We are reporting live from today's Apple event in foggy San Francisco. Stay tuned for Apple Watch news and photos and perhaps other surprises.
Today's event is kicking off with a super cheerful video of people getting new Apple devices at a store in China. It was the opening of the latest Apple Store in Westlake, China. It has a cantilevered second floor, says Tim Cook.
Apple has opened 6 stores in China in the last 6 weeks and they have 21 stores total in the country. They want to have 40 by next year.
Last quarter 120 million customers visited Apple Stores. "We've got a few more reasons for you to visit those stores today," says Cook.
First up, Apple TV. Today Cook is going to talk about HBO.
HBO's CEO Richard Plepler is on stage to make an announcement.
There is a new stand-alone streaming service called HBO Now, and Apple is the exclusive partner at launch. No cable or satellite subscription is required, but you do need an Apple device. Works on Apple TV as well as iPads and iPhones. $14.99 a month, starting in April.
So one string is cut (cable) and another is attached (Apple hardware).
"This is a transformative moment for HBO." Exclusive trailer of Game of Thrones playing, can't liveblog, too excited.
OK, back. You'll probably find that trailer online soon, if you're into dragons and blood and awesome things.
Apple TV is lowering its price to $69.
Next, iPhone news. Apple sold its 700 millionth iPhone, says Cook.
Cook says iPhone was the top selling smartphone in the world. It has a customer satisfaction score of 99% for the 6 and 6 Plus.
Apple Pay: 700,000 locations now take Apple Pay across the US, triple the launch amount. It even works with vending machines. Cook makes a joke about not having to uncrinkle a dollar bill to get a Coke. (Many actually take credit cards.) Been awhile since he's had to buy his own cola.
Every major car brand has committed to delivering Car Play. 40 new models shipping with it by the end of the year.
This is interesting, they are about to talk about medical research and Apple products.
"One of the biggest challenges medical researchers have is recruiting." One problem is small sample sizes, another is subjective data, another is infrequency of data.
"Disease symptoms ebb and flow, daily and sometimes hourly.... When you participate in a study you often don't hear back until the end of the study, if at all," says Jeff Williams, Apple SVP of Operations.
"There are hundreds of millions of iPhone users out there who would gladly contribute." -Williams
Apple is announcing Research Kit, a software framework just for medical research. Turns iPhone and Heath Kit into diagnostic tools.
It can turn the iPhone into a diagnostic tool, like testing tremors with a tapping test. It will also draw data from connected wearables.
There are apps for glucose levels, asthma. Can a mobile app help a person manage their asthma? They are swabbing city surfaces in NY to look for pathogens, and using the iPhone's location to map it all. They hope to find triggers for asthma this way.
You decide how data is shared; Apple will not see your data.
Apple has already been working with major universities on these research apps, and they've made a video with the experts and patients about the benefits.
Research Kit is going to be open source.
They are releasing it next month, and the first five apps will be available starting today.
"We are incredibly confident that Research [Kit] is going to transform medical research in a way that's truly profound and we're really proud of it," says Tim Cook.
Cook is moving on to talk about Apple's Mac lineup. They are doing "something incredibly ambitious and bold, we challenged ourselves to reinvent the notebook and we did it."
"This is unbelievable, can you even see it? Can you even feel it?" Cook asks of the new MacBook. It's a super thin laptop. Looks like a super thin laptop. Comes in gold and silver.
The new MacBook weighs 2 pounds and is 13.1mm thick. That is thinner than the last MacBook Air by 24%.
It's an all metal enclosure; has a full-sized keyboard that goes edge-to-edge. They've changed how the keys work, so they are more precise and accurate. It is also thinner and the key cap is larger.
There is a slow-motion video of some very nicely manicured fingers typing on the new keyboard, but what are they typing?
It has a 12-inch retina display, 2304x1440 pixels.
There is a new trackpad called the Force Touch trackpad. It vibrates! It has haptic sensors, like the Apple Watch, to give vibrations as feedback. Bzzzz.
It is pressure sensitive, so it can tell the difference between a light press and a deeper press. The harder press is called a force click -- it's a shortcut. For example, force click on a file and it will give you a preview.
It can make a video fast-forward even faster: "The deeper you press the faster it goes."
There is no fan in this MacBook, a first. It has a much smaller logic board, packing the components into a space 67% smaller.
The rest of the space is filled with batteries, some custom shaped to fill every nook and cranny. They did it by making sheets of batteries and stacking them in little terraces.