After more than a year of gossip, rumours and speculation - but no concrete leaks - Apple has finally revealed the Watch, a wearable gadget which acts as a fitness tracker and personal assistant.
Available in two different sizes, the iWatch was announced by company CEO Tim Cook at a media event in Cupertino, California, alongside the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The watch will be sold under three names: Watch, Watch Sport and Watch Edition, and they will all be available in two sizes and with a number of different straps.
Instead of relying solely on touch inputs like other smartwatches, the Apple Watch is controlled by touch, voice, how hard you press the screen, and the crown, which can be turned to control the user interface - such as when zooming in and out of maps. The crown also acts as the home button and below it there is a button to quickly get to your favourite contacts page.
Apple Watch works with the iPhone 5, 5c, and 5s, as well as the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The Apple Watch starts at $349 and will be available in early 2015, but a UK price and release date was not mentioned.
Company CEO Tim Cook said: "We think people are going to love using Apple watch and they're going to love to wear it - it's something functional, yet incredibly beautiful...Apple Watch is the most personal device Apple has ever created. We are so excited about Apple Watch."
The display can not only recognise touch, but also force - the iWatch knows how hard you are pushing on the screen. There is also haptic feedback given therough the screen to your finger, and this is combined with a speaker to help you feel your way around the operating system.
On the back are four sapphire crystal lenses to detect your heart rate. There is also an accelerometer and the watch can tap into the GPS of your iPhone 6 to track movement and fitness.
Apple has designed a wide range of watch faces to show the time in a number of different ways and alongside different amount of information.
Apple has partnered with the W hotel chain to let you unlock your room door by touching it with the watch. Meanwhile, BMW will show the charge level of your electric car, plus walking directions back to where you parked it. Another feature is how the Apple Watch can be used to control your Apple TV.
The wearable will also work with the company's new Apple Pay system, which will let you pay for goods by tapping your iPhone 6 or Apple Watch instead of using your credit or debit card.
One of the stranger features of the watch is how you can share your heart rate, live, with your watch-wearing friends. Their watch vibrates in time to your heart rate - and no we’re not entirely sure why either.
The Apple Watch can also be used to adjust lighting in your house, and Nike has partnered to track your runs with the Apple wearable.
Health and Fitness
Using a pair of included applications, the iWatch tracks your movement (or lack of) throughout the day, recording your walking, running and when you're sat still; all of this is sent to your iPhone, where it can be viewed in more detail, similar to how S Health works on Samsung's phones and Gear smartwatches.
The iWatch has a magnetic inductive charger which snaps to the back of the case. Apple claims the watch can keep time to +/- 50 miliseconds.
Apple has created the watch in two different sizes and there are three categories to complete the range.
The Apple Watch is available in a range of colours and finishes, with six different straps made of metal, leather and plastic. A simple mechanism means you can swap the strap easily. The leather and metal straps both contains magnets to keep themselves together. There's also a more traditional metal strap with a clasp.
Price and Release Date
The iWatch will be priced from $349 when it goes on sale in early 2015