Apple’s “Spring Forward” event is scheduled for Monday, March 9th and we’re already getting prepared to bring you live coverage and last minute leaks leading up to the event. What can you expect at the event? Below we’ve put together our list of likely announcements including some unannounced Apple Watch features and possible surprises…
French website iGen.fr, which has provided reliable information in the past, reported on Tuesday that the steel Apple Watch will start at $500 alongside a gold model that will retail for between $4,000 and $5,000. Apple previously claimed at its September event that the Apple Watch would start at $349, but did not disclose further pricing information.
The report claims that the stainless steel Apple Watch in polished steel or black will cost $500, while the gold Apple Watch Edition will be the more expensive version at between $4,000 and $5,000. That price range would be nearly half the estimated $10,000 price that some other reports have suggested.
Following our reports in recent months that Apple was looking to introduce a revamped Apple TV set-top box sometime around the month of March, Bloomberg is out with its own report today confirming much of what we’ve already reported. The report claims Apple is currently planning to launch the new Apple TV set-top box as early as April:
Apple Inc. (AAPL) is planning to introduce a new Apple TV set-top box as early as April and is negotiating with Time Warner Cable Inc. and other potential partners to add video content, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
In January we reported that Apple was working testing the new box that could include a revamped operating system and possibly app and game support for sometime in the first half of 2014. We also reported that Apple was testing upgraded hardware that included built-in AirPort Express 802.11ac router functionality and versions that include a built-in TV tuner to control existing cable boxes. Most recently we reported that code in recent builds of iOS 7 point to refreshed hardware, at least internally. Bloomberg today confirmed a couple of the same details including a new interface for navigating content. It also said the hardware will include a faster processor.
Bloomberg adds that a launch of the product is currently planned for Christmas but that might change if Apple isn’t able to nail down deals with content partners in time. Content from Time Warner has been rumored to be arriving soon for quite a while now, but negotiations are still ongoing according to Bloomberg’s report from today.
After first unveiling the completely redesigned Mac Pro at WWDC earlier this year, Apple today gave the new machine a bit of stage time at its iPad event to announce pricing and availability details. The base model of the new Mac Pro (pictured above) will start at $2999 and ship by the end of the year.
While Apple will presumably have several configurations and built to order options available for the next-gen Mac Pro– including Quad 6, 8, or 12-core designs– it only announced base pricing for the configuration above. That model includes a 3.7GHz quad-core Xeon processor, 12GB of DRAM, Dual FirePro D300 graphics, 2GB VRAM each, and a 256GB 22D.
Apple is also listing a $3999 configuration on its online store that comes with a 6-core 3.5GHz Intel Xeon E5 processor, 16GB DDR3 ECC memory (configurable up to 32GB), and Dual AMD FirePro D500 with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM each.
Apple also mentioned on stage that it has new versions of Final Cut Pro and Aperture that support 4k and other features of the new Mac Pro while presenting first impressions from professionals that have been using the new machine.
The new Mac Pro features an all-new cylinder design that is 1/8th the volume of previous generation Mac Pros and also packs in some impressive specs that Apple’s Phil Schiller walked through today on stage (gallery below). The new machine includes the latest Xeon processors in Quad 6, 8, or 12-core configurations, dual station FirePro GPUs with up to 12GB of GDDR5 VRAM, 4K video support, PCIe-based flash, ECC memory, and six Thunderbolt 2 ports.
Other specs include HDMI, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11ac WiFi, up to 1TB of flash storage, and a motion sensor that lights up I/O when picking up the Mac Pro.
Apple also noted today that it aimed to have the new Mac Pro as quite as the current Mac Mini and was able to achieve that goal.
The new Mac Pro will be assembled in the USA as part of Apple’s plan to bring manufacturing of some of its Macs back to the U.S. this year. (Full press release below) Read more
Update: Apple appears to have changed shipping times once again since we originally posted this article. The blue and green unlocked 16GB models are now listed as shipping by September 25 alongside the white, pink & yellow models.
Update 2: Now including 32GB models, all unlocked, non-T-Mobile iPhone 5c units shipping Sep. 25.
After opening up preorders for the iPhone 5c through its online stores and a number of carrier and retail partners three days ago, Apple is beginning to sell out of several models and continuing to push back shipping times.
We reported last week that the unlocked 16GB version of the yellow iPhone 5c was the first to sellout with shipping times slipping to September 25, and all models of the new colourful iPhone were shipping in 1-2 weeks through Apple’s Hong Kong website. Today shipping times on several models in the U.S. have slipped from the expected Sept 20 release date to as late as October 4th. Read more
As we were expecting, Apple just officially announced its new iPhone 5S live on stage during its event taking place now on the company’s Cupertino campus. The new iPhone 5S largely retains the same glass and aluminum design as Apple’s previous generation iPhone, but it does include upgraded internals, and a new gold color option and fingerprint sensor that we previously reported. The new iPhone 5S comes alongside the announcement of Apple’s much rumored lower-cost, plastic iPhone 5C unveiled during the event earlier today.
