Apple finally released their much awaited wearable device, the Apple Watch, out Tuesday. The smartwatch is company’s first venture in the wearable industry, which has seen its fair share of rumors in the past few months. Previously, it was set to break covers in October, but it seems the plans may have changed. We got to hear the “one more thing” once again at an Apple event, and it was the Apple Watch, touted as the most personal smartwatch ever. There are three different editions of the Apple Watch with a sapphire glass display, swappable bands, and also serves as a fitness-tracking device. Here’s everything you need to know about the Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch comes with a rectangular design, which looks quite similar to the Android Wear watches, but actually, it’s not. It’s deeply integrated with Apple iPhone and iOS ecosystem to give you the most personal experience, making it stand out from the rest of the crowd. Instead of the gestures (which tends to block screen view), there’s a digital crown on the side that helps as a navigation tool. The Digital Crown also serve as a home button, and can be used to access Siri. The smartwatch comes in two different sizes (38 mm and 42 mm), and a variety of interchangeable bands, distinctively bundled into three different collections: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and an 18k gold Apple Watch Edition.
The device comes in two display sizes: 1.49-inch and 1.65-inch. The Apple Watch and Edition version comes with sapphire crystals display while the Apple Watch Sport features strengthened Ion-X glass. The device features a Force Touch, which can distinguish between a touch and a press intelligently.
Apple introduced a handful of new features in the Watch, with focus on health and fitness as well. There’s a Health app which can track several fitness-related metrics, such as the distance travelled, calories burnt, steps taken, and more.
Much like the previous iterations of the iPhone, the Apple Watch comes with Siri, Apple’s personal assistant, to carry on with several tasks using the watch. As it connects with your iPhone, it sends notifications directly to the iPhone, and an intelligent way to respond to them, including animated emojis. There’s no keyboard on the Watch, but once you receive any message, it scans it and presents a common list of responses to choose from based on the contents of the message. The responses can also be dictated using Siri.
Typing on such a small device can be a hectic task so Apple has introduced new ways to communicate. Haptic Feedback is also present, courtesy of the Taptic Engine , and Apple also introduced a Digital Touch, a new way to get in touch with the people around you — the ones in possession of an Apple Watch. Just tap on your watch, and your friend near you will get a taptic notification, later you can just draw the mood you’re in and it will go through. In short, Apple described it as, “Digital Touch allows you to send a sketch, a gentle tap, an audio message through Walkie Talkie or even your own heartbeat.”
Developers will also get the ability to create apps or integrate their apps with the Watch using the WatchKit, new set of APIs for the Apple Watch.
Apple Pay is also present, which give users the ability to pay at several retailers in the US using the NFC antenna present in the Watch. The charging on the Watch comes with a combination of Apple’s MagSafe technology with inductive charging.
Apple Watch is compatible with iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus running the latest version of iOS 8. The Apple Watch comes with a S1 processor with Wi-Fi 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 4.0 to pair seamlessly with your iPhone.
Pricing and Availability
This is the most disappointing part. Apple announced during the event that Apple Watch will launch in early 2015 — we don’t know how early, it could be January or it could be the end of March. As far as the pricing is concerned, the Apple Watch will start at $349, a $100 more than most of the smartwatches available in the market. You have an option to choose from six straps, three different finishes, and two sizes, so it offers a lot of choice.