All you need to know about Apple Watch
Apple’s first in the world of wearables is a fact and it called Apple Watch. It was announced today, during the iPhone 6 launch event. The smartwatch comes with inductive charging, square shape, sapphire glass, handful of swappable bands, rotating digital crown and a heartbeat sensor.
The smartwatch will go on sale “early next year” and its prices will start at $349. Apple Watch will come in two different sizes and there will be three different collections – Watch, Watch Sport and Watch Edition.
It is no surprise that Apple Watch will require an iPhone to operate. Models starting from 5 (including 5c) will work with the new device.
The users will be able to pick from six different straps, including a leather look, classic leather buckle, stainless steel [easily adjustable] and a sports band.
Tim Cook, the Apple CEO said today that “We love to make new products that improve people’s live, as well as things that allow our users to make things they could never have imagined” and that is how he opened the talk for Apple Watch. He calls it “the next chapter in Apple’s story”. This, given the absence of Steve Jobs, is in fact the first new segment that Apple releases a new product into, so it is indeed a new chapter. Apple is entering the wearables market with Apple Watch.
The watch itself has a built-in accelerometer, which can count your steps and differentiate whether you are going on flat surface or you have been climbing stairs, in combination with the heart rate sensor. It can differentiate whether you tap gently the surface [sapphire glass] or you press it hard, thanks to the Taptic Engine for input sensing – this is a smart way to differentiate gestures on such a small surface – think of it like left or right mouse click. There is built-in gyroscope and this is the first Apple product that can charge inductively.
In terms of software, no surprise that Siri is available, as well as Maps and Photos [I still wonder why]. Two brand new apps called Fitness and Workout will tend to collect your daily biometric data, analyze it and encourage you to have a more active lifestyle [thus probably improving your health, I like this]. Apple Watch uses its sensors, as well as GPS and Wi-Fi data from the iPhone, to track activity and movement levels throughout the day, representing the information in three “rings.” The Move ring tracks general movement, while the Exercise ring fills up during workouts. A Stand ring reminds users to stand up during the day, as sitting for long periods of time can be unhealthy.
Apple has also developed something they call “digital touch” to allow you to share a doodle you draw on the watch face. Given the fact the watch doesn’t have a keyboard, these doodles allow you to still communicate relatively complex ideas easily.
There is also developers SDK [kind of, or more likely sort of a notification backbone/mechanism], called WatchKit which will tend to allow better integration of new or already existing apps to the paradigm of Apple Watch.
Apple watch will also utilize the new NFC-based payment feature called Apple Pay. Furthermore, it will allow you to check in for your flight or open your hotel room [selected providers at this time only, more to come].
Upon closing the presentation, Tim Cook mentioned that Apple Watch can serve as a remote control for Apple TV [great, because the one it comes with works only for changing slides in presentations] as well as a remote viewfinder for a camera [which will probably ease distant selfies, no?].
These are the first impressions I have had on the Apple Watch. More to follow as fellows that managed to attend the event report.