Apple Watch Announced!

written by Jerica Truax (@JerikandraLurve)

The other day, Apple announced the product everyone has been waiting for, the Apple Watch. As can be expected by Apple, though they are late to the wearables market, they bring their own sense of class creating something that can be described as pretty and chiseled to perfection, at least in appearance.

Let's start with features of the watch. If you have waited your whole life to take and make calls on your watch, Dick Tracy style, then your moment has arrived! The watch sports its own microphone and speaker and is voice activated via Siri just like your phone. One important thing to note: the watch does not do everything it's supposed to without having your iPhone nearby. In fact, it requires being paired with an iPhone but even when it's not nearby, it still has limited functionality such as telling the time, making payments via Apple Pay, tracking some activity/fitness, and even playing any music that is loaded onto the watch itself.

Other features include being able to control things at home remotely (ie: garage door, thermostat, etc), control your music on your phone as well as your Apple TV remotely, and then of course the fitness features. Apple has its own fitness apps but will also be supplemented by third party apps as well. It tracks your heartbeat with some interesting technology based on a mix of infrared and LED but it's only active during a fitness session. However, when not in an active fitness session, the watch does not take advantage of the heartbeat sensors but instead uses a mix of gps location and accelerometer data to determine calorie burning and standing/sitting time. Yes, I said that: it tracks how long you've been sitting or standing and how many calories you have burned throughout the day. 

And yes, it tells the time. With an accuracy of being within 50 ms of UTC time, it will always keep an accurate time as well as syncing with your calendar and reminders, giving you what they are calling 'glances' at each of these. Glances are meant to be just that, a quick glance at an appointment or reminder or message. It also sports Notifications, giving you a quick way of checking email, facebook, and more. 

But wait, does it work for left-handers? Well in a word, yes. The watch die itself can be flipped around such that the digital crown and button are available from the other side (although switched). As for battery life, all that's been said is that it has an 18 hour battery life, meaning you will have to charge it every night, but there isn't a whole lot of talk yet about how much of that 18 hours is active vs. passive use. 

Finally, let's talk pricing. Thankfully all of the features are available on all of the versions of the watches but there are 2 sizes of the die and 3 pricing tiers as well. Each watch die comes in a 38mm and 42mm version. And the three tiers are Sport, Regular, and Edition. 

Sport:

  • 38mm: $349
  • 42mm: $399
  • Silver Aluminum case with white, blue, green, pink, and black watch bands

Regular:

  • 38mm: $449
  • 42mm: $499
  • Stainless Steel case with white, black, and other more expensive bands

Edition:

  • 38mm: $10,000
  • 42mm: $12,000
  • 18K Rose or Regular Gold case with various bands.

So what do you think? Will you be the one of those early adopters of the first Apple Watch? I have to admit I was pretty skeptical before yesterday. After all, I barely use my iPad and I'm pretty self sufficient with my iPhone alone and I haven't worn a watch in 12 years or more. But after seeing the presentation and the features the watch will provide, I have to say I'm really excited about wearing a watch again. The sitting vs standing features and the fitness apps really peak my interest. I can't wait till April!