At last, the Apple Watch is here.
Well, not in the hands of hungry consumers, but it is at least now an official product that the Cupertino company trailed alongside its stunning new iPhone range.
Apple is billing it as different kind of smartwatch that offers something way beyond the Android Wear models that have been dominating the wearables scene over the summer.
There’s plenty to learn about this sleek new device. So read on and we’ll tell you five key things you need to know about the Apple Watch.
1 Not one, but many
The Apple Watch comes in a string of different versions, just as predicted by rumour-mongers over those long summer months.
There are two screen options: 1.5–inch and 1.7–inch.
That’s ample for handling small tasks on your wrist: any bigger and it would be a disaster for those of us with tiny arms.
There are three versions of the watch itself: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Gold Edition.
The first has a sapphire back and stainless steel body, while the sport model comes with a plastic back and toughened exterior.
The gold version is fashioned from 18-karat gold and is aimed at hardcore watch-fanciers.
There are 22 designs in total, so if you are in the market for Apple’s first foray into wearable tech you’re not short of choice.
2 Digital Crown and haptic feedback
The Digital Crown is the main way to control the Apple Watch.
A dial on the side, it acts like a click wheel on old school iPods, letting you flick through menus and apps without having to obscure your watch face with your fingers.
That doesn’t mean the screen isn’t swipe–friendly, though.
The Retina Display responds to flicks with your finger and is responsive to pressure too.
Haptic feedback is also included for the first time on an Apple product.
It works in conjunction with the Maps app, buzzing when you need to turn so you don’t walk blindly across the road.
Every app has a special ‘Glances’ feature.
This makes it easy to handle any notifications without delving through menus.
Simply swipe up when you’re in an app and you’ll be given options on how to respond.
So with Calendar, you’ll get the chance to accept, decline or comment on an invitation.
It promises to be a boon for social media, with breezy access to vital missives and information.
4 Siri built in
Apple has baked Siri into the Apple Watch, meaning you can control your smartwatch with voice commands rather than tapping the screen or scrolling through menus.
It works in much the same way as Siri on the iPhone.
To access the voice service, press down on the Crown on the right-hand side and speak away.
Siri will then respond to your every whim (well, within the parameters of what the watch itself can do).
5 Out in 2015
Apple hasn’t given a specific release date and announced only that the watch will hit shelves at some stage in early 2015.
That covers a six-month period and could mean a staggered launch around the globe, leaving some users disappointed.
Mass production is not believed to have started yet, but early reviews suggest the Apple Watch can live up to the huge hype and expectation.