Liveblog: Get your iPhone 6 and iWatch fix with Cult of Mac

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Today Apple unveils the iPhone 6 and mythical iWatch, and Cult of Mac is on the ground in Cupertino, enthusiastically reporting all the action from The Flint Center. Leander will be at the event, elbowing his way to the front of the line for the keynote and hands-on sessions.

This liveblog post is where we’ll cover all the announcements and festivities in Cupertino. We’ll have full updates, analysis and entertainment—everything you could possibly want to know about Apple’s newest, most magical devices.

The event kicks off at 10 a.m. Pacific, but we’ll be firing up the liveblog hours before to give you details from ground zero. What mysteries await us inside Apple’s mysterious white box? You’ll have to come back and find out.

In the meantime, bookmark this page, read up on the latest iPhone 6 rumors and iWatch predictions, grab a keynote bingo card, and strap yourself in for the tech event of the year. Today is the day Tim Cook and company usher in a new Apple era focused on wearables, health, fashion and mobile payments.

September 9, 2014 12:03 pm PDT Buster Hein

And that’s the show! Thanks for tuning into the Cult of Mac live blog. Leander is headed over to the big white building (it’s just a hands on area). We’ll be pushing our hands-on pics and other thoughts on Apple’s announcement throughout the day, so keep your eyes on CultofMac.com, or follow us on Twitter.

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September 9, 2014 11:49 am PDT Buster Hein

Big thanks to our friend Roberto for helping us with all of today’s images. All photos on the liveblog courtesy Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

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September 9, 2014 11:49 am PDT Alex Heath

To close today’s keynote, U2 takes the stage to perform. Bono’s got his sunglasses on. Is he blind?

Bono calls Cook the “zen master of hardware and software,” which is the best title he’s ever been given.

U2’s new album, Songs of Innocence, is being released today in the App Store for free. Cook and Bono touched fingers to signal its availability. Some serious bromance in the air.

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September 9, 2014 11:42 am PDT Buster Hein

Apple Watch requires the iPhone because they’ve been designed to work together.

Handoff, a new iOS 8 feature, also is supported on the iWatch. It works with the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 5s, 5c and iPhone 5. Rather than using wireless charging, the Apple Watch features inductive charging that fits onto the back.

Starting at $349 and will be available early 2015.

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September 9, 2014 11:38 am PDT Alex Heath

Tim Cook is talking about how much health and fitness is a big deal for the company and him personally. It’s also a big deal for the Apple Watch.

A dedicated fitness app monitors all your activity throughout the day. Another workout app lets you set goals for individual sports and kinds of training.

Sensors can measure movement, heart rate, calories burned, how much you stand instead of sit, etc. The goal is to get to “know you like a good personal trainer would.”

And all of this will of course be synced back to the Health app in iOS 8 to view and send to third-party health apps and services.

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September 9, 2014 11:34 am PDT Buster Hein

Third party apps are coming to Apple Watch too thanks to WatchKit.

The new WatchKit allows developers to set customized notifications and other experiences. A demo of a Twitter app was shown off, as well as a Starwood Hotels app that lets you unlock your hotel room by just waving your wrist in front of the door.

Pinterest has an app to take you to points of interest. BMW’s app will direct you back to your car. Nike has a new fitness app for Apple Watch and there’s a host of others waiting to flood the App Store.

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September 9, 2014 11:30 am PDT Alex Heath

Getting directions with the watch is really cool. Not only do you get turn-by-turn navigation on the display, but your wrist will get buzzed when it’s time to take a turn.

And specific buzzes on the left or right of your wrist will tell you which specific direction to take, so you theoretically don’t need to look at the display at all.

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September 9, 2014 11:30 am PDT Buster Hein

Digital Touch is one of the odd new features added to the Apple Watch that lets you “tap” a friend digitally. Just select a contact, tap the face with your freinds’ code for ‘let’s get some grub’ and if they’re wearing an Apple Watch too they can tap back a few replies.

You can even send friends your heart beat so they can feel it on their wrist, or draw hearts so your amore knows you’re thinking about them.

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September 9, 2014 11:29 am PDT Rob LeFebvre

“Wow this communication thing is crazy – communicating with pictograms,” says Leander.

Apple is thinking way harder about this than anyone else.

“This is a really big deal – an entirely new communicator, based on pictograms and emojis.”

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September 9, 2014 11:27 am PDT Buster Hein

Siri integration is included in Apple watch. You can ask her what movies are playing, get directions, and more.

All of your photos that you favorite on your Mac or iPhone will show up on the Apple watch and you can swipe around to find your favorite frame, or just use the new digital crown to navigate through your selfies.

