Well, it happened, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook finally unveiled the Apple Watch with availability details today to boot, but thankfully for us not that interested in Watch folk, Apple did announce some other things too. But, have no fear we’ve got you covered on the whole Watch thing too.
Apple kicked off the Apple event with what can only be regarded as a snoozer. For US customers who are fans of HBO content, Apple and HBO did announce an exclusive partnership with HBO Now, a service giving you the entire back catalogue and more of HBO content.
Of course all of this means absolutely nothing for us outside of the US, other than a slight price drop in the Apple TV, from US $99 to $69, or £59. So, get one if you so wish to.
Health and the potential power of ResearchKit
When Apple introduced iOS 8 with it they announced many “Kit” frameworks, including Health. With ResearchKit however, this is taken to the next level with full on interaction with Doctors, Researchers and more with patients suffering from illnesses, both curable and still under investigation.
Alongside ResearchKit, Apple promised they would be working on 5 applications dedicated to their title, I’m not sure anyone suffering from these would like to search and download, but the functionality and interactivity with the Doctor and Researcher will be key.
One of the biggest surprises of ResearchKit, a term unfamiliar at Apple events, is that Apple will be making the ResearchKit framework open-source. Meaning anyone on any platform, in theory, will be able to use the Framework. However, before we all get too excited, remember when FaceTime went open-source.
MacBook – Old name, new concept
Thin and light has always been the Apple mantra, I think it’s fair to say with the iPad Air 2 they took that way too far, and personally we think they have with this, the new MacBook. Much thinner than the MacBook Air, however ironically not as thin as the Surface Pro 3 we’re typing this on out of irony.
Aside from the 12 inch Retina Display, fan-less Intel Core M Processor, the MacBook also features two new features never before in an Apple MacBook, first of all isn’t really the highlight of the MacBook, USB-C.
USB-C is a port standard that allows multiple functionality from a single port, which is a good thing based on the fact that the MacBook only has the one port … yep, not even a regular sized USB port. Thanks to Apple’s usual strategy on proprietary ports, you can bet your life on the fact that port adapters will be available in many varieties and price points and if you want this thing you bet your life you’ll have to buy them!
So, as you can imagine we’re not big fans of the updated MacBook, it’s expensive too. We’ll have more on the MacBook in the coming weeks, until then that’s the MacBook.
Apple did also update the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with incremental updates which can be found on Apple’s website.
Now, to the star of the show, the Apple Watch itself. For a device ranging from $349 to an insane $15,000, Apple certainly have the balls to shock us in the expense department, but did they surprise us in the feature department, that’s something we’ll look at now.
We’ll start by saying, if you’ve watched Apple’s original 2014 announcement of the Apple Watch, there’s not much more to surprise you, which whilst we were expecting was rather disappointing in the end. The problem with Apple sometimes is the high level of expectation they pour upon us, only to either be blown away almost in relief on their behalf, or in this case to be left in disappointment. Maybe it’s because it’s a Smart Watch, and they’re not really taking off, who knows, what we do know is we’re not too impressed, but if you are, or just curious, here’s what we know about the Apple Watch until its 27th April release.
As was already mentioned, the Apple Watch will be available in 6 configurations covering 3 editions, ‘Apple Watch’, ‘Apple Watch Sport’ and ‘Apple Watch Edition’, the two versions being size differences of 38mm and 42mm. Apple claim the Apple Watch can get all day battery life, or around 18 hours of typical use.
Apple Watch will require an iPhone 5 or later running the just announce iOS 8.2 release.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
This is where things get … interesting to say the least. Apple offers a very varied collection of price points for the Apple Watch, some fair enough, others rather steep, and some quite frankly outrageous. Looking below, I think you’ll find those describe each in order.
Pre-orders start April 10th with Apple Stores offering previews, available April 24th.
APPLE WATCH SPORT (Aluminium): From $349 for 38mm, $399 for 42mm
APPLE WATCH (Stainless Steel): From $549 to $1049 for 38mm depending on strap, $599 to $1099 for 42mm depending on strap
APPLE WATCH EDITION (18c Gold): From $10,000 to $17,000
So, will you be going Apple Watch? In a world where Watches in general are rather stale it’s hard to see the appeal, even by an Apple Watch, plus not to mention Android Wear has already come so far and can catch up the 5% of missing features in an update. Not to mention Google bringing iOS support for Android Wear.
But, for Apple fans, you now have an option, it’s definitely first generation and at this point we personally wouldn’t recommend you invest in it if history has taught us anything, but in future generations this could be something to look out for.