At today’s highly anticipated “Spring Forward” event, Apple released news on products their droves of fans (and shareholders) have been clamoring for. CEO Tim Cook took the stage to the usual fanfare and announced some big products.
Apple TV/HBO NOW
First up, some news on Apple TV. Not long after taking stage, Tim Cook announced a price drop for Apple TV, going from $99 to $69. A little exciting, considering Apple TV has been at $99 for quite sometime.
Right after that tidbit, HBO CEO Richard Pelper took stage to announce HBO NOW, the channels long rumored standalone service. A little more pricey than usual streaming services at $14.99 a month, but we are willing to bet most Game Of Thrones fans will shell that out faster than a wedding can turn red.
HBO NOW will hit with a bevy of HBO’s original content, such as The Sopranos and Sex And The City, and when it launches in April, it will be exclusive to Apple TV and web browsers.
Oh by the way, they showed off a brand new trailer for season 5 of Game Of Thrones.
Next up was a bit of a surprise announcement. ResearchKit is an app that turns your iPhone into a diagnostic tool that collects medical data. Instead of the typical medical studies, iPhone users that would like to provide feedback can help contribute to the advancement in cures for diseases, such as Parkinson’s. Apple says your information is private, and the app is completely open-source.
ResearchKit launches next month, although there are five apps to go along with it that are available now.
Some pretty big news in this category today, as Apple announced another long rumored product, the 12-inch MacBook.
Weighing at just 2 pounds and coming in at 13.1 mm thin, the new MacBook is yet again, the thinnest laptop Apple has ever produced, besting the MacBook Air in the thinness war. And yes, you read that right, this is not a “MacBook Air”, but rather a new product just called “MacBook”.
The new MacBook features a 12-inch display with an impressive 2304 x 1440-pixel resolution. On top of that, it also features an all-new trackpad design, with the ability to “force click, which will perform functions based on how hard or soft you click on the pad.
Apple’s latest thin laptop has some interesting things going on inside as well. The house that Steve built decided to go with a fanless design inside the machine, a smaller motherboard featuring Intel’s tiny Core M processor, at 1.1GHz or 1.2GHz, depending on which model you get. There’s also only one USB port on the new MacBook, as the oft-rumored USB-C has become a reality.
More internals revealed that the Mac will come with a nice 8GB of RAM, and 256GB solid state hard drive. The higher-end model will come 8GB of RAM as well, but will bump up the hard drive to a 512GB SSD.
The new MacBook comes in brand new colors, for the Mac line anyway. The new laptop will be available in the familiar but striking silver, space gray, and gold. The new MacBook hits stores April 10, and will set you back $1,299 or $1,599 for the slightly more beefed up model.
MacBook Air/MacBook Pro
Apple also announced a refresh to the Macbook Air and MacBook Pro lines. They both now pack the latest Intel i5 and i7 processors, feature better battery life (roughly 10 hours), and improvements to the graphics cards. The MacBook Pro however, gets the edge in performance, with that model receiving the new Force Touch trackpad the new MacBook received.
You can grab a new MacBook Pro starting at $1,299 for the 2.7 GHz Intel Core i5 model with 8Gb of RAM and a 128GB SSD, and up to $1,799 for the 2.9GHZ with 512GB SSD and 8GB of RAM as well.
The newly refreshed MacBook Air can be picked up for $899 for it’s 11-inch 1.6GHz Dual-Core model with 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD, and up to $1,199 for it’s higher end 13-inch model, it’s typical pricing.
At long last, pricing and availability for the much anticipated Apple Watch was revealed. The cheapest model, the Sport Edition, will start at $349 and the bigger version will hit $399.
Things get a little pricey when you dive into the Stainless Steel edition, which start at $549, and tops out at $1,099.
Then the Apple Watch hits full-on luxury mode, as the “Apple Watch Edition” is priced at a starting point of $10,000 for it’s 18-Karat Gold model, then works it’s way up to a wallet destroying $17,000. Time to get that fourth job!
Apple announced little in the way of new features for the Apple Watch, aside from revealing that it can make and receive phone calls, something that has been long expected, as Samsung’s line of watches do the same.
The Apple Watch will be released on April 24, and will come in over 30 different models.
All in all, it was quite the eventful day for Apple and Apple fans to say the least. But what do you think? Will you be picking up any of the new products? Does the gold MacBook catch your eye? Are you loaded and want to show it off by getting a brand new $15,000 Apple Watch? Or do you really, really want to see the long-rumored iPad Pro? Share your thoughts in the comments below and stay tuned to MaxLevel for all the latest updates surrounding Apple products.