The Apple Watch is a new wearable from Apple that connects to the iPhone to deliver apps and notifications on your wrist and it can track health and fitness thanks to sensors that include a heart rate monitor. This is the first major wearable accessory from Apple and it arrives to compete with Android devices like the Moto 360, fitness trackers like Ftibit and Jawbone and traditional watches.
There are many Apple Watch details available because the watch is no longer a secret project, but there are still a handful of important details and information that we need to know.
This Apple Watch primer will explain what the Apple Watch can do, when to expect the Apple Watch release date and the Apple Watch price as well as other key information.
Key Apple Watch Details
- What is the Apple Watch? This is a smartwatch from Apple, rumored as an iWatch, that connects to the iPhone for notifications and health tracking. It also includes support for apps, Apple Pay and puts Siri on your wrist.
- Apple Watch Release Date: Tim Cook confirmed an April 2015 Apple Watch release date, but did not confirm the specific date.
- Apple Watch Price: The cheapest Apple Watch price is $350, and it will go up with other models. With the Apple Watch Limited materials it could easily approach over $1,000.
- Apple Watch Compatibility: The Watch works with the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. It requires iOS 8 and you cannot use the Apple Watch with Android
Apple Watch Launch
The Apple Watch announcement took place in September 2014, which is why we know so much about this device that you still can’t buy.
Still, we expect a second Apple Watch launch event in March or April where Apple will detail the remaining Apple Watch features, pricing and information like battery life. This event will also likely include demonstrations of Apple Watch apps from developers outside of Apple.
Count on a live stream if Apple holds this event and to learn more about the price of each model, Apple Watch pre-orders and other important release details.
Apple Watch Release Date
There is no specific date, for the Apple Watch release at this time. You can count on this to happen during the week and for Apple Stores to open early for the event. Check out seven other things to expect from the Apple Watch release date.
Yahoo Business expects Apple will hold an earnings call on April 21, 2015. This will share the information for Apple Q2 2015 that ends before the anticipated Apple Watch release. There is a chance that Apple will start selling before this event and then address opening weekend sales at this time.
Apple Watch Design
Apple will sell three different Apple Watch designs, and two sizes for each model. The sizes are 38mm and 42mm height measurements.. Users can pick the size that best fits their wrist. The Apple Watch works for left hand and right hand users.
There are three main materials and two different color finishes for each. Here is a look at the color and material options for the watch.
- Stainless Steel
- Silver Aluminum
- 18-Karat Yellow Gold
- Space Black Stainless Steel
- Space Black Aluminum
- 18-Karat Rose Gold
You can also combine these with a variety of user-replaceable Apple Watch bands. We expect a lot of third-party Apple Watch bands in the months following the release, but you don’t need to wait for a large selection. Apple plans to offer many options including links, a sports band, a leather loop, classic buckle, modern buckle and Milanese loop.
Users control the Apple Watch with a special touch screen, a digital crown that can scroll and a button on the side of the watch. There are various watch faces to choose from, but only those from Apple will be available on day one.
Here is a basic breakdown of the three models:
- Watch – Stainless Steel & space gray Stainless Steel cases, Sapphire crystal face and selection of stylish band options.
- Watch Sport – Anodized Aluminum in silver or space gray, Ion-X glass face, colorful bands for working out.
- Watch Limited – 18-karat gold in yellow or rose, Sapphire crystal face, high-end fashionable bands and closures.
Expect to pay a premium for the higher end models.
Apple Watch Display
The Apple Watch display is the main way you will interact with the Apple Watch. There are two sizes and the resolution depends on the size. The 38mm uses a 340 x 270 pixel resolution and the 42mm uses a 390 x 312 pixel resolution. Ultimately what you may care more about is the new touch features.
The new Force Touch touch display is capable of telling if you mean to tap or press on the screen. This will let the watch know what you want to do in Messages or if you are trying to switch watch faces. Apple calls this, “the most significant new sensing capability since Multi‑Touch.”
The Apple Watch and Apple Watch Limited both use a Sapphire display that is incredibly strong and hard to scratch, but the Apple Sport uses a Ion-X glass cover that is still scratch resistant, but it is lighter. The overall goal of the Apple Watch Sport is to deliver a lightweight watch that you can wear all the time, while the other models or more for every day wear.
Apple Watch Software
The Apple Watch software is a new watch specific software from Apple that uses an interesting icon layout. You will be able to open an app from the home screen, see timely information in a “glance” and in notifications. You can see the Apple Watch software in action in the video below.
Apple Watch Features
There are a variety of Apple Watch features that cover what you can do with the device once you strap it to your wrist and connect it to a phone. In addition to keeping the time and letting you use other time related apps like alarms, timers, laps and tracking the sunrise and sunset there are many things you can do with the device.
Users can use the Digital crown and the small button to scroll through favorite contacts to send a message, make a phone call using the Apple Watch as the speaker and microphone for that call and even send new types of messages. Users can sketch an image to another user, tap out patterns and share a heartbeat.
You can also see notifications and send responses quickly from the Apple Watch. You can also send emoji, record an audio message or dictate a text or share your location right from the watch. With Mail and other apps you can start on your watch and then continue on you unlock the iPhone.
Health and fitness are a big part of the watch and the main app tracks three areas that Apple thinks are important. These include the time you spend moving, exercising and standing. Ideally you will achieve a healthy mix of all three and the circular tracker makes it easy to see where you are lacking.
The Apple Watch can also track calories burned and progress towards a goal. The watch uses an accelerometer, hear rate sensor as well as the WiFi and GPS on your iPhone. While you workout the watch will track progress, share alerts when you hit milestones and more. There is a Workout app to track and set goals and a way to see your workouts for added motivation.
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