Apple's event today included several announcements including the HBO NOW subscription available directly to Apple customers, a new MacBook, an updated 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display & MacBook Air, the introduction of ResearchKit and of course, information about the Apple Watch. HBO NOW Premiering in April
Apple and HBO announced HBO NOW is premiering next month, making an HBO subscription available directly to Apple customers. iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV users can purchase HBO NOW directly in-app as a standalone service to watch HBO’s original programming, as well as the latest Hollywood hit movies, documentaries, sports and exclusive comedy specials - for $14.99 a month.
At launch HBO will offer a 30-day introductory free trial period to new HBO NOW customers who sign up through Apple.
Apple announced ResearchKit, an open source software framework designed for medical and health research, helping doctors and scientists gather data more frequently from participants using iPhone apps. Research institutions have already developed apps with ResearchKit for studies on asthma, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.
"iOS apps already help millions of customers track and improve their health. With hundreds of millions of iPhones in use around the world, we saw an opportunity for Apple to have an even greater impact by empowering people to participate in and contribute to medical research," said Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of Operations. "ResearchKit gives the scientific community access to a diverse, global population and more ways to collect data than ever before."
ResearchKit turns iPhone into a tool for medical research. When granted permission by the user, apps can access data from the Health app such as weight, blood pressure, glucose levels and asthma inhaler use, which are measured by third-party devices and apps. HealthKit is a software framework Apple introduced with iOS 8 to provide developers the ability for health and fitness apps to communicate with each other. ResearchKit can also request from a user, access to the accelerometer, microphone, gyroscope and GPS sensors in iPhone to gain insight into a patient’s gait, motor impairment, fitness, speech and memory.
ResearchKit also makes it easier to recruit participants for large-scale studies, accessing a broad cross-section of the population.
ResearchKit will be released as an open source framework next month, providing researchers with the ability to contribute to specific activity modules in the framework, like memory or gait testing, and share them with the global research community to further advance what we know about disease.
ResearchKit apps are available on the App Store in the US at appstore.com/researchkit and will be rolling out to more countries in the future.
13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display & MacBook Air Updated
Apple is updating the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display with the all-new Force Touch trackpad, fifth generation Intel Core processors and Intel Iris Graphics 6100 and two times faster flash and longer battery life.
Apple also today updated the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air with fifth generation Intel Core processors, Intel HD Graphics 6000, and Thunderbolt 2, and added up to two times faster flash to the 13-inch MacBook Air.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display features the all-new Force Touch trackpad. It features built-in force sensors that allow you to click anywhere and haptic feedback that provides a responsive feel. You can even customize the feel of the trackpad by changing the amount of pressure needed to register each click. The Force Touch trackpad also enables a new gesture called Force Click, a click followed by a deeper press, for tasks like pulling up the definition of a word, quickly seeing a map or glancing at a preview of a file.
The updated 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display also features fifth generation Intel Core processors up to 3.1 GHz, with Turbo Boost Speeds up to 3.4 GHz, faster integrated Intel Iris Graphics 6100, and flash storage that is up to two times faster, with throughput up to 1.6GBps. In addition, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display now delivers up to 10 hours of battery life and up to 12 hours of iTunes movie playback.
The updated 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air now feature fifth generation Intel Core processors up to 2.2 GHz, with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.2 GHz, integrated Intel HD Graphics 6000, and Thunderbolt 2, delivering up to 20Gbps, twice the bandwidth of the previous generation. The 13-inch MacBook Air also features faster flash storage that is up to two times faster than the previous generation.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is available today with a 2.7 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz, 8GB of memory and 128GB of flash storage starting at $1,299 (US); with a 2.7 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz, 8GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage starting at $1,499 (US); and with a 2.9 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3 GHz, 8GB of memory and 512GB of flash storage starting at $1,799 (US).
Configure-to-order options include a faster dual-core Intel Core i7 processor up to 3.1 GHz with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.4 GHz, up to 16GB of memory and flash storage up to 1TB.
