Everything you need to know about specs, pricing, features and release date
Apple is finally on the verge of releasing the Apple Watch following years of speculation.
Announced alongside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in September last year, the Apple Watch is the company’s first original product since the iPad in 2010, and has the potential to dramatically shake up the smartwatch sector.
Apple is hosting an event on March 9 in California, where it’s widely expected more details about battery life, pricing and other features, alongside an official release date, will be revealed.
What is the Apple Watch?
When chief executive Tim Cookunveiled the Apple Watch onstage in California, he called it the most personal product the company had ever made. It’s effectively a smartwatch with a rectangular sapphire-coated display which can be paired with an iPhone through WiFi or Bluetooth.
What does it look like?
There are three versions of the Watch; the standard Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition. Each version is available in two display sizes, 38 mm and 42mm.
The sapphire crystal displays, second only to diamond in their hardness, are harvested using a diamond-cutting wire before being polished.
All of the individual watch bodies can be customised through a choice of straps of differing materials.
How does it charge?
The Watch will charge using a magnetic charger, Cook told the Telegraph.
The standard Watch will come with a choice of plain stainless steel or space black stainless steel casing. The steel is created using a cold-forging process to make the material 40 per cent harder, and less susceptible to nicks and scuffs. The darker colour is achieved using an additional diamond-like carbon layer.
It comes with a choice of three leather straps, a link bracelet, a ‘Milanese loop’ flexible mesh and fluoroelastomer strap.
Apple Watch Sport
The Sport line’s bodies are made from lightweight anodised aluminum in silver and space grey, with five different fluoroelastomer strap colours – green, white, blue, pink and black. The aluminium bodies are up to 30 per cent lighter than the stainless steel Watches.
Apple Watch Edition
The luxury Watch Edition is made from 18-karat rose or yellow gold, and has been developed to be twice as hard as standard gold. It comes with a variety of ‘modern buckle’ leather straps.
Given the expensive nature of the materials, it’s believed Watch Editions will be kept in safes within Apple stores. The safes are believed to come equipped with Apple’s patented MagSafe magnetic chargers to recharge demo models, as well as boxed stock.
What will it do?
The device aims to change the way we communicate by sending and receiving messages, answering calls made to your iPhone, and sharing personalised health information.
Users will navigate the interface using a traditional looking side-winder, called a Digital Crown, instead of Apple’s favoured pinch-to-display technology made famous by the iPhone. Rotating the Crown allows the wearer to zoom in and out, as well as scroll and navigate. It will also serve as a form of home button, and point of activation for digital assistant Siri.
Siri can be used to dictate longer messages into text or to be sent as a voice message, alongside searching for film listings etc.
The Watch’s Taptic Engine will enable the wearer to be guided while running the Maps app through a series of gentle vibrations, removing the need to look at the screen.
Pressing two fingers on the screen enables the Watch to capture and send your heartbeat to a specified recipient. It has been designed to act both as an all-day fitness tracker and a highly advanced sports watch, the company said.
Cook recently said that the Watch would have apps for “some of the best hotels in the world” that would allow you to check-in and unlock your room with a swipe.
Apple Watch comes with 11 watch faces ranging from traditional analog faces to new faces like the dynamic Timelapse face; the Astronomy face with its interactive, real-time 3D model of the earth, sun, moon and planets; and the Solar face, a contemporary sundial.
Apps are designed for ‘light interaction’, and pressing the button below the digital crown summons favourite contacts to interact with quickly. Tapping on a friend’s avatar draws up a variety of ways to contact them, including by sketching.
“With Apple Watch, we’ve developed multiple technologies and an entirely new user interface specifically for a device that’s designed to be worn. It blurs the boundary between physical object and user interface,” said Jony Ive, Apple’s senior vice president of Design. “We’ve created an entire range of products that enable unparalleled personalisation.”
The device could replace car keys in the future, Cook told the Telegraph in an exclusive interview.
When can I buy it?
Tim Cook confirmed in a call with investors last month that the Watch will go on sale in early April . The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus went on sale on September 19 in the UK, 10 days after the launch event
In a video message to retail staff in November last year, senior vice president of retail and online stores Angela Ahrendts told staff to prepare for “a new watch launch coming in the spring” – leading analysts to believe the Apple Watch, announced at the iPhone 6 launch event, would go on sale in the first three months or so of 2015. Apple had previously said to expect a launch in ‘early 2015’.
How much will it cost?
UK pricing is yet to be announced, but we expect the entry-level Sports version to retail from about £300. Prices in the US begin at $349.
This article was written by Rhiannon Williams from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.