Friday, 20 September 2019 12:01 GMT

Apple unveils smart watch, lighter MacBook

(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Apple yesterday unveiled its much awaited Apple Watch that lets one make calls, read emails, control music and keep up with one's workout regimen all from one's wrist.

Unveiling the watch at an event in San Francisco, CEO Tim Cook talked about the watch's time capabilities, choices of finish and watch faces and a series of features called "glances". The watch will notify a wearer with a "tap" when a new email arrives.

The Apple Watch will be available in several major markets around the world from April 24, at a starting price of $349.

"Apple Watch begins a new chapter in the way we relate to technology," said Tim Cook. Cook said "the most personal device we have ever created" can display a variety of faces ranging from a classic watch face to an animated Mickey Mouse.

For communication, Apple Watch offers a range of apps and can be used as a sort of wrist-radio from the Dick Tracy comics. "With the built in speaker and microphone you can receive calls on your watch. I have been wanting to do this since I was five years old," Cook said.

The watch is integrated with Apple Pay's mobile wallet and can be used to view pictures, monitor news and connect to social media. The watch can use other apps ranging from Uber ride-sharing to music to home automation.

"Now it's on your wrist, not in your pocket or your pocketbook," Cook said.

Apple demonstrated using the watch to listen to music, with lyrics displayed on the watch face. The company also demonstrated an app to open a garage door from afar to let in a family member who is locked out. But one of the keys will be the health and fitness applications. The watch has an accelerometer, a heart rate sensor and sensors for "a comprehensive picture of your all-day activity and workouts". It will prompt a user to get up and walk if sedentary too long.

Apple tapped supermodel Christy Turlington Burns to try out the Apple Watch with a video showing her running a half marathon wearing the watch. Fitness features include reminders to start moving when you have been sitting for too long.

A new workout app will offer weekly summaries and goal suggestions for the upcoming week. Cook described it as "having a coach on your wrist".

Cook boated that the device will have "all-day battery life" - or some 18 hours. Entry price will be $349 in the United States, with costs up to $1,049 for extra features. A solid gold limited edition will be priced from $10,000.

Initially, it will be available in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Britain and the United States. Pre-orders will be taken from April 10.

Research firm Strategy Analytics predicts Apple will sell 15.4 million units worldwide in 2015, to give Apple a 55 percent market share.

Cook also showed off a new MacBook, which he said "reinvents the notebook". "We took everything we learned from creating the iPhone and iPad to make something amazing and bold," he said. The new MacBook is thinner than the MacBook Air and weighs only nearly one kg.

Apple marketing executive, Phil Schiller, described it as the thinnest and lightest laptop Apple has produced. It promises all-day battery life, with nine hours of wireless web use, or 10 hours of video playbook, Schiller said. It also has a redesigned keyboard and trackpad. It will be the first MacBook without a fan and first available in the gold colour that has been popular on iPhones and iPads.

The event kicked off with the announcement that HBO's streaming service will debut on Apple TV and devices exclusively next month.

Giving an update on Apple's CarPlay offering, Cook said it has now been adopted by all major car brands. He also announced ResearchKit, which will make the iPhone a diagnostic tool to collect data for medical research, focusing on heart disease, diabetes, asthma, breast cancer and Parkinson's disease.

Apple unveils smart watch, lighter MacBook

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