MacBook Air is also available today. The 11-inch MacBook Air comes with a 1.6 GHz processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.7 GHz, 4GB of memory and is available with 128GB of flash storage starting at $899 (US), and 256GB of flash storage starting at $1,099 (US). The 13-inch MacBook Air comes with a 1.6 GHz processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.7 GHz, 4GB of memory and is available with 128GB of flash storage starting at $999 (US), and 256GB of flash storage starting at $1,199 (US). Configure-to-order options include a 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.2 GHz, up to 8GB of memory and up to 512GB flash storage.
Apple also unveiled the all-new MacBook. Every component of the new MacBook has been redesigned to create a Mac that weighs just two pounds and is 13.1 mm thin. The new MacBook features a 12-inch Retina display that is the thinnest ever on a Mac, an Apple-designed full-size keyboard which is thinner and responsive, the all-new Force Touch trackpad, a compact USB-C port for data transfer, video out and charging in a single connector, and a new battery design that maximizes every millimeter of space to deliver all-day battery life. The new MacBook is available in three gorgeous aluminum finishes-gold, silver and space gray.
Measuring just 13.1 mm at its thickest point, the new MacBook design is 24 percent thinner than the 11-inch MacBook Air. With a new precision-milled unibody enclosure featuring integrated Wi-Fi antennas and a top case with polished stainless steel Apple logo, MacBook is available in three finishes- gold, silver and space gray-and is the first MacBook with an all-metal enclosure.
The new MacBook is designed around an all-new full-size keyboard. To fit the full-size keyboard into the thin MacBook meant completely re-engineering how a notebook keyboard works. The new keyboard is 34 percent thinner and uses an Apple-designed butterfly mechanism that is 40 percent thinner than a traditional keyboard scissor mechanism yet four times more stable. Every key on the new keyboard is individually backlit with its own single LED to deliver uniform brightness behind each keycap.
The new MacBook features a 12-inch Retina display with a 16:10 aspect ratio. Measuring just 0.88 mm thin, the Retina display on the new MacBook is the thinnest display ever on a Mac. With a larger aperture for each pixel, the new Retina display is also extremely efficient and uses 30 percent less energy than existing Mac notebook Retina displays, while delivering the same level of brightness. It has a resolution of 2304 x 1440.
With no moving parts or vents, the new MacBook was designed from the ground up to be the first fanless Mac notebook. MacBook features the new fifth-generation Intel Core M processor that runs at just 5 watts and Intel HD Graphics 5300.
The new MacBook has 35 percent more battery capacity than would be possible with traditional battery cells and delivers all-day battery life with up to 9 hours of wireless web browsing and up to 10 hours of iTunes movie playback.
MacBook can be used for tasks like streaming content from your MacBook to your HDTV using AirPlay, exchanging files using AirDrop, or using wireless headphones. It is equipped with the latest wireless technologies, including built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 for fast wireless connectivity.
The new MacBook also features a next-generation USB-C port. A new industry standard, USB-C supports higher wattage charging, USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps) data transfer and DisplayPort 1.2 all in a single connector that’s one-third the size of a traditional USB port.
The all-new MacBook will begin shipping Friday, April 10. It comes 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 starting at $1,299 (US); and with a 1.2 GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.6GHz, 8GB of memory, 512GB of flash storage and Intel HD Graphics 5300 starting at $1,599 (US).
Apple Watch Available in Nine Countries on April 24
As it was expected, Apple also today announced that Apple Watch will be available on Friday, April 24 in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US.
"Apple Watch begins a new chapter in the way we relate to technology and we think our customers are going to love it," said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. "We can’t wait for people to start wearing Apple Watch to easily access information that matters, to interact with the world, and to live a better day by being more aware of their daily activity than ever before."
Apple Watch introduces technologies including the Digital Crown, a new way to scroll, zoom and navigate without obstructing the display. The Retina display with Force Touch on Apple Watch senses the difference between a tap and a press, providing a new way to quickly access relevant controls. The new Taptic Engine delivers a gentle tap on your wrist whenever you receive a notification or message.
