Of course the Apple Live Event wouldn’t have been the same if there wasn’t “one more thing.” It was rumored the Watch would be revealed at this event, but I was extremely skeptical it would be shared with the public just yet. Previously I discussed how the Watch wouldn’t be released along with iPhone 6, but I’m very glad I was wrong. I’m a little torn on what I think of it just yet because we didn’t really get a lot of information on this new device. I do think it looks pretty amazing though.
Apple wanted to design something more personal yet ground breaking because of the relationship you establish with this piece of technology. The product design had to be perfect since we wear it and it’s a representation of ones self many will see. If you saw the video from the Keynote, a variety of shots could’ve appeared in a fashion magazine. So the Watch is more than a smart watch, it’s truly a fashion piece as well.
If you decide to purchase an Watch in early 2015, you’ll have to choose between three models: Watch, Sport, and Edition. The Sport and Edition models are a little different than the basic model. The Sport will be light and durable whereas the Edition will be more sophisticated since it’s constructed of 18k gold. Prices for each model haven’t been made public yet, but I’m fairly certain each one will be progressively more expensive with the Edition holding the highest price tag. Unlike iPhone 6, the Watch will actually have a Sapphire Crystal display.
In order to use the Watch you must have an iPhone. Which iPhones are compatible? I would imagine the Watch will require your iPhone is using iOS 8, so an
iPhone 4s and newer will allow you to link them together ( Watch will require iPhone 5 or greater). If you must upgrade your iPhone before the Watch is released, you have options to help control your overall cost with cellular providers offering price breaks for both iPhone 5 models. You can pick up the iPhone 5c for free or an iPhone 5s for $99 (two year contract required for both). Of course you can pick up one of the new iPhone 6 models, but it will inflate the overall cost for these devices.
One feature we heard a lot about on Tuesday was Apple Pay. This new secure way to store your credit card information and pay for purchases will be available to use in October and found exclusively on the iPhone 6. When the Watch is released, it will also offer users the ability to use Apple Pay. One question I have is whether or not you must have an iPhone 6 if you want to use Apple Pay from your Watch. From information I’ve gathered you won’t need an iPhone 6. Instead, users must enter a pin when you first put the watch on to unlock Apple Pay from the Watch. Once the watch is removed again or constant skin contact isn’t kept, Apple Pay is locked and you will be required to enter the pin again once you put the watch back on to unlock Apple Pay.
The great thing about Apple Pay is you don’t share your credit card number, security code, or name with merchants during transactions. Instead, a completely different string of numbers is used for each transaction through a near-field communication which transfers your payment information wirelessly from your device.
Siri will also make her way onto Watch. To activate simply push the Digital Crown and Siri will be available to search, text, check the weather, etc.
The central piece of the Watch is the Digital Crown. This multifunctional input device lets you zoom, scroll, and select items on the watch without covering the screen.The Digital Crown is comparable to how important the Click Wheel is for the iPod, or the mouse is for your Mac. When it comes to the Watch design and OS, Apple built this sleek yet powerful piece of technology from the wrist up.
Watch will also have the ability to track your heartbeat and the steps you take. Your activity levels will be monitored while you wear this device and the Watch will tell you the amount of calories you’ve burned throughout the day as well as give you an idea of how active you are. Something I’ve never really thought to worry about was whether I’ve stood up in a while. Well, with Watch you will be able to see your standing activity. I don’t see the relevance of this feature, but I’m willing to listen if anyone has any thoughts.
The Watch allows you to run apps on it too. You’ll be able to check your Facebook account, MLB scores, and Starwood Hotels has collaborated with Apple to allow you to unlock your hotel room door with your Watch. Also, if you own a BMW, you can use your Watch to remember where you left your car. Of course these are just the tip of the iceberg since third party app developers haven’t had a chance to create the next generation of apps for this device. I’m excited to see what they come up with!
Need directions? Watch can do that too and you don’t have to worry about listening to turn by turn guidance. Instead, you’ll receive different types of vibration to signal when you need to take a left or a right. Hopefully you can adjust the notification distance before you get an alert. Some drivers on the road are already pretty bad and arming them with this type of guidance could actually make them worse. Can you picture it?!
There’s one feature I found a little bit creepy. You can send your heartbeat to someone. Now I get it if it’s for health reasons and you use this feature to send it to your cardiologist, but other than that I find it to be a little strange. Please tell me I’m not the only one.
In addition to sharing your heartbeat, you can share doodles with others via digital touch. During the Watch reveal Kevin Lynch drew a fish and sent it to a friend to see if he wanted to get sushi for lunch. Again this is another feature I don’t think I would use. Given the overall size of the watch, it’s not really an effective way to communicate with friends since it would be more like a game of charades. I can see a feature like this being used for a week or two and then never visited again, much like Find Friends for a lot of people.
Even with all this great information, I still have a some questions. I want to know more about battery life. Not just for Watch, but how does this effect your iPhone’s battery life too. If it’s going to make my iPhone less capable of getting through the day on a full charge, it seems pointless to spend money on the Watch only to make Samsung’s wall-hugger commercial even more believable.
Why isn’t it more resistant to water?! This will be a show stopper for some and I can’t disagree with them. Every single watch I own is water resistant enough for me to swim with it on. If Jon Ive is going to tell Swiss watchmakers they’re in trouble, Apple designers must make their watches more resistant to water than just a splash here and there before making such bold statements.
I’m cautiously optimistic about the new Watch. I want to see more information and specs about the Watch since on the surface it doesn’t seem to be as spectacular as I’d hoped. I wish it had the capability of being a stand alone device not requiring a connection to your iPhone. I can’t say anything about the overall design since it’s sleek and screams Apple’s design and attention to detail. I like how you’re able to easily change bands to give it a different look. If the Watch OS allows for customization and third party apps are developed to tailor the device to our lifestyles, I believe it could be a huge success a lot of people will connect with.
Oh, I almost forgot, it tells time too—brilliant!