When is Apple’s iWatch coming out? What will the iWatch look like? What features will the iWatch have? It turns out it’s not called the iWatch, it’s the Apple Watch, read on to find out more.
We’ve been speculating about it for over a year, but Apple has finally unveiled its first foray into wearable technology. The Apple Watch (yep, not the iWatch), is an Apple-made smartwatch that was shown off during Apple’s 9 September iPhone 6 event, with a new dial called the crown, close integration with iCloud and Siri and a flexible sapphire display. Here, we bring you the Apple Watch release date in the UK, specs and feature, UK price and photographs of the device for you to look at.
Apple Watch release date UK: When is the iWatch coming out?
As expected, the AppleWatch won’t be available until early 2015, and Apple hasn’t been any more specific than that. Apple CEO Tim Cook promises that “it’s worth the wait.”
Apple Watch price UK: How much will the iWatch cost?
The AppleWatch starts at $349, which we expect will be around £300 here in the UK. We’ll bring you UK pricing when it is announced.
Apple Watch design & features: Digital Crown
The AppleWatch has a dial on the side, much like the one found on traditional watches, which Apple has called the Digital Crown. This Digital Crown contains sensors that turn movement into data, so will be the main input method for the AppleWatch rather than the touchscreen display. Apple makes a valid point about a touchscreen display on a smartwatch, suggesting that using pinch-to-zoom gestures on such a small display will simply cover up the content.
“The crown has been a standard feature on watches for more than a century,” Apple says on its website. “Our new Digital Crown is a multifunctional input device that lets you zoom, scroll and select without covering the screen. It’s as integral to Apple Watch as the Click Wheel is to iPod. Or the mouse is to Mac.”
You’ll need to use separate gestures for tap or press, based on pressure, and there’s a linear actuator that provides haptic feedback.
Apple Watch design & features: Display
The Apple Watch is available with two different screen sizes. The first measures 38mm tall, while the second is slightly bigger at 42mm tall.
The flexible Retina display of the Apple Watch is made from a single crystal of sapphire, or if you opt for an Apple Watch from the Sport Collection, it’ll be strengthened Ion-X glass. This display is designed to be able to detect force, too.
“In addition to recognising touch, Apple Watch senses force, adding a new dimension to the user interface,” says Apple. Force Touch uses tiny electrodes around the flexible Retina display to distinguish between a light tap and a deep press, and trigger instant access to a range of contectually specific controls.”
The AppleWatch’s display will activate when you move your wrist. It requires an iPhone, and it works closely with Siri, uses messages with “smart replies” and dictation.
The AppleWatch has a water-resistant speaker, too.
Apple Watch collections and strap designs
There are six different, interchangeable straps available for the AppleWatch. These include a leather modern buckle, a soft leather sport, a classic leather buckle, a stainless steel link bracelet, a metal mesh loop and an elastic band.
The various designs of AppleWatch are split into three collections. The first is called AppleWatch, with a polished case made from a custom alloy of stainless steel. The second is the Sport collection, which has an anodised aluminium case and is 60 per cent stronger, according to Apple. The third is the AppleWatch Edition is made from 18k gold, up to twice as hard as standard gold apparently.
Apple Watch specs: Processor
The chip inside the AppleWatch is custom-designed, and is called the S1. This chip features many subsystems that have been encapsulated in resin for extra durability.
Apple Watch specs: Sensors
There are four, super-durable sapphire lenses on the back of the device, which houses a sensor that uses infared and visible-light LEDs and photodiodes to detect your heart rate. This sensor is joined by an accelerometer, and uses the GPS and WiFi in your iPhone to measure physical movement, to help the device collect data about your daily activites.
You’ll get a comprehensive picture of your daily activity from the AppleWatch, and you’ll be able to establish and suggest goals.
Apple Watch specs: Charging
The AppleWatch features inductive charging, and there’s no alignment or exposed contacts necessary because it’s completely sealed. It uses MagSafe technology that lets you hold the connector near the back of the watch and let the magnets snap it into place automatically.
AppleWatch features: Software
Apple has created a brand new user interface for the AppleWatch. It comes with a range of watchfaces, and is personalisable. Watchfaces include the Astronomy face, which shows you where you are on the earth, the current moon phase, and the actual position of all the planets.
You’ll be able to control your music through the Apple Watch, and it seems like you’ll be able to store music on the device itself, too.
You’ll be able to access your calendar, see the weather forecast, reply to messages, recieve notifications, send an audio recording or convert an audio recording to text using dictation, ask Siri questions, take a look through your photos, view Maps and get directions. Other apps include Twitter, CityMapper, home automation apps, sports apps, fitness apps and more.
Two new apps designed for the AppleWatch by Apple are Fitness and Workout, which monitor your activity and let you set goals for specific types of workouts.
There’s also a new app called Digital Touch, which will let users communicate with someone just by tapping. You can draw on the AppleWatch, change colours or send your heartbeat. Macworld.com’s Jason Snell says it’s “weird stuff,” and it certainly seems a bit gimmicky!
Apple has added Handoff functionality to the AppleWatch, too, and it’ll work with the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5S.