According to the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, this is the most personal device that the company has created. We can see why as this much awaited wearable device has been touted as an “intimate way to connect and communicate” by the company.
Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the new Apple Watch.
Physically, the Apple Watch has a very minimalistic design. Comes with a Retina display, the dial on the right side of the watch is called Digital Crown which can be used to navigate through the watch’s interface alongside swipe gestures. It also acts as the Home button and can be used to activate Siri. Underneath the Digital Crown is another button that allows users to access Friends which is a collection of their frequently contacted person.
The same button can also be used to activate the Apple Pay functionality which enable users to make NFC-based payments at selected locations using credit card or debit card that has been stored into the Passbook app on their Apple Watch. However, Apple Pay is only available at US for the time being.
The watch’s display also features what the company called Force Touch technology which is able to differentiate between a tap and a press. Not enough with that, the Apple Watch also contains Taptic Engine that provides haptic feedback on the wearer’s wrist. There is also a built-in speaker together with Bluetooth 4.0, and Wi-Fi 802.11b/g connectivity.
The material for the housing on Apple Watch comes in several types which correspond to each of the three Apple Watch variants. For example, the standard model’s case is available in polished and space black stainless steel. At the same time, the Apple Watch Sport’s case is available in the form of space gray and silver anodized aluminium.
The most luxurious of them all would be the Apple Watch Edition (yes, that is indeed its name) which comes in 18-karat rose and yellow gold. At the same time, the Retina display on both the standard and Edition variants are covered with sapphire crystal while the Sport model is protected with a strengthened Ion-X glass.
If you wondering what actually made the Apple Watch ticks, Apple has apparently managed to compress the watch’s entire computer system into one very tiny custom chip that the company called as S1. As weird as this might sound, Apple didn’t mention anything regarding Apple Watch’s battery capability although the company did highlighted the watch’s inductive charging harness on its back which is based on MagSafe technology that Apple used on its MacBook.
Speaking about the rear side of Apple Watch, it is also equipped with a group of infrared and visible-light LEDs as well as photodiodes that collectively acts as a heart rate sensor. Just like the watch’s display, these sensors are protected by a ceramic cover and sapphire lenses with the exception of the Sport variant which utilizes composite back and Ion-X glass lenses.
For each variants of Apple Watch, users are able to choose from two sizes: 38mm and 42mm, to suit their wrist. There will also be six types of straps available at their disposal: the stainless steel Link Bracelet, metal mesh Milanese Loop and active lifestyle oriented Sport Band as well as Modern Buckle, Classic Buckle, and Leather Loop which are made from leather.
Now that we have gone through most of its physical characteristics and hardware components, what actually Apple Watch can do? Well, the watch is essentially still an extension to one’s iPhone. Hence, it is able to display messages, e-mail, phone calls and notifications from apps; similar to numerous smartwatches that are already available in the market.
Then again, Apple has implemented several new method for owners of Apple Watch to communicate with other owners. Done with the help of the watch’s touch display and Taptic Engine, these method include sketching, walkie-talkie, tapping, and sending heartbeat. Yes, users are also able to answer calls through the Apple Watch in case you are wondering.
That’s not all though; the Apple Watch can also be used with apps. Apple has listed quite a number of them which can be support by the new watch including Maps, Calendar, Music, Apple TV and iTunes controller, remote viewfinder for iPhone’s camera, Siri (as mentioned previously) and many more. App developers are welcome to craft apps for Apple Watch as soon as Apple releases the development kit for the watch called WatchKit later this year.
Since the Apple Watch comes with a built-in heart rate sensor and accelerometer, it is quite obvious that the watch is also designed for fitness and health purposes. This is why the watch comes with an in-house apps called Activity which works as a fitness tracker and measures user’s activity throughout the day.
Apple has also developed another app called Workout that is designed for dedicated cardio exercises such as running, walking, and cycling. Apart from measuring and tracking user’s workout data, the app is also able to suggest goals based on user’s workout history alongside reminders and achievements.
All the data that are acquired through these two apps are then relayed to the Fitness app on iPhone so that users are able to keep track on their progress. These data can further be shared to third party fitness and health apps via iPhone’s Health app.
If it is not obvious enough, Apple iPhone is a compulsory requirement to use the Apple Watch but the good thing that not only it supports the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus but also the older iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, and iPhone 5.
In case you are already eager to get your hands on the spanking new Apple Watch, we have a bad news for you: it will only be released sometime in early 2015. Apple did officially announced the watch’s starting price though at USD 349 (RM 1,117), so we guess there are still plenty of time left for you to save up the money to buy it.