Apple Event Coverage:
Tim Cook is back onstage. Time for hands-on with Apple’s new products! Hope you had fun, we’re off to go play with all the new iPhones and iPods now.
I think our mini concert is done. Some of the audience is giving a standing ovation–that is the ones who aren’t typing away madly at their MacBooks.
A third song. I think some of us audience members are starting to get antsy, gear is starting to get packed up while we catch up on Twitter and email.
Everyone in the crowd is holding up an iPhone to record the set. So, you know, just like every other concert.
Playing to a crowd of laptop-toting tech press must be one of the least satisfying gigs ever.
All the new products are up on Apple’s website now.
Now onto a second song, “Hero.” (That’s what that song is called right?). Starting out acoustic. Waiting for the jam to happen. Ahhhh… There we go.
What if they all of a sudden switched from their actual instruments to playing GarageBand on iPads. That would be funny…
I’m no music critic, but these guys sound pretty great. Also, John Bradley and I have awesome seats for this. But really, I’d like to get my hands on the new iPhone and iPods now.
Oh boy, we’re getting someone performing for us today. It’s the Foo Fighters! Dave Grohl and the rest of the Foo Fighers are onstage playing Times Like These with a big Apple logo behind them.
Apple employees are doing work that has real significance because Apple’s products make a real difference in people’s lives.
“When you look at each of these, they are incredible industry leading innovations by themselves, but what sets them apart and places Apple way out in front of the competition is how they work so well together, “ Cook says. They work together to form a powerful yet integrated solution. “Apple has never been stronger.”
Today in review: new iPod touch, reinvented iPod nano. New iTunes with a redesigned music player and stunning new look. And iPhone 5, the thinnest, lightest, best iPhone ever shipped, Cook says.
Each iPod model is available in one more color, Project Red. A portion of the proceeds benefits Project Red.
Tim Cook is back onstage now, we’re going to see a new ad for the new iPods. White background, iPod touches bouncing around on screen and multiplying when they hit the ground. Other iPods make appearances too. At the end, a touch hops back into someone’s hand.
The iPod Nano and Touch are available in October — no specific date.
EarPod video concludes with applause from the audience. The EarPods are available starting today. They look a little bit alien. They’re also included with the new fifth generation iPod touch, seventh generation nano, and new iPhone 5.
And now… another video. This one shows how these earphones look and work. “Everything about their design is focused on delivering incredible sound and comfort,” Jony Ive says in the video. Apple scanned hundreds of ears (gross!) to determine a common volume, which was used as a starting point. The shape of the pod is definied by the geometry of the ear. They’re designed to direct sound straight into the ear. It has a series of built in ports, each with a unique purpose. One is used for mids, another one lower down is used for bass. Air flows through these acoustic chambers for better low frequency sounds.
One more music announcement: Speakers. Apple has shipped over 600 million sets of its signature white earbuds. And now it has spent 3 years designing an entirely new in-ear headphone called EarPods. (Okay! That name is kind of dorky guys.) The earpiece looks more spherical, the volume controls are larger.
The iPod Touch is now also available in five colors: white, black, cyan, yellow, and red. Each comes with its own color-coordinated wrist strap.
Wireless capabilities have also been improved: Bluetooth, 802.11 a/b/b/n, up to 150 Mbps download bandwidth, and it now has AirPlay mirroring. For the first time, Siri is also supported on the iPod touch.
For the first time you can download iPhoto from the App Store for iPod Touch photo editing. You’ve also got Shared Photo Streams, and a new feature called iPod Touch loop, a hardware feature on the rear of the device that lets you add a wrist strap for added security. That seems convenient, interested to see how it actually works on the device.
The iPod touch has over 40 hours of music playback. It’s got a big camera upgrade too: It’s got an iSight camera built in, a 5 megapixel camera. It’s got autofocus and flash built into this iPod too. It’s got an f/2.4 aperture, and that Sapphire crystal lens. It’s got the new Panorama feature, too.
