Liveblog: Time to answer all your Apple Watch questions

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Ready to Spring Forward. Photo: Jim Merithew/ Cult of Mac
Ready to "Spring Forward?" Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple is hosting a big media event today in San Fransisco for the hotly anticipated Apple Watch. It’s been about six months since the Watch was first shown off to world, but plenty of questions still need answering, like pricing beyond the $349 base model and when the wearable will go on sale. App demos should also be a big part of today’s presentation, because killer software will be instrumental in convincing people to buy an Apple Watch.

And who knows, there could always be some surprise Mac news.

The event starts at 10 a.m. Pacific, and Apple will provide a (hopefully working) live stream on its website. We’ll be breaking down all the news you need to know, with expert analysis and the usual pinch of sass. We invite you to follow along with us below. No need to refresh the page; the liveblog updates on its own!

March 9, 2015 11:42 am PDT Alex Heath

PS: The white box turned out to be an entrance to the show room for today’s products.

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March 9, 2015 11:39 am PDT Alex Heath

Thanks for joining us, everyone. The event is over, but there’s still plenty of news to talk about today. Be sure to keep checking back to the homepage for more.

Until next time!

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March 9, 2015 11:34 am PDT Buster Hein

Tim is closing it up with some remarks on how Apple’s all about that innovation. Looks like that’s it for today.

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March 9, 2015 11:27 am PDT Alex Heath

We finally have pricing:

– 38mm Apple Watch Sport for $349
– 42mm Apple Watch Sport for $399

The mid-tier stainless steel collection:

– 38mm Apple Watch for $549
– 42mm Apple Watch for $1049

This model can cost an upwards of $1099, depending on the band you choose (so some are more expensive than others).

The 18-karat Apple Watch Edition starts at $10,000. Only available in select stores.

Apple Watch is available April 24, with preorders starting April 10. You’ll also be able to try on the Watch in person at your local Apple store on April 10.

Nine countries will have the Watch on launch day: Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, U.K. and U.S.

Apple is working as hard as it can to add more countries quickly.

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March 9, 2015 11:24 am PDT Buster Hein

Apple says it’s aluminum is no run of the mill aluminum. So they made a special video so we can hear Jony Ive pronounce it al-ooo-min-ium a couple times.

It’s 60% lighter than regular alloys, but just as strong.

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March 9, 2015 11:22 am PDT Alex Heath

The Apple Watch will have 18 hours of battery life for “normal usage.” Not bad. But you’ll still need to charge it every night.

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March 9, 2015 11:22 am PDT Buster Hein

iOS 8.2 will introduce the Apple Watch app, where you can see, browse and download apps. It will be available to download today.

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March 9, 2015 11:12 am PDT Alex Heath

Kevin Lynch is doing a “day in the life” of Apple Watch walkthrough, which includes a lot of stuff we’ve seen before.

He’s showing how Glances work, which are basically swipe-able previews of apps with helpful information, like weather and sports stats.

Siri can be used to ask about the weather, send a text, etc. Any notification from the iPhone can be displayed on the Watch, and while you can’t type back, there are some new emojis you can quickly send.

Instagram on the Apple Watch is interesting. Lynch demoed scrolling through a feed of photos using the Digital Crown. Not sure how many people will want to do that, but it’s cool that it’s possible.

Uber on the Watch looks a lot more useful. You can request a driver, see who your driver is, and track his/her progress. Boarding passes in the airport can also be displayed on the Watch, which is another example of how having info on the wrist can be more convenient.

Using Apple Pay with the Watch is super easy. Just hold it to a NFC terminal and double tap the side button. No other authentication is needed, since you’re already wearing the Watch.

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March 9, 2015 11:06 am PDT Buster Hein

Christy Turlington Burns came out on stage to talk about her training and racing with Apple Watch, making her the first woman onstage at an Apple Event in forever.

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March 9, 2015 11:03 am PDT Buster Hein

Tim’s showing a video of the Apple Watch’s fitness tools in action.

Apple gave Christy Turlington Burns an early version of the Apple Watch and had her become the first person in the world to finish a half-marathon wearing an Apple Watch.

Burns notes that the Apple Watch is motivation. Not just for training but for everyday thing.

“In the short time I’ve been using it, I can already see how this is going to be an important part of my life,” Burns says in the video.

