The long rumored iWatch is real, only it’s being called Apple Watch instead. At a media event in California, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced company’s first wearable and a new category in its product portfolio. Apple Watch has a square face, sapphire glass, swappable wristbands, two metal frames, and supports inductive charging. In addition to displaying time, as expected it is a health and fitness device as well.
Navigation tool: Crown
The Apple Watch has a digital crown, which is a navigational tool that can be used to zoom and scroll. According to Cook, pinch-to-zoom feature will not work in such a small screen, that’s why they went with dial. It can also be used to go back and exit through apps. Users will get the option to change what dial does, should they desire.
Apple Watch sports a touch-capable display with sapphire glass protecting it. It will be available in two sizes — 1.5-inch and 1.65-inch. You can swipe over the screen to select an event. It also lets you tap and click on the watch, where each action has its own meaning.
Apple has introduced a slew a features into the iWatch. The “digital face” lets user draw something on the watch and send it over to their friend to convey a message. It’s a very intuitive feature, as typing on such a small screen would create a clunky experience for users. Apple Watch users will also be able to share their heartbeat with other Apple Watch users and their Watch would vibrate exactly like the sender’s heartbeat.
Another feature gives users the ability to reply to texts without typing anything out. The watch automatically scans and analyzes the content of the text and automatically offers possible replies for the text, which users need to select to send. Users also have the option to dictate a message, which will be transcribed and sent.
The Apple Watch is also using an intuitive way to display your photos on it. It initially offers minuscule thumbnails of all your images, and let you zoom in and zoom out using the digital crown.
Much like the iPhone and iPad, the Apple Watch will use the voice assistant service Siri to take voice input. It’s worth mentioning that Android Wear also offers voice assistant service in form of Google Now on its wearable.
The company has also introduced two health related apps on the Apple Watch. “Activity” app tracks user’s movement, calories burned, and time spent standing. The “Workout” app forces you to perform different exercises.
One of the most important thing in the wearable is how it deals with the notifications. By default, all the iPhone’s notifications will be sent over to the Apple Watch. The developers will be able to create custom notifications, the company confirmed.
The Apple Watch will only pair with iPhones, and any iPhone model starting iPhone 5 and above will work fine with the wearable.
Price and availability
The Apple Watch will come in three different variants: the regular Watch, Watch Edition (made from 18k gold), and Watch Sport. Also it will have two different face sizes: 1.5-inches and 1.65-inches. Users will be able to choose between six different straps, including the sport band, a leather loop, and a classical leather (which are made from leather, polymer, metal mesh and stainless steel). Users can very easily change the strap to a different one. Starting from $349, the Apple Watch will release “early next year.”