Live blog: The Apple Watch “Spring Forward” event

Announced in September, the Apple Watch is nearly here; expected to ship in April. There are still many remaining questions about the wearable and Apple is likely to answer them all at its “Spring Forward” event in San Francisco at 10am PT, Monday, March 9.

I’ll be on the scene, live-blogging the event right here, sharing more about the device’s features and pricing as the product story unfolds. It’s also possible we see other new, or updated products, such as a 12-inch MacBook Air. Tune in right here for all of the details as the event unfolds and don’t hesitate to leave your [company]Apple[/company] Watch questions in the comments; I’m sure to get some hands-on time with the newest watch that doesn’t have hands to get you some answers.

Update: Here’s what Apple announced.

Why a new 12-inch MacBook Air could debut alongside Apple Watch

12-inch MacBook Air is in production for the second quarter of this year, reports the Wall Street Journal. That leads to a question about Apple’s “Spring Forward” press event this coming Monday: Will Apple introduce a new laptop alongside its Apple Watch?

There’s little doubt [company]Apple[/company] plans to reveal all of the Apple Watch details and unanswered questions next week; I’ll be at the event with a live blog and first impressions of any new products.

If Apple indeed does plan to offer a MacBook Air with a screen size between the currently available 11- and 13-inch models in the second quarter, a March event is plausible. The timing with respect to chips makes sense as well: Intel’s new Broadwell processors were announced in January and are becoming available to device makers. Production could be underway as a result; Apple would have waited for next-generation chips for a new MacBook Air at this point.


News of a 12-inch MacBook Air hit in January with 9to5Mac super-sleuth Mark Gurman detailing the product from internal Apple sources and publishing in-house renders (above) created from the information.

Gurman reported that the 12-inch laptop will actually be closer in size to the current 11-inch MacBook Air due to slimmer bezels, an edge-to-edge keyboard and fewer ports, along with a reversible Type-C USB connector that works for both data transfer and power. Gurman also said the new MacBook Air will have a higher-resolution screen, likely meaning what Apple calls a Retina display on its products.

While the Apple Watch could stand on its own at an event, it’s worth remembering that it’s an accessory product to an iPhone. To my knowledge, Apple has never held an event solely for an accessory, although the watch is a completely new product line.

In that regard, I think there’s a better than 50-50 chance we see a svelte new 12-inch MacBook Air on Monday. Unless Apple plans another event before its WorldWide Developer Conference, expected this year in early June, the timing is right for a new laptop announcement next week.

Report: Apple’s new MacBook Air will have a single next-gen USB port

The Apple Watch isn’t the only new product expected out of Cupertino in 2015. Apple’s also been preparing a new 12-inch MacBook Air, and according to information obtained by 9to5Mac, the company may change a lot of what users know and love about the MacBook Air.

The new MacBook Air will have a 12-inch screen, but it will be narrower than the current 11-inch MacBook Air. The bezels around the MacBook Air screen have been shrunk, so the display panel — and keyboard — will take up a larger proportion of laptop’s usable area.

9to5mac 12 inch macbook air

The keyboard could be “noticeably” changed, cramming the keys together to take up less area. There are also a few key changes — the power button, for instance, has moved to the left-hand upper corner, to the left of the escape key. The travel on the trackpad has also reportedly been removed in the interest of keeping the laptop slim.

One piece of information to take with a grain of salt: Apparently, the new MacBook Air will only come with only two ports — a headphone jack, and a single USB Type-C port. It’s hard to imagine a MacBook without a Thunderbolt connection or MagSafe charger, but the new USB specification supports driving displays as well as device charging.

The port selection indicates it’s possible that [company]Apple[/company] will update its Cinema Display, which hasn’t been touched in years and will not work with a machine with a single USB Type-C port. (At least, not without a ton of adapters.) Perhaps Apple is working on a docking port for this machine.

You can expect the new MacBook Air to use one of Intel’s new dual-core Broadwell chips.

If you’re in the market for an Apple laptop and you don’t need it today, you should probably hold off until the “MacBook Stealth” launches, most likely later this year, perhaps in June at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference. There are a few slick custom renders approximating what it could look like when it’s launched over on 9to5Mac.

Apple issues recall for MacBook Air flash storage drives

Apple (s AAPL) has issued a recall relating to the 64GB and 128GB flash storage drives used in the previous generation of MacBook Air systems. If you bought a MacBook Air between June 2012 and June 2013, the latest firmware update will also run a test to see whether the drive needs to be replaced. It’s unclear how widespread the flash storage drive failure is, but it appears that the faulty drive will undergo total failure if left unchecked. So hop to it: your music library and photo albums will thank you for it.