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March 9, 2015 11:00 am PDT Buster Hein

Apple Watch also encourages you to be active by tracking your movement. You’ll get reminders when you’ve been sitting too long. There’s a three ring graphic in the health app that tells you how you’re doing with fitness throughout the day.

The Health app sends weekly reports regarding your fitness goals for the week, making it something like a personal fitness trainer.

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March 9, 2015 10:59 am PDT Buster Hein


You can connect Apple Watch to Apple Watch with Digital Touch. You can send sketches from your watch to a friends. You can also tap your watch to get your friends attention (my girlfriend’s going to love that), and you can even send your heartbeat (my girlfriend’s not going to love that).

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March 9, 2015 10:58 am PDT Buster Hein

“Apple Watch allows you to communicate immediately and more intimately than ever before” said Cook, running through some of the texting, emailing, and calling features on Apple Watch.

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March 9, 2015 10:55 am PDT Buster Hein

“Apple Watch isn’t just with you, it’s on you!” said Tim Cook, during the intro of Apple’s new timepiece.

Tim took a page from the original iPhone keynote, breaking the Apple Watch into three key features: timepiece, communication, and health

Some of the new watch faces are being covered, from minimalist ones, to a silly Mickey Mouse face. You customize many aspects on the watchface.

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March 9, 2015 10:53 am PDT Buster Hein

The existing MacBook Air gets faster Intel processors and faster Thunderbolt connectors. Shipping today.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro has been updated with the new Force Touch trackpad, faster processors, faster flash, and 10 hours of all-day battery life. Also shipping today.

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March 9, 2015 10:42 am PDT Alex Heath

Everything in this new MacBook looks impressive. It weighs only 2 pounds and is only 13.1mm thick. The Retina display resolution is a stunning 2304 x 1440.

A new butterfly mechanism makes the keyboard ridiculously thin and more accurate. The trackpad has been re-engineered with the Apple Watch’s Force Touch technology. The four-force sensor intelligently recognizes different tap pressures to let you quickly access contextual menus and other features.

It’s completely fanless with all-day battery life. Powered by an Intel Core M processor.

As rumored, the only connector is USB Type-C. Everything, including power and data, can be run through Type-C, which is pretty crazy.

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March 9, 2015 10:32 am PDT Alex Heath

Apple just announced a completely reinvented unibody MacBook Air. It’s got a 12-inch Retina display and is available in black, white, and gold.

Cook is pumped holding this thing on stage. It’s ultra-thin. “Can you see it? I can’t even feel it!”

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March 9, 2015 10:25 am PDT Alex Heath

It’s the first time presenting at a keynote for Apple Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams. He’s done a great job.

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March 9, 2015 10:19 am PDT Buster Hein

Apple announces ResearchKit to help the medical field communicate with study candidates.

“Perhaps the most profound change iPhone will make is on our health,” said Cook, touting the numerous apps that track your health and fitness.

Jeff Williams came on stage to talk about the first five apps the company has created with major hospitals. There’s an app for Parkinson’s research that turns your iPhone into a diagnostic test.

ResearchKit is open source so others can contribute to the project.

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March 9, 2015 10:16 am PDT Alex Heath

Every major car brand has committed to delivering CarPlay. Over 40 models will be shipping with CarPlay available this year.

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March 9, 2015 10:14 am PDT Buster Hein

Apple Pay is now supported by 2500 banks and accepted at over 700,000 locations.

You’ll also be able to get your drink on when 100K vending machines support Apple Pay by the end of the year.

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March 9, 2015 10:14 am PDT Buster Hein

The iPhone has been huge, and Tim’s ready to crow about it’s growth. iPhone 700 million units sold to date. The YOY growth rate hit 49% last year, propelling it to become the #1 smartphone in the world. Tim says the customer satisfaction score of 99% is what their most proud of.

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March 9, 2015 10:11 am PDT Buster Hein

Tim Cook is back talking about Apple TV.

25 million units have been sold to date, and Apple’s dropping the price down to $69 to make it more enticing. “If you don’t have one yet, now’s the time,” says Tim.

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March 9, 2015 10:08 am PDT Alex Heath

HBO Now will be exclusively partnered with Apple at launch next month, which means cable-cutters can only get HBO through the Apple TV, iPhones, and iPads.

