Apple Watch

It is not called ‘iWatch’ – but Apple Watch – and it is finally here. Apple formally entered the wearable computing fray with its first smartwatch on Tuesday. The company also showed off a bunch of other goodies, including the iPhone 6 and Apple Pay.

Tim Cook (CEO, Apple): 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.

The Apple Watch is not just Apple’s foray into wearable computing; the Cupertino giant is entering the personal health and fitness tracking market with a bang as well. The device includes an Activity app that the company says is designed to help motivate users to be more active. The Activity app measures three separate aspects of movement: calories burned, brisk activity and how often users stand up during the day. There is also a Workout app that can track workouts.The Workout app provides goal-setting and pacing during activities such as running and cycling. There is a companion Fitness app on the iPhone.

Here are some of the things users can do with the Apple Watch..

  • Apple Watch can send and receive messages, or answer calls to the iPhone.
  • The ‘Handoff’ feature lets users start a message on the Apple Watch and continue where they left off on their iPhones.
  • A ‘Glances’ feature pulls up information users have configured to, such as current location, stock information or calendar.
  • The side button of the Apple Watch when pressed brings up Friends, an user-defined list of people who can be contacted.
  • Users can control their Apple TVs from the watch or get directions.

Ten things you just have to know about the Apple Watch…

  1. Apple Watch is iOS-based. It even comes with Siri. Dictation is also enabled.
  2. Apple Watch uses an accelerometer, a built-in heart rate sensor, and GPS.
  3. Apple Watch features Wi-Fi 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 4.0.
  4. The devices feature a Retina display.
  5. Apple Watch also features what Apple calls ‘force touch’ – a technology that senses the difference between a tap and a press.
  6. Apple Watch introduces a taptic engine and a built-in speaker.
  7. Apple custom-designed its own S1 SiP (System in Package) , which the company says allowed it to miniaturize an entire computer architecture onto a single chip.
  8. Apple Watch introduces a ‘digital crown,’ that provides a way to scroll, zoom and navigate. The digital crown also serves as the Home button.
  9.  Apple Watch comes with Apple Pay, Apple’s contact-less payment technology.
  10. The Apple Watch comes with Passbook, which is an iOS feature that lets users store things like airline boarding passes, movie tickets, or gift cards in one place.

What does the Apple Watch look like?

Apple Watch come in three flavors — Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition. The devices will be available in two different sizes, 38 mm and 42 mm. The enclosures are crafted from alloys of polished or space black stainless steel, space gray or silver anodized aluminum, and 18-karat rose or yellow gold. There are also an entire range of watch straps, from sports bands to bands made of leather and steel.

How can I personalize the Apple Watch?

Apple Watch comes with 11 watch faces ranging from traditional analog faces to ones with a dynamic timelapse face; an astronomy face, a real-time 3D model of the earth, sun, moon and planets; and the Solar face, which is like a contemporary sundial.

The Apple Watch can also be personalized in appearance and capability with information such as upcoming events, moonphases or your activity level.

Developing apps for the Apple Watch

Apple has introduced WatchKit, providing tools and APIs for developers to create experiences designed for the Apple Watch. Developers can create WatchKit apps with actionable notifications and Glances. Starting later next year, developers will be able to create fully native apps for the devices.

When will Apple Watch be available?

Apple Watch will be available in early 2015 with prices starting at $349.

“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.

[Image courtesy: Apple]