EVERYTHING WE ALREADY KNOW ABOUT THE APPLE WATCH
It’s time for the Apple Watch! $349 device that’s a hotel key, can track your heart rate… and even buy your coffee to be launched today
The Apple Watch will be available in three models: the Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport (pictured) and Apple Watch Edition
Models: The Apple Watch will be available in three models: the Apple Watch, Watch Sport and Watch Edition.
All models will be sold in either 1.4-inch (38mm) or 1.7-inch (42mm) versions depending on which colour the owner chooses.
Apple Watch is made of stainless steel with a sapphire crystal Retina display and ceramic back.
Apple Watch Sport is made of 7000 Series Silver Aluminum with Ion-X Glass on a Retina display and composite back.
Apple Watch Edition has a similar build to the Apple Watch but comes in 18-Karat Rose Gold and Yellow Gold.
Interchangeable straps include fluoroelastomer (rubber), leather, and stainless steel.
Prices: At the event in Septembee Apple boss Tim Cook said the watches will start at $349. This converts to around £230 but Apple is likely to sell the devices at different price points in different regions.
Rumours before the event suggested a range of premium versions, including the gold models, will start at $5,000, or around £3,325.
There were even suggestions the premium models would be available in platinum and could cost up to $10,000 (£6,000).
Gestures: Following last year’s unveiling, Apple admitted the Watch is unlike any device it has ever made.
It said it has ‘reinvented all-new ways to select navigate and input that are suited to a smaller device worn on the wrist’. The Watch is also said to be able to sense force adding ‘a new dimension to the user interface’.
Force Touch uses electrodes around the flexible display to distinguish between a light tap and a deep press, and trigger instant access to a range of contextually specific controls – such as an action menu in Messages, or a mode that lets you select different watch faces.
Digital Crown: On mechanical watches, the crown has historically been used to set the time and date and to wind the mainspring.
Apple has adapted this and its ‘digital’ crown can be used to magnify content on the small display.
Rotating the digital crown replaces the typical pinching motion used on iPhones and iPads and allows wearers to zoom and scroll without obstructing the screen.
Pressing the crown will also return wearers to the home screen.
Watch OS: Apple has taken the iOS software on its phones and tablets and tweaked it to better suit the watch’s power, display size and functions. It has also invented a new typeface to make the screen easier to read.
On mechanical watches the crown has historically been used to set the time and date and to wind the mainspring. Apple has adapted this and its ‘digital’ crown (pictured) can be used to magnify content on the display. Rotating the crown replaces allows wearers to zoom and scroll without obstructing the screen
Sapphire display: Apple Watches have a laminated Retina display made from a ‘single crystal of sapphire.’ While on the Sport collection the screen has the added protection of Ion-X glass.
Glances: The Glances feature shows info users would like to see, similar to Google Now, and is accessed by swiping the screen up from the bottom.
For instance, wearers can glimpse the weather forecast, check out what’s next on their calendar, or find their location on a map.
They can then swipe through different Glances, or tap on one to go directly to its corresponding app for more details.
Music can also be controlled on an iPhone through the Apple Watch.
On the back of the Watch’s case is a sensor (pictured) that uses infrared and visible-light LEDs and photodiodes to detect the wearer’s heart rate
Vibration and notifications: The Watch has a built-in is a ‘taptic engine’ that responds to a subtle vibrations users feel on their wrist for notifications.
This is made from a linear actuator, or motor, inside the Apple Watch that produces haptic feedback.
The wearer can then respond to these messages directly or swipe down to see the Notification Centre.
The Watch understands questions in messages and offers pre-selected answers, and messages can be dictated to the iPhone.
This taptic engine also means people can get someone’s attention with a gentle tap or send their heartbeat remotely.
There is no keyboard on the Watch, and messages can only be sent through dictation, or emoji.
Siri is also built into the Apple Watch.
Heart rate sensor: On the back of the Watch’s case, a ceramic cover with sapphire lenses sits above a sensor that uses infrared and visible-light LEDs and photodiodes to detect the wearer’s heart rate.
Apple Watch uses this sensor, along with an accelerometer and the GPS and Wi‑Fi in a connected iPhone, to measure physical movement such as steps, distance and calories.
Inductive charging: The Watch uses Apple’s MagSafe technology with inductive charging.
This means it can be charged wirelessly by placing a connector near the back of the watch where magnets cause it to snap into place automatically.
MagSafe is the name of the connector Apple uses with its MacBook range.
Battery life: Mr Cook was vague about the battery life of the Apple Watch when it was announced.
He confirmed last month that it will last a full day after initially saying it will need to be charged overnight.