Apple Reveals 2 New Pride Edition Sport Bands For Apple Watch, Including 1st Nike Pride Band


May 20 update below. This post was first published on May 18, 2020.

Apple has just announced its 2020 Pride Apple Watch Bands. Yes, for the first time ever, there’s more than one available. Two, in fact, and both are available from today on apple.com, costing $49 each (£49 in the U.K.).

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Every year, Apple makes a public and visible commitment to diversity with the Watch band. The first was given to Apple employees in 2016 who were taking part in that year’s Pride march. Since then, Apple has made a new band available for purchase. The 2017 edition was a nylon woven band that was similar to the 2016 staff exclusive.

May 20 update: If you updated your Watch to watchOS 6.25 and found you didn’t get the new Pride Watch faces, don’t despair. There was another link in the chain that was needed: the release of the latest iOS software with an update to the Watch app.

Now that Apple has released iOS 13.5 (read all about that in detail here), you’ll find that the new Watch faces are available in the Face Gallery in the iPhone’s Watch app. So, now there’s the Pride coloring for the cool California Watch face – the color is called Rainbow – as well as Gradient, Numerals Mono and Numerals Duo.

If I have a criticism, it’s that the Rainbow choice isn’t in the same place in each face. It’s right in the middle of the Gradient and Numerals Duo colors, but at the extreme left of the Numerals Mono choices, for instance. When there are a lot of colors to choose from, it can take time to customize the Watch face just how you want it.

I also found it took an hour or so after installing iOS 13.5 for the new colors to make their way on to the Watch to be available for changing the faces.

In the Pride Watch faces themselves, you’ll find whatever you had before is complemented by the latest one, so my Pride Digital face has three options, 2018, 2019 and the latest 2020 edition. They are named by the year of release so are easy to find.

All the Pride faces, and there are a lot more than in previous years, are there now and looking great. Since Apple adds new Watch faces rarely, this feels like a treat.

The 2018 edition used the rainbow colors with white lines between and introduced an Apple Watch Pride face that exquisitely matched the lines on the band with those on the Watch face. Cool.

The year 2019 saw the Pride band manifested in a Sport Loop instead of a buckled strap for the first time. The software was updated with a Pride face that not only matched the band’s lines again but billowed like a flag when the Watch was tapped. There was also a second Pride face for those who prefer analog Watch faces, where the rainbow colors ran round into each other in a square or circular formation. The Pride Watch face last year was unveiled exactly a year ago, almost to the day.

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But there’s never been a Sport Band in Pride colors until now. And, what do you know, two have come along at once.

The band looks sumptuous in the soft rubber of the Sport Band and – as you’d expect from Apple – matches the onscreen colors perfectly. The solid stripes are bright and unmissable. I think this is the coolest Pride Edition band yet.

Fancy something a little quieter? Then the Apple Watch Nike Pride Edition Sport Band may suit. As you’ll know, Nike straps are dotted with holes and the main strap is white with cute color insets in those perforations.

Plus, there are new Watch faces, more than before, this year.  The Nike edition has its own, with the hour dots speckling the face with rainbow dots.

Then there are several for the regular edition. Stripes, of course, to match the band, and this time more seamlessly connected to each other than before. They still wiggle if you touch the Watch face. Then there’s an analog one similar to last year’s and a gorgeous rainbow one for the Gradient Watch face.

If that’s not enough, there are Pride faces for Numerals Mono, Numerals Duo and even the elegant California face.

None of these faces is available to use just yet: it requires the next watchOS update, version 6.2.5, which is due any day.

Apple uses the Pride edition bands to support several organizations. As Apple says:

“Through this effort, Apple and Nike are proud to support LGBTQ organizations doing vital advocacy and community-building worldwide, including GLSEN, PFLAG, The Trevor Project, Gender Spectrum, The National Center for Transgender Equality, and ILGA World, which brings together more than 1,500 member organizations in more than 150 countries and regions.”

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