Apple on Monday unveiled its entry in the smartwatch market, a high-end device that allows users to make and receive calls and messages and track health and fitness. Also announced were a new MacBook and HBO's new streaming service exclusive to Apple TV. Here are the biggest announcements from the event.
Apple’s smart streaming box for your TV got a price cut from $99 to $69. That makes it slightly more competitive with others in the same space like Google’s Chromecast streaming stick, which sells for just $35.
But the biggest news about Apple TV wasn’t the price — HBO. The network will offer a brand new service, HBO Now, exclusively to Apple TV users from April. It will allow users to stream HBO content to the Apple TV over the internet without a separate cable connection. All old HBO shows and movies, as well the the latest season of Game of Thrones (Season 5 that starts from April 14) will be available.
HBO Now is priced at $14.99 per month.
Apple announced ResearchKit, an open-source software tool designed to give scientists a new way to gather information on patients by using their iPhones.
Several top research institutions have already developed applications to work on the ResearchKit platform, including those pursuing clinical studies on asthma, breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes and Parkinson's disease. They include Stanford University School of Medicine and Weill Cornell Medical College.
The format will allow users to decide if they want to participate in a study and decide how their data is to be shared with researchers.
Apple released a brand new fanless Macbook with a 12-inch retina display. The new laptop, available in three colours — gold, grey and silver — is Apple’s thinnest laptop yet. It weighs in at just under a kilogram and is 24 percent thinner than the MacBook Air.
It features a brand new keyboard with a new lighting system with individual backlighting for each key, and a new Force Touch trackpad with an engine that provides touch feedback directly to users’ fingers.
Apple has also dispensed with all ports on the new MacBook. There is a single USB-C port that supports HDMI, USB, power and VGA.
The new MacBook starts at $1,299. Head to Apple’s website for details.
Apple didn’t say too much we didn’t already know about the Apple Watch, but we did get a few crucial bits of information:
- The Apple Watch will have an 18-hour battery life. Which means you’ll have to charge it every night.
- The pricing will start at $349 for the Apple Watch Sport, and will go all the way to $10,000 for the gold Apple Watch Edition. There are various Apple Watches at different prices -- depending on the size and the band you choose. Check them out on Apple’s website.
- You’ll be able to pre-order the Apple Watch on April 10. They will be available in stores from April 24.