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September 9, 2014 11:26 am PDT Rob LeFebvre

“The animated emoji is — hate to say this — evidence of deep thinking about what it’ll be used for,” says Leander.

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September 9, 2014 11:26 am PDT Alex Heath

The watch’s “taptic engine” buzzes your wrist when you get new notifications. When a buzz happens, raise your wrist to view. You can then swipe to interact with it or use a new predictive text feature to respond with what the watch thinks you might want to say.

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September 9, 2014 11:23 am PDT Rob LeFebvre

“This home screen looks great,” says Leander, of the new Apple Watch touch interface. “This is how the iPhone should work, too.” Pan around the apps available on the watch face.

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September 9, 2014 11:22 am PDT Buster Hein

The Apple WATCH comes with a variety of watch faces that can be customized. You can change info so that sunset and sunrise times are displaying, stock numbers, and more.

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September 9, 2014 11:21 am PDT Alex Heath

We’re giving an overview of this new stuff right now, but we’ll be digging into more of the in-depth stuff during our hands-on time after the keynote.

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September 9, 2014 11:20 am PDT Alex Heath

The Apple Watch is coming in two screen sizes and three “editions.”

There’s the standard lineup, a sports lineup that’s more durable, and an I’m-so-rich edition that is literally made of 18 karat gold. Six kind of strap designs, including leather and metal, can be interchanged between each of the three editions.

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September 9, 2014 11:16 am PDT Buster Hein

Jony Ive has given an overview of some of the new Apple Watch features, including its super hard Sapphire display, customizable straps, and aluminum or gold casings.

The Apple Watch has a Taptic Engine as well as a pressure sensitive display that adds a new dimension to the watch’s UI. A new S1 Chip packs an array of enclosed sensors that can detect pulse rate, and uses gyroscope and accelerometer to provide insight on daily activity.

Wearer’s can customize the watch faces as well as the different straps for the Apple Watch.

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September 9, 2014 11:06 am PDT Alex Heath

“What we didn’t do was take the iPhone interface and shrink it and put it on your wrist,” says Cook.” That would be terrible.”

Instead of pinch to zoom and other known gestures, Apple is going traditional with a dial on the side of the watch called a digital crown. To demo, Cook showed zooming in and out on a map and scrolling through a list with the crown. Pressing the crown in returns to the watch’s home screen.

This is a very different way of thinking about a wearable compared to what everyone else is doing.

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September 9, 2014 11:01 am PDT Buster Hein

Apple’s wearable is here! And it’s not called the iWatch, it’s the Apple Watch (duh)

The watch faces are completely customizable so you can wear it the way you want. It works seamlessly with iPhone. And it’s a comprehensive health and fitness device.

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September 9, 2014 11:00 am PDT Rob LeFebvre

The AppleWatch reveal.

“Crazy cheers here — people are going crazy,” says Leander. “The Apple crew in front of us are standing up, standing ovation.”

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September 9, 2014 10:57 am PDT Rob LeFebvre

One more thing is back!

“Huge cheers from the crowd here,” says Leander. “Everyone reached for their phone to get a picture.”

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September 9, 2014 10:56 am PDT Rob LeFebvre

Apple’s sewn it up, says Leander. It’s all over. “It’s a river of money,” he says, “out of your account, and into someone else’s.”

“Lots of apps with ApplePay, and a new API in iOS 8, adds Leander. “It’s gonna be added to everything.”

It’s a big, big deal. and all this just to sell more hardware.

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September 9, 2014 10:52 am PDT Rob LeFebvre

Leander says, “Eddie Cue just got a little jab at Google there: ‘We’re not in the business of collecting your data.'” Ouch!”

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September 9, 2014 10:50 am PDT Alex Heath

Apple just took the wraps off Apple Pay, it’s rumored mobile payments service. Tim Cook thinks it’s really cool. He keeps showing the demo over and over.

NFC is used to wirelessly pay for things in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Touch ID is used to authenticate, and there’s a new “Secure Element” in the iPhone to store your financial data. Financial credentials are randomized for each transaction, so identity theft is basically impossible.

Passbook is about to get a lot more useful. Credit and debit cards can be added to wirelessly pay for things.

They’re got all the major banks and credit card companies on board, and retailers like Walgreens, Staples, Subway, McDonalds etc. Even apps like Uber and OpenTable will work directly with Apple Pay.

“This is sewn up,” says Leander, reference anyone else hoping to do mobile payments. “Done deal.”

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September 9, 2014 10:48 am PDT Rob LeFebvre

“Big laugh for Tim’s demo of ApplePay,” says Leander. “‘That’s it!'” screeched Tim.

