Apple iPhone 6, Apple Watch Live Blog: The News As It Happened

Apple iPhone 6, Apple Watch Live Blog: The News As It Happened

The Apple Watch is real. There’s not one but TWO big iPhones now, and you get a free U2 album just for reading this live blog. Here’s what went down from San Francisco in the wee-hours of this morning with Apple.


4pm, 9 September 2014

So what do you want to see from Apple’s event? A watch? Two new phones? One big phone? Tell us in the comments!

2:30am, 10 September

And we’re live! The media is getting settled for the event and we’re here, powered by caffeine, to bring you all the latest this morning from San Francisco. Our US editor, Brian Barrett is also in the room live blogging, and he’ll contribute to this also!


Live Stream Apple’s iPhone 6 Event Right Here

Here’s hoping it isn’t like Google I/O where the audience is stacked with protesters…


Apple has built a clean, white cube for today’s event.


Good news: you can stream this one live! Check out how over here.


The stage is set!


We’re about three minutes from getting started. The theatre is packed at the Flint Center. The hype train is about to arrive at the station! Will it live up to expectations? Only time will tell. All I know is that it’s hella early, so thanks for joining us.


Uh oh.


Ok. It’s back. Hurrah!

We start off with a video about Apple’s relentless design and build process.


It’s an insane pitch shifted video. It’s breaking my brain!


Aaaand the feed is dead again. Smooth.

Either way, Tim Cook is up.


Tim Cook: “We see things differently…”


Tim is reliving Apple’s history at the Flint Center: this is where the first iMac was introduced!


“I’m going to get started talking about the product that changed all our lives.”

iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus


We’re getting a brief history of iPhone right now. The live feed is having MASSIVE issues. Don’t worry though. We’ll bring you the news as it happens no matter what!

“Today we are launching the biggest…advancement in the history of iPhone”.


Here it is!

It’s called the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus!

There’s a little one and a big one.


Phil Schiller is up to talk about the new phones.

Here’s the comparison between the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

The iPhone 6 has more than 1 million pixels on the screen, while the iPhone 6 Plus has 2 million pixels.

And it’s crazy thin.

That’s 7.1mm for the 5.5 inch an 6.9mm for the 4.7 inch.

Apple is also doing new things with apps on the iPhone 6 Plus thanks to the new, larger screen. It’s like a new mini, iPad mini on your phone.

There’s even a horizontal Home Screen view.

There’s also a one-handed side-swipe gesture to help those little-handed people deal with all that real estate.


There’s a new gesture too called Reachability, where if you double touch the TouchID button the display slides down so that you can reach what’s at the top of the screen.

Basically the display crouches down to accommodate your wee little thumb.


Apps will now scale natively on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and developers can build their own special versions of iOS apps and webpages for the new phones.



Onto the Apple A8 chip.

It has two billion transistors (twice that of the A7), and built on the 20nm process.

It’s 13 percent smaller than the A7, while being up to 25 percent faster CPU and 50 percent faster graphics.

It’s up to 50x faster than the original iPhone at CPU and up to 84x faster at graphics.


The new A8 chip is 50x faster than the original iPhone, and the GPU performance is 84x faster.

It’s also 50 per cent more energy efficient than the A7 processor. Hurrah for your battery life!


It’s apparently more performance over a sustained period of time, important for games that you play so long that your thumbs start to blister.

Onto graphics now.

Lots of developers already using Metal for games, including EA, Epic, Ubisoft, Gameloft, Disney, and more. Zynga will use Metal!

Here’s a pretty picture!

Here’s what the iPhone is capable of in terms of native games. This thing looks awesome.

This game is called Vain Glory, and looks awesome. It’s launching in a few weeks.


Battery life now, which has “equal or better battery life on every metric” than the 5S.


There’s also a new motion co-processor called the M8, building off the M7.

It can tell when you’re cycling, walking and running, and it can now estimate distance. It can estimate steps but also figure out how far you’ve gone and now can figure out how many stairs you’ve gone up.

It does that with a new barometer sensor to figure out subtle changes in your elevation.


LTE is faster than ever, 150Mbps vs 100Mbps in previous models through carrier aggregation.

The new iPhone is capable of a theoretical maximum of 150Mbps, and it’s capable of Voice Over LTE or VoLTE. Vodafone Australia supports that one.

The new iPhones also have 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

Here’s something new: Apple is allowing users to make calls over Wi-Fi that can seamlessly hand off to a cellular network as well. That’s awesome.


Okay, new camera time. HOW GOOD WILL YOUR SELFIES LOOK.


Aaaaand it’s still 8-megapixels. BUT there’s a new sensor for better photos and better low light capabilities.

There’s a new feature called Focus Pixels we’re hearing about. Basically it’s phase detection auto-focus on your iPhone. It means your phones can focus “twice as fast”.

Looking forward to going hands on with that one…


Here are a few samples out of the camera.


iPhone 6 has digital image stabilisation, but iPhone 6 Plus has optical image stabilisation, which is going to go a long way to make up for your caffeine-addled hands.

It also has advanced blink and smile detection, to find the right image in a burst mode.

The M8 helps auto-adjust your image. Again this is just in the 6 Plus.

It can also take 1080p video at 60fps. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus can also take slow-mo video at 240 frames per second. We’re watching an awesome slow-mo video just to demonstrate that. It looks pretty great.


Cinematic video stabilisation demo looks great, auto-stabilised video; timelapse video lets you take, well, timelapses.

FaceTime HD camera updated as well, with an aperture that lets in 80% more light and has improved face detection for when your face is filling your display.


Oh no, there’s burst mode now on the front-facing.

Pointing out some iOS 8 features now, including Messages, which can share location with friends and audio/video messages. Most of this should just be a recap from WWDC.


The new Heath app makes an appearance but I assume we’ll hear more about that when the iWatch comes around.


“These are the best phones ever made,” says Phil. I think you’re a little biased but ok.


There are also the new usual leather cases and silicone cases.

iPhone 6 comes in Gold, Silver and Space Grey.

The iPhone 6 starts at $US199 for 16GB (on contract in the US, remember), and $US299 for 64GB. There’s even a 128GB model for $US399.

The iPhone 6 Plus starts at $US299 for 16GB, $US399 for 64GB and $US499 for 32GB.

The phones ship on September 19. By the end of the year, Apple wants it to be in 115 countries, Australia included of course.


As for iOS 8, it’s going to be available for iPhone 4s and higher, which we knew from WWDC as well. Will be available to download Sept. 17.


For those playing at home, you’ll probably realise how bad the live stream SUCKS. We’re doing our best to bring you the news as it happens!

We’re now watching a new ad for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. They’re pretty funny.


Turns out those ads were done by Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon!

Let’s see another one.


Aw they’re cute. Bless them. They’re arguing over their health stats.



Time to talk about the wallet with Tim Cook! “Our vision is to replace this [the wallet].”

“We’re going to focus on payments,” he adds.


We’re now looking at how complicated it is to pay for something in a store in the US.
There’s a lot of nonsense that goes into it.

“This whole process is based on this little piece of plastic. Whether it’s a credit or debit card, we’re reliant on exposed numbers and outdated and vulnerable magnetic interface, and the security codes which all of us know aren’t so secure,” says Tim Cook.

“People have dreamed of replacing these for years, but they’ve all failed.”


It’s called ApplePay.


So all you do is hold your iPhone up to what looks like a contactless reader with your finger on the TouchID sensor and it pays for you. Awesome.


Eddy Cue is here to talk about it.


The iPhone now has NFC (you heard right!) and it now has a secure element and antenna. All your cards are stored in Passbook says Eddy Cue.

Apple customers can now use the card that Apple already has stored in your iTunes account, or you can use another one.


Card numbers are never exchanged to Apple and they’re never kept in the app. Passbook always generates a once-only security number to negotiate the transaction with a merchant. Everything is stored inside the secure element.

That means a cashier won’t know your name, and Apple doesn’t know what you bought.

