Following the announcement of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and its new payments system, Apple went for "one more thing" and announced its much anticipated wearable, Apple Watch.
Described as the next chapter in Apple's history, Apple Watch was announced to a standing ovation. "It’s an extremely precise and customizable timepiece", said Tim Cook with a strong focus on the user interface experience.
The interface is mainly designed around a physical dial found on the side of the device as opposed to the mostly touch input we are used to current iOS devices. Known as the crown, Apple is reinventing the small dial found on the side of watches for years now. The digital crown works as a multi use interface controller, allowing the user to zoom in on maps, or scroll through lists, among many other things, without blocking the screen. While the digital crown handles much of the functionality, there is also touch input and as well as force detection on the display for various applications.
Seen above, the usual iOS home screen has been redesigned with a customizable collage of small circular app icons surrounding a small clock. Users can choose from a wide array of customizable feature throughout the UI. Apple has introduced a number of predictive features and a new glance mode to make messaging and viewing calendar entries, for example, much easier on the small display.
The hardware appears to feature Apple's usual attention to detail throughout with a sapphire Retina display as well as a gyroscope, accelerometer and photosensors to monitor heart rate data among other things.
Apple has a new SDK coming and already has a number of third party apps on the way including those from Nike, BMW, Pinterest, Facebook and others. There is also new dedicated Fitness and Health tracking apps that sync up with iOS 8.
Apple Watch features Digital Touch, a new form of communication, according to Apple. It allows the users to send little doodles drawn on the touch screen or even their heartbeat to each other. There are also walkie-talkie and tap modes to send small sound bites or a small haptic tap the receiver will feel on the wrist.
It will come in three distinct models including Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition. The sport model is what you would expect in terms of being made of more durable materials and the Apple Watch Edition is the premium model made of 18K gold. Each model comes in two sizes with a number of different straps color and styles.
Apple Watch will be available early next year and will start at $349.
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