Yes, the rumors are true. The Apple Watch is here! But that’s not all Tim Cook of Apple had to talk about today. He addressed some existing technologies and apps, lowered the price on the Apple TV in celebration of a new exclusive partnership, announced the new MacBook…all before the “main” event and the first real look at the Apple Watch.
Apple TV Lurves HBO
First of all, the Apple TV. The price is being lowered for a short time to $69 for an Apple TV to celebrate the new, exclusive partnership with HBO Now. With the first-look at a new Game of Thrones trailer, HBO Now will be offered on all Apple devices for $14.99 a month, with the first month free.
iPhones and Apps and Kits…Oh My!
Cook announced that over 700 million iPhones have been sold so far, and that 2500 banks and over 700,000 U.S. retailers accept Apple Pay. Soon, Coca-Cola will be sending out more vending machines that accept Apple Pay as well, so you’ll never have to mess with that slightly torn will-it-or-won’t-it dollar bill again. Not be outdone, every major car brand has agreed to be compatible with Apple’s Car Play.
The exciting stuff, however, came from the announcement that Apple is releasing its ResearchKit, which will be part of the Health app, as an open source. (For those of you familiar with Apple, you know they’re usually super-crazy-proprietary and never allow open source code.) Developers can now create apps to help research and recognize early symptoms, collect & give info, etc. for Parkinson’s disease, asthma, diabetes and breast cancer, among others. (Note: Apple will not have access to your medical data.)
iWant, Part 1: New MacBook
New Apple MacBook announcement!
Some of the details include:
- 2 pounds (lightest Mac ever made)
- thickest point – 13.1 millimeters (24% thinner than the MacBook Air)
- all-metal enclosure
- full-size, completely-new, backlit, thinner keyboard (stretches to the edge on both sides)
- 12″ Retina display with over 3.3 million pixels
- a new ‘Force Touch’ trackpad with haptic response
- 9-10 hour battery life
- one-connector capability (USB-C)
This beauty comes in three colors (yes, including gold!), and sells for either $1299 for standard, or $1599 with increased performance power. This MacBook will ship April 10th.
The other existing Mac models – MacBook Pro and MacBook Air – have also been updated to have better performance, and the MacBook Pro is shipping now with new Force Touch trackpad.
iWant, Part 2: Apple Watch
The moment everyone in the room (and online) had been waiting for arrived at the end (of course): the Apple Watch announcement.
There was a lot of talk about Taptic Engines. Digital Touch features. Glances. Making phone calls (hello Dick Tracy!) and controlling email. Customizable watch faces. Not to be outdone by Garmin or FitBit, Apple has stepped into the activity tracker game as well, incorporating activities and reminders. They even have a new workout app that mirrors Garmins vivoActive’s new capabilities: specific metrics for different activities, i.e. can choose “Outdoor Running” or “Cycling” for specific tracking. The Apple Watch will have WiFi and BlueTooth capability (so doesn’t have to be next to your phone if on the same WiFi network), is Siri responsive through “Hey Siri”, and lots of apps have already been developed, which you can explore in the App Store.
What are the numbers?
18 – The Apple Watch will have an approximate 18 hour battery life
349 – The lowest price for a 38mm Apple Watch (for the Apple Sport, with a sports-type watch band); the 42 mm edition will cost $399
549 – The lowest price for a ‘standard’ 38mm Apple Watch, with the largest variety of watch band choices. That price can range all the up to $1049, depending on band choices, with the 42mm being $50 more across the board.
10,000 – The lowest price for the 18K Gold limited-edition Apple Watch Edition
Pre-order and preview of Apple Watch starts in stores April 10. The commercial Cook played before the end of the conference says release of the Apple Watch will be April 24th.
Will you be buying an Apple TV, Apple MacBook or an Apple Watch?