Coming 2015

Coming 2015

Welcome to our second blog looking at Apple’s new smart watch which was unveiled at the Apple keynote on the 9th.

Styles

The Apple Watch comes in three main styles:

  • Apple iWatchApple Watch comes in a shiny stainless steel case with two colours to choose from, standard and space black stainless steel as well as having a sapphire crystal screen.
  • Apple Watch Sport comes with an anodized aluminium case in silver and space grey and a strengthened ion-x glass to reduce weight.
  • Apple Watch Edition comes in an 18-carat gold case in either a yellow or rose gold and a sapphire crystal screen.

Sizes

The watch comes in two case sizes, 42mm or 38mm. The only reasoning that I can see for this would be how it looks on different sized wrists, although I cannot see 4mm making that much of a difference.

Straps

The watch has six styles of interchangeable straps

  • Link bracelet: Made from the same stainless steel as the case, comes in standard and space black stainless steel and has a butterfly clasp
  • Milanese loop: Made from a stainless steel mesh with a magnetic clip.
  • Modern buckle: A leather strap that comes in soft pink, brown and midnight blue and uses a two-piece magnetic closure.
  • Leather loop: Comes in light brown and bright blue and uses a magnetic clip like the Milanese loop
  • Classic buckle: A standard watch strap that comes in black
  • Sports band: A rubber high endurance strap that uses a pin and tuck closure and comes in white, blue, green, pink and black

Technology and Hardware

  • Digital Crown Click Wheel

Apple iWatch: CrownApple has reused an existing watch feature, the crown, which on normal watches usually sets the time and winds the main spring, and redesigned it into a click wheel that allows you to zoom and scroll through the interface. It also acts as a home button.

  • Retina Display

The watch comes with Apples retina display giving it a high pixel density making it able to render hair thin lines at maximum sharpness and contrast.

  • New multi touch feature

A new update to multi-touch screen hardware enables the watch to distinguish a tap from a press allowing an extra dimension to the user interface.

  • Tap Notification

Instead of using a standard vibration motor the Apple Watch comes with a linear actuator that provides a tapping sensation to notifications.

  • Heart Rate Sensor

Apple iWatch: Heart SensorApple has created a custom heart rate sensor that uses infrared and visible-light LEDs to detect heart rate and combines the information with an accelerometer in the watch and the GPS and Wi-Fi from your phone to provide to create fitness data.

  • Inductive Charging

For charging Apple has gone for an easy to use MagSafe connecter that connects on the the back of the watch, like that used on its laptop chargers, that uses inductive charging making it a sealed system with no exposed contacts.

Software

  • Watch Faces

Apple iWatch: Watch FaceApple iWatch: Watch FaceThe Apple Watch comes with a wide range of watch faces and also lets you add features to some like stop watches and weather updates. Although Apple hasn’t confirmed third party watch faces I think it would be a big mistake to exclude them and I’m sure that they will release more information closer general release.

  • Contacts

The watch has a dedicated button under the digital crown that brings up a menu of favourite contacts, allowing you to message, call or use one of the new ways to communicate from the watch itself.

  • Communication

Apple iWatch: Sketch MessageThe watch also accommodates several ways of communication including being able to take calls or transfer them to your phone.

Read and send text messages through suggested text based or your most sent messages and dictation with Siri.

Mail notifications allow you to read, mark as read, flag and open messages on your phone.

As well as communicating like you are used to, it also includes several other ways to get in contact such as sketch, tap messages and even a walkie-talkie.

  • Apps

The watch is also designed to use many different apps such as calendar, maps, music control, Apple TV remote, stop watch and timer as well as new apps such as remote camera and Apple Pay.

Fitness

Apple iWatch: Fitness AppThe watch comes with a unique activity tracking app that takes the health data from heart rate sensor and accelerometer to create an easy to understand graphic of your activity.  It also sets automatic goals based on your daily performance or lets you set your own.

The workout app is a dedicated tracker that lets you plan, set goals and track your workout, as well as providing reminders of your progress and achievements to push you further. There is even a companion app on the iPhone that gives you a more detailed view of your activity and also allows you to transfer data to the new health app.

Conclusion

At the moment Apple has not set an exact release date, only that it will be early 2015. Although entering the market late it seems that they are improving the formula for smart watches.

To me it looks like the Apple Watch will be a perfect companion to the iPhone 6 Plus, giving you the ability to access the bigger phone on your wrist rather than dealing with a big phone.

Before the announcement I was wanting to move away for Apple products but after seeing the iPhone 6 Plus and the Apple Watch, I can’t wait to see more.