The Apple Watch was officially announced just a few minutes ago. Let’s start by pointing out that it’s actually called the Apple Watch, not the iWatch. It’s essentially a companion device that integrates with an iPhone.
The Apple Watch will be available in two sizes and three separate series that include a sports edition, a standard edition and an 18 carat gold version. Read on for all the details on Apple’s first wearable device.
Design & hardware
The first thing you will notice is the Apple Watch’s interesting design. This could be good or bad, but we don’t happen to be huge fans of the device’s looks. It looks a bit too thick on images and video, but we will say the flexibility in straps and the ease of customizability are quite awesome. One of them is made of 18 karatgold, for god’s sake!
The device features a curved retina display that will be available in two sizes – 38 mm and 42 mm (1.5 inches and 1.65 inches, accordingly). The screen is protected by a sapphire layer, which does happen to be among the strongest materials available.
There is one very interesting feature about this screen. Apple “invented” a new screen technology that allows the smartwatch to detect pressure in your taps. In short, it can tell if it was a slight tap or a full press, taking on different tasks for those separate actions.
Software, UI and navigation
The new Apple Watch debuts a very new kind of navigation that kind of draws on the traditional while leaping ahead into the future with small winder on the right side of the watch that you use much like a regular winder. It’s called the Digital Crown.
Rolling the winder in either direction will help you navigate the apps you are using, allowing you to pan in or out when using Maps, or to scroll through apps in a list without covering the screen with your finger.
Awesome and unique features
The Apple Watch does support a series of apps, including Maps, messaging and even Siri! In addition, one can use it with Apple Pay. Not only can you get rid of your credit cards, but you can now pay with your watch. Because who needs to slave away pulling out phones to pay, right?
The user interface is a bit odd, but we will have to test it first hand to see just how effective it really is.
Around the back you will find the sensors that detect your heart rate. Software features to exploit the health sensors have also been applied.
The Activity app is pretty much a constant fitness tracker. It can tell you your general daily health performance, measuring how much you walk, how often you take breaks and the like.
Those who prefer tracking their intense workouts, as opposed to their mundane activities, can use the Workout app, which keeps track of your dedicated exercise time.
The back is also where the device can be charged with the MagSafe/wireless charging contraption Apple has created for this product. Which to be honest, looks quite awesome and convenient.
This is also a communications device, so Apple has created a neat and fun way to connect with other Apple Watch users. You can literally send finger-written messages to others. But if you really want to get personal, you can also send them your heart beat (yes, your real heartbeat, measured by the watch).
Powered by an Apple S1 Processor, this light wearable promises good performance and useful features. It will definitely be in many wrists quickly after, but you may have to wait a bit longer than usual to get your hands on this one.
Price and availability
The Apple Watch will be launching on early 2015, which is an insane time to wait. Especially considering Apple always releases its products very soon after announcements. As for the price? It won’t be cheap either, carrying a mighty $349 price tag
And of course, no new product can be successful without good support. Apple is a very popular brand and they are sure to sell many of these, which means developers should quickly flock to Apple’s new “WatchKit” developer program.
WatchKit gives developers all the tools they need to optimize their apps to the Apple Watch. Using it will improve battery life , performance and compatibility. It should be released in 2015, as well, so you should keep an eye open on WatchKit if you plan to build an Apple Watch app.
I must say I am not completely sold on this one, guys. The design is not really that great compared to other smartwatches we have seen recently. Not to mention, the price and release date are not very enticing. Are you waiting for one of these?