That's right! All you fans of chic, design-heavy, user-friendly yet oh-so-pricey pieces of exciting new tech are in for a treat today — it's the big Apple event, which is expected to mark the announcement of a number of new releases by the iconic tech giant. It's being held at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, California, a site with a real significance in Apple's corporate history — it was there that Steve Jobs unveiled the first Macintosh computer decades ago, according to MarketWatch.
There are a number of hot, anticipated releases that everyone will be watching for, in particular the widely rumored debut of the iPhone 6. But that likely wouldn't be the most game changing innovation Apple rolls out if the other big rumor comes true — a wrist-wearable mobile device, to this point casually (and unofficially) dubbed the iWatch.
But of course, nothing is assured until we get the word from Tim Cook's mouth. The event kicks off at 1 p.m. ET, 10 a.m. PT — won't you watch with us?
1:05 — Tim Cook Takes the Stage
He's finally here, and this thing is underway. Cook shouted-out the Flint Center specifically, highlighting the aforementioned history — the unveiling spot of the original Macintosh and the iMac alike.
1:10 — That's Right, it's the iPhone 6!
The long wait is over. The iPhone 5 is dead. Long live the iPhone 6! And boy, is that a bigger screen. Fundamentally, it looks very familiar — its introductory video slow-panned over all the usual iPhone buttons, contours and so-forth — but the physical specs are record-setting. That's right, it'll be the thinnest smartphone ever.
1:20 — Apple's Live Stream Isn't Doing so Hot
He's not kidding. Audio cutting in and out, blackouts, translation tracks playing over the top of the English broadcast — an exciting looking iPhone, to be sure, but not being rolled out as best it could.
1:28 — The iPhone 6 Will (Finally) Enable Wifi Calls
In the event you're in an environment with poor cellphone reception, but you do find yourself a wifi connection, you'll be able to make phone calls over the net!
Not exactly a super-new feature by tech standards, I admit, but a welcome one for anybody whose living room won't let a cell signal through.
1:36 — iPhone 6 to Feature Time-Lapse Video Recording
Ever wanted to make one of those breathtakingly artsy, fast-motion time lapse videos? The iPhone 6, it seems, will have your back.
I'm particularly delighted by this — the lack of a broader set of video recording options was always a bummer on the iPhone, i light of the strides made on the photo side. Expect to be seeing some pretty nifty amateur videography out of this one!
1:40 — The Two-Year Contract Pricing Scale is Out
The real bottom-line: how much will these new iPhones cost? According to Apple, signing onto a two-year wireless network contract nets you an iPhone 6 starting at $199, and the bigger iPhone 6 Plus at $299 — the most expensive single iPhone on offer of the bunch is the behemoth iPhone 6 Plus' 128 gigabyte model, which clocks in at $499.
1:48 — Tim Cook Introduces Apple Pay!
This was another big rumor leading up to the event, and Tim cook just confirmed it — Apple is aiming to kill the wallet as we know it. They've unveiled Apple Pay, a new means of taking credit cards out of the transaction equation by running your charges through your iPhone, instead. The technology isn't necessarily groundbreaking from an engineering standpoint — similar account-charging apps have existed for a while, for public transit and the like — but this figures to have a big impact on the nature of everyday transactions.
That is, of course, if you're comfortable using it — given the recent, high-profile concerns about online security that have been swirling through social media, you'd be forgiven for being skeptical. But Apple maintains that their security will be up to the challenge, and that stored cards are never shared or saved on Apple servers. They also say it'll generate a unique security number for each transaction, replacing the static three-digit one that's on the backs of all your cards right now.
If this all works out, it should be great — as Tim Cook demonstrated, Apple Pay appears able to reduce transaction times to mere seconds.
1:53 — McDonalds and Whole Foods Will Both Accept Apple Pay
In case you ever want to go on one of the most self-defeating food outings ever. Those are just two of the companies already signed on, and you can bet that more will follow suit as it becomes more prevalent — it's also been announced that Disneyland will be accepting Apple Pay in time for the holidays.
2:00 — Tim Cook Introduces... THE APPLE WATCH!
That's right, it's actually here. The Apple Watch (not the iWatch, as a lot of people had theorized) has been officially unveiled, and damn does it look cool.
2:08 — The Digital Crown Makes the Apple Watch Work
That big knob you see there — actually a great deal smaller, obviously, with the watch strapped to your wrist — is the keystone to the entire Apple Watch effort, according to Tim Cook. It allows for the display to be zoomed in or out without obscuring the miniature screen. Apple design maven Jony Ive appeared in a video, lauding the Apple Watch's blend of function and aesthetic.
It’s driven Apple from the beginning. This compulsion to take incredibly powerful technology, and make it accessible, relevant, and ultimately, personal.
In all honesty, I'd wager Cook's description of this as Apple's "next chapter" is accurate — this is probably the most exciting deviation from their status-quo line of products in a while, and it looks pretty as can be.
2:11 — Apple Watch Can Track Your Pulse Rate
Could this end up being an all-in-one workout tool, too? It's certainly a possibility — truly engaging with mobile devices while exercising has always been a pain, fumbling with your phone while racing on a treadmill, for example. But, strapped to the wrist, the Apple Watch could be a real boost to the whole experience. Though obviously, it could be a real distraction, too.
2:23 — You Can Adjust Your Emojis, Too
Ever feel oppressed by the static, restrictive nature of the emoji status-quo? Well, never fear — Apple watch will let you fool around with their expressions and looks with the touch of a finger.
2:28 — Small Vibrations Let You Know a Friend is Getting in Touch
The ability of the Apple Watch to streamline and pair down simple communications is pretty exciting, as well — a tap to the watch can notify another user that you're trying to contact them, by sending along a tiny little buzz against their wrist. From there, you can send along an image by tracing it out with your finger — basically taking the text out of text messaging, in a way.
2:36 — Yup, it's a Fitness Utility, Too
Much as I wondered about above, it sounds like the Apple Watch is going to be a pretty dynamic workout assistant. It'll launch with two healthy living apps, Fitness and Workout, which have a variety of healthy habit-forming abilities — it'll actively track the calories you burn throughout the day, and notify you when you hit your target, letting you keep track of how much activity you're getting versus how much lazing around.
2:40 — Apple Watch is Backwards-Compatible to the iPhone 5
Never fear, those of you still anxiously clutching your older iPhones — Apple Watch will be compatible for use with back to the first run of iPhone 5s. Android users, or people still rolling with iPhone 4s, however, are out of luck. But being backwards compatible even just to the iPhone 5 gives the Apple Watch much better market access than it would've had just as an iPhone 6 — Cook said that 200 million people will already be able to use their phone with the watch upon its release.