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Apple's Spring Event: Apple Watch, HBO, and the Thinnest Mac Ever

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By Mark Wilson, Esq. on March 09, 2015 1:33 PM

Earlier today, Apple held its much-anticipated March 2015 event in San Francisco. On the docket, as rumored, were product updates, the introduction of the fabled Apple Watch, and a surprise for those of us who have been pirating "Game of Thrones" all these years.

So, what happened?

Apple TV

The often-overlooked black sheep of Apple's product line, Apple TV, just got a lot more desirable as CEO Tim Cook announced that it would be the first vector for HBO's standalone service, HBO Now. For those of us wanting to cut the cord, HBO was the last stand: Complex cable TV company contracts meant HBO had to be bundled with a cable subscription. But come early April, you'll be able to get HBO's original programming for just $14.99 a month on Apple TV and through iOS apps.

iPhone

The big iPhone announcement today was a bit of a surprise. Apple announced a new API, called Research Kit, to use the fancy-schmancy sensors in the iPhone (and presumably the Apple Watch) to more easily conduct medical research. What's even better, Research Kit will be open source!

Mac

Holy cow, that's a thin notebook! The rumors of an ultra-thin laptop were true, but this one wasn't called "Air." Apple has resurrected the "MacBook" line with what Apple SVP Phil Schiller said was the lightest, thinnest notebook Apple has ever made. Apple even reinvented the keyboard actuators to get the keyboard thinner. It's got a Retina display and a new kind of trackpad called a "force trackpad" that detects pressure and even allows you to assign different software functions to different levels of pressure. How did they make it so thin? It doesn't have a fan! Available in silver, space gray, "and a stunning gold."

The MacBook Air and 13" Pro received updates as well, with more battery life and faster flash storage. The Pro will also get the fancy "force trackpad." Both are available today.

Apple Watch

Even Miss Cleo could have predicted the March event would be the real launch of the Apple Watch. You can live out those Dick Tracy moments and make phone calls on the watch (which will lead to a whole new way to be irritated by people on the subway).

So what can you do with Apple Watch? Read emails, look at photos, use Apple Pay, talk to Siri, and get notifications whenever Tom Brady gets a touchdown in Fantasy Football. It all looks pretty awesome, with more functionality than those Galaxy Gear things.

According to Tim Cook, "You can expect 18 hours" of battery life from the Apple Watch, which will come in three designs: Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch, and Apple Watch Edition. Apple Watches will be available for preorder April 10 and for sale on April 24. The Sport starts at $349 and the Watch at $549, but if you want the 18-karat-gold Apple Watch Edition, it will set you back $10,000.

The good news, though, is that you'll have spent $10,000 where you could have spent $500 to get the same functionality but more gold. So at least you've got that going for you, which is nice.

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