Now we’re taking a look at a demo of a game called Clumsy Ninja. The character is based on a real-time simulation of the body, he’s aware of his environment, self aware, and fully interactive. This game looks super cute, I can’t wait to check it out. He’s based on many years of research, on technology that not too long ago would have required a super computer.
There’s a new iPod Touch as well (which we preeeeeeety much also already knew).
The 5th generation iPod touch: It’s only 6.1 mm thick and 88 grams. It’s made out of high quality anodized aluminum with an “amazing finish.” On the bottom, a headphone jack, speaker, and Lightning connector. It has the same 4 inch Retina display as the iPhone 5. It’s also faster, with an A5 chip — making it the first dual core iPod touch. This means up to 7x faster processing than the 4th generation iPod touch with the A4 processor, says Apple.
The new nano also has more battery life: 30 hours of music playback.
Apple says photos look great on the nano, and widescreen video is back too. Fitness tracking and a pedometer are built-in too so you can track runs and walks with Nike+ integration. It also has Bluetooth for the first time, so you can stream music wirelessly to speakers like the Jambox, wireless headphones, or your car, without needing to plug it in. If you do want to plug it in, it also has the new Lightning connector.
It has a play and pause button the side for easy controls, and a 2.5-inch multi touch display with a resigned home screen and home button. It comes in a collection of “fun” colors: whtie black, a pink, green, blue, yellow and red, with wall paper to match its enclosure.
The 7th generation iPod nano is ultraportable and ultralight. It’s rectangular in shape, ultra thin — 5 mm thin. Almost 40 percent thinner than the iPod nano it replaces. The thinnest Nano ever.
Now, iPod news. 350 million iPods have been sold over the years. The iPod nano is getting an update. Apple ewanted to give it a really large display, and easy to use controls.
New iTunes is available in late October, Cue says after he steps back onstage.
Now, the new iTunes Store. It looks similar to the store ont he iPad, with a showcase of different images across the top, a “shelf” of new music (a horizontally scrolling row of album images). Artist pages, like Bruce Springsteen’s show concert information, artist info, album information, with large images and graphics. Overall, the new iTunes redesign looks like a major improvement over the current iTunes.
Back inside regular iTunes. We’re looking at Movies. When you tap a movie poster in the main grid interface, its details show up beneath, taking up the full width of the iTunes window. We watched a clip of The Avengers — iCloud is built right into iTunes.
Apple also improved the mini player. When you mouse over, you get the controls. They’re playing Coldplay first (naturally). There is a search button in this mini player, so you can search songs, albums and artists straight from the mini player. When you select a song, it is added to Up Next. The mini player looks nice, and intuitive.
With search, you can double click a song to play immediately from the search results.
They’ve also added something called “up next.” Click a list icon at the of the top player, and you can rearrange the songs that are coming up next, or add new songs. Select a song, choose Play Next, and if you’re already in a playilst, it’ll return back to the rest of the playlist after that song.
You’ve got song list view, and also an artist view that gives you information about their songs, and artist photos. Playlists: You just click “add” to add a song to a playlist now. You can now see playlist contents and your entire library at the same time; the playlist is on the righthand side of the iTunes interface for this. You can drag a whole album into a playlist.
Jeff Robbin is taking the stage to demo the new desktop version of iTunes. The main screen is reminiscent of Rdio, with a grid of square thumbnail album covers taking the screen. Tap an album to expand more detail about the album and its tracks. The expanded area is edge to edge, inserting itself in between the rows of album thumbnails.
Now for iTunes on the Mac and PC. (Oh that hoary old interface. Make it go away, give us something pretty!) There are over 200 million customers using iTunes in the Cloud now, Cue says. The brand new version is dramatically simpler, with iCloud built right in.
Facebook likes are integrated into product pages now. The stores are completely redesigned from the ground up, have improved performance, and let you preview a song while you continue browsing. It also has improved search results, and Facebook and Twitter sharing. The new stores are available with iOS 6 on September 19th.
