Apple is throwing a big shindig at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco today, at which the Cupertino colossus is expected to unveil pricing, shipping dates, and other new details of its hotly-anticipated Apple Watch, as well as perhaps an updated MacBook Air or a new iPad. (But really, come on, you just care about the watch.)
Real Future will be live-blogging today’s proceedings. Grab some Soylent, kick back on your yoga-ball chair, and enjoy! The fun starts at 10 a.m. Pacific time. We’ll also be live-tweeting at @TheRealFuture, so check us out there, too.
In which we get nervous about our snoopy significant others hacking our not-yet-acquired Apple Watches: The privacy and security questions we must ask about the Apple Watch.
Penny-pinchers might not be able to part with $550 for the entry-level Apple Watch (the mid-level steel edition), but here’s an easy DIY hack.
A good, worthy question from Alexis: Will the heartbeat-sensing feature on the Apple Watch work as well for people with dark skin?
Previous smart watches have presented issues for people of color, since it’s harder to gauge their blood oxidation levels through an optical sensor.
Oh, and here is a quiz you can take: Which Apple Watch Are You? (I’m Sport.)
And here’s Cook with the Apple Watch Sport line-up, showing the full assortment of bands.
I wonder what the most popular one will be. The traditionalist in me thinks black will win out, but then, I also thought the gold iPhone would be a flop.
Here’s your summary: If you watched the keynote for the watch (and who didn’t?), the only new pieces of information were the release date: April 24, pre-orders starting April 10 and the top-end pricing ($10k+).
The new two-pound, 13 millimeters thick Macbook was the real star of the show. But the truth is: it’s just a nicer, lighter computer.
Perhaps the most intriguing and weird and unpolished part of the presentation was about the ResearchKit. It felt more like something you might talk about at a developer’s conference more than this kind of press presentation. Apple’s push into helping researchers conduct clinical studies (?!) felt like foreshadowing.
“Perhaps the most profound change and positive impact that iPhone will make is on our health,” Tim Cook said. That’s most certainly not true right now, so what future scenario is Cook thinking about? I guess we’ll find out.
Nothing we didn’t see coming today—even the pricing structure for the Apple watches felt right in line with expectations. But it’s interesting that the ResearchKit roll-out played such a large part in the presentation. Apple must think that health benefits—not style or status—will be what draws people to the Apple Watch. But I’m not so sure.
And that’s it, folks! Cook is off the stage, and we’re here just shamefully looking at our naked, unadorned wrists.
So did I miss it or have they not said anything about a password, pin code or fingerprint authentication for the Watch? Being on your wrist must be seen as security enough.
The top-line Apple Watch Edition will start at $10,000, and will be available in “select retail stores,” Cook says. Let me repeat that: ten thousand United States dollars.
Who’s Ken? WHO IS KEN?
I wonder if you get Jony Ive’s voice on the $10,000 Apple Watch. #worthit
Jony Ive is narrating a video about the Apple Watch Sport, which will start at $349. That’s going to look pretty cheap in a second.
Still, basically nothing new about the watch yet. It looks like Tim Cook is winding up for the concluding sales pitch.
Women not being involved in the creation of Apple products is reflected by HealthKit tracking calories, BMI, sleep, blood alcohol content, sodium, copper intake (!), etc. but not periods.
Looking at Uber’s execution on the Apple Watch, it really looks like the user interfaces are going to be stripped way, way down. When you open the Uber app on the watch, it opens straight to a request car screen, no map, no cruft. Apps will have to be small or they’ll have to be very smart to infer what you want to do from contextual data.
Oh, innnnnnteresting. The Apple Watch will launch with an Uber app. The Android Wear watches launched with only a Lyft app, if I recall correctly. (Which is odd, because Google is, of course, an Uber investor.) I am so confused about which of these companies hate each other.
Siri on Apple Watch doesn’t talk. Just answers. Like a good, little digital servant.
“I’ve got my credit cards right inside my watch.” This is not something I expected to hear when I was growing up.
Here’s Cook with the Watch. This looks like the middle-priced steel version.
The Apple Watch’s glance feature looks a lot like Android Wear’s Google Now cards—showing you boarding information for your flight, directions to restaurants, and weather forecasts. Nothing too impressive yet.
Are they gonna show us anything new about the watch? This feels like a rehash of the watch announcement event.
The only woman on-stage at the Apple event so far was a supermodel.
First woman on stage at the Apple event: Christy Turlington.
Tim Cook just introduced Christy Turlington, the famous model and “maternal health” advocate, who recently ran a half-marathon using an Apple Watch. The lesson I’m taking from this is that if I buy the Apple Watch, I will immediately become thin and beautiful and will no longer spend weekends eating Cheetos on my couch. Yes?
Prediction: Apple Watch’s “Digital Touch” that lets you draw on friend’s Watch will lead to creation of more digital dick doodles than ever have existed in the world.
Here’s Tim Cook describing the “Digital Touch” communication features of the watch: “Sketch on your watch and that sketch will be animated on your friends watch exactly as you drew it. You can also tap your watch to get your friend’s attention. And you can even send your heartbeat. This is an incredibly intimate way to tell someone you’re thinking about them.”
How Apple should advertise this new heartbeat tracker.
Great! Apple just flagged Tartine Bakery on the Apple Watch. Longer lines!! At least, I can super accurately measure the time I wait in line with my infallible Apple Watch.
Tl;dr Tim Cook on Apple Watch: It can tell time really well.
