Marking Apple’s first foray into wearable tech, the Apple Watch was recently unveiled at the company’s ‘Spring Forward’ event. Much excitement has surrounded Apple Watch and its reported potential to revolutionise the whole wearables market, in keeping with Apple’s previous successes in popularising existing technologies, such as mp3 with the iPod.
Available from April 24th, with pre-orders from the 10th, the watch comes in three varieties: Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition. Each version of the Apple Watch comes in two sizes: 38mm and a larger 42mm, with 38 models of the watch listed on Apple’s website.
Prices start at £299 for the entry-level 38mm Apple Watch Sport and £339 for the 42mm model. For the stainless-steel Apple Watch, the 38mm starts at £479 and larger model starts at £519. Depending on what strap the watch has, prices for this edition can reach £949.
The Apple Watch Edition starts at £8,000 for the 38mm and £9,500 for the 42mm, ranging to £13,500 for the top tier 18 carat gold editions, again dependent on the watch’s strap.
"splash and water resistant but not waterproof"
According to Apple the watch is ‘splash and water resistant but not waterproof’. Whilst submerging is not recommended, it has been advised that the watch can be worn during exercise, in the rain and whilst washing your hands. Aside from aesthetics, Apple did not announce any difference in specifications between the aluminium, steel and gold-cased versions.
Designed to support the iPhone, the Watch comes with a myriad of features. In addition to perhaps the obvious, but often overlooked, time display, anything that displays as a notification on the iPhone will be visible and actionable on the Watch. As such, users are able to make and take calls, send and receive messages, and access simplified Apps.
The Watch also supports Apple Pay though the service is not yet available in the UK. Apple’s new device can also control your Apple TV and acts as a remote for connected smart home devices. For instance, the watch works as a digital key to open your smart lock, and you can control your heating via apps, such as Honeywell Lyric.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a host of other third party apps are also available on Apple Watch, with more in development.
Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, may also prove useful in the absence of a good sized virtual keyboard.
Apple’s Watch boasts an 18 hour battery life, and if you just use the watch and nothing else, the battery will last for 48 hours allowing for 5 time checks every hour. In Power Reserve mode, which turns on automatically when the battery gets low, the Apple Watch will last for 72 hours.