Apple announced a few things at a press event held March 9, 2015. Among the things they showed are new Macs and the Apple Watch. They also announced a new $69 (US) Apple TV and HBO Now, which is exclusive to Apple for the time being.
The MacBook Air gets a major refresh with a super smooth shell. One connector, USB-C, is all that adorns the shell of the laptop. A new keyboard also comes with the machine.
Now, the single connector on this very nice looking laptop handles EVERYTHING, including video out and power. What this means is that the device will need to be tethered to a $79 (US) port extender accessory. Without this dongle, you cannot charge the device AND connect ANYTHING else to the computer.
Admittedly, I have the ‘I want it’ for the hardware, even with that rather arcane limitation. There’s no reason why a second connector could not have been added.
Yes, they showed off more of the watch. It features an 18 hour battery life, three different styles and lots of apps already to go. The base watch-you know, the one everyone will buy-will cost $350, the Apple Watch will sell for $500 and the Apple Watch Edition will START at $10,000. The Sport edition, at $350, is the most affordable. Bands for the watches range from $40 to $500.
Now, smartwatches are worth having, they can be very useful…but, tethering them to a smartphone seems a bit silly, and I say that in regard to the Android watches as well as the Apple Watch. What we need is one that works with ANY device, Android, IOS or other.
Apple also talked about ResearchKit, a set of API’s that will be used for medical research. This one seems a bit forced and not overly interesting. You can read more about it here. I don’t care about it enough to write more.
Perhaps the most interesting thing to come out of the press event was the HBO Now and Apple TV announcements. HBO Now will be available to Apple devices for $14.95 a month, much like cable tv prices. Apple TV gets dropped down to $69 (US), a thirty dollar reduction. You KNOW the Roku was just killing it if Apple drops it price that much.
Over all, the press event was lackluster and the products, while interesting, could have just been released without an event and they would have done just fine. These things are just tired now.
The products, though, are not. Apple continues to show that design over function will sell and these are no different. I’m not sure they will sell many $500 or $10000 watches, but the $350 one just might hit it. And, at $69, the Apple TV is a sweet deal. Not quite as versatile as a Roku, but still worth the money. Don’t forget that gorgeous, lusty laptop. Buy it, put Windows on it and you have a really nice computer.
Go to Apple.com watch the press event.