Apple has unveiled Apple Watch, which it calls its “most personal device ever.” It boasts a specially designed and engineered Digital Crown that provides a way to scroll, zoom and navigate.
Apple CEO Tim Cook says the Digital Crown is Apple’s most revolutionary navigation tool since the iPod Click Wheel and iPhone Multi-Touch. The Apple Watch will enable you to communicate in new ways right from your wrist by sending and receiving messages, answering calls to your iPhone, and with Digital Touch, sending something as personal as your own heartbeat.
Cook says that the smartwatch also introduces comprehensive health and fitness apps that can help people lead healthier lives. Apple Watch is available in three distinct collections: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition.
“Apple introduced the world to several category-defining products, the Mac, iPod, iPhone and iPad,” says Cook. “And once again Apple is poised to captivate the world with a revolutionary product that can enrich people’s lives. It’s the most personal product we’ve ever made.”
“With Apple Watch, we’ve developed multiple technologies and an entirely new user interface specifically for a device that’s designed to be worn. It blurs the boundary between physical object and user interface,” said Jony Ive, Apple’s senior vice president of Design. “We’ve created an entire range of products that enable unparalleled personalization.”
The Apple Watch introduces a design and iOS-based user interface created specifically for a smaller device. The Digital Crown provides a way to scroll, zoom and navigate fluidly, without obstructing the display. It also serves as the Home button and a way to access Siri.
The Retina display on the Apple Watch features Force Touch, a technology that senses the difference between a tap and a press, providing a new way to quickly access controls within apps. The Apple smartwatch also introduces the Taptic Engine and a built-in speaker that together enable a new vocabulary of alerts and notifications you can both hear and feel.
Apple custom-designed its own S1 SiP (System in Package) to miniaturize an entire computer architecture onto a single chip. The Apple Watch also features Wi-Fi 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 4.0 to pair with your iPhone.
It comes in three distinct collections—Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition—and will be available in two different sizes, 38 mm and 42 mm. The enclosures are crafted from custom alloys of polished or space black stainless steel, space gray or silver anodized aluminum and 18-karat rose or yellow gold.
Apple also created an entire range of watch straps: the elastomer Sport Band; the Milanese Loop in a flexible magnetic stainless steel mesh; the Leather Loop in soft, quilted leather that conceals magnets for quick fastening and adjustment; the leather Modern Buckle, which closes with a solid metal clasp; the leather Classic Buckle; and the stainless steel Link Bracelet. The Apple Watch comes with a charging system that combines Apple’s MagSafe technology with inductive charging for a quick connection that snaps into place.
The Apple Watch comes with 11 watch faces ranging from traditional analog faces to new faces like the dynamic Timelapse face; the Astronomy face with its interactive, real-time 3D model of the earth, sun, moon and planets; and the Solar face, a contemporary sundial. The watch can be personalized in appearance and capability with additional information such as upcoming events, moonphases or your activity level, enabling millions of possible configurations.
Taking advantage of its location on your wrist, the Apple Watch provides information that can be viewed at a glance. Smart Replies and dictation let you respond quickly to messages, and with Handoff, you can start a message on your Apple Watch and continue where you left off on your iPhone.
Swipe up from the watch face for Glances that quickly show you information you care about, such as your current location, stocks or your next meeting. Pressing the side button brings up Friends, a view of your favorite people, so you can contact them quickly and easily. Digital Touch allows you to send a sketch, a gentle tap, an audio message through Walkie Talkie or even your own heartbeat. It also works with the new Apple Pay system.
The Apple Watch sports a groundbreaking Activity app designed to help motivate you to be more active throughout the day, and an all-new Workout app designed to provide the metrics you need during dedicated workout sessions. It ses the accelerometer, a built-in heart rate sensor, GPS and Wi-Fi from your iPhone to provide a picture of your daily activity.
The Activity app measures three separate aspects of movement: calories burned, brisk activity and how often you stand up during the day. The Workout app provides goal-setting and pacing during popular session-based workouts, such as running and cycling. The companion Fitness app on iPhone collects your activity data so you can see your activity history in greater detail. The Apple Watch uses this history to suggest personal, realistic goals, reward fitness milestones and keep you motivated.
Apple is offering the WatchKit, which provides new tools and APIs [application programming interfaces] for developers to create experiences designed for the wrist. With the Apple Watch, developers can create WatchKit apps with actionable notifications and Glances that provide timely information. Starting later next year, developers will be able to create fully native apps for Apple Watch.
The smartwatch will be available in three collections. Apple Watch, with a polished or space black stainless steel case and a choice of straps; Apple Watch Sport, with a space gray or silver anodized aluminum case and Sport Band; and Apple Watch Edition, with an 18-karat rose or yellow gold case and a choice of straps exclusive to this collection. Apple Watch straps include the Sport Band in black, blue, green, pink and white; the Classic Buckle in black and midnight blue; the Leather Loop in bright blue, light brown and stone; the Modern Buckle in midnight blue, brown, soft pink, rose gray and bright red; the Milanese Loop in stainless steel; and the Link Bracelet in brushed stainless steel and polished space black.
The Apple Watch will be available in early 2015 with pricing starting at US$349. It will be compatible with the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus running the latest version of iOS 8.