Apple had a lot to prove coming into yesterday’s event, and for the first time they were the ones playing catch up. After some masterful execution, and tons of hype and emotion from not only Tim Cook, but everyone who touched the stage, Apple showed everyone that they are far from content on design. Taking a cue from Steve Jobs and his famous “One more thing” line, Tim Cook took center stage to reveal Apple’s newest invention and a new device category: Apple wearables.
The Apple Watch presents a glorious opportunity for Apple as the smart watch category is one that is still in it’s infancy, but has yet to have a true standard. Apple could potentially sneak in and immediately insert themselves into this slot; The standard bearer for smart watches, much like they were for smartphones previously. Apparently sparing no expense, Apple designed a great looking watch that actually looks like a watch. Let’s dig into the details of the Apple Watch, and why you’d want to drop (starting at) $349 on one.
Apple realizes that not everyone likes larger faced watches, and because of that, the Apple Watch will be available in two different sizes. The smaller model is 38mm tall (1.5 inches) while the larger watch is 42mm tall (1.65 inches).There are three different “Editions” to choose from, with each Edition sporting a different look. There will be the Apple Watch, the Sport Edition, and then the curiously named Apple Watch Edition, which will be the highest end of the trio. The watch casing will be available in 6 different finishes total: Stainless Steel(Steel and Black Steel), Aluminum(Silver and Space Grey), and what I’m sure will be ridiculously expensive, 18K Rose and Yellow gold. There’s a ton of bands available for the Apple Watch including an awesome leather loop band that uses magnets to secure to your wrist, a “modern” take on the classic buckle, and of course the original leather buckle style just to name a few. On the outside of the Watch, there are two buttons set up for interacting with the interface: A Digital crown button that essentially acts as a dial for navigation, and the communication button used for…. well for communicating.
In addition to being a multi function companion device, the Apple Watch, at it’s core is still very much a watch. Apple Watch works with your iPhone to constantly check for updates to the time, and like most other digital watches, will automatically adjust to reflect daylight savings time. Messages, calls, and notifications are simple to interact with, and respond to on the Apple Watch, and apps are getting a makeover to be specifically compatible with it. Apple Watches will also be directly compatible with other Apple Watches which allows for users to share touch screen drawings with each other, or use the built in walkie-talkie mode to have quick convos between friends. There’s also a semi creepy Facebook Poke like feature that allows you to “Tap” other Apple Watch users, and even go so far as to share your heartbeat with them. Gone are the days of creeptastic emails and texts, the Apple Watch will let you share your heart beat with those you stalk. Ew.
Apple Wallet is also available through the Apple Watch, giving users the ability to process contactless payments with relative ease. Apple is also extending functionality of your favorite iPhone apps into Apple Watch. There’s a new remote camera feature that will allow you to activate the shutter on your iPhone’s camera, you can ping your iPhone to determine it’s location, and view and share photos all from your Apple Watch. Siri is also available on the Apple Watch, so feel free to dictate whatever your heart desires.
The Apple Watch will also feature two materials from which the screen will be constructed, ion-X glass, and Sapphire. Apple is stuffing a Retina display into the Apple Watch, so expect great viewing angles, and possibly the best display on a smart watch (so far). Both screens will use a technology that will give Apple Watch the ability to tell the difference between a touch and a tap. It will essentially work like short and long presses on Android, and used to do things like execute a specific action or open a contextual menu. Charging is relatively simple thanks to Apple creating a MagSafe inducive charger, which snaps into place much like the chargers in Macbook laptops. There’s a single Apple S1 chip at the helm of all this technology which is helped along by the all new Taptic Engine which is a really easy way to label a linear actuator. The Taptic Engine senses when you’re receiving a notification or interacting with the digital crown, and in response gives you a gentle vibration. The heart rate sensor is on the back of the phone, and uses IR LEDs, and photodiodes to better detect your heartbeat.
Apple just served every smart watch manufacturer notice, and the notice is simple: We’re here. MAke no mistake about it, the Apple Watch will sell, and even with it’s starting price a full $150 above the competitors products. The most impressive thing about the Apple Watch? Apple has already created a bit of a frenzy for a product that won’t even launch for another 4- 6 months.
What say you Apple lovers and potential Sheeple? Are you getting one? Let us know in the comments!