It starts int he US with Mastercard, Visa and American Express. 83 per cent of credit cards in the US will be supported at launch. Soooo…Australia?


Everywhere from Apple to Maccas in the US will have ApplePay at launch (in the US). Even Disney World is getting ApplePay.


Aaaaand nothing on international. We’re moving onto how ApplePay will sort out internet shopping. This sounds like something Google wanted to tackle at its I/O last year.

Apple is introducing One-Touch checkout across several US retailers while also keeping it secure.


Apps will also have ApplePay: Groupon and Uber will have ApplePay too.


This all sounds great, and I bet none of it works in Australia.


There’s also an ApplePay API so that developers can build more stuff with it.

“We’re working hard to bring ApplePay to even more countries,” Eddie finishes.

It works on both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.


Tim Cook is back. iWatch time??

One More Thing: Apple Watch


“We have one more thing…”



Oh man. It’s happening. Here it comes.


“I am so excited and so proud to share it with you. It is the next chapter in Apple’s story.”

Cut to a video…

Oh wow. It really is a watch.

Apple Watch is a go, people. It is a go for launch!

Hotdamn. It looks great!

It’s a square watch with interchangable bands.

It’s actually called the Apple Watch, and Tim Cook is back out on stage wearing one to raucous applause.


Card numbers are never exchanged to Apple and they’re never kept in the app. Passbook always generates a once-only security number to negotiate the transaction with a merchant. Everything is stored inside the secure element.


The UI is a cluster of apps rather than a grid like other smartwatches.

It’s accurate within plus or minus 50 milliseconds, incredibly customisable.

“What we didn’t do was take the iPhone, shrink the UI and strap it on your wrist. That’d be a terrible customer experience.”


The Apple Watch zooms and scrolls via the twist button on the side, called the Digital Crown. It also allows you to scroll through your lists of messages too.

Pressing it down also gives you access to a home screen “just like you’d expect it to”.


Jony Ive is narrating a video now. He’s locked in his white room again #freejonyive


I’ll have a Gold one with a red band please. Whenever you’re ready.

Apps are designed for lightweight interaction, so you’re not going to get full apps. Glances let you swipe through info. Touching the button below the crown shows you friends you can contact.

Digital Touch can get someone’s attention with a “digital tap,” where you can share a quick sketch or your own heartbeat.


The watch has a laminated, flexible Retina Display, made out of a single piece of sapphire.


The watch can tell the difference between a tap and a push for new contextual menus.

There’s a “linear actuator” for better haptic — or taptic — feedback. Also hints at it being water resistant.


It’s also a fitness tracker, because of course it is!

The back crystal brings Magsafe-style charging to the device with no contact for completely wireless charging.


Apple has designed six watch bands. They slide in and slide out so you can easily change them. There’s everything from a stainless steel metal band through to a sport band. There’s even a magnetic sport/leather hybrid band.

Apple has actually made three versions of the watch.


The Watch Sport with an anodised aluminium case to be light and durable, the Watch Edition is 18-carat gold, while the normal watch is the normal version.


Tim Cook is back. Tell ’em the price, son.

Pause for more applause.


“We’ve been working on Apple Watch a long time,” Tim says.

Kevin Lynch, VP of Apple Watch is about to give us a live demo.


You need an iPhone to use the Apple Watch (der).

The app cluster is very sexy to scroll around. The watch faces can also be arranged and customised when you’re in the clock app.

You can also muck about with each individual field to bring you information on your wrist on weather and stocks. There’s also an astronomy face which shows you your location on the Earth, the Moon and its cycle and a tiny little orrery on your wrist!

There’s also a glance view which allows you to swipe up stuff like your appointments, world time, music you’re playing on devices around you and other stuff.

Oh, the Apple Watch will have storage too.


The new Taptic Feedback “feels like someone gently tapping you on your wrist”. It’s subtle so nobody else knows you’re getting notified.

Apple Watch also has something called Quick Board for message replies. It analyses the context of your message, and breaks it down into quick replies you can choose from.

Apple has created new emoji you can send back, or you can use voice to send a recording or just dictate a new text message.

