Wearable tech took center stage at Apple's "Spring Forward" media event, held at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater on Monday. The Apple Watch got its fair share of attention, but not before the tech giant unveiled a series of announcements.
Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked things off with news that Apple is partnering with HBO on HBO Now, a standalone streaming service that will enable TV fans to watch their favorite HBO shows without a cable subscription. The service is exclusively for Apple products and available through a special channel on Apple TV, which has been discounted from $99 to $69.
On the mobile front, we learned that Apple is taking its involvement in the health space one step ahead with the creation of ResearchKit. The new software framework is designed to further advancements in medicine by enabling researchers to easily create apps and turn the iPhone and HealthKit into diagnostic tools.
The ResearchKit allows iPhone users to participate in medical research studies and add to a growing pool of health data, explained Jeff Williams, SVP of operations at Apple. Given that the company has sold more than 7 million iPhones, such a tool has great implications for the future of healthcare research as it accesses medical data collected from apps developed within the ResearchKit framework.
Apple has also shaken up the design of its MacBook and found a way to make it thinner than ever. In its most recent design, Apple abandoned conventional ports and keyboard structure to create the thinnest and lightest MacBook to date. It weighs 2 lbs. and measures 13.1mm at its thickest point.
"Can you see it?" said Cook, holding the tiny laptop. "I can't even feel it!"
Apple Watch took center stage for the last portion of the event. The newest product in wearable tech enables users to send and receive taptic messages, pay with Apple Pay, receive phone calls, view photos, control music, interact with Siri, and keep current on health data such as heart rate, calories burned, time spent sitting, and miles walked or run.
Watch wearers will have access to a host of apps that have been undergoing development since the WatchKit SDK was released in November 2014. Apple's Kevin Lynch demonstrated how the watch could be used to access flight and hotel room information, order an Uber car, or send picture messages. It can also reportedly be used to scan through airport security or into a hotel room.
Apple, once again, gave tech fans plenty to discuss. On the following pages you'll learn more about the details, prices, and release dates for the apps and devices that Apple unveiled Monday. Once you've reviewed the news, share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. Will you be buying a new MacBook or Apple Watch next month?Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio