Gadgets

Recap: Our Live Blog Of Apple's March Keynote Event

4AM (AEDT) on Tuesday morning — set your alarm. That’s when Apple will get up on stage at its Cupertino campus and probably announce a brand new iPhone, as well as a smaller iPad Pro, and maybe even a new Apple Watch. We’ll be watching live, and sharing our thoughts with you. Come join in if you’re awake!

More Australian Apple News:

Apple’s New 9.7-Inch iPad Pro: Australian Price And Release Date
Apple’s New 4-Inch iPhone SE: Australian Price And Release Date

Update, 5:15AM Tuesday: That’s a wrap, guys! Thanks very much for watching along with me. Read down below to see a chronological stream of the Apple event as it happened — video replay on Apple’s site is coming soon too.

5:15PM, Monday: Hi guys! So here’s the plan. At around about 3:30AM tomorrow morning, I’ll stumble out of bed, blindly walk to my computer, and start typing. Watch along, and join in in the comments below if you want to talk about Apple’s new toys. It’ll be the most fun you have before sunrise, I promise.

By the way, if you want to watch the live stream, you’ll need Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge on your PC if you don’t already have an iPhone, iPad or Mac running Safari. So get upgrading and installing overnight.

For now, this is all that Apple’s event web page is showing:

3:40AM: Morning everyone! Who’s awake? Apple has switched up its live stream website to include the embedded video feed, but it’s not live just yet.

3:50AM: 10 minutes to go! Still no live stream, don’t despair. It’ll go live right on 4AM.

3:55AM: Alright! Our video stream is up. It’s just an Apple logo on a gradient background, though, with Apple’s Beats One radio station playing in the background. Some Eric Prydz playing at the moment — not a terrible way to wake up at 4AM on a Tuesday.

3:57AM: The presentation will begin shortly. As a courtesy to the speakers, please switch your devices to silent mode. (!)

4:00AM: The music fades down and… we’re live!

4:02AM: After a short video that ended with an April 1st date for Apple’s 40th birthday, CEO Tim Cook is up on stage talking about how many times Apple has changed the world.

4:03AM: Cook says Apple has passed a significant milestone, more than a billion devices out in the wild. But first he’s talking about a “deeply personal” issue — specifically the “conversation” around the encryption of iPhones. Cook says Apple has a responsibility to its customers, and to the country, to “not shrink” from the challenge of standing up to the FBI and defending the sovereignty of its iOS operating system.

4:06AM: Now, Apple’s Lisa Jackson is up on stage talking about the company’s commitment to the environment — saying that there’s no bigger challenge than climate change.

93 per cent of Apple’s facilities worldwide — that’s Apple Stores, data centers, and offices — run on renewable. The company is 100 per cent renewable in 23 countries around the world. Apple built a 40MW solar farm in China around a bunch of yaks, apparently.

99 per cent of Apple’s paper in its packaging comes from recycled sources or sustainably packaged forests. The company has preserved 36,000 acres of forest in the US, and 1,000,000 acres in China to use for packaging; Apple is also focusing on reuse and recycling, saying that’s why it refurbishes almost all of the iPhones it receives through its return or upgrade program.

4:12AM: This is Liam. Liam is a robot that rips your iPhone to shreds very carefully, extracting precious metals and individual parts, to reuse — that’s how even a dead iPhone can be reusable and at least somewhat sustainable. There’s “no other machine in the world” that can do what Liam does.

4:13AM Apple is talking about Apple Renew, a program by which iPhone users can recycle their devices by dropping them off at any Apple Store or by visiting apple.com/recycling. Now, back to Tim.

Apple’s Jeff Williams is up on stage talking about Health, and specifically Apple’s ResearchKit, which lets scientists and researchers gather data using its devices on a massive scale. A Parkinsons study became the world’s largest after just 24 hours of user interaction, for example.

A video is up, talking about a ResearchKit project with Duke University using the iPhone’s front-facing camera to record the faces of children using the iPhone, testing them for early signs of diseases like Parkinsons and autism. The Apple Watch, for example, can detect seizures in a university study, and researchers are using ResearchKit to try and predict the onset of a seizure using early warning signs.

4:20AM: Apple’s Jeff Williams is back up on stage, talking about how versatile the iPhone is — it’s a device full of sensors that everyone carries with them, making it utterly invaluable as a wide-scale medical research device.

“We think empowering people with data is very important — that’s why we’re launching CareKit“:

CareKit is a long-term surgery or hospital visit recovery framework, and it’s already in use by Texas Medical Centre, with a checklist of items to do every day after surgery or a change in medical status — “nothing is more sensitive than your health data”, so customers can choose what data to share. The CareKit framework will be available in April. Now, back to Tim.

4:25AM: We’re on to products! First up, we’re talking about the Apple Watch. Today Apple is introducing some new colours, and an entirely new material in the “woven nylon” band in a variety of vibrant colours.

As widely predicted, the Apple Watch will also drop in price, starting from just US$299 in the United States. It’s almost certain we’ll see a correlating price drop in Australia.

4:28AM: That’s it for the Apple Watch, actually! Now we’re on to the Apple TV. Tim Cook is talking about apps — and we all know that “apps are the future of TV”.

Apple is announcing that folders and dictation are coming to the Apple TV, and people are applauding. Weird. Being able to dictate passwords and usernames is a pretty cool innovation, though, since that touchpad on the remote control is merely OK.

4:30AM: And bam, we’re onto iPhone. This is really rolling!

And we’re already getting our eyes on a new, 4-inch iPhone. Apple’s Greg Joswiak is up on stage, introducing the brand new iPhone SE:

It’s “the most powerful 4-inch phone ever”, running Apple’s A9 chip and embedded M9 coprocessor, with exactly the same performance of the iPhone 6s! That’s double the performance of the iPhone 5S, triple if you’re talking graphics speed.

Battery improvements across the board, but more important is the fact that the new iPhone SE also has Apple’s amazing 12-megapixel camera module with focus pixels, making it the equal of the 6s when it comes to snapping images and Live Photos.

4:36AM: Apple Pay and TouchID built in. God, it’s basically a 4-inch iPhone 6s. I want this so bad.

It’s even available in Rose Gold. Unf.

The iPhone SE starts at US$399, making it far and away the most affordable brand new iPhone, with a 64GB variant for US$499. That’s really, really cheap, since the cheapest iPhone 6s in the US is about $750.

4:40AM: Now we’re talking about iOS 9.3, and specifically Night Shift, the display-colour-adjusting tech in the new dot-release that shifts screen colour from its usual cool white to a warmer white as the sun goes down.

Notes, Health and plenty of other apps are getting a makeover in the new version of Apple’s operating system. Over 50 million users regularly use Apple News, which is getting a new Top Stories and Editor’s Picks section personalised to the reader.

Apple CarPlay is also getting more features in iOS 9.3, with refinements across the board to design and the apps that are compatible with it. And iOS 9.3 is officially out today!

4:44AM: Tim Cook is back on stage, and he’s talking iPad — specifically a new iPad Pro. Actually, it’s Phil Schiller who’s up on stage giving the intro. Apparently people really love the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, including the design and size, which is kind of counterintuitive considering we’re probably about to see a smaller version.

And now, here we are! Introducing the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Apple’s Schiller says the company introduced a 12.9-inch for a good reason, but the company has already sold 200 million iPads with a 9.7-inch display, and it wants all those guys and girls to buy an iPad Pro. It also wants to attract heaps of people away from Windows PCs, which Schiller says are the iPad’s biggest market competitor.

The new iPad Pro has the brightest screen of any tablet — 25 better colour and brightness than the iPad Air 2, the lowest reflectivity of any tablet. It works with Night Shift, too, unsurprisingly.

4:50AM: Oh, wow. The new iPad Pro has a set of ambient light sensors around the display that adjust its colour temperature to suit whichever room you’re in. This is very, very cool, and Apple calls it “TruTone Display”.

As expected, the new smaller iPad Pro has Apple’s genuinely incredible A9X processor, and has accessories built to suit the smaller 9.7-inch display — including the Apple Pencil. Apple thinks it is the best accessory that it has ever made — a pretty big statement! There’s also a new bunch of accessories including Lightning to SD and Lightning to (powered) USB adapters.

New cases, new colours. A 32GB iPad Pro will be US$599, which is US$200 cheaper than the larger iPad Pro. US$749 for the 128GB model. There’s even a 256GB iPad Pro on the way at US$899! Shipping on the 31st, with preorders in stores this week.

5:00AM: A quick word on Australian pricing, while an Apple iPad Pro video plays. As soon as we know Australian pricing, we’ll let you know ASAP. Expect prices about 50 per cent higher than the US figures you’re seeing reported here.

Tim Cook is back on stage, running through today’s announcements. That looks like it might be it? Cook is giving a bit of an oratory about the Apple Town Hall everyone is sitting in — a beautiful, important room where both the iPod and App Store were announced — but the company will be moving to its new spaceship office next year. Looks beautiful!

5:05AM: Well, that’s it! We have a brand new 4-inch iPhone SE, a 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and a host of updates to Apple Watch bands, the Apple TV’s tvOS, iOS 9.3 and the software that runs within it. That’s a wrap, folks, thanks very much for tuning in with me. Now go back to bed!


Have you subscribed to Gizmodo Australia's email newsletter? You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Trending Stories Right Now