The cat’s officially out of the bag, as Apple CEO Tim Cook has announced that the Apple Watch release date will arrive at some point in April.
The announcement came during Apple’s Q1 2015 earnings call, and while no specific release date was provided, April is later than what many past rumors have suggested.
When the Apple Watch was first announced back in September during the iPhone 6 event, the company provided a vague “early 2015” release timeline, and since then, many potential buyers have been wondering when Apple will release its smartwatch to the masses.
The most recent release rumor for the Apple Watch suggested a March launch timeline, but earlier than that there was a leaked internal document that suggested “Spring 2015” was the agreed-upon release window, which came from Apple retail head Angela Ahrendts herself.
In the message, Ahrendts said that Apple Store retails employees should be prepared for a “new watch launch coming in the spring.” Considering that spring starts on March 20 this year, Ahrendts was right on target.
Apple is usually known for launching big new products ahead of an upcoming shopping season, but the Apple Watch will be an exception, and it will be the first time in several years that the company will release a new product this early in the year.
The Apple Watch will start at a steep $349 and will come in three different styles: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition. There are still quite a few details about the device that we don’t know about yet, including the obvious release date. Also, no word on exact battery life, although Apple CEO Tim Cook said himself that users will probably be charging the thing every day, and recent reports claim that the watch will last 19 hours with normal use.
While the company has taken the “i” prefix out of the name, that doesn’t mean it loses its Apple value. The device’s design is very similar to that of Apple’s other iOS products, and it even runs a modified version of iOS.
However, Cook has said that the company didn’t just shrink down the iPhone’s user interface and strap it to your wrist. Instead, the touchscreen UI is much different on the Watch than on an iPhone.
For example, instead of using pinch-to-zoom on the tiny touchscreen on the Watch, you use a small dial that you turn in order to zoom in and out while viewing maps or otherwise. Pressing the dial, which Apple calls the “digital crown,” will take you back to the home screen.
The touch screen is a rather unique one. For starters, it uses sapphire glass, which was rumored in the past of course, but the display also senses pressure, which means that it can tell the difference between a “tap” and a “press,” and it’s essentially like the difference between a left-click and right-click on a computer mouse.
Other features include the ability to tweet from the 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 lot of stuff, like look up scores, browse Pinterest and even adjust your Nest thermostat.