The iPhone 5s includes a new A7 chip, which Apple notes is the first 64-bit chip in a smartphone, something we reported previously that the company was testing. Apple says the new chip includes 2x general-purpose registers, 2x floating-point registers, and includes over 1 billion transistors on a 102mm2 die size. A7 makes the iPhone 5s over twice as fast in terms of speed, according to Apple, and also provides a 40x increase in CPU performance and 56X faster graphics. The new iPhone 5s hardware will also support Open GL/ES 3.0 and will still support 32 bit apps.
Apple is also including a fingerprint sensor in the new iPhone 5s for a new security feature dubbed “Touch ID.” Embedded into the home button, the Touch ID capacitive sensor is 170 microns thin and will not only allow users to unlock their device, but also authenticate iTunes purchases. Apple says that all fingerprints will be encrypted, stored securely and never uploaded to iCloud or its own servers. It also noted the fingerprint sensor will be able to support multiple fingerprints with the same device
The new iPhone 5s also include a new motion co-processor called the “M7″ that Apple says works alongside the A7. It’s able to measure motion data continuously, as well as measure gyroscope, compass, and accelerometer data.
M7 knows when you’re walking, running, or even driving. For example, Maps switches from driving to walking turn-by-turn navigation if, say, you park and continue on foot. Since M7 can tell when you’re in a moving vehicle, iPhone 5s won’t ask you to join Wi-Fi networks you pass by. And if your phone hasn’t moved for a while, like when you’re asleep, M7 reduces network pinging to spare your battery.
The new chip will work with new CoreMotion APIs in iOS 7 that will allow developers to identify user movement. The first to take advantage of the technology is Nike with a new app called “Nike+ Move”.
Battery life: Apple says the new iPhone 5S will get 10 hours of 3G talk time, 8 hours of 3G browsing,a nd 10 hours of LTE and WiFi browsing. You’ll also get around 250 hours standby and 10 hours of video, according to Apple.
The iPhone 5s packs in a new camera system with a dual LED true tone flash, a new five-element lens designed by Apple, a F2.2 aperture, a sensor with a 15 percent larger active area, auto stabilization, and bigger 1.5 micron pixels. The camera also includes a new burst mode that will continuously take photos a rate of 10fps, and the 120fps slow mo mode that we reported about back in July. Head below for iPhone 5s pricing and availability: Read more
Autodesk Inc. announced today that it is now shipping the latest version of its professional video-editing suite for Mac, Autodesk Smoke 2013, starting at $3,495 SRP per license*. The latest version of Smoke provides a new user interface that combines Autodesk’s creative tools and effects with its track-based editing: ConnectFX for high-end effects, and Creative Tools—featuring “a robust toolset with proven high-end finishing tools.”
While noting a successful run for the trial download of the software, Autodesk said it implemented even more features and enhancements based on user recommendations. The new features include the ability to drag and drop a clip from the source player into the timeline, ability to expand/collapse the timeline FX pipeline area, and a redesign and streamlining of the UI and interface elements to speed up workflows.
“The anticipation for Smoke, since its thrilling announcement at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Vegas in April, has continued to build throughout the community of creative professionals. As a leader in high-end effects and 3D, Autodesk is committed to making that technology increasingly available to a new generation, and the new Smoke is case in point. The Smoke team has fielded thousands of inquiries and product recommendations in the process of developing Smoke 2013. I’m so excited to announce it’s here,” said Mark Strassman, Autodesk Media & Entertainment vice president strategy and marketing.
To accompany the launch today, Autodesk posted over a dozen videos showing off some of the features of Smoke 2013 to its YouTube page. We posted a few of the videos below that walk through the new user interface, ConnectFX, editing, and powerful 3D visual effects.
Apple just posted a document detailing exact availability of iTunes Match and iTunes in the Cloud internationally. There was some confusion leading up to what many reported as the international rollout of iTunes Match, and Apple even began issuing refunds to abroad customers having issues accessing the service.
According to Apple, iTunes Match is now available in the following 17 countries:
Australia, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.
There are some countries not included in Apple’s list of officially supported countries, such as Brazil where users report having access to the service.
Apple also detailed what specific purchased content is eligible to download again through iTunes in the Cloud in each supported country. In other words, certain countries will be limited in the type of content that can be re-downloaded. iTunes in the Cloud is now available in over 120 countries worldwide. Currently only the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom have access to all content including: music, music videos, television shows, apps, and books. All countries on the list do have access to at least apps and iBooks.
Check out the full list below to find out what specific content is available in your country: