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Apple introduces animated emoji, wristwatch

At a special event in Cupertino today, Apple unveiled animated emoji, a major innovation in the leading medium for transmitting pictures of poop that has eyes for some reason. Apple executive Kevin Lynch demonstrated one of the animated emoji on the Flint Center stage, displaying a smiley-face emoji whose tongue-flapping, eyebrow-raising puckishness simply could not have been conveyed with the older, shittier emoji.


The new emoji will be featured on the Apple Watch, a fetching wristwatch that the company also announced today as a sort of complement to the animated emoji reveal. Apple CEO Tim Cook and other company executives cast Apple Watch as a line of products—Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition—but the distinctions between the models appear to be largely cosmetic. (That did not stop designer Jony Ive from talking about the wonders of the watches’ various wristbands for an astounding length of time.)

Instead of highlighting differences between the models, Apple today focused on the features, such as animated emoji, that will be available to all Apple Watch users. Those features include fitness monitoring; quick access to lite versions of iPhone apps like Maps, Messages, and Photos; and the Apple Pay system, which aims to move commerce forward by letting customers pay for goods by tapping their watch/phone against a thing rather than sliding a card through a thing. The watch requires an iPhone—specifically, an iPhone 5 or newer—and it’s slated to go on sale in early 2015, with prices starting at $350.


As expected, Apple also announced two iPhones, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. The new phones are thinner and faster, they have longer battery life, the cameras are better, and so on. They are all the things that a new iPhone is expected to be. The iPhone 6 has a larger screen—4.7 inches diagonal—than its predecessor, and the iPhone 6 Plus screen is even bigger at 5.5 inches diagonal. Both phones feature “Retina Display HD” technology, an advancement that doubles the number of marketing terms attached to the word “display.”

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