The public had its first chance to see, touch and buy the Apple Watch Friday, as Apple stores in the United States and eight markets abroad start previews and online orders commence.
However, the Apple Watch isn’t the only gadget available this week. Here are five other new devices and services targeting your wallet.
DON’T FORGET THE MACBOOK
Apple’s new laptop, simply called MacBook, debuted Friday. It’s the company’s lightest and thinnest laptop so far, making the ultra-thin MacBook Air appear bulky by comparison. Apple borrowed many design techniques from the iPad, including eliminating the fan.
The new MacBook comes in silver, gold or gray — the first time there has been a color choice since Apple ditched plastic for metal on its laptops. The base model is $1,299. You get dou- ble the storage and a faster processor for $1,599.
OR THE NEW ANDROID PHONES
Samsung’s Galaxy S6 phones and the HTC One M9 make their general U.S. debut in retail stores. (Online orders have been accepted for a few weeks). Samsung swapped its plastic back cover for more stylish metal and glass to better compete with the iPhone. It also improved the camera and software interface.
HTC also improved its camera and has added home-screen personaliza- tion based on location. Prices vary by carrier. No-contract versions generally start at about $650.
In time for the return of “Game of Thrones” this Sunday, HBO launched its stand-alone streaming service, HBO Now, priced at $15 a month. Initially, it’s available only to owners of an Apple TV, iPhone or iPad, or to Cablevision’s Internet-access subscribers. HBO Now offers the same content as HBO Go, the companion app to HBO’s cable channels. The difference is you don’t need a cable or satellite TV subscription.
You could also pay $15 a month to watch HBO shows online through Dish’s Sling TV service. That’s on top of Sling TV’s $20 monthly fee for nearly two dozen other cable channels, including ESPN and CNN. Sling TV made HBO available Thursday.
SPEAKING OF STREAMING
CBS’ $6-a-month streaming service, All Access, is now available on Roku — the first streaming TV device for the network. The subscription offers live feeds of CBS stations in some markets — 14 with CBS-owned stations, plus 56 represented by affiliates under deals announced Thursday. All Access also offers a bigger library of on-demand content than what’s available for free.
Meanwhile, the Roku 3 player now has a new remote control with a voice search button that customers can use to see what’s available across multiple streaming services such as Netflix. Another feature tracks when a movie you’re interested in becomes available for streaming or gets a price cut.
LIVE TV ON XBOX
Attention cord-cutters and cord-nevers — you’ll be able to watch free live local TV stations like CBS, Fox, NBC and PBS through Microsoft’s Xbox.
BY ANICK JESDANUN
The Associated Press
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