We’re live-blogging the Apple event this morning, including the day’s biggest announcement (at least as far as Hollywood is concerned): the launch of HBO Now, a stand-alone service for $14.99 a month that won’t require a subscription from a Pay-TV provider. The service will debut in April on Apple TV, which has 25 million users, and on Apple’s App Store. Read more about that here.
Separately, Apple CEO Tim Cook and his colleagues rolled out sleek new MacBooks weighing just 2 lbs.; dove deep on the previously announced array of Apple Watches (to be available for pre-order on April 10, at prices from $349 to $10,000); and talked about new apps and functions such as a developer set of tools to make it easier for health researchers to do their work. Read all about it in the now-archived blog below:
Welcome, everybody. I’ll be doing play-by-play today and will be joined by my Deadline colleague on Wall Street, David Lieberman, in a bit. Are you looking forward to the Apple Watch? Think it’s something you might actually wear? Or just interested in what the World’s Most Valuable Company is up to with this new product launch? Let us know in comments or on Twitter @Deadline.
Below is the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, where the event will take place.
That time change will get you every time, Eddy. Spring forward, fall back. Hope the watches can accommodate….
If you’re a news junkie, and we certainly are here at Deadline, the Nieman Lab for Journalism has just published a study musing about what impacts the Apple Watch and other wrist-based devices will have on how we create, distribute and consume news.
One interesting thing to note in the run-up to today’s event is how Apple, which just had the biggest quarter in the history of capitalism, is trying to retool a significant part of itself with the Watch initiative. Watches are a fashion and style statement, and users demand something that’s more personal and personalized than a cell phone that can be draped with an external case and tucked in a pocket or purse most of the time.
Apple reportedly is retooling its stores to better display and allow people to try on the Apple Watches. That means training, less raucous areas for that considered purchase and goodness knows what for the high-end models that will be trying to compete with Rolex and Patek Philippe
They’ve also hired executives from luxury brands Burberry (to run the hugely popular Apple Stores) and Yves St. Laurent. That’s a pair of execs with experience a long way from engineering schools and Silicon Valley.
As always, The Onion has a definitive, if not quite serious, take:
And just before the event, Google has dropped an ad (on YouTube, naturally) for its competing Android wearables:
And here’s a shot from inside the Yerba Buena Center ahead of the event’s start
And Apple is flashing “It’s Go Time for Tim Cook.”
Cook talking about the retail stores, 21 in China and big plans for further growth.
453 stores worldwide.
Apple’s website now has a “Watch” section on it:
Now they’ve shifted to their “hobby,” the Apple TV
This is big, Apple TV gets HBO Now, on Apple TV without a cable or satellite provider’s subscription
Looks like the “hobby” has grown up a bit.
Putting HBO NOW on the Apple TV and in the App Store exclusively
$14.99 a month, first month free if you sign up through Apple TV, iPad or iPhone
Available, beginning in April, in the United States.
HBO CEO Richard Plepler now on stage, talking about HBO Now.
Apple TV is already used by 25 million people. Price is now $69, down a third from $99 price in the past.
Now they’re shifting to iPhone, with 700 million sold so far.
He’s touting the Apple Pay service that launched in the fall on their newest smartphones. Google has had Wallet, but Samsung just announced it’ll roll out its own version.
Cook says nearly 700,000 locations are accepting Apple Pay now.
He’s covering a lot of ground today, moving now to Car Play, their auto automation service, and HomeKit, also announced last fall, for the Internet of Things.
The HealthKit services have been the plumbing behind more than 900 health-related apps, something we can expect will be a big deal on the watches.
That’s the Apple slide for latest health apps.
Now Cook is talking more health-related apps and the challenges researchers face in understanding people’s subjective feelings of pain and health. They also have a challenge getting a complete information loop, with health data not only going from patient to researcher, but back to patient who can then do a better job taking care of themselves.
Now they’re announcing ResearchKit, to let researchers easily create apps that work with the iPhone and HealthKit
A bunch of big medical research centers, including Stanford, MIT, Oford, Penn and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, have been using the apps for their projects.
They’re showing an app called mPower that makes it easy for people to sign up for studies. Parkinson’s patients can record their symptoms simply by speaking “ahhhh” into the phone…
Lots more talk about the ResearchKit and health issues. Clearly, the watch will play into this, with sensors and connections to the iPhone, among much else.
