Apple not only unveiled its latest iPhones, the 4.7-inch Apple iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, today but is also jumping into the increasingly crowded wearables space. In a “one more thing” moment reminicent of former CEO Steve Jobs’ signature move, Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the Apple Watch. While a smartwatch is not a surprise, Apple did surprise by not calling it the iWatch. It would appear that Apple is moving away from its ‘i’ branding strategy.
Billed as Apple’s “most personal device ever,” the Apple Watch promises “revolutionary new technologies and a pioneering user interface with a beautiful design that honors the rich tradition of precision watchmaking.” The user interface is focused around the Digital Crown. It promises “an innovative way to scroll, zoom and navigate.” It also acts as the Home button and a way to access Siri. The Retina display comes with a technology called Force Touch which can differentiate between a tap and a press to offer a greater range of gestures and controls.
“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.”
Full specifications were not announced today but a few details have been revealed. As expected, the Apple Watch is built around Apple’s own S1 SiP (System in Package). It comes with both 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. It also comes with GPS, an accelerometer and a heart sensor. It will be compatible only with the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus running the latest version of iOS 8.
Aside from being an “extremely accurate timepiece,” the Apple Watch comes with features like Handoff that lets you start a message on the watch and finish it on your iPhone, an easy way to bring your closest friends to easily contact them, Digital Touch which lets you send a sketch, a gentle tap, an audio message or even your heartbeat, and support for Apple Pay. Needless to say, you also get all the notifications that you would expect to find on a smartwatch.
On the app side, it comes with Activity to “help motivate you to be more active throughout the day” and Workout which provides the metrics from your dedicated workout sessions.
The Apple Watch will come in three collections, Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition. The Apple Watch will be available with either a polished or space black stainless steel case along with a range of straps. The Apple Watch Sport will come with a space gray or silver anodized aluminum case and Sport Band. The Apple Watch Edition will sport an 18-karat rose or yellow gold case and a choice of straps exclusive to this collection. Each will additionally come in two sizes: 42 and 38 millimeters.
The Apple Watch will launch in early 2015 with pricing set to start at US$349. “It is worth the wait,” promised Tim Cook.
Source : Apple