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September 9, 2014 10:46 am PDT Rob LeFebvre

“Tim is talking about ‘an entirely new category of service. It’s all about the wallet,'” reports Leander.

“This is where we’ll hear about NFC,” he says.

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September 9, 2014 10:45 am PDT Buster Hein


Apple previewed some new ads for the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus featuring Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake, and they’re hilarious. Probably the funniest duo since the Get a Mac campaign.

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September 9, 2014 10:40 am PDT Rob LeFebvre

“Phil has just released the pricing details,” says Leander. “Lots of clapping here in the audience. Crowd approves!”

iPhone 6 starts at $199 for 16GB, $299 for 64GB, and $399 for 128GB.

iPhone 6 Plus is $100 more at each storage size. So they killed the 32GB model.

Preorders start September 12th and shipping beings September 17th.

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September 9, 2014 10:38 am PDT Buster Hein

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are getting advanced video capability too. 1080p now records at 60 fps. Slo-mo is on steroids now with 240fps recording. The cameras also do “cinematic video stabilization” to cure your shaky videos.

The front camera gets some love with a FaceTime HD camera with a 2.2/f aperature as well. Apple’s also added improved Face Detection, and a selfie burst mode.

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September 9, 2014 10:36 am PDT Rob LeFebvre

The iPhone 6 will get a super slow motion feature at 240fps.
“Twice as slow! Slo-mo is one of my favorite features of iPhone camera,” says Leander.

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September 9, 2014 10:33 am PDT Alex Heath

The iPhone 6 can handle LTE speeds of up to 150mbps down. It also supports faster 802.11c WiFi, higher-quality Voice over LTE calls, and a new feature Apple is calling WiFi Calling.

With WiFi Calling, you can make a call over your WiFi connection and then keep it going on cellular when you leave network range.

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September 9, 2014 10:32 am PDT Buster Hein

The cameras on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are also getting big upgrades today with a new 8MP iSight camera with f/2.2 aperture and all-new sensor.

A new tech called “Focus Pixels” is included in the sensor that reads light from objects and provides phase detection autofocus that you can find on many DSLRS, offering twice as fast focusing over the iPhone 5s.
“This is a big deal,” says Leander. “The camera has got to be the most important thing in the iPhone. I’m sold. I’m getting one just for this.”

Panoramas can now be up to 43 megapixels in size. There’s better tone mapping and advanced noise reduction as well.

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September 9, 2014 10:28 am PDT Alex Heath

Battery life on the new iPhones is staying about the same. But iPhone 6 Plus is getting a little battery bump.

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September 9, 2014 10:27 am PDT Buster Hein

M8 processor can now estimate distance, steps, and elevation to tell how many flights of steps you’ve been walking up.

The iPhone 6’s new barometer sensor will be included in the Health app, and developers can take advantage of it as well.

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September 9, 2014 10:27 am PDT Rob LeFebvre

Superevil Megacorp gets onstage to demo their new massively online battle arena (MOBA) game VainGlory, with multiplayer and a ton of pixels. “It is killer gaming,” says Phil Schiller.

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September 9, 2014 10:20 am PDT Buster Hein

Along with the beefier screen, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus come with better graphics performance in the form of the new A8 processor.
The A8 is a 64-bit chip with billion transistors. It’s 13% smaller than A7 but 25% faster and has 50% better graphics performance.

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September 9, 2014 10:20 am PDT Alex Heath

To make use of the bigger iPhone 6 Plus screen, Apple’s apps have a new horizontal view that lets you take advantage of the extra screen real estate.

Apps like Mail and Messages will display columns of messages next to messages so you can quickly navigate. The horizontal keyboard even has extra keyboards for functions like cut and paste.

Third-party apps that haven’t been updated for the bigger displays will be stretched to fill the screen.

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September 9, 2014 10:13 am PDT Buster Hein

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September 9, 2014 10:12 am PDT Buster Hein

Tim Cook announces the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. The Plus comes with a new Retina display called Retina HD. Here are the resolutions:

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September 9, 2014 10:08 am PDT Buster Hein

Last year Apple announced two iPhones for the first time, but this year will be the biggest advancement in the iPhone’s history, says Cook, before revealing the gorgeous new iPhone 6.

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September 9, 2014 10:06 am PDT Buster Hein

Tim Cook has taken the stage with a hearty “Good Morning” to the Flint Center. “It’s great to be back in the Flint Center.” Just down the road from Apple’s birth place in Cupertino. Some of the biggest Apple product reveals have happened on this stage – the Mac, the iMac – and Tim Cook says they’re ready to make history again.

