/ Boing Boing / 8 am Tue, Sep 9 2014
  • Submit
  • About Us
  • Contact Us
  • Advertise here
  • Forums
  • Apple Watch announced alongside new, larger iPhone

    Apple Watch announced alongside new, larger iPhone

    Xeni Jardin reports in from the much-anticipated presentation today in Cupertino, California.

    The Apple Watch will start at $349, be out in early 2015, and digitizes the traditional watch crown as part of its primary interface. The iPhone 6 will come in two sizes and feature a near-field payments system, an upgraded camera, and higher-resolution displays. Our liveblog of the event follows.

    11:44 a.m. Apple Watch will start at $349, and be out in early 2015.

    11:42 a.m. Inductive charging; magnetic charger cable attached to back of the watch -- but no word on battery life, which means they didn't want to say. Ihnatko: "Remember how Tim said how easy it is to charge it every night," which suggests you have to charge it every night.

    11:40 a.m. Apple watch will work not only with the new iPhones, but with fifth-gen iPhones too. You will be able to use it to Apple Pay, too.

    11:40 a.m. The messaging will be interesting because with wearables, if someone's annoying you, they are literally touching you with that now. On the other hand, someone you want to be close with, they're touching you.

    11:38 a.m. This answers design and data problems that other fitness trackers haven't, and I'm pumped to try it. Third party apps can access health data--there'll be interesting security and privacy issues. The messaging will be interesting because with wearables, if someone's annoying you, they are literally touching you with that now.

    11:34 a.m. Tim Cook is pitching Apple's new fitness app for Apple Watch. Video. Monitors all activity. They've hired some real stars for this. "It gives you a comprehensive view of your daily activity"

    11:32 a.m. Hope the battery life is good. All this functionality on a tiny device is great, but how long will it work?

    11:30 a.m. WatchKit is a set of tools to allow third-party developers to integrate their websites and apps with Apple Watch's notification system. Some apps: Maps, Twitter, Pinterest, City Mapper, BMW, MLB, Honeywell, Lutron, Nike.

    11:29 a.m. Gestural features are being demonstrated, but to me it seems a little weird. You'd have to really believe in the product to get it, I think.

    11:25 a.m. I'm not buying that he would actually send an animated smiley to Jony Ive. Siri is demonstrated. Locket: a charm bracelet for girls. This thing will so transform youth communication. I wonder if you can use it to bump photos quickly to friends. I can imagine teen girls using this photo stuff in new and interesting ways that Apple hasn't anticipated. They're sometimes the real R&D revolutionaries.

    11:24 a.m. "Send a lot of emotion without interacting much at all"

    11:22 a.m. HAPTIC ENGINE. Custom emoji created for the watch, to reply to text messages. I have to pee.

    11:21 a.m. Andy Ihnatko quips: "The good news is there's more battery life. The bad news is that's what the giant cube is."

    11:20 a.m. The question I have, without having tried it yet: will the nav options be overwhelming on such a small face? There's an unreal solar system app. I wish my astronomer grandpa was here to see the Starwalk app and I really really wish he were here to see the astronomy watch face.

    11:18 a.m. This is an iPad- or iPhone-level moment. Apple's Kevin Lynch, Vice President, is live-demonstrating the watch. Wakes up to the clock face; the app launcher is a neat cluster of circular icons that you can swipe around.

    11:16 a.m. Fitbit is dead.

    11:15 a.m. The watch will come in TWO sizes. Women exist in Apple's imagination, unlike certain competitors'.

    11:14 a.m. Jony Ive appears as a mellifluous, disembodied British voice. Sapphire display. Electrodes around the display; clever touch analysis. Apps! Fitness. Lots of daily activity analysis. He's describing the strap material options. Leather. Steel. Meshes. Lots of options.

    11:09 a.m. The Awl has alternative coverage.

    11 a.m. On the Apple Watch, it will be all about a "digital crown" -- the little turning button on the side of a wristwatch. That's it -- that's the primary interface. It does have a touchscreen, though, of course.

    11 a.m. "What we didn't do was take the iPhone and shrink the user interface. It's too small, it would be a terrible user interface." Humorous depiction of someone attempting to pinch-zoom a watchface.

    11 a.m. This does for wearables what the iPod did for digital music and what the iPhone did for smartphones. Cook: "There's a breakthrough in user interface with each product we release."

    10:57 a.m. "The next chapter in Apple's story". It's the Apple Watch.

    watch

    10:56 a.m. "One more thing", says Cook. Applause. And with that, he has become King.

    10:55 a.m. I can feel the one more thing coming.

    10:52 a.m. In apps: Target, Groupon, Uber, Panera Bread, MLB, and Open Table have Apple Pay in forthcoming new editions. Apple Pay itself will be a free update to IOS8 next month.

    10:52 a.m. 6 major banks on board, plus others. 220k stores, plus Macys, Bloomingdales, Walgreens, Staples, Starbucks, Subway, McDonalds, Whole Foods Market. Disney. Oh yes, and the Apple Store.

    10:52 a.m. Eddie Cue: "Apple doesn't now what you bought, where you bought it, or how much you paid. It's between you or your bank. The cashier doesn't get to see your name [or data] like they do now."

    10:49 a.m. "We don't store the card or give it to the merchant." There is a "secure element" that only ever gives out a one-time payment security code. Lose your phone and you won't have to cancel your cards.

    10:48 a.m. This will be the new holy grail to hack.

