Apple gave the world its first glimpse of its long awaited smartwatch and while most of the features had already been predicted, the biggest surprise of the night seemed to be the absence of an i prefix.
Apple Watch is presented in three distinct models; the Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition.
Each model is offered in 38mm and 42mm case sizes and two finishes. Customers have the option of choosing the Apple Watch in Stainless Steel or Space Black Stainless Steel; the Apple Watch Sport in Silver or Space Grey aluminium and the Apple Watch Edition in 18ct rose or yellow gold.
As well as message and social media notification functions, the Apple Phone features the ability to make and receive calls. Fitness monitoring functions are presented in terms of graphs, targets and milestone achievements acting as a constant personal trainer. All data-related functions seem to be dependent on the Apple Watch being tethered to an iPhone.
The display is touchscreen and recognises the difference in pressure between a tap and a press. Zoom functions are controlled using the notched digital crown, a single press returns users to the home screen while a continuous press accesses Apple’s voice-controlled interface, Siri. The Apple Watch’s Retina screen is protected by sapphire crystal on the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition while strengthened Ion-X glass is used on the Apple Watch Sport.
Most importantly, because the Apple Watch lacks in technological innovation and is still reliant on being tethered to an iPhone or Wi-Fi hotspot, it is stylishly implemented and offered with a multitude of strap options including leather, plastic, stainless steel and gold bracelets and a magnetic Milanese mesh loop.
Charging is one area where Apple has introduced a new concept to the smartwatch sector, a magnetic, inductive charging system removes the need for mounting fiddly connectors and automatically ‘snaps’ a surface charger into place.
Apple has obviously been paying as close attention to the world of watches in the development of Apple Watch as it has to its technological competitors. The company refers to cases sizes in specific millimetre measurements, it also uses horological terms in its presentation of the multitude of software faces the Apple Watch can wear and features a caseback that mimics the look of an engraved exhibition caseback.
The Apple Watch is set for release early next year starting at $359 in the US with UK prices yet to be announced.