More than two-thirds of Apple’s iTunes downloads come from iOS devices, so Apple has redesigned its stores. The new iTunes Store on the iPad features large showcase images across the top. Same design for music, TV shows, apps, and iBook Store. It has a similar design on the iPhone, but with just one large image at the top instead of the three on the iPad.
Let’s talk about iTunes, Cue says. iTunes has over 26 million songs, and over 20 billion songs have been purchased since its launch 9 years ago. iTunes Store is now available in 63 countries around the world. There are 435 million iTunes accounts.
Today Apple is announcing changes with both iPod and iTunes. Eddie Cue is coming up on stage.
Tim Cook is back onstage. “These products are simply amazing,” Cook says. Cook has one more thing to share with us today, and it’s music related. “Music is embedded in our DNA,” he says.
Long video! It’s over now, the audience is clapping as Schiller steps back up to center stage. The iPhone costs the same as the iPhoneone 4S: $199 for 16 Gb, $299 for 32 GB, $399 for 64 GB.
The iPhone 4 8 GB is now free, the 16 GB 4S is now $99, and then the new iPhone 5 at its three price points.
When can you get it? Pre-orders start this Friday, and ships September 21 for 9 nations including the US, Canada, and the UK. By the end of the year, it should be available in over 100 countries and 240 carriers — Apple’s fastest phone rollout ever.
“To create the new iPhone, we began with a design that we really loved, but to implement it, we had to look way beyond what we knew to be possible,” Ive says in the video.
“What makes the iPhone so unique is how it feels in your hand,” Ive says in the video. They’ve developed a complex, ambitious manufacturing processes to make this phone. The video shows a machine cutting the chassis with intense manufacturing precision. This part of the video is really cool, showing the iPhone parts sliding around on a conveyor belt, being cut by robots.
Aaaaaaaand the video is still going. It is demonstrating what it’s like using all the new features of the iPhone and iOS 6, like its Panorama mode and Siri.
The phone is noticeably longer in the actors’ hands. I can’t wait to check out that screen firsthand.
Now the video features Bob Mansfield talking hardware tech specs like the iPhone’s smaller size and LTE capabilities.
By making the screen taller but not wider, you can still comfortably use the phone with one hand yet still see additional content, Ive says in the video. He reiterates that it is the thinnest iPhone Apple has ever made.
Schiller is going over all the major features of the new iPhone, its display, connectivity, A6 processor, improved camera, iOS 6. “iPhone 5 is the best phone we’ve ever made,” Schiller says. And now we get a video showing us it in action. Jonny Ive opens the video. “We take changing it really seriously,” Ive says of the iPhone.
The new iPhone comes in two colors: Slate and White. (So far, still no real surprises here today, other than Panorama.)
Forstall outlines a few other new iOS 6 features, like FaceTime over the cellular network and single app mode. And that’s iOS 6! Forstall leaves the stage and Schiller walks back up. Both are wearing green shirts. Does that mean something?
You can now craft Facebook posts using Siri, too.
“Can you recommend a good movie in theaters?” Forstall asks Siri. Siri says its a subjective question, but offers a list of suggestions with their Rotten Tomatoes ratings. You can also find tables at restaurants for a specific time, and tap to reserve it. Tap make reservation to go straight to the OpenTable app to finalize your reservation (reservations are not completed within the Siri environment).
Now Forstall is demoing Siri enhancements, like her newfound knowledge of Sports. Forstall asks Siri how the 49ers did last weekend — the 49ers beat the Packers by 30 to 22 last Sunday, Siri replies with more information onscreen. You can also launch apps just by talking to your phone, like “Launch Yahoo Fantasy Football” and the app is immediately launched.
Shared Photo Streams: “the easiest way to share photos with your friends,” Forstall says. You can select photos from your camera roll, choose who you want to send them to, name the collection of photos, and your friends get a push notification with all those photos. You can comment on photos, your friends can, and if you like a photo, your friends will be notified too.
