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At an event to launch the Apple Watch, Apple also made several announcements regarding Apple TV, HBO, Macbook, and other products.
More than just a smartwatch...
Apple used today's high-profile event to launch its much-anticipated Apple Watch, but also to make announcements about several other products and new partnerships. Here are the most important announcements from Apple's big day.
Brand new 12-inch MacBook
Apple on Monday unveiled a completely redesigned 12-inch MacBook. The incredibly thin laptop – 13.1 mm to be exact – weighs in at just 2 pounds.
The new notebook features a new trackpad with a new technology Apple calls "Force Touch," which gauges how hard a user is pressing on the trackpad, and an extremely small logic board that allowed Apple to pack a lot of battery power for such a thin device. Apple is promising full-day usage. Further, the new notebook has just one port, a USB-C port, for all of your peripheral needs.
The new will be released on April 10th, with pricing starting at $1,299 and options of gold, silver, and space grey colors.
Apple Watch pricing
The Apple Watch isn't going to come cheap. While we already knew the Sports models would start at $349, we now know the pricepoints for the other models as well. Specifically, the stainless steel models will start at $599 and will creep up to $1,099 depending on the band that users choose.
As for the Gold Edition Apple Watch models, those will start at $10,000 and will range up to $17,000.
Apple Watch availability
The Apple Watch goes on sale on April 24, with pre-orders beginning on April 10. As it stands now, the Apple Watch will only be available in Apple retail stores. According to recent reports, traditional Apple retailers like Best Buy will not carry the device at launch.
Apple Watch battery life
Apple today officially disclosed battery life details for the Apple Watch, checking in at 18 hours over the course of a normal day. This is much higher than initially anticipated and should serve as a relief for those worried about multi-day charging.
HBO comes to Apple TV
Apple is HBO's exclusive launch partner for a new $15/month streaming service. Users who sign up for the service can access all of HBO's popular series of TV shows and movies even if they don't have a cable subscription. This may certainly prove to be an attractive selling point for Apple's beloved hobby.
Apple spent a lot of time during Monday's event discussing ResearchKit, a new software framework for medical research. In short, ResearchKit enables developers to turn each iPhone into a powerful diagnostic tool. Rather than working on this alone, Apple has partnered up with experts from some of the most influential medical institutions in the country.
Set to be released next month, ResearchKit is open source. In terms of how it will all work, there will be apps users can download that will measure certain medical metrics, such as information pertinent to asthma sufferers or data related to Parkinsons testing. With user permission, these metrics will be relayed back to researchers for interpretation.
Apple TV price point reduced
Apple on Monday also announced that it was lowering the price point on the Apple TV, from $99 to $69. Coupled with the aforementioned HBO announcement, Apple TV sales may be poised to expand beyond "hobby" status.
Apple has sold 700 million iPhones
In passing, Tim Cook noted that Apple has to-date, sold over 700 million iPhones. The race towards a billion is on!
CarPlay set to debut in new cars
Somewhat slow out of the gate, Tim Cook announced that CarPlay will be available on over 40 new car models this year. He also mentioned that every major car manufacturer is aboard the CarPlay bandwagon.
MacBook Air and MacBook Pro line updated
Somewhat under the radar, Apple on Monday also instituted noteworthy upgrades to its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lineups. Specifically, both models now sport modern-day i5 and i7 processors from Intel. Additionally, both models now get Thunderbolt 2 ports. Both enhanced notebooks are available today.
Apple Pay coming to 100 vending machines
Apple Pay continues to do well, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Highlighting the growing ubiquity of Apple Pay, Cook noted that Apple Pay will soon be available at over 100,000 Coca-Cola vending machines. Cook also added that Apple Pay is now available at approximately 700,000 locations across the U.S.