HBO Now will cost $14.99 per month and be available “early” next month. The first month will be free, and HBO promises you’ll get access before the April 12th premiere of Game of Thrones.

Now we’re treated to the first full GoT season 5 trailer. Looks amazing!

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March 9, 2015 10:06 am PDT Buster Hein

120 million visits to Apple Stores last quarter. Wow!

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March 9, 2015 10:05 am PDT Alex Heath

Tim Cook is up giving the State of Apple Retail. Apple has opened six stores in China in the last six weeks, which is huge given Apple’s growth in the region.

Cook is also changing things up with a tucked in shirt and sweater. A good look.

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March 9, 2015 10:04 am PDT Alex Heath

Apple is kicking things off with upbeat video for its latest China store. People (primarily Asian) having fun on iPhones, kids trying on Beats headphones, etc.

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March 9, 2015 10:03 am PDT Buster Hein

The event has started. We’re not getting any video on our Apple TV’s or Safari yet though

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March 9, 2015 10:01 am PDT Alex Heath

Here we go…

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March 9, 2015 9:53 am PDT Buster Hein

Tim’s getting hyped on One Republic. What are you listening too? I may have seriously been listening to Kayne’s All Day the last two hours…

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March 9, 2015 9:50 am PDT Buster Hein

The press are finally in with just 10 minute to go. Angela Ahrendts was spotted with former Vice President and Apple board member, Al Gore.

Wonder if Angela will be presenting at all?

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March 9, 2015 9:43 am PDT Buster Hein

Jony Ive is outside the event. Rocking an Apple Watch too.

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March 9, 2015 9:40 am PDT Buster Hein

The seats at the Yerba Buena Center of the Arts are empty, but they should be filling up any minute now.

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March 9, 2015 9:36 am PDT Buster Hein

An Apple Watch accessory maker is already outside the event trying to get support for their Kickstarter.

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March 9, 2015 9:35 am PDT Buster Hein

Jimmy Iovine is at the event too, as expected. He was spotted chatting up Uncle Walt and Kara Swisher before heading in.

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March 9, 2015 9:26 am PDT Buster Hein

Hair Force One has landed.

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March 9, 2015 9:22 am PDT Alex Heath

If Twitter is any indication, Tim Cook should be well rested and prepared for this keynote. Cue on the other hand…

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March 9, 2015 9:22 am PDT Buster Hein

Mystery boxes update: We took a look inside, and it’s very white and immaculate (for a temporary structure).

There is a light back in there. Jim tried to go to the light. Got the face of Apple security instead, and moved on.

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March 9, 2015 9:00 am PDT Alex Heath

For all the video geeks out there:

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March 9, 2015 8:57 am PDT Alex Heath

The hours before an Apple event consists of waiting. Lots of waiting.

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March 9, 2015 8:54 am PDT Buster Hein

The video news crews are out in full force around the Yerba Buena Center.

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March 9, 2015 8:48 am PDT Buster Hein

Update on the mystery box: There’s two. A big one, and a small one.

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March 9, 2015 8:45 am PDT Buster Hein

If you woke up this morning wondering why you’re groggy despite having Apple Watch fever, it’s probably Daylight Saving Time’s fault. Last night John Oliver was asking the hard hitting questions about DST in his segment, ‘How is this still a thing?’

I get on my knees and say a prayer to John McCain two times a year for defending Arizona’s sacred right to not observe this stupid rule.

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March 9, 2015 8:28 am PDT Buster Hein

The media line is already looking insane. We’d expect nothing else 1.5 hours away from the event. https://twitter.com/viticci/status/574953451832111105

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March 9, 2015 8:25 am PDT Buster Hein

Remember that mysterious white tent Apple was building last week?

It’s gone!

In its place is a large white box. Jim says there’s an entrance and check-in area for it on the other side. We still have no idea what’s inside, other than a VIP area. Anyone got a good guess?

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March 9, 2015 7:54 am PDT Buster Hein

We’re nearly two hours away from Apple taking the stage and we’re blasting “All Day” pretty much all day while waiting.

To catch up on what to expect, check out Alex’s preshow roundup. Daring Fireball’s John Gruber also posted a few essays over the weekend discussing Apple Watch pricing and upgradeability that you should give a read through to help set your expectations in line with Apple’s.

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