Now a brand new app: Passbook, which collects passes in one place. Things like movie tickets, boarding passes, coupons, store cards, you get the picture. If you’ve already attended an event like a baseball game, you can take that ticket, delete it, and it shreds and goes away. Cute.
Passbook also integrates with lockscreen.
In iOS 6, you can get back to any article you have open on any device on the go through iCloud Tabs. Enhancements to the mail app include a new feature that lets you mark people as VIPs, and their messages will appear in one place in your inbox. It’s also easier to flag something using a flag icon in the lower lefthand corner.
Next up, an enhancement to notification center. Right from notification center, you can post to Facebook or Twitter now. You can tweet from anywhere. In Safari, you can go into fullscreen mode so the page takes up the entire large display.
3D turn by turn directions are guided by Siri’s familiar ladybot voice.
Forstall shows us Flyover with Big Ben in London. You tap on it yourself, zoom in, get a virtual tour of the area. Using two fingers you can change the camera angle. “That is maps in iOS 6,” Forstall says.
“We are really excited about iOS 6. It has so many new features in it,” Forstall says. They’re going to demo a few. First, the maps application, which has been built from the ground up using vectors for smoothness. It includes over 100 million points of interest. Info cards show reviews from Yelp and lots of photos. It also has free turn by turn directions.
“Perhaps one of the most important features of iPhone is the software it runs,” Schiller says. It runs iOS 6, which has been designed to take advantage of the iPhone’s larger screen from the beginning. Scott Forstall is taking the stage to show us what that’s like.
Now onto that dock connector. The 30 pin connector launched in 2003. “It’s served us well for over a decade,” Schiller says, “but so many things have changed.” Now we’re in a wireless world, there’s WiFi, AirPlay, iCloud. It’s time for the connector to evolve: the new connector is called Lightning.
It featuers an 8 signal design, improved durabilty, it’s reversible, easier to use and 80 percent smaller. They’ve paired up with a number of manufacturers on creating compatible accessories. There’s an adaptor you can use to plug into old 30 pin dock connector accessories.
Audio has been updated too. It has 3 microphones, one on the bottom, and two more up top, one each on the front and back sides. These are used for beam forming for voice recognition and noise reduction. The speaker has been improved too: 5 magnets in the transducer, an improved speaker design, and they fit in a space that’s 20 percent smaller. There’s also a noise-cancelling earpiece to make calls clearer.
It’s got a new technology called wideband audio for “amazing sound performance.”
The camera shoots 1080p HD video, features improved video stabilization, face detection, and you can take still photos while shooting video. The front side camera has been updated too — 720p, backside illuminated, Face detection, and Apple announced FaceTime over cellular. That’s great news for the grandparents.
A Shared Photo Streams feature lets you share photos so friends can comment on them. The iPhone 5 also has a new Panorama mode. Hold your phone vertically and just sweep your scene. The software tells you what pace to sweep your phone at. It results in beautiful panoromas, like one we’re looking at of the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Panorama mode takes 28 megapixel shots. It can determine a linear path if you happen to wiggle the phone during your shots. “It’s simply stunning, the detail,” Schiller says.
Now we’re checking out some sample photos from the iPhone 5. An image of an ocean cove. “Kids look happier,” Schiller says to an image of two kids laying on grass. There is an image of a magenta flower with a bee. They zoom in on the bee — you can see the veins on its wings.
The camera system also has a new image sensor to improve photography, spatial noise reduction, a smart filter that looks at the image before noise reudction and figures out where uniform color or texture areas should be. It also has better low light performance and 40 percent faster photo capture.
And now, the camera. It has an 8 megapixel sensor, 3264 by 2448, backside illuminated, hybrid IR filter, 5 element lens, f/2.4 aperture. Its the same camera as in the 4S, but is 25 percent smaller, with some added new features: a dynamic low light mode that combines pixels to give you two f stops greater performance in low light, precision lens alignment, and a sapphire crystal lens cover.
