Apple Oct. 16 event liveblog

October 16, 2014, 3:42 PM UTC

Looking for the official Apple livestream? View it here. For context and commentary, stay right here. Make sure to refresh this page to get the latest updates.

11:20: And that’s a wrap! Thanks for reading, loyal Fortune readers. I’m off to get some quality hands-on time.

11:19: “Thanks very much for joining,” says Cook.


11:19: Cook gives a shout-out to the Apple folks who worked on the devices announce today. “I want to invite all of your across the hall to get your eyes on the iMac 5K Retina Display…”

11:18: Cook: “We can deliver something no one sell can do: a simple, intuitive and yes, a magical experience for our customers. This is our vision of personal technology. And we are just getting started.”

11:17: (It doesn’t look like that rumored MacBook Air with Retina Display is coming today.)

11:16: Back to Cook: “Sometimes, you want to sit at your desk in front of a huge, beautiful immersive screen packed with powerful technology. We’ve made that much better today with the Retina screen iMac. … We’ve made our notebooks even better this year with the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.”

11:15: And for folks who like to mix and match their desktop computers, the Mac Mini gets an upgrade too. Think new processor and graphics chips.


11:13: The new 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display will cost $2,499, significantly less than somewhat comparable high-definition TV.

11:12: Back to Schiller onstage. The iMac also sports some of the latest Intel processors and ATI Radeon graphics boards. Also: Apple’s 1 Terabyte Fusion Drive now comes standard.

11:11: Despite all those pixels onscreen, Riccio says the display is 30% more power efficient.

11:09: Video time! Dan Riccio, VP of Hardware Engineering, walks viewers through the tech that makes the iMac’s 5K possible. (Um, Apple, you had me at “world’s highest resolution display.”)

11:07: The iMac’s “Retina 5K Display” features 14.7 million pixels. “It’s the world’s highest resolution display,” says Schiller. In fact, the new display sports more pixels than a 1080p HDTV. Translation: Frozen will look amazeballs, y’all.


11:04: Cue commercial of Apple devices that now sport the Retina Display. Yep, folks, the iMac desktop computer gets a sharp Retina Display, as well.

11:04: Recap of how solid the Mac computers are.

11:03: “Let’s talk a little bit about what’s happening with the Mac,” says Schiller. Believe it or not, the Mac computer is 30-years-old this year.

11:01: The iPad Mini also gets a bump up, with a new gold flavor and more storage. Apple plans to keep the older iPad mini, iPad mini 2, and iPad Air 1, but drop the prices.

11:00: The iPad Air 2 will also come in a gold color. Prices remain the same, but storage gets a bump. The $599 model offers 64 GB of built-in storage instead of say, 32 GB.

10:59: To recap, the iPad Air 2 has a better display with a coating that reduces glare, the A8X processor and an M8 motion chip.

10:59: There are 675,000 apps in the App Store now, according to Schiller.

10:58: Geek speak about a fancy lighting feature.

10:57: Just how much faster is Replay on the iPad Air 2? So fast, it things load almost seamlessly. “It’s instaaaant!” exclaims Boudier.

10:56: Schiller brings up Jeff Boudier, co-founder of a video-making app called Replay.

10:54: According to the Pixelmator folks, the iPad Air 2 makes some of their app’s features 3 times as fast. The updated app becomes available later this October.

10:53: Schiller wants to show off two app-makers who are taking advantage of the iPad Air 2’s spiffy new tech. The first is one called Pixelmator, a pretty thorough photo-editing app.

10:51: The iPad Air 2 also receives Touch ID, the fingerprint scanning security feature first introduced last year with the iPhone 5S. A predictable, but welcome improvement.

10:50: The camera on the front also gets an upgrade. It’s capable of capturing 81% more light, making for shots that are more accurate.

10:49: Schiller demonstrates the new camera’s ability to do time lapse videos with a paparazzi-like video of George Clooney’s wedding in Venice.

10:48: A new 8 megapixel camera also allows users to capture video with 1080p quality. Schiller shows some untouched photos of vistas like the Golden Gate Bridge. (I’m not sure how they managed to get someone atop the Golden Gate, but the shot’s impressive, nonetheless.)

10:46: Another new chip, the M8, allows developers to create experiences that better track motion.

10:46: The iPad Air 2 sports a new A8X chip that delivers 40% faster computing performance and 2.5 times faster graphics performance.

10:44: Oh, this is nice: a new anti-reflective coating cuts down on glare by 56%. This kind of coating is a first for tablets, period.

ipad event

10:43: To illustrate just how thin the iPad Air 2 is, Schiller compares it to the first, original iPad. Two iPad Air 2 tablets, stacked, are still thinner than Apple’s first tablet.

10:42: The iPad Air 2 is 18% than the first iPad Air, making it the “world’s thinnest tablet,” according to Apple exec Phil Schiller.

10:41: The iPad Air 2 is even thinner than last year’s model. “It’s unbelievably gorgeous. Look how thin it is. Can you even see it??”

iPad Air 2

10:40: “When we launched the iPad Air just a year ago, we did show by showing all this power in the iPad was in a design so thin, it was thinner than a pencil,” says Cook. “What do you do when you make the best tablet in the world? How do you make it better? You do this.” Cue commercial.

10:39: Cook quotes an iPad review from The Verge, calling it iPad the best tablet you can buy.

10:39: Apparently, 100% of all iPad Mini Retina owners are satisfied with their devices. (It doesn’t get better than that.)

10:38: Cook compares those iPad sales figures to PC sales. Needless to say, PC sales pale in comparison.

10:37: 225 million iPads have been sold to date, says Cook.

10:37: Customers and developers have been using the iPad in ways even Apple never imagined, “transforming the way we work, play and communicate.”

10:36: Time for the iPad to get some loving. Cook back to the stage. “While the iPad has been beautifully simple on the outside since day one, it’s had sophisticated technology jam-packed inside.”

10:35: Oh, and OS X Yosemite is officially available to download starting today. (P.S.- It’s free.)

10:33: The presentation demo includes a LOL-worthy video clip in which Apple VP Eddy Cue clumsily interacts with someone else.

10:33: To control a Keynote presentation, Federighi uses his Apple Watch prototype. If some people in the audience weren’t jealous before, they are now.

10:31: Colbert: “Please get back to work… Because you know what I see when I look at my wrist?! My WRIST.” (Colbert, is of course, referring to the Apple Watch, due some time early next year.)

10:31: Colbert wants a change to his fictional Apple title: from Chief of Secrecy to “Supreme Commander Secrecy.”

10:29: Federighi shows how OS X Yosemite allows users to make calls directly from his Mac desktop. To wit, he calls Stephen Colbert. “Hello, Red Delicious. This is Granny Smith.” Colbert: “Is the squirrel in the bag? … Ok, the line is secure.” Cue hoots and applause.

10:27: While showing off how Continuity works, Federighi shows a Keynote presentation that includes lighthearted pokes about doubling down on Apple’s secrecy. Genuinely funny stuff, Federighi.

10:25: A feature called “Continuity” is perhaps one of the most useful and most-awaited features. Basically, it lets users start working on something on say, their iPhone, and seamlessly carry that work over to their Mac computers.

10:24: Federighi: “What makes OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 so special is the way they work together…”

10:23: Applause over new Keynote “text effects.” Ho-hum.

10:22: The updated Mail app lets users send files up to 5 gigabytes large. (Side note: Federighi is as charming as he’s ever been onstage, but a little tongue-tied today.)

10:21: A peek at why the Safari web browser for OS X Yosemite is allegedly so much better: 6.6x time faster performance and some neat tweaks to the way people peruse web pages.

10:20: Now a look once again at OS X Yosemite, the latest major software release for Mac computers. Visually, things are flatter-looking, matching iOS 8.

10:18: Federighi makes an insider-y joke about iOS 8.0.1, the notoriously buggy mobile software update that deactivated cell and data access.


10:17: More developer tools talk, this time about Swift, a new programming language for iOS and OS X software.

10:15: Federighi also recaps some of the developer tools Apple has released for iOS 8.

10:14: A brief recap of why iOS 8 is allegedly so so great. (If my iPhone 6’s camera app didn’t freeze every 3 out of 10 times, I’d be inclined to agree.)

10:12: Federighi brags that 48% of all Apple mobile device users have already upgraded to iOS 8 after just 26 days.


10:11: Craig Federighi to the stage to talk about software…

10:10: The Apple Watch is still slated for release early next year. (Sadly, no concrete launch date.)

10:10: Cook introduces WatchKit, the software tools necessary for developers to create apps for Apple Watch. WatchKit rolls out next month.

10:08: Onto Apple Watch, the smart watch also announced last month. Cook pokes fun at his wardrobe: typical untucked dress shirt, blue denim and leather loafers.