Apple’s emoji thing is awesome, because it allows you to customise your own emoji face.


A long press on the Digital Crown reveals Siri. You can ask her questions as you usually do.


The Apple Watch also does interesting photos. Anything you favourite on your Mac or iPhone is automatically pushed to your watch.


Maps is also a great-looking experience on the Apple Watch too.

Taptic Feedback gently taps your wrist differently when you need to turn left or right, so you know where to go without looking at your phone.


Now onto Digital Touch. It allows you to tap one of your friends via your Apple Watch. You can do everything from tap someone through to draw a little sketch.


So it’s like Yo for your wrist, but with added drawing.


And that’s it for the live demo. Time to talk about apps! Third-party developer’s apps have been configured to work with the Apple Watch at launch.

There’s a new SDK called WatchKit for third party developers.


Twitter for example can create new cards to make the Apple Watch notification experience feel like real Twitter on web.


W Hotels are even allowing you to unlock your hotel room with your Apple Watch.

BMW is also using Apple Watch, for example, to show you your battery charge level and remember where you parked your car.

There are loads more already, and more will be coming.

Tim Cook is back now talking about health and fitness capabilities.



Onto a new video summing up what you can do to be more active with the watch.

Showing a variety of athletes doing athletic things. It’ll show you standard things like pace, it knows if you’re biking vs. running vs. walking vs. just sitting on your couch waving your wrist around.

The Activity app measures how long you’ve been sitting, how little you’ve been moving, and how much you need to exercise. It’ll check calories, displayed in a ring that fills out as burn them.

The Stand ring shows how sedentary you’ve been, which I already feel guilty about as a dumb blogger who sits as a natural state of being.


What I’m getting from this video is that I’m nowhere near good-looking enough to wear this watch. Goddamn good-looking fit people.

“Over time, Apple Watch gets to know you like a good personal trainer”. It’ll give you recommendations on your fitness over time.


Fade up, Tim Cook is back. Price?

Tim uses his to control his Apple TV. Another team member loves the walkie talkie, while another likes the remote viewfinder.


The Apple Watch will work with phones as far back as the iPhone 5.


It starts at $US349, and it will be available in early-2015.

“It’s worth the wait,” Cook assures.


Early 2015. Just in time for my birthday if anyone was wondering…


Tim Cook now summing up what we’ve seen so far this morning. Interestingly, ApplePay — that NFC payment product — will also work on Apple Watch.

U2’s New Album, Free And Exclusive On iTunes


“There’s one other thing I’d like to talk about…and that is our love for music.”

One more one more thing?!


Tim Cook is talking about the iTunes Festival in London right now.

“We’ve had some of the best artists ever performing at the iTunes Festival.”

“U2 has agreed to perform for you today,” Tim Cook announces as roadies wheel instruments onto the stage.



This sure looks like a U2 concert from here, but I imagine it’s a slightly smaller venue that they’re used to.

Bono’s antics look a little silly on a smaller stage…


“You guys are fricken’ great,” Cook says as he embraces Bono on-stage.

“There are rumours that U2 hasn’t made an album in the last five years. That’s untrue, we’ve made them but haven’t released them,” Bono says.

The new U2 album is going to be called Songs of Innocence.


That new U2 album? Apple is going to give it to you for free, starting right now. From the sounds of the obnoxious banter at least.


Yep: new, free U2 album is available right now.

It’s free on iTunes Radio and Beats Music (that’s 119 countries), and it’s exclusive to Apple until mid-October.


Tim Cook just had the most adorable fanboy moment over U2. Bless.


U2 gets its own Apple ad, which looks quite similar to U2’s iPod Video ad. Remember that one?

In case you forgot:


“Today’s been super,” Tim Cook says, inviting Apple employees to stand and take their applause.


Jony Ive gets a special shout out, as does Jeff Williams running the iWatch Engineering team Craig Federighi for iOS 8 and Eddie Cue for ApplePay.

Hands-on time. We’ll see you on the other side!


Thanks for joining us for the live event!

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