The iPhone 5: LTE, A6 processor, larger display, thinner and lighter design. It exceeds the battery life of the 4S too at 8 hours of 3G talk time, 8 hours of LTE or 3G browsing, or 10 hours of WiFi browsing, and 225 hours of standby time.
Murray said they’re using Game Center to provide time shifted multi player gaming — you can challenge someone to play one day, and race them the next. You can play in real time, while your opponent is actually racing from a pre-recorded run. You can fully interact with the vehicle, jostle with the race position, and affect your time in the race. This is Real Racing 3 — real tracks, real cars, real people, you can play any time you like. It’ll be in the App Store later this year.
Now Rob Murray, Executive Producer at EA Studios is taking the stage to show what this bad boy can do.
He’s going to show us Real Racing 3. We’re going to see a Porsche GT 3 racing. The graphics look incredible. The detail on the pavement, the light shining on the car (“dynamically reflecting” he says) are very detailed. The car also has rear view mirrors! Wow. The crowd laughs and applauds.
Schiller is showing a chart showing how much faster load times are for different appps.
It looks like Apple has worked with a ton of different carriers to provide LTE across the world. For WiFi: 802.11 a/b/g/n, n at 2.4GHz and 5Ghz, up to 150 Mbps.
“We’ve updated every aspect of iPhone 5,” Schiller says. It features an A6 chip — its two times faster at CPU and two times faster at graphics. It’s also 22 percent smaller.
There are different LTE bands and frequenecies around the world. In the US, Apple is working with Sprint, ATT and Verizon. In Canada: Rogers, Telus Bell Fido and others. In Asia: SoftBank, SingTel, and others. In Australia: Virgin Mobile, Telstra and others. In Europe: Deutsche Telecom and others.
It can download up to 100 megabits per second. Single chip, single radio, dynamic antenna, a slide shows. It can switch antenna connections between different networks when needed.
This display has 44 percent more color saturation than the iPhone 4S display. “This is the most acfurate display in the industry,” Schiller says. It has integrated touch in the display, which makes it 30 percent thinner. Now, it has ultrafast wireless technology too. “We’ve built in GPRS, Edge, EV-DO, HSPA, HSPA+, DC-HSDPA, and yes LTE,” Schiller says
We’re checking out some before and after apps for the new display. CNN’s site looks much less crowded and more readable on the larger screen. OpenTable’s app is shown too, the updated app shows more images, more of the iPad-like interface on the iPhone.
All of Apple’s software is being updated to take advantage of this display: Keynote, Pages, Numbers. iLife software too like GarageBand and iMovie and iPhoto.Apps run at the same size as on previous iPhones, with black borders above and below if necessary, if they aren’t optimized for this larger display yet.
“This display is simply amazing,” says Schiller. They’ve added a fifth row of icons to the home screen — the better for those hundreds of apps you’ve downloaded. The calendar shows more events, email shows more emails, Schiller demonstrates all this with a few slides.
The iPhone 5 is the thinnest and lightest phone Apple has ever made: 7.6 mm thin, 18 percent thinner than the iPhone 4S and the world’s thinnest smartphone. Its 112 grams, 20 percent lighter than the iPhone 4S. It has a 326 PPI Retina display. The new screen on iPhone 5 is 4 inches, 1136 by 640 pixels with a 16 x 9 aspect ratio. “A phone should feel great in your hand,” Schiller says.
The iPhone 5 is made entirely of glass and aluminum, Schiller says. “I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the hardware and software engineering that has gone into this product is the most challenging our team has taken on,” Schiller says.
Today they’re introducing the iPhone 5! It rises up on a small pedestal onstage. “It is the most beautiful product we have ever made, bar none,” Schiller says.
Last month, Apple sold its 400 millionth iOS device. “This is amazing,” Cook says. He seems extra enthusiastic today — we like it.
The first iPhone launched in 2007, Schiller says, talking about how Time called it the innovation of the year. Each and every year, Apple has introduced new versions and iterations, each time setting the gold bar for phone standard in the marketplace.
