3.13 am – Well here were are. As ever it’s an Apple launch event at a horrifically early hour in the morning Australia time. What we know is that Apple will tell us more about its going boldly forth into a new (for it) product niche, the already-populated-by-others-in-something-of-hit-and-miss-fashion world of the smartwatch. This morning much will be typed, spoken, discussed, and argued, about the Apple Watch.
We already know what it will look like, its design elements, interface, and ‘native’ software. We know that there will be three models, or collections – Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition – in a variety of case materials and colours, and with a variety of watch band styles.
What we don’t know? We don’t know about its (claimed) battery life, the date(s) it will go on sale in Australia, and its Australian price. We also don’t know what Apple has cooked up with external developers to add functionality to the Apple Watch.
But stick around, all will gradually be revealed, beginning in thirty minutes or so. There’s also talk of some surprise announcements about other Apple devices. The event itself is called the ‘Spring Forward event’, which could be a watch play of words, or a hint of some ‘one more things’.
In the meantime, here’s a couple of Apple-produced introduction videos to the Apple Watch, and to its health and fitness features. Take it away Jony and Jay:
Now, we wait until 4 am Australia time / 10 am Pacific Daylight Time in the US to find out more about the Apple Watch, to see how Apple’s perceived reality distortion field affects the measuring of time, and the additional usefulness of the human wrist.
Lots of Apple employees wearing the Apple Watch in the back of Yerba Buena pic.twitter.com/w9bAsPWuUs
— James Martin (@Jamesco) March 9, 2015
4.00 am – Apple Stores. China. Blah, blah blah. Tim Cook, “…we have a few more reasons for you to visit those stores from today”. First up, Apple TV, with HBO onboard. In the US, not sure about Australia. Oh, and first fanboi journo hooting and clapping. I hope that stops. But it won’t.
4.09 am – New ‘Game of Thrones’ trailer. Mother of (now quite big) Dragons sounding very ominous. Jon Snow I think still knows nothing. Apple TV price dropping from US $99 to $US69.
4.12 – iPhone time. Tim Cook saying Apple has sold one or two iPhones. Now waxing lyrical about Apple Pay and its very, very close friendliness with Coke, and vending machines.
4.16 am – Every major car brand has now committed to Apple’s Car Play.
4.17 am – Health Kit time. This is the yin to being able to use your iPhone to buy Coke willy nilly at vending machines. ResearchKit announced – software to allow users connect to medical research, and to have initial assessments, and upload data, to help with conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease, using apps. Plus diabetes, asthma, and breast cancer. Privacy is user-controlled, and “Apple will not see your data”, rather at most your data will be shared – by choice – with medical researchers. This looks to be a valuable area for iPhone users. And ResearchKit is to be Open Source software, released next month. Five of the new health apps will be availabe to users today.
4.30 am – It’s time to talk about Macs, specifically the new MacBook, available in silver, space grey, and a very, very nice looking gold colour. It’s 24% thinner than the 11-inch MacBook Air, and weighs a touch over 0.9 kilograms, and is 13.1 mm thick. Keyboard is full-size, with a new butterfly mechanism, said to be more responsive to a press anywhere on each of the buttons. Buttons are 17% larger than previous keyboards. The screen is a 12-inch Retina display, using 30% less energy than prvious Retina screens. ‘All-day’ battery life, and running on the Intel Core M processor.
There’s only the one port on the new MacBook, a USB-C port, that handles power, USB 3 data transfer, and video output.
The new MacBook will ship to some countries on April 10.
Australian pricing of the MacBook:
1.1 GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor, 256GB of flash storage and Intel HD Graphics 5300 starts at $1,799 RRP. The MacBook with 1.2 GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor, 8GB of memory, 512GB of flash storage and Intel HD Graphics 5300 starts from $2,199 RRP.
4.53 am – Alrighty, time to talk Apple Watch. The Apple Watch will be available in silver, an space gray. The ‘entry-level’ Apple Watch Sport, in silver, or space gray, with a choice of blue, white, red, black, and green watchbands.
The Apple Watch Edition, in 18-karat yellow gold, and rose gold.
In partner with an iPhone, the Apple Watch will allow you to take and make phone calls. Dick Tracy envy? You’re now covered. Christy Turlington Burns has already used the Apple Watch’s fitness functionality to run a half marathon. Were you wondering if the Apple Watch is supermodel-friendly? Tick.
The Apple Watch can be used to Apple Pay, control your iPhome music, and use Siri. It connects with your iPhone over both wi-fi and Bluetooth. Of course it needs to be said that Apple Pay is at this time available only in the US.
5.16 am – Demo of Apple Watch used to book Uber car. The driver was Scott, and he drives a Prius. Definitely not me. Prius… ugh.
Using the Apple Watch as a hotel room key, using the SPG app. Nice idea.
The Apple Watch app will be available on iOS 8.2, available for download – to iPhones – today.
5.23 am – The Apple Watch Sport is made from anodised aluminium. Light, strong, and protection against scratches. Two case sizes, 38mm, and 42mm. Price from US$349.
Apple Watch, and Apple Watch also available in 38mm, and 42mm cases. Yikes. The gold Apple Watch Edition is priced from $US10,000. Makes you wonder what those companies that make ultra-bling versions of Apple products are going to do, and what they will charge.
Battery life is up to 18 hours. Pretty. Damn., Skinny.
You’re going to need an iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus running iOS 8.2. or later to have the Apple Watch do its thang.
This is Apple’s statement, in small print on the Apple Store, regarding water-resistance, etc:
Apple Watch is splash and water resistant but not waterproof. You can, for example, wear and use Apple Watch during exercise, in the rain and while washing your hands, but submerging Apple Watch is not recommended. Apple Watch has a water-resistance rating of IPX7 under IEC standard 60529. The leather straps are not water resistant.
Australian pricing and availability for the Apple Watch
Pre-order for Apple Watches starts on April 10. They will be on display, and to slap on your wrist for a play, in Apple Stores on April 10 also. Customers can buy an Apple Watch from April 24. And yes, Australia IS one of the countries that will have the watch on April 24. The April 24 list includes Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US.
Apple Watch Sport
$499 for the 38 mm case version, and $579 for the 42 mm case.
From $799 to $1,629, depending upon your choice of watchband.
- Apple Watch 38mm stainless steel case with Sport Band – $799
- Apple Watch 42mm stainless steel case with Sport Band – $879
- Apple Watch 38mm stainless steel case with Classic Buckle Band – $949
- Apple Watch 42mm stainless steel case with Classic Buckle Band – $1,029
- Apple Watch 38mm stainless steel case with Milanese Loop Band – $949
- Apple Watch 42mm stainless steel case with Milanese Loop Band – $1,029
- Apple Watch 38mm stainless steel case with Modern Buckle – $1,099
- Apple Watch 42mm stainless steel case with Leather Loop Band – $1,029
- Apple Watch 42mm stainless steel case with Leather Loop Band – $1,029
- Apple Watch 38mm stainless steel case with Link Bracelet Band – $1,399
- Apple Watch 42mm stainless steel case with Link Bracelet Band – $1,479
- Apple Watch 38mm space black case with space black stainless steel Bracelet Band – $1,549
- Apple Watch 42mm space black case with space black stainless steel Bracelet Band – $1,629
Apple Watch Edition
$10,000 in the US, in Australia it’s from $14,000. From $14,000 to $24,000. Again, yikes!
And that’s it for the Apple Watch And Other Stuff launch event. I hope what’s above is coherent, it all happened between 4 am and 5.30 am, on absolutely no sleep. Now to bed, before a morning edit of this.