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Apple Spring Forward Event Wrap-Up - Apple Watch, Gold Macbook, and More

Apple held their Spring Forward keynote event this morning at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. The focus, of course, was on the Apple Watch, but they also unveiled a new Macbook and talked about several other things. I’ve summed up all the talking points in a bullet list-type write-up to get you up to speed in quick fashion.

The event opens with a video of the opening of the latest Apple store in China. Tim Cook takes the stage and says that they want Apple in 40 stores in China by next year, bringing their global presence to 416 stores. 120 million people visited the Apple Store last quarter alone.

Not only is HBO Now coming to Apple TV, but HBO CEO Richard Plepler says that Apple is their exclusive partner at launch. The service will debut in April for $14.99 a month. They’ve sold 25 million Apple TVs and they’re dropping the price down to $69 in order to sell more.

They’ve sold over 700 million iPhones.

Almost 700,000 locations now accept Apple Pay. Cook talks about the benefit of using Apple Pay at vending machines.

All major car brands will be working with CarPlay.

Jeff Williams takes the stage to talk about the Health app. He says that small sample sizes and subjective and infrequent data are all problems with medical research. He announces ResearchKit, a software framework designed for medical researchers. It allows researchers to create apps to be used as diagnostic tools. Lots of universities on board. He shows off an app for detecting Parkinson’s disease – you simply speak into the microphone and the app can detect vocal cord irregularities. There’s also a hand tremor test. There are also apps for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and breast cancer. Apple will not see your data. ResearchKit is open source. The five apps discussed will be available today.

Apple Spring Forward Event Wrap-Up - Apple Watch, Gold Macbook, and More

Tim Cook announces a gold Macbook and product marketing chief Phil Schiller comes out to discuss it. Two pounds, 13.1mm at its thickest point. It has a full sized keyboard with “much more precise, much more accurate” keys. A 12″ display with edge-to-edge cover glass, retina display, and 2304×1440 pixels. The new trackpad can sense a wide range of pressure and you can “force click” to execute certain commands. Force clicking a word will look it up on Wikipedia, force clicking an email will get you a map with a location, and more. It’s powered by Intel Core M. 13.Ghz up to 2.9Ghz. It only consumes 5 watts and gives all-day battery life. It’s only got one port – a USB-C post – that supports USB, VGA, and other cords, and is reversible. Pricing will start at $1299 for the 12-inch.

Tim Cook calls the Apple Watch the most personal device they’ve ever created. It has lots of swappable faces, customization options – date, world clock, stopwatch, calendar, etc. Swipe up fron the bottom to see the weather, control your music, track appointments, check your heart rate. You can of course receive calls. You can connect your watch to a friend’s watch via “digital touch,” which will allow you to contact them, share sketches, send heartbeat.

Apple Spring Forward Event Wrap-Up - Apple Watch, Gold Macbook, and More

It will remind you to exercise, send you health reports to show you how you’re improving (or getting worse), and give you new move targets. Cook descibes it as having a personal coach on your wrist. Model and maternal health advocate Christy Turlington Burns shows up in a promotional video and then takes the stage. She ran a half-marathon in Tanzania and relied on her Apple Watch to frequently check her speed and altitude.

Salesforce Wave will let you check Salesforce on your watch.

The watch will remind you to stand up (this sounds funny, but is probably pretty useful).

Using the watch with Apple Pay will be as simple as holding it near a terminal. It will vibrate to let you know the transaction is complete.

It will have Instagram, Uber, Shazam, airline apps will let you display your boarding pass right on your watch, and it will use WiFi and Bluetooth. Alarm.com will let you open your garage door remotely. You can unlock your hotel room door.

The iPhone will use the Apple Watch app to communicate. It’s in iOS 8.2, which is available today.

All-day battery life, specifically 18 hours will normal usage. It uses a magnetic charger, similar to the MagSafe cord.

The Apple Watch Sport will be $349 for the 38mm model, $399 for the 42mm model.

The Apple Watch Collection starts at $549 and tops out at $1049 depending on the watch band. The 42mm version is $50 more.

With the exception of the Apple Watch Edition, which is gold and starts at $10,000.

The watch will be available on April 24, pre-orders start on April 10.


So there you have it. Any self-respecting gadget junkie is probably drooling over this thing, myself included, and will likely have dreams in which they can afford the Apple Watch Edition. The medical research apps for iOS sound amazing. The single port on the new Macbook does not.

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