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September 9, 2014 10:03 am PDT Buster Hein

We’re starting. Apple’s opening with a commercial on its relentless pursuit of perfection. Video feed on Apple’s site is having some problems though.

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September 9, 2014 10:00 am PDT Buster Hein

Everyone’s in their seats. Show should get started any minute now.

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September 9, 2014 9:54 am PDT Buster Hein

The live feed is now available on Apple TV and Apple.com/live There are some audio issues right now though. Two horrible tracks playing at the same time. Maybe it’s a new iTunes feature?

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September 9, 2014 9:51 am PDT Buster Hein

Apple employees are filing into the front row seats. “Some of them started whooping like an Apple Store opening,” says Leander. ” It was a total zoo getting in. Everyone pushing and shoving. Elbows came in handy”

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September 9, 2014 9:46 am PDT Buster Hein

We’re in!

“Place is buzzing.” says Leander

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September 9, 2014 9:41 am PDT Buster Hein

We’re 20 minutes away from showtime. Press is finally being let in and getting settled. Hopefully Leander will be plugging into the liveblog soon from inside the Flint Center

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September 9, 2014 9:32 am PDT Buster Hein

If you’re one of the many fashion reporters coming to cover the iPhone/iWatch event you get a special pass that lets you skip the massive corral.

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September 9, 2014 9:25 am PDT Buster Hein

Gwen Stefani and Dr. Dre flew together in a private jet to get to the Apple event this morning. Of course she’s rocking a set of Beats, but doesn’t look like the doctor has his iWatch yet.

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September 9, 2014 9:16 am PDT Buster Hein

There’s a small protest going on outside the event protesting inequality and demanding higher wages for security guards and landscapers.
Leander says they’ve got a catchy chant: “Apple, Apple you’re no good. Pay your taxes like you should.”

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September 9, 2014 9:03 am PDT Buster Hein

Phil Schiller and Eddy Cue are in the building, and it looks like Anna Wintour will be in attendance too.

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September 9, 2014 8:55 am PDT Alex Heath

iSnacks are plentiful in the press pen.

“Vibe is great,” according to Leander. “Very chill. Definite air of excitement, feeling this going to be big, perhaps historic.”

He’s corralled with all the other journalists. “They’re not bitching about the coffee or food, for once, because it’s top notch of course.”

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September 9, 2014 8:43 am PDT Buster Hein

Looks like Apple is doing a little liveblog of its own.
Not as many updates as here, but we’ll toss over some of the best stuff we see on it, like these empty seats at the Flint Center.

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September 9, 2014 8:38 am PDT Buster Hein


The line building up for the event is packed. Over 2000 seats in the Flint Center and it’s going to be packed to capacity.

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September 9, 2014 8:32 am PDT Alex Heath

Ok, Leander has arrived at The Flint Center to get his press badge.

“Place is crawling with security. Even in car park roof. It’s like Obama is in town.”

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September 9, 2014 8:25 am PDT Alex Heath


(Photo: Shara Tibken)

Our friend and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has arrived at The Flint Center. Apple employees pictured guiding him through the chaos. He doesn’t appear to have his Segway with him, but we’re hoping he breaks it out later.

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September 9, 2014 8:19 am PDT Alex Heath

Check out the closed entrance to Apple’s mystery white box. Looks like that’s where the media will be herded inside like cattle for slaughter.

Security guards are posted up around the entire building. Yesterday we reported on the extreme security measures Apple has been taking to keep what’s inside a secret. Now’s the time to place your bets:

– A demo Apple Store that shows off how mobile payments work.
– iHome that shows off how the new iPhone and iWatch work with peripherals using iOS 8. Perhaps Jony Ive inside laying on a king-sized bed clothed in pure white?
– Fitness center to test iWatch. (Not likely—journalists don’t like to sweat.)
– Stage for U2 concert.
– Something else??

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September 9, 2014 7:49 am PDT Alex Heath

There is a guy wiping dew off Apple’s giant white box. I repeat: there is a guy wiping dew off Apple’s giant white box. Thanks for spotting him, @backlone

This is getting intense, folks.

Meanwhile, Leander is furiously racing through traffic in his Yugo to get a spot in the press line. Hurry, Leander!

Just kidding about the Yugo. Leander is obviously driving a moped.

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September 9, 2014 7:30 am PDT Alex Heath

Apple employees are wearing maroon-colored shirts today. Maroon 5 performing instead of U2? You heard it here first!

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September 9, 2014 7:02 am PDT Alex Heath

Gooood morning, everyone. It’s 7 in the morning in California, and the press is already starting to line up outside of The Flint Center in Cupertino. T-minus 3 hours until Tim Cook and co. hit the stage. Follow along with us here!

Photo: @reckless

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