Apple Watch: the cheat sheet
Now that Apple’s first smartwatch is official, here’s everything you need to know about the intelligent timepiece and whether or not it’s for you.
Now that Apple’s first smartwatch is official, here’s everything you need to know about the timepiece and whether or not it’s for you.
What does it do?
On one level, the Apple Watch is a second screen for the iPhone where notifications can appear and be glanced at quickly without fishing a phone out of one’s pocket. Users can ignore alerts or respond to them, either by dictating a message into the watch’s microphone or via a number of pre-written text responses.
However, like the Dick Tracy watch, an Apple Watch will let you talk into your wrist to make a phone call.
There are also some interesting new communicative features that the devices bring, such as being able to share your heart rate as a vibrating alert with another Apple Watch wearer, or to sketch an image on the watch face and send it to the face of another owner’s device.
The device’s screen also responds differently to different levels of touch pressure — Apple calls this force touch and it means that taps and swipes can unlock more functionality and features based on the weight behind the finger doing the touching.
Likewise, the watch has a digital crown for scrolling through text and menus without touching and therefore obscuring the screen.
All Apple Watches also pack some serious health and fitness tracking capabilities, something that Tim Cook is incredibly passionate about.
In the weeks leading up to the official launch he described sitting as the new cancer and said how the watch would remind wearers to stand up and walk around if it felt they’d been sitting for too long.
When the watch goes on sale it will do with a host of third-party apps from some very heavy hitters, from Twitter to BMW. However, there are also a host of integrated apps and features.
Wearers can adopt the watch face to show everything from the time to the phases of the moon, calendar appointments and location data.
The device’s battery will last for 18 hours’ normal use before it will need to be recharged but, if it’s put into ultimate power saving mode where it simply displays the time, Apple says that the watch will go for three days between charges.
All models of the watch are water resistant and can withstand being submerged in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes, so they’re shower-proof and you can leave your watch on when washing your hands.
On board there is 2GB of space that can be used for storing music and 75MB for storing photos locally — i.e., when not connected to an iPhone.
So with a set of Bluetooth headphones you can go for a jog and leave your phone behind and should have about 200 tracks to listen to and 100 images to look at and help to motivate you during your workout.
When it goes on sale on April 24 it will cost between $349 and $17,000 depending on the edition, bracelet choice and casing and screen size and will initially be available in nine countries — Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US.
The watch is available in three collections — Sport, Watch and Edition — and in two casing and screen sizes to suit male and female wearers.
Sport models start at $349, the Watch collection at $549 and an 18-karat gold alloy Edition ranges from $10,000-$17,000.
Who is it for?
Apple’s biggest fans and, with a pricing system that goes right up to $10,000 and well beyond, those who would have considered buying a luxury Swiss watch if they’d been born in the pre-smartphone age.
It’s also for anyone who owns an iPhone 5, 5C, 5S 6 or 6 Plus as it will not work with older handsets.
Apple will be adding an online Apple Watch configurator to its site in the run up the smartwatch’s official release.