If you’re interested in what Apple has planned for its March 21 event, you can watch it live.
Apple (AAPL) has announced that it will stream its “Let us loop you in” event on March 21 live over the Internet. The keynote will air at 1 p.m. ET, and likely showcase a wide range of announcements, including a new iPhone and an updated iPad.
However, actually watching the show may not prove so simple for many users. Since Apple uses its own “HTTP Live Streaming” (HLS) technology, only certain devices will be capable of streaming the event live.
According to Apple, to stream the event, you’ll need an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 7.0 or later. In addition, you’ll be forced to watch it from Apple’s built-in Safari browser, so those who use third-party browsers are out of luck. On the Mac side, users will need to be running OS X 10.8.5 or later, and once again use Safari to stream the show. Streaming is also available on Apple’s second-, third-, and fourth-generation Apple TV set-top boxes.
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What about the PC? Well, it might be a little difficult. Apple says the stream will only work on PCs running Windows 10, the operating system Microsoft (MSFT) launched last year. Windows 10 users will only be able to use Microsoft’s own Edge browser to watch the event.
Apple has placed similar restrictions on streaming its keynotes in the past. The company provides preferential treatment to its own hardware and software, and makes it somewhat difficult for anyone who may not be so tied into Apple’s platforms to watch the show. It’s unclear why Apple would place such restrictions on its stream, but since it’s putting on the show, it can do what it wants.
Still, the restrictions fly in the face of what’s actually happening around the world. While Windows 10 is growing in popularity, Windows 7 is still by far the most popular desktop operating system in the world. And while Apple’s iPhones and iPads are popular, Google’s Android platform controls about 80% of the worldwide mobile market. On the browser side, Safari is far behind leading platforms, like Google (GOOG) Chrome. Hundreds of millions of people just aren’t running the platforms required to watch Apple’s show. And if they really want to do so, they’ll have to play by Apple’s rules.
For those who are able to actually watch the keynote, however, the show is expected to include several announcements. For one, Apple could unveil a 9.7-inch iPad Pro to complement the 12.9-inch option it’s already offering. Apple is also rumored to be unveiling new watchbands for its Apple Watch. In addition, Apple is said to be readying a 4-inch iPhone, which could be known as the iPhone SE or iPhone 6c. It also shouldn’t surprise anyone if Apple talks a bit about privacy and its ongoing fight with the FBI.