Doing Business | IT & Technologies

March 10, 2015

Apple Announces Apple Watch, HBO Partnership and New Golden MacBook

The wait is over. Apple finally lifted the veil on its highly anticipated Apple Watch during a special event Monday in San Francisco, announcing the smartwatch will begin shipping April 24 and start at $349.

Along with the Apple Watch, CEO Tim Cook revealed an array of other tech goodies: an ultra-thin gold MacBook; a series of health apps that can help diagnose certain diseases such as Parkinson's and breast cancer; a new lower price for Apple TV; and a partnership with HBO for a stand-alone streaming service.

Here's a recap of everything Apple unveiled at the event:

Apple Watch

When compared to other smartwatches already in the consumer market, the Apple Watch doesn't offer anything truly remarkable.

Apple's smartwatch will be able to do the things most of the similar high-tech time pieces can do: receive messages and calls, feature calendar notifications and double as a fitness tracker.

Some unique features include integration with Apple Pay, Instagram compatibility, Digital Touch and WeChat. Users will also be able to use the watch as a boarding pass at airports or as a room key at hotels.

Apple Pay will work the same way on the watch that it does on the iPhone 6. The new Digital Touch feature will introduce a new way for friends with Apple Watches to communicate with each other by using the watch's display to send drawings to each other. The WeChat app will let users send instant messages to each other with fun stickers.

Apple's newest family member will be supported by iOS 8.2 and it will have a Retina display that is fully customizable. Users will be able to change the face and add small notifications to the corner of the screens. The battery life on the watch will be promising, according to Cook, who said it will last at least 18 hours.

Unlike all other Apple devices that use a Lightning cable to charge, the Apple Watch will use a magnetic charger that automatically clicks onto the back of the watch.

The Apple Watch will be available for preorder beginning April 10 and it will start shipping on April 24. The smartwatch will come in three different models: Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition.

The Apple Watch Sport will be available in silver and Space Gray, and it'll have interchangeable wrist straps that users can buy separately. The Apple Watch Sport will start at $349 for the 38-mm and $399 for the 42-mm model.

The Apple Watch will be available in stainless steel or Space Gray stainless steel casing, and it will also have interchangeable wrist straps including three different leather bands, a link bracelet, a Milanese loop and fluoroelastomer band.

The Apple Watch will sell anywhere between $549 and $1,049 for the 38-mm model and $599 to $1,099 for the 42-mm model depending on what band the users buys with the smartwatch.

A third model of the Apple Watch will also be available. The Apple Watch Edition will be the most expensive of them all and it'll cost anywhere between $10,000 and $17,000. The Edition will be coated with 18-karat gold and will only be available for a limited amount of customers.

MacBook

The Apple Watch was what everyone was expecting to see at the event, but no one saw an ultra-thin gold MacBook coming.

Cook unveiled a new MacBook that weighs two pounds and is 13.1-mm thin, which is 24% thinner than its previous model. The new computer is in an all-metal enclosure and features a new full keyboard with butterfly mechanism in each key. The new keyboard ditches the scissor model from previous version and provides a better, more precise typing experience.

The new MacBook will have a 12-inch Retina display with 2,304-by-1,440 pixels. Cook described the laptop as the thinnest, most energy-efficient computer yet.

The touch trackpad will also be completely new with Taptic engineering and pressure adjustment capabilities so users can better navigate their computer.

Apple's new MacBook will also be the first-ever fan-less MacBook and it'll work silently with an Intel Core M 1.3 GHz processor, which is 67% smaller than its predecessor.

The battery will also be reliable and last all day, according to Cook.

Another new feature on the computer will be the one and only port available. Instead of four different ports, there will only be one for HDMI, display cord, power cord and USB cord. The new cable, called the USB C, will probably make people unhappy since this is yet another cable they have to worry about.

The MacBook will also come in different colors instead of just one: silver, Space gray and gold. It will be available beginning April 10 and it'll cost $1,299 and $1,599 for the Retina display model.

Apple TV

Cook also announced that Apple will be the exclusive launch partner for HBO's new stand-alone streaming service HBO Now, which will launch in April for $14.99 a month — just in time for the premiere of season five of "Game of Thrones." Along with the HBO Now announcement, Cook said the original price of Apple TV will go from $99 to $69.

Health

Along with all of its new devices, Apple unveiled its new Research Kit, which will let researchers create apps that serve as diagnostic tools for cardiovascular and Parkinson's diseases, asthma, breast cancer and diabetes, among others.

 

Text by NYDailyNews
 

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