Apple on Tuesday announce its much-anticipated wearable device, named not the “iWatch,” but instead the Apple Watch. (Or Watch for the sticklers among you.) The new wearable device comes across as both fashionable and highly functional, boasting an array of available colors and materials. Pricing for the device, available “early 2015,” starts at $349.
Apple’s new watch takes advantage of some unique input methods, including a traditional watch crown which allows users to zoom in and out, and scroll through user interfaces. The device also uses pressure sensing technology that can tell the difference between a tap and a press, allowing for a range of contextual controls. A button next to the side crown allows tapping to bring up a list of contacts, who you can then send a simple drawing, message, animated emojis, or even your current heartbeat to.
As far as fashion goes, there are six watchface colors and materials: Stainless Steel, Silver Aluminum, 18-Karat Yellow Gold, Space Black Stainless Steel, Space Gray Aluminum, and 18-Karat Rose Gold.
The device is available in three models:
- The Apple Watch collection, featuring a stainless steel or space black stainless steel case available with a range of metal and leather bands.
- The Watch Sport collection, with anodized aluminum cases in silver or space gray featuring colorful, durable sport bands.
- The Apple Watch Edition, which boasts 18-k gold cases in yellow or rose which can be accessorized with “exquisitely crafted” bands and closures.
Each of the watches are available in one of two screen sizes for different sizes of wrists: 38mm and 42mm.
There are an array of custom watchfaces for each mood and taste, and the screen is protected by a flexible ultra-durable sapphire display.
Apple uses a new Taptic Engine that allow users to feel and respond to notifications “easily and intuitively.”
The back of the watch contain four sapphire lenses that can detect pulse rate. An S1 processor integrates numerous subsystems into one small module, and the device also includes a gyroscope and accelerometer to allow the watch to monitor your daily activity.
Charging of the watch will be via a MagSafe connector that attaches to the back of the watch. No word on what kind of battery life we can expect from the Apple Watch.
The watch is designed to keep excellent time, continually checking its internal clock against the global time standard.
The Apple Watch is of course health and fitness focused, including an Activity app to give users a daily overview of their activity, tracking movement and activities.
A workout app shows users real-time stats such as time, distance, calories, and pace when working out. Over time, the device can suggest new fitness goals, acting as a personal trainer of sorts.
The Apple Watch will support third-party apps, supporting both apps that work in cadence with the iPhone, and those that will run directly on the wearable device. The watch does appear to rely in many cases on the iPhone, thereby drawing users ever deeper into Apple’s ecosystem.
The Apple Watch also includes NFC capabilities, and will work with Apple’s new electronic payments initiative, Apple Pay.