    10:47 a.m. Cook says everyone keeps failing at this problem because their solutions center on the industry's wants rather than the customer experience. Apple's is going to be called Apple Pay. The demo video shows the customer lifting their phone to the swipe machine and thumbing their Touch ID button. Near-field. "Blink and you'll miss it."

    10:44 a.m. "An entirely new category of service: it's all about the wallet. Our vision is to replace it." - Tim Cook on payments. With $12bn daily transactions, he says, the current processes are antiquated, inefficient and insecure. Magstripe is five decades old, vulnerable, yet every replacement has so far failed.

    10:42 a.m. Tim Cook returns to the stage: "A great product isn't just a collection of features. It's how they work together, it's how they make you feel." And now, a demo reel of new apps. The voices of celebrities.

    10:40 a.m. The iPhone 6 starts at $199 for a 16GB model, with up to 128GB in the $399 model. The Plus model is $100 more in each capacity (i.e. starts at $299). Ships Sept 19.

    10:40 a.m. There'll be silicone cases in 6 colors.

    Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 1.38.53 PM

    10:38 a.m. More software news: new keyboard features, extensible notifications, and Touch ID availability to third-party applications.

    10:36 a.m. Improved face detection for "killer selfies." Burst selfies. They are clearly engineering for selfies.

    10:35 a.m. Video: 240fps slomo (was 120fps), demonstrated with some amazing jumprope footage. The stabilization is available in video mode, too, which will make a huge difference to effective quality. "Focus pixels allow us to do automatic focus continually while you're shooting video."

    10:34 a.m. Phil's wisecracking about the obsolescence of camcorders and point-and-shoots.

    10:28 a.m. New camera with a new sensor: 8mp, f/2.2 aperture, 43 megapixel panoramas. A big upgrade: phase detection autofocus, which should be twice as fast as older models. There's optical image stabilization too, in the plus model: good for low-light shots.

    10:26 a.m. There's a barometer, a new health app in IOS8, and a new version of the Nike running app. The radio's upgraded too, with 20 LTE bands, carrier aggregation and Voice-over-LTE. 3x faster WiFi. WiFi calls!

    10:25 a.m. There's a better motion processor, too, according to Schiller: it can "tell when you're cycling or walking, how far you've gone, and elevation too, like flights of stairs."

    10:24 a.m. "Not bad for their first game," says Schiller, returning to the stage. He's really hitting hard with the message that battery life is really good on the new devices.

    10:22 a.m.Stephan Sherman of game developer Super Evil Megacorp is describing how the new gear enables more convincing and powerful games. Footage of the game, VainGlory is spectacular. They're fighting a kraken. The kraken has crystals on its back so maybe the game is a meth analogy.

    10:21 a.m. Demand that can't be faked: Apple.com is down completely.

    Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 1.19.57 PM

    10:14 a.m. Numbers: 1.3m apps now in the app store. 50% faster than the original iPhone. 84x faster than a toaster.

    10:13 a.m. The phones are 7.1mm thick, which is very thin.

    10:12 a.m. 1920x1080 display: 185% more pixels in the 6+. The iPhone 6 is 1334x750. The larger display and display density will allow for multicolumn displays for email and messaging.

    10:10 a.m. "Ion strengthened glass", an ultrathin backlicks, "stunning display unlike any other phone", and "yes, they're a lot bigger" -- all from Phil Schiller.

    10:08 a.m. There is indeed an iPhone 6 Plus, a significantly larger model. And the Iphone 6 itself is a little larger than the 5S, too.

    phones

    10:09 a.m. The iPhone6 leaks were accurate: you've already seen it.

    10:08 a.m. Tim's talking about the iPhone, "the most loved phone in the world"

    10:07 a.m. "On this stage 30 years ago, Steve introduced the Macintosh to the world. On this state we introduced the iMac. Today we have some amazing products to share with you and we think you will agree this too is a very key day for Apple." - Tim Cook

    10:04 a.m. Tim's on stage, to cheers.

    10 a.m. Everyone's headed in. Showtime. From the official feed:

    show1

    7:30 a.m. Xeni is already in Cupertino, peering at the mysterious white cube-building that Apple's erected for the event. She's posted video, embedded below.

    View this post on Instagram

    The cube. #applelive

    A post shared by Xeni (@xenijardin) on

    My theory is that it's a trap, and that the tech press corp will be forced into a dark, soundproofed warehouse full of whirring saws and conveyor belts and journalist meat being cured on rusty chains. The new product will in fact be a kind of iSoylent. – Rob


    Yesterday's preview offers the context for today's event, where Apple is expected to do something interesting with the hitherto-lackluster wearables "category"--and, of course, show off upgraded iPhones and other gadgets.

    Four years have passed since Apple blew our minds with a completely new device. If the rumors about an Apple wearable are true, Tuesday may bring something worth liveblogging about. Boing Boing will be in Cupertino, Tuesday morning for a special live Apple event at which a new, larger iPhone 6 and a wearable tech device unofficially known as iWatch are expected to be released.

    The drama kicks off on Tuesday September 9, 10 a.m. PDT. Here's Apple's live event page, with video starting around 10am.

    The event takes place at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, where 30 years ago, the late Steve Jobs--with inimitable showmanship and flair--introduced the first Macintosh computer. The selection of this venue seems symbolic. Very few things Apple does are by accident.

    / / 120 COMMENTS

    /