will feature App Clip functionality for customers to easily download the matching Unity watch face, or customers can download from apple.com.
MacDailyNews Take: While iOS 16.3 could conceivably arrive on Monday, January 23rd, we’re expecting Apple to release it on Tuesday, January 24th at the earliest.
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