Monday, March 09, 2015

Apple Spring Forward Event Confirms One Thing, Owning An Apple Is Still Really Expensive!

Apple is the headline of the day today and rightfully so! Their Spring Forward event featured several exciting announcements, well exciting for Apple fans anyways. After the dust has cleared and the excitement has worn off a bit we are left with one major key point: Being an Apple fan is damn expensive!

From an entry level $349 Apple Watch, to a newly updated and redesigned $1300 MacBook, to the over the top $17,000 Edition featuring 18kt gold, all of Apple's products announced today featured fairly hefty price tags. Even the accessories carried what most of us geeks would likely consider high prices. Items like the brand new $80 USB-C adapter that you'll need to work with legacy devices, or the Apple Watch bands that will cost anywhere from $149-449.

With these prices it looks like being an Apple Geek will certainly put a dent in your wallet, or Apple Pay account as it were.

Recapping Apple’s Watch and MacBook Event

Today's event had mixed focus, covering everything from the inclusion of HBO Now on Apple TV, to the aforementioned Apple Watch and MacBook details (along with MacBook Pro and other updates), to additional details about Apple Pay, iOS 8.2 and Apple's new ResearchKit. Below are some of the main highlights.

The show stealer: A new ultra-thin 12" MacBook: Featuring a super slim 13.1 millimeter, 2lb chassis and a long awaited retina display the new 12-inch MacBook was easily one of the most talked about of today's announcements. To achieve their new 'thinner lighter' design Apple utilizes one of Intel’s new energy-efficient Core M “Broadwell” processors, sitting in a logic board that is 67 percent smaller than Apple’s previous record. The processor uses a mere 5 watts of power, running at 1.1GHz that can Turbo Boost to 2.9GHz, which also allows for exceptional cooling finally giving Apple the option to go fan-less.

To keep size and weight down Apple has also added a new layered, terraced battery design that lets the company use all the available space inside the unibody chassis. Theses terraced, contoured battery cells are said to give the 12-inch MacBook 9 hours battery life while web surfing, or 10 hours while watching video. In addition to new battery designs Apple cut down on thickness by removing all but one port on the MacBook instead option for a single USB 3.1 Type-C connection.

This backward-compatible cable does it all: It’s capable of delivering 100 watts of power, 10Gbps data transfer speeds (twice that of USB 3.0) and audio or video via the DisplayPort protocol. (Goodbye, power cords, HDMI, VGA, DisplayPort, and Thunderbolt. And the Type-C connector is reversible, too, just like Apple’s MagSafe connector, so you’ll never have to fumble with shoving your USB cable in the right way again.)

An Apple Watch for for all but the budget minded: Most of today's Apple Watch news centered on finally confirming release dates and pricing information, as we already knew many of the rest of the details. We now know the Apple Watch is going on sale April 24 in nine countries with prices ranging from $350 to a high end of $17,000. Other details confirmed are battery life, which is said to be 18hrs of 'normal use', though many predict the average geek will see significantly less.

Updated MacBook Pro and MacBook Air: Not to be overlooked in today's announcement are updates to the 13 inch MacBook Pro and updates to the 11 and 13inch MacBook Air. Both line-ups will now feature the latest Intel processors, more powerful graphics and other various hardware updates. Much like the new 12-inch MacBook the 13-inch MacBook Pro will also see an upgrade to a retinal display.

New medical and health research tools with ResearchKit: Last but certainly not least on Apple agenda today was an introduction to ResearchKit, an open source software framework designed for medical and health research. ResearchKit turns a users iPhone into a powerful tool for medical research. When granted permission by the user, apps can access data from the Health app such as weight, blood pressure, glucose levels and asthma inhaler use, which are measured by third-party devices and apps.This data can then be sent to doctors and researchers to help better diagnose and prevent disease or track the effectiveness of your current treatments or condition.

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