As was expected, Apple today launched the much anticipated Apple Watch, celebrating it as its most personalized device yet.
The Watch is available in three variants- the stainless steel Apple Watch in traditional and space black, the Apple Watch Sport using anodized aluminium cases in silver or space gray and the Apple Watch Edition, the premium segment featuring 18-carat gold casing in yellow or rose.
The latter also features cases specially crafted from custom rose or yellow 18-carat gold alloys developed to be twice as hard as standard gold, a Retina display protected by polished sapphire crystal and a choice of uniquely designed straps and bands with 18-carat gold clasps, buckles or pins.
The Apple Watch Sport also comes with 'high-performance fluoroelastomer Sport Band in five colours' which match the base colour of the device.
Faces and customization
Offering hundreds of 'faces' that the user can customize and play with, the Watch offers features that users may never get bored with.
The customization lets users add features like battery life, the weather, their location or the next calendar event. The Apple Watch also lets users choose the way they wish to see the time.
Options like the analogue mode, the digital mode as well as innovative butterflies or jellyfish floating around a tank will be available for customers.
The multi-functional Digital Crown on the Apple Watch will perform functions like scrolling, zooming and navigating through the Watch's interface. Akin to the just launched MacBook, the Retina display on the Watch features Force Touch which promises easier navigation and control.
The display screen can differentiate between soft and deep touches and responds accordingly.
Notifications and connectivity
Apple seems to have made receiving notifications much easier with the Taptic Engine gently tapping your wrist if you receive one.
Now Playing Glance helps you to control music with features like playing or pausing a song, fast forwarding or rewinding it as well as playing the previous or the next song. The Digital Touch feature can help users connect with other Apple Watch users, like sending a sketch, a tap or even a heartbeat with a single tap. The built-in speaker and a mic lets users receive and make phone calls at will.
The Apple Watch, despite its size, also contains familiar iPhone features like Apple Pay, Passbook and Siri that will allow users to familiarise themselves quicker with the device. Compatible with the all new iOS 8.2 installed on the iPhones 5, 5C, 5S, 6 and the 6 Plus, the Apple Watch will also be able to feature apps like Instagram, MLB.com At Bat, Nike+ Running, OpenTable, Shazam, Twitter and WeChat.
Health and fitness features
The all new Activity app in the Apple Watch can monitor active calories burned, brisk activity as well as the time users spend sitting or walking around. Workout app can monitor and provide details of walking, running and cycling activities. The Watch can use different features like the accelerometer, a built-in heart rate sensor, GPS and Wi-Fi to generate detailed reports of daily activities and workouts. For users targeting long term fitness goals and detained reports on day-to-day activities, the Activity app in the Apple Watch helps with personalised activity goals, reward fitness milestones and to keep users motivated.
Apple has claimed that the Watch could work for as long as 18 hours without a charge and can combine Apple's MagSafe technology with inductive charging for quicker and easier charging.
Availability and pricing
To be initially available for preview in Apple Stores in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US from April 10, the Watch will be available online or by reservation in Apple’s retail stores and select Apple Authorised Resellers in China and Japan.
The pricing will vary but there just might be one flavour for every pocket-size: Apple Watch Sport £299 and £399 Apple Watch £479 and £949 Apple Watch Edition Starting at £8000