Following the Apple Watch announcement in September, Tim Cook has taken to the stage at their 'Spring Forward' event in San Francisco to announce more details - including price, launch date, app support, battery life and much more.
Many new details have been announced about the many variations of Apple Watch and its operating system. First things first, it comes in three configurations:
- The standard Apple Watch is wrapped in a stainless steel case, coming in either silver or 'space black.' Starting with an alloy of Stainless Steel in molten form, a cold forging process makes this version of the watch 80% stronger than standard stainless steel, and polished to a mirror finish. On top of this, the links bracelets for these have been given some love too, including the milanese loop, made of threaded steel (my personal favourite).
- The Apple Watch Sport comes in an Anodized aluminium case with a rubber strap. With a custom designed new alloy, which is 60% stronger than traditional aluminium, the process of production is pretty extensive. Starting as a molten alloy and ending as a strong alloy coated with zirconia, there seems to be a lot of love put into it's construction.
- And for the big spenders, the Apple Watch Edition is made from 18-karat gold, available in either yellow or rose
The watch comes with a big selection of watch faces, each of with can be customised with whatever information you find useful for your everyday.
In terms of the functionality, you can glance and the music playing on your wrist, receive notifications with 'the Taptic Engine' vibrate function, see who's calling and (with a built-in speaker and mic) make phone calls, too. The more interesting/creepy function would be the Digital Touch, which lets you send a sketch a tap, or your own heartbeat to someone else wearing an Apple Watch. Not sure how this last feature translates to anything less than gimmick territory, but we'll see.
Moving onto health, the Apple Watch uses the variety of sensors on-board to measure your fitness levels through a nifty three-ring graphic, which provides a snapshot of all your daily activity. Beyond this, the watch can also suggest a new daily move activity and goal, alongside more detailed measurement of specific activities.
On top of this, other features come across such as Apple Pay integration, viewing photos, and using it as a camera shutter button for your iPhone. Which is where we move onto the third-party app part of the presentation.
Through a feature called 'glances,' Apple hopes your interaction with the watch is minimal, as it should be for an unintrusive piece of tech like this. Some apps being shown includes a quick version of Instagram, American Airlines, Uber and various other quick notifiers. This including the ability to open a garage door from your phone!
Apps are downloaded to the watch via the connected iPhone, on which you can tweak the capabilities and updates to make sure you can see exactly what you want.
Battery life has been left vague at 'all-day' and '18 hours.' We assume this will be light use.
- Apple Watch Sport: $349 for the 38mm and $399 for the 42mm
- Apple Watch: $549 for 38mm and $599 for the 42mm, but bear in mind this could go up to $1100 based on the choice of watch band
- Apple Watch Edition: This is going to sting. From $10,000 and upwards, available in select stores.
Pre-orders of the Apple Watch are available starting April 10th, with a preview in local Apple Stores. The release date is April 24th.
But does it have a calculator? Thought not. A win for the 1980s, who cared not for User Interface.