From rumors to speculations, finally Apple has unveiled its first venture into the wearables market: the Apple Watch.
The smartwatch will be available by next year and comes in two sizes – 38 mm and 42 mm – in a variety of models and styles. The three models are Apple Watch, the conventional style; Apple Watch Sport, for sports and fitness enthusiasts; and Apple Watch Edition, the high-end model. Prices will start at $349 although the company wasn’t clear what each will cost.
There is also a selection of wristbands to choose from; from classic buckle to stainless steel to rugged wristbands. Some of them are interchangeable, but it also wasn’t specified if all of them are.
The Apple Watch can do a lot of things – from sending and receiving texts to taking calls to monitoring your fitness and health. If you’re being cheesy, you can even send your own heartbeat to someone who’s also wearing an Apple Watch.
Since the company introduced iPad in 2010, it has not introduced a new product category until now. The Apple Watch is a touchscreen device as well and will require an iPhone to work. The smartwatch is compatible with iPhone 5 and later models and works alongside the latest iPhones – which are also unveiled with the Apple Watch – iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Tim Cook, Apple’s Chief Executive, said that the smartwatch is the “most personal” device they have ever created, adding that the company has been working on the wearable for a long time.
The watch, with a Retina display, is also customizable, with a variety of interfaces to choose from that include the classic analog options and more exciting ones like a cartoon character and 3D model of the sun, moon, earth, and planets.
The watch has a digital crown, the dial click wheel found on the side of the watch, which the users will use to zoom, scroll, and navigate through the device. It is also used as the Home button.
The Apple Watch also includes a set of apps like BMW, Twitter, Starwood, and American Airlines. The device will make it easier and more convenient to get into your car or hotel, board a plane, at the same time keeping track of what’s going on around you – all with just a few swipes and tap on your wrist.
It also comes with Digital Touch, a feature that allows the users to send sketches, audio messages via Walkie Talkie, and send heartbeats to other Apple Watch users.
What makes the Apple Watch popular is for its features that help monitor the user’s health and fitness information. The device includes a built-in sensor that monitors the heart, an accelerometer, GPS, and WiFi to monitor your activities. The watch defies the need to use a wrist fitness tracker.
Siri is available on the smartwatch and can be activated by pressing down the digital crown. The Apple Watch will also work with Apple’s new mobile payment system, the Apple Pay.
Cook used Steve Jobs’ iconic phrase “one more thing” before announcing the Apple Watch.