Apple Unveils New Line of Watches, 12-Inch MacBook and More

Details about the Apple Watch were unveiled during Monday’s product event in San Francisco. Preorders for the Apple device will begin on April 10; its availability is scheduled for two weeks later. Offered in 20 models, pricing ranges from $349-$499 for the Sport Edition, $549-$1099 for the Apple Watch, and $10,000+ for the Apple Watch Edition. The company also announced a price reduction for Apple TV; an exclsuive deal with the upcoming HBO Now streaming service; and a redesigned 12-inch, ultrathin, Retina display MacBook.

The Apple Watch features the messaging and communication tools already widely reported, and includes health and fitness monitoring tools. It is also compatible with Siri and Apple Pay.

Apple_Watch_2015

The Apple Watch will have apps such as Twitter, Instagram and MLB at Bat that feature notifcations.

“The most useful apps will likely be those that save you time with your real-life interactions, like an American Airlines Passbook integration that lets you wave your wrist at TSA rather than digging out either your physical boarding pass or the one on your phone,” reports Wired. “Similarly, a W Hotels app will let you unlock your hotel room door with a single tap, rather than having to keep track of a keycard.”

Apple_Watch_Models

The new MacBook — which Wired describes as “the real star of the show” — will start at $1,299 (8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) when it ships April 10. At 13.1 millimeters, it is thinner than the current MacBook Air.

While Apple TV’s hardware did not get an upgrade, its price dropped $30 to $69, which could be bad news for Amazon Fire TV, Roku 3, and the Nexus Player. Apple also announced it would be the exclusive launch partner for HBO Now, at least for the streaming service’s first three months.

Additionally, Wired suggests that “one of Apple’s most important announcements today was ResearchKit, a new open-source framework that hopes to draw on data from Apple’s millions of users to further medical studies. Essentially, it enables apps to turn your iPhone into a medical diagnostic device, sending your data to labs around the world.”

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The Apple Watch is About to Make Apps an Afterthought, Wired, 3/9/15
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3 Reasons Not to Buy the Apple Watch, MarketWatch, 3/9/15
Six Smartwatch Alternatives to the Apple Watch, Los Angeles Times, 3/8/15
The Man Who Made The Apple Watch, The New Yorker, 3/9/15
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Fight Between Apple and Spotify Could Change Digital Music; Labels Said to Reject Pricing Below $9.99, Billboard, 3/9/15
Apple Watch Hands-On: The Wristwatch Just Caught Up to the 21st Century, A Blog to Watch, 9/28/14