Apple shows off Apple Watch, new Macbook at Spring Forward

Victor Barreiro Jr.

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Apple shows off Apple Watch, new Macbook at Spring Forward
Apple explains more about the Apple Watch and introduces some other surprises in its Spring Forward event

MANILA, Philippines – Apple revealed a slew of new announcements on Monday, March 9 (March 10, Manila time) including more details on the Apple Watch and the arrival of a new Macbook.

Apple Watch

Tim Cook brought up some of the features expained back in September, such as receiving calls on the Watch, paying for items using your Apple Watch and Apple Pay, reading full emails and checking your heart rate. 

Apple also went through some new prepared demonstrations, showcasing apps like Instagram and Uber as a sort of new pitch for people to adopt the Apple Watch as part of their lifestyle. (READ: What to expect from Apple’s Spring Forward event)

Apple’s Kevin Lynch also introduced some of the other features that may become staples among travelers. These include the ability to check in at your airline and hotel with the help of your Watch thanks to its connected apps, including even maintaining your home security from your watchface. Apple also reiterated all-day battery life – up to 18 hours – as a selling point.

AVAILABILITY. Apple Watch's available selling locations around the world at launch

The entry-level Apple Watch Sport collection is slated to come in at $349. The Apple Watch Collection, on the other hand, ranges from $549 to $1,049.

A limited, high-end version called the Apple Watch Edition comes in at a price of $10,000. The Apple Watch will begin shipping on April 24. 

New MacBook

Phil Schiller introduced a new line of MacBooks. Weighing in at only two pounds, the new MacBook comes with a 12-inch retina display with a 2304 x 1440 resolution, and an all-new keyboard. It is 24% thinner than the current MacBook Air and packs up to 9 hours of wireless web browsing thanks to a new terraced battery system and a smaller logic board.

The MacBook’s new keyboard is 34% thinner, using an Apple-designed butterfly mechanism that is 40% thinner than a traditional keyboard scissor mechanism, yet 4 times more stable to offer better precision when typing.

The MacBook is now fanless and runs on a dual-core Intel Core M processor. It uses an all-in-one USB Type-C connector that supports higher wattage charging, USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps) data transfer and DisplayPort 1.2. (READ: USB 3.1 Type-C: The reversible, speedy USB cable)

The new MacBook is slated to cost at least $1,299 for 8GB of memory and a 256GB drive. There is also a $1,599 package that has a faster processor and twice the storage.

Other announcements

Apple CEO Tim Cook began the proceedings by announcing the sale of its 700 millionth iPhone and the iPhone’s position as the top-selling smartphone. 

The event segued into the introduction of HBO NOW, HBO’s standalone streaming service that will have Apple as its exclusive partner at launch. It will be available in April and will have a monthly subscription of $14.99.

RESEARCHKIT. Apple sets up a software framework to help medical researchers study and track diseases

Apple’s Jeff WIlliams introduced ResearchKit to the crowd. ResearchKit lets medical research groups build apps that can use Apple technology to better track and study diseases.

Among the noted apps built through ResearchKit include an asthma research app, a breast cancer app, a cardiovascular health app, a blood glucose research app and a Parkinson’s disease app.

ResearchKit will be released as an open source framework in April. The move lets researchers contribute to specific activity modules in the framework – such as memory or gait testing – then share them with the global research community to further advance what we know about disease.

Williams also noted that Apple will not see any of the data themselves. Users can choose whether or not to participate, and how much or how little data they want to send back to aid medical research.

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Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.