Like with all Apple events there were far more surprises than what the rumours mills could predict. Of course, the Apple Watch made its debut, but not before Apple teased us with what their new apps could do for those with chronic illnesses and seducing us with the thinnest MacBook ever. Here are the highlights of the Apple event on March 9.
Apple TV: CEO Tim Cook on Monday started the Apple event by talking about the new stores in China. He also turned the spotlight on the partnership with HBO for Apple TV. The exclusive streaming service HBO Now service will come initially only on Apple TV in April at $14.99 a month.
Apple TV price reduced to $69 from $99.
iPhone: Tim Cook says the company has just sold its 700th million iPhone. Year-on-year growth double of other brands, he claims. Customer satisfaction score of 99 per cent. Coca-cola now has 40,000 vending machines with iPay.
ResearchKit: Tim Cook speaks about iPhone’s impact on health and medical research. The iPhone can be used as a diagnostic tool by analysing hand tremors and voice. Even a walk test can be done with new iPhone apps. Yes, health seems to be the next big thing for Apple. There are even apps for diabetics, asthmatics and those with Parkinson’s disease.
“And Apple will not see your data”… that is big. ResearchKit could change our lives, especially since Apple has made it open source. The new apps will be available from today.
Will this transform medical research? Yes, especially in countries where Apple is dominant.
New MacBook: Tim Cook starts talking about the Mac, which has grown 20 per cent in a year when PCs have declined. Phil Schiller is on stage to talk about the new MacBook, the “most extreme and efficient notebook” they have ever created. It weighs just 2 pounds and is the lightest Mac. At 13.1mm thin, this is 24 per cent thinner than the thinnest MacBook Air. It comes with a completely new keyboard. there is a 12-inch Retina display, the thinnest ever. The trackpad is also different and comes with a new force click gesture. It is also the first fanless MacBook ever. That will be really silent.
It will be the first to feature USB-C, a new standard. Apple calls it the world’s most energy efficient notebook. It will be available from April 10 It will be available from April 10 at Rs 99,900 with a 1.1 GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.4 GHz, 8GB of memory, 256GB of flash storage and Intel HD Graphics 5300. The version with 512GB of storage will cost Rs 119,900.. MacBook Air gets new processors, MacBook 13-inch also gets an upgrade.
Apple Watch: Now, for the Apple Watch, the “most personal of all devices”. Cook calls its the most advanced timepiece ever created. It is accurate within 50 milliseconds of the UTC. Will come with multiple watch faces. Apple Watch will let you make and receive calls. Yes, it will be awkward, but you can do it. You can read full mails on the watch and that is a step up on Android Wear.
Plus, there is digital touch to connect two Apple watches. Tap to get someone’s attention, share heartbeats and animations.
It will remind you to be more active, create weekly reports. That is much beyond what any smart watch or band does at the moment. Then there is a workout app that maps almost everything you can do in the gym.
The Apple Watch will also be compatible with Siri. It will show your social media news, and even news alerts. It will communicate with the iPhone over wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth, which means you don’t have to be within 10-metre range of your iPhone. And just for good measure, it will show even your flight information with the barcode that gets you in. However, it will have only all-day battery life and is stuck where Android Wear was a few months back.
It is pricey at $349 plus. The Apple Watch edition will cost $10,000 plus. Pre-orders start April 10.