On to the App Store. “It’s the most vibrant app ecosystem on the planet,” Cook says. There are over 700,000 apps in the App Store, and 250,000 specifically for the iPad. Every app seems to have its fan, Cook says. 90 percent of apps are downloaded each month. The average customer has downloaded over 100 apps. Pretty impressive.
Almost all of the Fortune 500 countries are testing or deploying iPads, Cook claims, 94 percent. They’re also investing in custom apps, Cook says. He shows an example of one form GE Capital, another from the Mayo Clinic, and a third from Ducati.
Cook notes their competitors have launched hundreds of competing tablets since the iPad debuted. The iPad still has a 62 percent wroldwide market share last quarter (April through June 2012). The iPad accounts for 91 percent of web traffic for all tablets. “I don’t know what these other tablets are doing!” Cook says. “They must be in warehouses or on store shelves or maybe in someone’s bottom drawer! iPads are being used everywhere by everyone.”
Now iPad news. “The iPad is driving the post PC revolution at an astounding pace,” Cook says. The third generation iPad was announced in March. 17 million iPads were sold last quarter, a new record. “We sold more iPads than any PC manufacturer sold of their entire PC line. Yes we are in a post PC world,” Cook says. It’s a product category that didn’t even exist two years ago.
Apple notebooks have reached #1 position in market share in U.S. notebooks for the past three months, at 27 percent. Year over year, the Mac has outgrown PC 15 percent to 2 percent, a chart shows.
Now onto the Macintosh. “We’ve had a very busy summer for the Mac,” Cook says. Apple introduced Mountain Lion. “The reviews have been fantastic.” He notes that 7 million copies of Mountain Lion have been downloaded so far — the fastest selling version of Mac OS X of all time.
Well that was fast, thankfully. The video is over and Cook is back onstage. He notes that Apple now has 380 stores around the world in 12 countries. On Friday it will open a store in its 13th country, Sweden. 83 million people visited Apple Stores last quarter.
Onscreen is an image of Apple’s Barcelona store. Inside, it could be a museum. It has a signature glass staircase, Cook says, “and the outside had a signature crowd.”
Time for a video. It quickly shifts through shots of Barcelona, and people walking through the town, with long shots of the exterior and interior of the store. Then we see shots of blue shirt-clad employees cheering, and the first customers walking into the store and getting high fives.
The lights are dimming, the song is wrapping up, and Apple CEO Tim Cook has walked onstage to massive cheers and applause from the audience.
“We have some really cool stuff to show you,” Cook says after thanking us for coming. We’re getting some updates on Apple’s retail stores.
We’re inside! We’re in the theater now. A Black Keys song is playing, and we’re ready for Tim Cook to get onstage and get this show on the road.
We’ve got our press badge, and we’re still waiting outside the Yerba Buena Center. Fruit, little baked goods, and coffee are set up for those that need some sustenance.
Apple inadvertently confirmed that the name for its sixth-generation iPhone will be the iPhone 5. The name appeared in two inactive links when looking up “iphone 5” in the company’s site search tool. Searching for “iphone lte” reveals another inactive page that appears to detail the new iPhone’s LTE support. A new iPod nano and iPod touch also appeared in the search results. For more details, read our story here.
A better view of the door.
Even the door got the Apple design treatment.
Oh hey! It’s a line of reporters outside the Yerba Buena Center, waiting for registration. It’s a chilly, foggy morning in San Francisco!
SAN FRANCISCO — Apple will take the stage today at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts to unveil what’s widely expected to be its sixth-generation iPhone. Anticipation has been building for months, and Gadget Lab will be there reporting the announcements live.
Most observers expect Apple’s newest iPhone to feature a larger 4-inch display, redesigned form factor, smaller dock connector, and 4G LTE connectivity. We’re also looking for some sort of refresh of Apple’s iPod line.
Join us here at 10 a.m. PT for Gadget Lab’s liveblog of Apple’s Sept. 12 Media Event, and be sure to refresh this page to get the latest updates. We’ll also have 140-character highlights from @Gadgetlab and @Wired.