The Apple Watch is still a couple of months away, with a rumored launch date of March, but you can now somewhat try out the Apple Watch before it releases, thanks to a new website.
It’s called Pipes’ Apple Watch, and it lets you navigate around the Apple Watch interface to a certain extent, but it’s still very limited at that.
The demo lets you drag around the screen with your mouse just like you would with your finger if you were using it in real life. You can also click on any of the apps shown on the home screen and have them open up to reveal what they would look like. And finally, you can click on the Crown on the side of the Apple Watch to go back to the home screen.
As you’re playing around with it, you can clearly tell that its simulation and demo capabilities aren’t complete, as you can’t open up an app and navigate around inside of that app. Instead, you can only see that first page of an app, and from there you can only click on the Crown to go back to the home screen.
While it isn’t the best demo that we could hope for, it can at least give you some idea of how the Apple Watch will work and how you’ll be navigating around the apps and menus once you buy it.
While the Apple Watch takes a handful of cues from other iOS devices, it’s a wearable that practically redefines iOS in its own way. For example, instead of using pinch-to-zoom on the tiny touchscreen on the Apple Watch, you use a small dial that you turn in order to zoom in and out while viewing maps or other content. Pressing the dial, which Apple calls the “digital crown,” will take you back to the home screen.
The user interface is still very iOS-like, though: you swipe to get different pieces of information, and swiping up from the bottom of the screen reveals customizable pieces of information, such as widgets. You can also look at your calendar from here and access your music.
The touch screen is a rather unique one. For starters, it uses sapphire glass, which was rumored in the past, but the display also senses pressure, which means that it can tell the difference between a “tap” and a “press,” and it’s like the difference between a left-click and right-click on a computer mouse.
The Apple Watch is quite the fitness device, as it has a myriad of sensors on the bottom to record your heart rate and other vitals, and it borrows the GPS signal from your iPhone for running or cycling apps to use. It looks like it’ll track your fitness activities better than most wearable devices can, but we’ll have to test it out first before we make such claims.
What’s perhaps most impressive is that the Apple Watch will analyze the text of a message and will provide you with pre-determined answers to allow you to easily answer back with just a tap. Otherwise, you can talk to the device and have it translate that into text.
Other features include the ability to tweet from the Apple Watch and even unlock hotel room doors with a quick wave at select SPG hotels. A ton of apps are getting support for the device, so you’ll be able to do a ton of stuff, like look up scores, browse Pinterest and even adjust your Nest thermostat. You can also use it to control your Apple TV or use it as a viewfinder for the iPhone camera.