Apple has unveiled its first smartwatch. But it’s not called the iWatch as predicted. It’s called Apple Watch. And it’s a beauty.
Unlike other smartwatches, you control it using a dial on the side called the Digital Crown. This means you don’t obscure the screen with your finger.
Though you use the screen for some functions too.
The Digital Crown works like a scroll wheel. You can scroll through menus and messages, and zoom in to photos and maps. It also works as a home button – press it, and you’ll return to the home screen.
Apps appear in circular icons on the home screen. You can move around them by swiping, and zoom out using the Digital Crown.
Apple Watch features a flexible Retina display that senses force and well as touch. Electrodes surrounding the screen can recognise the difference between a tap and a press.
It’s also the first Apple device to feature haptic feedback, thanks to the “Taptic Engine”.
It features a pulse reader on the back, and has an accelerometer and gyroscope built in.
Apple Watch also has inductive charging. Like the MacBook, the charger features a magnet to align it perfectly, so you won’t have to fiddle around trying to plug it in.
It’s Apple’s most personalisable product ever. You can choose from hundreds of watch faces, and you can personalise them by changing the colours and rearranging the information, for example.
There are six different straps to choose from, including a luxury one and a sporty one. And a smaller Apple Watch will be available with smaller straps.
Apple Watch splits up into three categories: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition.
Third parties will be able to make apps for it. Indeed, some have already started. BMW’s app will let you see how charged your car is, and find where you parked it. You’ll be able to check in to hotels using Apple Watch, and unlock your room door by waving your Apple Watch in front of it.
City Mapper, Pinterest and Twitter are also making apps for Apple Watch.
Each app features its own ‘Glances’ – these are buttons specific to the app that you access by swiping up when within the app. So get a calendar invite, say, and you can accept, ignore, or say maybe with one press.
It has Siri built in, so you can ask it questions and get answers.
It’ll even direct you with haptic feedback in the Maps app, with certain buzzes meaning turn left, and others meaning turn right. Which will mean you won’t have to keep checking your phone, and risk walking under a bus.
Apple Watch features a new way to communicate with other wearers too. Called Digital Touch, it lets you send sketches you’ve drawn on the screen, or you can even send your heartbeat – it’ll appear on the recipient’s screen, and their watch will buzz in time with it.
You can also pay for goods and services using your Apple Watch.
There’s a big focus on health and wellbeing too, thanks to the different ‘rings’.
The Movement ring measures how active you are generally, while the Exercise ring measures any activity as strenuous of a brisk walk or above. The Stand ring helps you stand for at least a minute every hour.
There’s also a dedicated Workout app as well, for more serious fitness fanatics.
Apple Watch will work with all iPhone models from the 5 onwards. It will cost $349, and will go on sale early next year.