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BLOG: Apple announces new energy & health initiatives, updates for iPad, Apple Watch & iPhone

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SAN FRANCISCO (CNNMoney) – Monday, Apple announced new product updates at a town-hall meeting in Cupertino, California. There were also announcements about the company’s advances to help initiatives in health and renewable energy .

The product updates include new bands for the Apple Watch, a smaller iPhone and smaller iPad Pro, plus upgrades to other items and iOS 9.3.

We posted updates in a live blog below. Β It is now archived.

Claire Aiello March 21, 201612:03 pm

Apple will mark its 40th birthday on April 1, 2016.

More than 1 billion Apple devices in use around the world, said Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Claire Aiello March 21, 201612:05 pm

Cook: The iPhone is a very personal device. “We need to decide as a national how much power the government should have over our own privacy.”

Cook: “I’ve been humbled and deeply grateful for the outpouring of support I’ve received from Americans all over the country. We believe strongly we have a responsibility to protect your data and protect your privacy. We owe it to our customers and we owe it to our country. This is an issue that impacts all of us and we will not shrink from this responsibility.”

Claire Aiello March 21, 201612:08 pm

Apple announcing new initiatives to protect the environment. Says 93% of its facilities worldwide run on renewable energy. Says it is 100% using renewable energy for its facilities, stores in 23 countries, including U.S. and China.

Claire Aiello March 21, 201612:10 pm

Lisa Jackson oversees Apple’s efforts to minimize its impact on the environment by addressing climate change through renewable energy and energy efficiency. She is the former head of the EPA.

Claire Aiello March 21, 201612:11 pm

Jackson says most of the phones Apple gets through recycling and buy-up programs are reused.

Claire Aiello March 21, 201612:14 pm

Jackson now talking about Recycling and Reuse of products. Describes Liam, an Apple robot that dismantles phones and recycles various parts of them for new use. Says ‘Apple Renew’ program will allow people to recycle iPhones in stores but you can still keep your sensitive information.

Claire Aiello March 21, 201612:16 pm

Tim Cook, CEO, back on stage to talk about new Health initiatives. Invites Jeff Williams to stage. He’s detailing ResearchKit, announced last year, and what advances have been made from that. 

Mentions the largest Parkinson’s study in history happened very soon after the announcement. “Researchers are gaining insights that just weren’t possible before.”
Claire Aiello March 21, 201612:18 pm

Studies for these diseases and ailments have benefited from ResearchKit.  Video now showing about how ResearchKit could help autism research.

Maxie Gardner March 21, 201612:19 pm

This is just one of the ways Apple is helping in the healthcare world. This little girl is using an app that monitors the girl’s reaction to certain tests to determine if she might have a form of autism

Maxie Gardner March 21, 201612:23 pm
Today’s first official announcement is the release of the Care Kit App – It will be available in April

Claire Aiello March 21, 201612:23 pm

Williams discussing how ResearchKit helped in a Parkinson’s study. Could help show changes in the person after a certain type of medicine, and whether or not it was effective.

“We think empowering people with data about their health is incredibly important.”

Williams announces CareKit, a framework to build apps that allow people to take a more active role in their care. First one being released is for Parkinson’s. Six institutions will use this app to communicate with their patients to better manage their care.

Claire Aiello March 21, 201612:27 pm

Tim Cook now talking about Apple Watch. Says people love the product, and love checking things from their wrist. Also, love changing the bands, to give the watch a brand new look.

Cook announces brand new colors for the band, and bands made from woven materials. Apple Watch to start at $299!

Claire Aiello March 21, 201612:28 pm

Cook now talking about Apple TV – “Apps are the future of television,” he said.  

Claire Aiello March 21, 201612:30 pm

Cook detailing samples of some of the apps for movies, TV, health, ordering food and more. Also discussing Siri’s role to help search these apps.

Claire Aiello March 21, 201612:30 pm

Claire Aiello March 21, 201612:31 pm

These updates are available for free, for Apple TV, beginning today.

Claire Aiello March 21, 201612:33 pm

iPhone – new, smaller design to join the suite of iPhones. More than 30 million 4-inch iPhones sold in 2015. “Some people still love smaller phones.”

iPhone SE will keep the 4-inch design. Other larger phones will still be available if you prefer those.

Claire Aiello March 21, 201612:35 pm

iPhone SE will have same processing performance of the iPhone 6S. Also better battery power.

Claire Aiello March 21, 201612:35 pm

Claire Aiello March 21, 201612:41 pm

iOS update – Apple has been testing iOS 9.3 – one feature is ‘night shift’ which dims the light on your screen when you are viewing at night. 

Claire Aiello March 21, 201612:41 pm

New ‘Notes’ app – will be password-protected.  Health app will also bring in more data from other fitness apps.

Claire Aiello March 21, 201612:43 pm

Discussing CarPlay, Education apps of iOS 9.3 Available as a free update today.

Claire Aiello March 21, 201612:46 pm

New member of iPad Pro family is coming. 9.7 inch retina display, smaller than other one. Less than 1 lb.

Claire Aiello March 21, 201612:47 pm

Claire Aiello March 21, 201612:48 pm

More than 600 million PC’s in use today that are more than 5 years old. “These people could really benefit from an iPad Pro” – as a PC replacement, Apple representative says.

Claire Aiello March 21, 201612:52 pm

TrueTone display senses the light in the room you are using the iPad Pro to improve what you view: 

Claire Aiello March 21, 201612:55 pm
New card readers will help on iPad Pros:

Claire Aiello March 21, 201612:58 pm

32GB iPad Pro for $599. 128GB – $749. 256GB – $899.  Orders begin March 24 and start shipping March 31.