10:08: Cook says Apple Pay officially rolls out on Monday… “The journey begins, and we can’t wait.”

10:06: Now onto Apple Pay, the mobile payments service announced last month that lets iPhone 6 owners use their devices to pay for goods and services. Cook proudly announces Apple has signed another 500 banks to support Apple Pay.

10:05: “This is our biggest iPhone launch ever,” Cook says.

10:04: The iPhone 6/6 Plus were the fastest-selling iPhones ever.

10:03: Tim Cook to the stage. “As you saw from that video, we had an amazing reception of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The stores were absolutely electrifying.”

10:02: One new iPhone user kisses her phone. (I do this before I go to bed each night.)

10:01: The event kicks off with a video of enthused employees outside various Apple stores for the iPhone 6/iPhone 6 Plus launch.

10:00: Lights are dimming. Here we go.

9:59: Things should kick off any minute now…

9:58: If I had to guesstimate, I’d say Apple’s smallish Town Hall fits maybe 200-300 folks.

9:56: Song currently playing in the auditorium: Echosmith’s “Cool Kids.”

9:55: 5 minute warning.

9:51: Remember this morning’s “Best Dressed” winner, CNET Editor at Large Tim Stevens? Here’s a paparazzi side shot. Take a look and tell me dude’s not well-coiffed. I dare you.


9:49: The auditorium is far smaller than the space Apple used a month or so ago to unveil the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Exhibit A:


9:46: Almost inside Apple’s Town Hall…

9:45: Line is moving!

9:42: Paparazzi shot of the morning: Former New York Times personal tech columnist David Pogue. (Pogue now runs tech content at Yahoo.)


9:41: Spotted: Fortune colleague/senior editor at large Adam Lashinsky. BOOM.

9:38: Two more shots of Apple HQ.



9:36: T-minus 24 minutes. Still waiting in line.

9:28: Song I wish Apple HQ blasted through their speakers right now: Enrique Iglesias’s “Bailando” (Spanish version). Now that’s one sexy groove.

9:27: Song blasting from Apple HQ speakers while I wait: Ed Sheeran’s “Sing.” Very, very Apple.

9:25: Parked on a bench next to Apple’s cafeteria, I now recall a subsidized sushi lunch I had there when I first moved to San Francisco 3 years ago. Meh.

9:22: Talk of the iPhone 6 versus the iPhone 6 Plus. “The 6 Plus was so big, it didn’t fit in my front suit pocket. I had to take it back.” #firstworldproblems

9:21: The line for Apple employees to get into the event.


9:16: I really want that dude’s briefcase.

9:15: Guy next to me recounts a recent office visit by HP CEO Meg Whitman. Apparently, she was mistaken for his grandmother.

9:08: Someone from Apple PR approaches me. “Are you really going to eat all those carbs?” he asks me, staring at my plate of sugared pastries in disbelief. WHY YES. YES, I AM.

9:07: The two guys at my table are chatting with each other, asking what they think of San Francisco night life. One guy: “There’s no good food delivery after 10 pm.” (True story.)

9:00: Sartorial item I covet this morning: this guy’s Longchamp’s Cognac Pebbled Leather Briefcase. Yours for only $600 — or a refurbished 13-inch MacBook Pro.


8:59: Spotted: interim Apple PR head Steve Dowling. Dowling reported to ex-PR head Katie Cotton for years before she stepped down this spring.

8:58: Just got whacked in the face by some dude’s big, honking DLSR camera. If I wasn’t awake before, I am now.

8:55: The energy so far is decidedly low-key, much more so than the event Apple held last month, when it unveiled the iPhone and iPhone 6 Plus.

8:52: Brunch, Apple event-style.


8:48: The award for “Most Dapper” easily goes to CNET Editor at Large Tim Stevens. Dude’s rocking a brown herringbone blazer, olive green skinny tie and lilac dress shirt. Puts the rest of us, frankly, to shame.

8:47: T-minus 1 hour, 13 minutes until Apple unveils what we presume will be new iPads, and already, the media is out in full force.

8:44: Also spotted: FOOD.


8:43: Spotted: former Fortune senior writer-turned-CNBC anchor Jon Fortt. (or well, the back of Jon’s head.)


8:40: Here!

8:00 a.m. PT: Stay tuned—we’re en route to the event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino. In the meantime, have a look at former Apple CEO John Sculley talking about what current CEO Tim Cook is doing right.

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And, here’s a look at iPads by the numbers.

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