Apple Watch keeps time to within 50 milliseconds of UTC, the universal time standard. It can be personalized with watch faces ranging from traditional analog such as the Chronograph face, to the information-rich Modular face, or animated butterflies and jellyfish on the Motion face. Apple Watch goes beyond telling time with specialized functions on the watch face-known in watchmaking as complications-such as the sunrise/sunset, upcoming calendar events or daily activity level. Swipe up from the watch face for Glances that quickly show you information you care about, such as the weather forecast, your current location on a map or the music you’re listening to.
Apple Watch enables you to send messages, read email and answer calls to your iPhone right from your wrist. The Taptic Engine alerts you with a gentle tap so you won’t miss important notifications. With Digital Touch, Apple Watch allows you to communicate in new ways by sending a sketch, a tap or even the rhythm of your own heartbeat. Interact quickly with the world around you with Apple Watch by paying for coffee using Apple Pay, boarding a plane with a Passbook boarding pass, or raising your wrist to ask Siri for turn-by-turn directions in Maps.
Apple Watch encourages you to sit less and get some exercise every day. The Activity app provides a simple visual snapshot of your daily activity with three rings that measure active calories burned, brisk activity and how often you’ve stood up to take a break from sitting during the day. Apple Watch provides the detailed metrics you need during dedicated workout sessions for the most popular activities, such as walking, running and cycling through the Workout app. With an accelerometer, a built-in heart rate sensor, GPS and Wi-Fi from your iPhone, Apple Watch uses the best sensors for different types of motion and provides a picture of your all-day activity and workouts. The Activity app on iPhone collects your activity and workout data from Apple Watch so you can see your history in greater detail. Apple Watch uses this history to suggest personalized activity goals, reward fitness milestones and keep you motivated.
Apple Watch is available in two different sizes, 38 mm and 42 mm, and in three collections - Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition. Apple Watch Sport features an anodized aluminum case in silver and space gray with a Retina display protected by strengthened Ion-X glass and matching fluoroelastomer Sport Band in five colors. The Apple Watch collection features highly polished stainless steel and space black stainless steel cases with a Retina display protected by sapphire crystal. The Apple Watch collection comes with a choice of three different leather straps, a stainless steel link bracelet and Milanese loop, and a black or white Sport Band. Apple Watch Edition features cases specially crafted from custom rose or yellow 18-karat gold alloys developed to be twice as hard as standard gold, a Retina display protected by polished sapphire crystal and a choice of straps and bands with 18-karat gold clasps, buckles or pins.
Developer community has been creating apps specifically designed for Apple Watch. These include apps for requesting an Uber, check in to your American Airlines flight, book a bike for your Equinox class or remotely controll your Honeywell Lyric thermostat while away. Popular apps such as Instagram, MLB.com At Bat, Nike+ Running, OpenTable, Shazam, Twitter, WeChat and more will also be available on Apple Watch. The new Apple Watch app that comes with iOS 8.2 on iPhone lets you browse, buy and download apps from the Apple Watch App Store.
Apple Watch delivers up to 18-hour all-day battery life and comes with a charging solution that combines Apple’s MagSafe technology with inductive charging for a quick connection that simply snaps into place.
The Apple Watch will become available for pre-order from the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com) on Friday, April 10. Apple retail stores and department store shop-in-shops will begin offering the chance to preview their choice of Apple Watch and try it on in-store.
On April 24, Apple Watch will be available online or by reservation in Apple’s retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers in China and Japan.
Apple Watch is available in three collections, Apple Watch Sport, priced at $349 (US) and $399 (US); Apple Watch, available from $549 (US) to $1,099 (US); and Apple Watch Edition, crafted from custom rose or yellow 18-karat gold alloys, with prices starting at $10,000 (US).
Apple Watch will also be available to preview or try on at Galeries Lafayette in Paris, Isetan in Tokyo and Selfridges in London on April 10.
Apple Watch requires iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus running iOS 8.2. or later. iOS 8.2 will be available for download today.