First five ResearchKit apps available today on App Store
Cook switches to the Mac. Talk about throwback, though they continue to outgrow industry in sales even as PC sales droop.
We challenged ourselves to reinvent the notebook and we did it” Tim Cook
Short video shows of a superskinny new Mac. Cook brings out Phil Schiller
2 lbs., 13 millimeters thick, 24 percent thinner than last 11-inch MacBook
New mace has a 12-inch Retina display, with LED light under keys, and a new pixel technology that consumes less energy.
New “Force Trackpad” that’s adjustable, pressure sensitive. Will allow new gestures
Do a firm “force click” and automatically get a Wikipedia article in some situations, a calendar or map in others.
Can even use the force click to fast forward through video
First fanless MacBook ever, so much quieter.
Miniaturized logic board by 67 percent….
Filling all remaining space with batteries.
Up to 9 hours of web browsing, Phil Schiller says.
They’ve now created one connector to rule them all: power, video and more, under a new technology called USB-C. Yes, that means you’re going to need more new cables. Ugh, but the tech is crazy cool
And yes, I WAS thinking about getting a new Mac….
Available in multiple colors: Silver, Space Grey and Gold
They’re now showing a video of the new MacBook touting the various tech involved, including tactile feedback….Great for games, I’m thinking, but haptic feedback is great for a lot of stuff, bringing in another channel of information.
Looks like they’re going to need some new adapters, because these are going to be very attractive:
256GB solid state drive, 8 GB of RAM, 1.1Ghz Intel Core M Processor for $1299.
It will ship on April 10. Meanwhile, Macbook Airs, MacBook Pros are getting updates of tech, and are available today.
Cook moves tot he Apple Watch: “the most personal device we’ve ever offered”
Using stainless steel, anodized aluminum, 18K gold…
Watch includes “Glances,” bits of info like weather, calendar, music controls, your heart rate…
“Apple Watch brings a whole new dimension to timekeeping that’s never been done before.” Google may protest on that, but it’s Cook’s party…
Can receive calls on the watch:
“I’ve been wanting to do this since I was 5 years old. The day is finally here”
Also can check and process emails.
Can use Apple Watch to look at photos, use Apple Pay, use Siri to talk to it, can get notifications on it as on phone, like sports scores,
Can connect to social media, and importantly, the day’s news. Yes, we’re going to be figuring out how to get Deadline on your wrist…..
Can use Siri to leave reminders tied to location and time on your watch: “Don’t forget umbrella when I get home”
Watch has stickers, as have been hugely popular in a lot of mobile apps, and will no doubt inspire lots of kids and adults to send goofy icons along with messages.
Can look at Instagram app’s feed from friends.
How this affects social media will be interesting to watch, making apps such as Facebook and Instagram more integrated with every minute of people’s lives than ever. Lots of implications….
Uses WiFi as well as Bluetooth to stay paired with your iPhone, allowing you to pull down info, email, etc. Can also use it for Uber car services, etc.
“You’re going to be surprised at all the things developers are going to do here, when you unleash that community,” Tim Cook, who comes ack on stage.
Will have a separate section of the App Store for Watch apps.
iOS 8.2 available today for download.
Designed the watch with all-day battery life. This will be a big issue for the watches, Cook says they’re good for 18 hours for most people. Recharge says if hold magnetic charger near back of watch, it will click into place.
Sport line of watches cheapest versions with anodized aluminum or steel, and several kinds of bands. New aluminum alloy with magnesium and zinc is 60 percent stronger than usual aluminum, but same light weight
Sport line starts at $349, and $399 for bigger version.
The Apple Watch Edition is the high-end variant comes with solid gold bands, etc. $10,000 and up in pricing, available in select stores in limited quantities. They’re available for pre-order/preview beginning April 10. Will have custom table displaying the watches, try them on, so forth. Not all countries will initially have access to the watches, but China among those getting it.
And it’s a wrap. HBO Now is the biggest deal for Hollywood, but have to expect the Watch, as a way for news, social media and entertainment to be ever more closely connected to us, and in tune with how we are doing/where we are doing it, will prove to be very interesting too.