Apple is set to host an event later tonight where it will unveil the iWatch alongside the new iPhone 6. It’s been a four long years since Apple launched a brand new category of products, after launching the iPhone in 2007 and the iPad in 2010. Not surprisingly, there are a lot of expectations as people wait for Apple to unveil a product that will revolutionize the fledgling wearable industry. While Apple has managed to keep things under wraps, numerous leaks have given us a fair idea of what its first wearable device could be all about. With a few hours left for the event to kick off, let’s take a look at 10 features we can look forward to on the iWatch.
The Motorola Moto 360 and the LG G Watch R with their circular design are considered to be the best looking smartwatches out there. Apple too was initially expected to follow the same trend, but a set of leaked schematics proves otherwise. The component drawings leaked yesterday show that the iWatch could end up with a square design and rounded corners. While it may not be what the final product could end up looking like, it is still the closest we have come to getting a glimpse at what Apple has up its sleeves.
There are still quite a few contradicting reports around a possible sapphire glass variant of the iPhone 6. But there have been consistent reports that the iWatch’s display will be protected by the tough sapphire glass. Additionally, the display is also said to be flexible and support multi-touch. There have also been reports of multiple variants differentiated by display size — with one variant sporting a 1.3-inch display and the other sporting a 1.5-inch display.
In addition to being a fashionable smartwatch, Apple’s iWatch will have a host of sensors to track your health and fitness-related activities and communicate with the Health app on iOS 8. It will collate data like steps taken, calories burnt, hydration, and sweat. It will also collate basic health data like heart-rate among others. Apple has roped in athletes and medical professionals to help out with the iWatch.
Standard watches are all water resistant and some are even tough enough to go swimming with. Smartwatches shouldn’t be any different, and Apple is reportedly taken care of that. The iWatch is said to waterproof and tough enough to survive at up to 20 meters underwater.
A smartwatch will lose its charm if you have to keep charging it every day, and it is one of the chief complaints with smartwatches running on Google’s Android Wear platform. Apple however is expected to power the iWatch with a 200mAh to 250mAh battery, which is said to be good enough to last more than a day on a single charge. You also won’t need to plug the smartwatch to a charger, as it is expected to support wireless charging.
Apple’s virtual assistant is expected to be deeply integrated with the iWatch and also boast new and advanced features. One of these new features includes the ability for Siri to fire up an app on the iWatch depending upon one’s activity or location. For example if the smartwatch wearer starts running, Siri could automatically fire up the fitness app. Voice control in conjunction with Siri is also said to be playing an important role in using different aspects of the iWatch.
The iWatch isn’t going to be restricted to Apple’s own apps and will instead be able to communicate with third-party apps as well. Apple recently sent out a new SDK for the iWatch, which has deep integration with several new iOS 8 features including HomeKit APIs, HealthKit among others.
According to leaked specifications, the iWatch is expected to offer 8GB internal storage to users. This is quite impressive considering some of the other new smartwatches offer 4GB of memory or thereabouts.
Like the iPhone 6, the iWatch too is expected to boast a NFC chip on board. With Apple focusing on mobile payments with the iPhone 6 it won’t be surprising if the feature is extended to the iWatch too. The feature will basically make the process of using a credit card to pay for something redundant.
Pricing and availability
While the iWatch is expected to be unveiled later tonight, there have been reports claiming that it could only be available towards the end of the year or early next year. The delay is said to be a result of manufacturing difficulties.
As for pricing, one of the iWatch variants will cost around $400, with cheaper variants too expected. Some reports have also claimed that the more expensive variants could be priced upwards of $1,000.