Sidenote: I find Apple’s (and the rest of the tech industry’s) embrace of HBO’s “Silicon Valley” really weird, given how cutting its satire is. Like, do you think Republicans sit around watching the Colbert Report and throwing viewing parties?
The Macbook Air now feels like the frumpy older sister. #macbooklust
Dear Apple, can we please get Jony Ive as a Siri voice option?
Jony Ive would do some great ASMR vids.
Update: I’m tingling!
New MacBook is made with EPEAT gold. EPEAT is basically the tech industry’s version of “organic and farm-raised.”
It’s Jony Ive video time. His voice sounds even more sonorous and British than usual. I want him to rock me to sleep and enlist me in the aristocracy.
Terraced battery patent: https://www.google.com/patents/WO2014062693A1. They’ve been working on this technology for packing in more batteries into a thinner shell for a few years at least.
Hmmm. Apple just killed the laptop fan. Two RIPs and counting in this keynote. (crinkled cash was the first.)
Phil Schiller says the new MacBook will be “fanless.” Welcome to my world, MacBook!
I wonder if this is the patent for the new “butterfly” mechanism that’s sitting underneath the new Macbook keys?
A Gold Macbook to go with your Gold Apple Watch. Fashionistas: too matchy-match?
Prediction: there will be gold-Macbook-only coffee shops in Williamsburg by June.
Now, we’re getting into the hardware techporn part of the Apple show. But I’m still digesting the possibility of every iPhone user feeding data from their devices into medical databases. 2015-mar-event
Oh wow, it’s a gold MacBook. “It absolutely looks gorgeous from every angle,” Phil Schiller says. It weighs 2 pounds, he says, and is 24 percent thinner than the last model. Can we stop with the body image pressure for laptops?
Tim Cook just announced a new laptop. No idea what it is, yet, but I’m pretty sure I heard this video’s intro song at Burning Man.
Yay, thanks to Apple’s ResearchKit, every iPhone user can be a guinea pig for medical researchers! Forget about getting paid now. You pay to participate.
Pretty stunning that in 2015, “Apple will not see your data” is an applause line.
For context: Samsung’s medical partner at UCSF was very, very skeptical that the outputs from the current generation of phones could be used clinically: “It’s real basic stuff to get started. You can’t overstate the importance of getting the validation right and the depth of the validation.”
But seriously, I can’t believe Apple is going this far in talking about medical diagnostic use cases of a non-FDA approved device.
Watch out, MDs. Apple Watch is going to take all the doctors’ jobs.
Hey, somebody is excited about the ResearchKit!
Siri got her M.D.! Jeff Williams is on stage, talking about Apple’s medical research efforts, which have culminated in ResearchKit, an app that turns your iPhone into a set of “powerful diagnostic tools.”
“Perhaps the most profound change and positive impact that iPhone will make is on our health,” Tim Cook says. Somehow, I don’t think that’s been fact-checked by the FDA.
Kevin, he looks like an LL Bean catalogue model
“Every major car brand has committed to delivering Car Play,” Cook says. I’m guessing Tesla isn’t included in that list.
“Apple Pay has forever changed the way we pay for things,” says Tim Cook. It’s a little early for that kind of triumphalism, no?
Fashion buffs: how do we feel about Tim Cook’s half-zip sweater get-up? It’s no black turtleneck, but I kind of…like it?
So even if the Apple Watch isn’t that exciting, at least we got to watch Game of Thrones trailer.
Does this mean my neighbor’s dog-walker’s cousin’s HBOGo password will stop working?
So I can watch Game of Thrones on my Apple Watch?
HBO announces standalone streaming service HBO Now. “We couldn’t be prouder that Apple is our exclusive partner at launch.” Coming in April for $14.99 a month.
Of course Apple copyrights its livestream
Tim Cook is on stage. He’s beginning by touting the number of Apple retail stores in China (40 by next year!), which I’m thinking is not an accident. The high-end versions of the Apple Watch will be aimed at ultra-wealthy people, and China is home to a lot of them.
Tim Cook is my dad.
I’m excited to replace my old watch (above), which has been feeling a little clunky of late.
Ring tones defined the soundscape of of dumb phones. But who cares about ringtones anymore? Most people use “silent mode,” which is really “buzzing mode.” And we rely on one-ding pings for most things anyway because who really gets phone calls on a phone anymore.
The watch, though, promises the end of the buzz and the ping! It’s got an actuator that can tap out things on your wrist—like someone’s else’s heartbeat or … who knows?
We’re not Meerkatting this, are we? Please tell me we’re not Meerkatting this.
I’m most curious to see the watch messaging in action. It’s thoroughly post-text, from what we’ve seen so far: draw a picture, send your heartbeat, animate an emoji, record your voice. And if they can weave all those elements together into a cohesive experience, it’s the thing I can most imagine driving mainstream acceptance of the watch.
One big question, in the lead-up to today’s Apple Watch announcements, is how high the price of the top-end Edition version of the watch will be. Jon Gruber is guessing $10,999, but I’m going to put a stake in the ground and guess that it will be closer to $13,999. (If you’re gonna go big, go big!)
Both of these are large numbers. And it’s likely, as I wrote this morning, that the pricing structure of the Apple Watch will produce some class anxiety among the Apple lovers in the audience. But, as I wrote last month, it makes sense for Apple to go after the ultra-high-net-worth crowd, since widening income inequality (especially in countries like China and India) is producing more people who can afford to part with five figures for a wrist computer.