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Apple iPhone event 2014

September 9, 2014

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Apple unveiled two new versions of the iPhone with bigger screens, as the company tries to catch up to competitors who have won over consumers increasingly using their phones to display videos and photos. The company has also introduced a new line of watches.

The Tuesday event is being held at the Flint Center in Cupertino, Calif., where Steve Jobs unveiled the original Macintosh in 1984.

Washington Post technology writers Hayley Tsukayama and Brian Fung will be giving regular updates and analysis from California and Washington.

Video: Apple unveils new versions of iPhone

  • Hayley Tsukayama
  • ·

Apple closes with the announcement that every iTunes customer will get the U2 album for free, if they download it before mid-October. The company has also made a new ad featuring U2.

Cook says that it will sound absolutely great on your iPhone 6.

As usual, Cook is closing with thanks to Apple employees, particularly his top leads, such as Jony Ive and Craig Federighi.

Now I’m headed to the hands-on area to try everything out — Cook promises he won’t use our credit cards.

  • Michelle Williams
  • ·
  • Brian Fung
  • ·

Apple’s stock is now not even half a percent above where it began today.

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 15.01.32

Justin Wolfers puts it into perspective:

  • Hayley Tsukayama
  • ·

In a somewhat painfully scripted conversation, Bono and Tim Cook talked about how U2 could *possibly* distribute their new album, Songs of Innocence.

It’s free on iTunes right now.

  • Brian Fung
  • ·

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 14.53.10

It’s called Songs of Innocence, and according to Bono, this is the first time the public has seen it. The album will be available on iTunes for free.

“It’s the largest album release of all time,” said Tim Cook. “All you have to do is click, and you can begin listening.”

This is a limited-time, offer, though — Songs of Innocence will only be available through mid-October.

  • Hayley Tsukayama
  • ·
(Photo by Hayley Tsukayama/The Washington Post)

(Photo by Hayley Tsukayama/The Washington Post)

  • Brian Fung
  • ·

Looks like the rumors were true!

  • Hayley Tsukayama
  • ·

The rumors were true! U2 is here.

Cook is giving them a long intro, talking up their humanitarian work.

  • Hayley Tsukayama
  • ·

Tim Cook is wrapping up, recapping all the announcements we’ve had today — iPhones, Apple Pay, Apple Watch, etc.

And he’s also talking up the core place that music has in Apple’s culture, as some drums, speakers and mics roll on stage.

  • Hayley Tsukayama
  • ·

The Apple Watch requires the iPhone (any phone from the iPhone 5 on will work) and will start at $349. It won’t be out until early next year, Cook says.

Apple Pay will work with Apple Watch.

Cook is listing more features that they aren’t showing off, such as the ability to control Apple TV,  use the device as a walkie-talkie and use it as a viewfinder for your iPhone camera. So we should expect Apple to talk a lot more about this.

  • Hayley Tsukayama
  • ·
(Photo by Hayley Tsukayama/The Washington Post)

(Photo by Hayley Tsukayama/The Washington Post)

  • Hayley Tsukayama
  • ·

You didn’t think they’d forget this, did you? Wearables have seen the most success with fitness apps, and Apple is focusing on two main fitness features: fitness tracking and workout apps.

The watch has a heartbeat sensor and can also measure how many calories you’ve burned with activity that’s at the level of a “brisk walk” or more. It will also suggest fitness goals for users to give people an idea of how they can improve their health.

Still unanswered: how big is the screen, how much does it cost and when will it go on the market?

  • Brian Fung
  • ·

I’ve already said my piece about the Apple Watch. Other people might be disappointed that the watch didn’t look like any of these gorgeous ideas:

  • Hayley Tsukayama
  • ·

Lynch is showing off the contacts and directions on the watch now, as well as the device-to-device communication technology, which lets users communicate by tapping or drawing on their own wrists and having those messages show up on their friends’ devices.

He also showed off how navigation and mapping will work on the watch, with step-by-step navigation showing up on the screen.

Notifications from third-party apps such as Facebook or Twitter will also show up on the screen. American Airlines has also designed an app that lets users check in to their flights from the watch. Starwood Hotels and Resorts will let you check-in and even unlock your hotel door (starting this spring) by waving your hand over the door.

  • Brian Fung
  • ·
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

One problem Apple probably didn’t anticipate with its new branding is that some devices just won’t show the Apple logo () represented as a textual character. I joked on Twitter that this fact is going to cause havoc for newspaper style editors, but actually, the choice was fairly easy: We’re just going to start referring to the watch as “Apple Watch” from now own.

  • Hayley Tsukayama
  • ·

Kevin Lynch, who joined Apple from Adobe to be the tech giant’s vice president of technology last year, is on stage to give a live demo of the watch.

Most of it is showing off how smooth the user interface is. You basically use the “digital crown” knob on the side of the watch for most of its controls, combined with tapping on the screen to select items. Users can control things such as music apps from the watch, and can also store music locally.

Lynch also showed off the way that messaging works on the Apple Watch — the watch will pull keywords out of messages you receive to let you reply more quickly, and also supports dictation.

Siri is also a big part of the watch, with the same search capabilities.

  • Brian Fung
  • ·

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 14.16.33

This is pretty remarkable. Usually what happens after an event like this is that Apple shares dip temporarily. But that clearly isn’t happening here. Investors are thrilled.

  • Hayley Tsukayama
  • ·

This isn’t just one watch — it’s a whole range. Apple is releasing two sizes of watch, though the company still hasn’t said in how big the screens will be yet.

The Apple Watch has a stainless steel alloy case. The sport version is made of aluminum and is designed to be more resilient and water resistant.

And the Apple “tradition” line has an 18K gold casing.

Still waiting on hearing what the sizes are — and the pricing.

  • Brian Fung
  • ·

The intense curves on the edges of the Watch bring to mind many of the company’s old iPod designs. See:

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 14.12.01

Versus:

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 14.11.10

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 14.12.36

It’s a step backward from the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5S, whose designs involved flat sides and 90-degree edges.

Looking to history for inspiration isn’t always a bad thing. But it’s a curious choice.

  • Hayley Tsukayama
  • ·

Rather than just shrinking the interface of the iPhone, Cook said, Apple has thought carefully about how to navigate through the watch without blocking the screen. The company’s solution: the knob — what Apple calls a “digital crown” on the side of the watch, which will let you scroll, zoom, and return to the home screen.

Cook hasn’t said how big the screen on the watch is, but pictures on models show that it still has a fairly large display, though sits close to the wrist. It looks big, but not terribly bulky. The watch will wake up when you raise your wrist, and has a flexible display that can sense force.

In a narrated video, Apple design head Jony Ive is talking up the intimacy of the device, and noting that it’s grounded in design. Apple hasn’t announced what apps are on the Watch yet, but the demo video shows apps such as Yahoo Digest in addition to Apple’s own core messaging, calendar and other apps. Users can also communicate through tactile, haptic feedback, so you can get a friend’s attention by just tapping your screen and making their watch buzz.

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