It’s not every day that Apple is behind when it comes to tech trends but alas the impossible has happened. When it comes to wearable tech, specifically smartwatches, it may surprise you that Apple is one of the only major tech companies not to have a product on the market. But those days are going to be short-lived as the company has already announced the Apple Watch. With every new Apple product comes loads of questions and speculations about what it can and can’t do so let’s see if we can’t put some of those questions to bed.
As with a lot of recent technology, fitness will also be a large part of the Apple Watch. Apple’s product, like so many others on the market, will be able to read your heart rate thanks to four sensors on the backside of the device. In addition to that, the fitness app that comes preloaded on the Apple Watch will encourage you to meet specific goals in different categories, including exercising and standing. The Apple Watch will remind you to get up and move around if you have been sitting for too long, it will keep track of how many calories you’ve burned and a ring will begin to fill up the closer you get to your daily goals. Health and fitness are very popular topics in today’s society and tech companies are jumping at the chance to incorporate health and fitness apps into their products. This only makes sense as a lot of the fitness junkies out there are also tech junkies. It’s like a match made in heaven.
The home screen on the Apple Watch displays all of your apps and allows you to pan around to see more apps by swiping on the screen. Unlike the iPhone’s organized list of apps, the Apple Watch has app bubbles that give off a fun look without sacrificing accessibility. But probably one of the coolest parts of the Apple Watch is the watch dial on the side of the device. This dial looks and feels like a traditional watch dial but instead of adjusting the time of the watch this dial is rotated to navigate through the Apple Watch’s software. Press it to bring up the software menu and then press it again to bring you back to the home screen. Pressing the button beneath the digital crown brings up your contacts. Simply tap a contact to communicate with them. If your friends have an Apple Watch you can chat with them by drawing little pictures on their watch, which I’m sure will make boyfriends and girlfriends all the more disgusting in public. A little creepier feature is the fact that you can also share your heartbeat with your friends as their watch will vibrate in unison with your heartbeat.
Like other smartwatches you can receive texts directly on your Apple Watch and respond to them with canned responses, just like on your smartphone. Apple also created a new set of animated emojis that you can also send instead of a text message. You can also use Maps on your Apple Watch, which should make navigation easier. Moreover, you can get walking directions, which is especially helpful for exercising, with the watch vibrating whenever you have to make a turn.
I think my favorite feature that Apple has revealed so far is the ability to accept calls and talk to people through the Apple Watch. This brings me back to the days when I would watch Power Rangers and be envious every time they communicated with their watch communicators. It’s also very James Bond. Siri also works on the Apple Watch, just ask a question into your watch like you would your phone.
You can also view photos on the Apple Watch and third-party apps, like Facebook, can also give you updates and notifications. In addition, developers can also write apps specifically for the Apple Watch like BMW, which made an app that gives you statistics about your car. If you’ve ever wanted to pay for things by tapping your wrist against them then your wait is over because the Apple Watch can do that too.
A lot of the functions of the Apple Watch will be controlled via companion app on your iPhone, which is standard for most smartwatches. The watch itself will come in two sizes and the wristband will be interchangeable as well, allowing for more customization. Apple is making a ton of different styles and third-party developers will probably also make bands once the device launches so your choices will be plenty. As far as battery life, the Apple Watch will need to be charged every night, according to Apple, and can be done so with a nifty little magnetic charger.
While that is a ton of information about the Apple Watch it still isn’t everything. Apple is still holding back some information and it is likely that the company will hold another event for the device closer to launch. The Apple Watch is set to launch in the next couple of months with prices starting at $349.