The big reveal has finally happened. Apple has officially made known that they’ve got a watch/health tracker-thing in the works, and it's called the Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch seems like an interesting combination of iPhone and fitness device. On the fitness side of things, LEDs (visible light and infrared) and photosensors along the back are used to track your pulse and other vitals. An accelerometer is used to track your movement, and GPS and wifi will track your location.
It comes with two fitness apps already installed - Activity and Workout - to help you monitor your activities. Activity seems like a clever (and rather pretty) way of monitoring how much time you spend standing, moving, and exercising throughout the day. Workout, meanwhile, is all about setting goals, tracking progress, earning awards for completing exercises, and generally displaying real-time stats on your workouts.
You’ll also be able to use the Apple Watch to monitor your heartbeat, and send the details to friends if you’d like - which totally isn’t weird or creepy at all.
The more app-focused side of the Apple Watch is also intriguing. Rather than having you rely on a touch interface (it’s still there, of course, just not the only option), Apple has included what they’re referring to as a “digital crown.” Despite the awkward name, this knob allows users to select apps, scroll through data, and magnify images without having to touch the screen. Seems like it could be mighty handy for a device with such a small screen. Meanwhile the display itself can actually measure force, which could lead to some interesting interface options in the future.
Siri will also be available on the Apple Watch (of course), allowing you to send messages, search for specific locations, etc, just by holding down the crown - much like we already do with the Home button on the iPhone. Then there’s WatchKit: a new development kit made specifically for the Apple Watch. Basically there’s a lot of potential in this little thing.
Perhaps the coolest feature of the Apple Watch, however, is the way you can customize it. You won’t have to pick between a handful of colors and settle for the default look. Instead, you can select from a wide assortment of bands (in several colors) and buckles, and can easily customize the face in much the same way as your iPhone’s home screen (i.e. designs, colors, etc).
The only real hurdle is the price: $349. The Apple Watch is definitely a cool piece of tech, and probably well worth the money, but that’s a lot to ask for a watch/fitness tracker - even if it is from Apple. Even the iPhone 6 Plus starts at a lower price point ($299)!
The Apple Watch will be available starting early 2015, and will require an iPhone 5/5s/6/6 Plus.
What do you think about the Apple Watch? Will it be a day-one buy, or do you think you’ll wait to see what other people think? Are you just not interested? Is it too expensive? Chime in below!