It’s no surprise that people pay attention when Apple launches a new product. Just like how the iPhone and iPad revolutionise the phone and tablet market respectively, Apple’s first foray to the wearable market have drawn significant attention.
The iWatch introduces a “digital crown” which acts as a control for the watch. Users can use the dial to interact and control the Watch, while not obscuring the display. You can scroll, zoom or press it to return to the home screen. It’s rather brilliant to leverage on the crown as a control interface as it has always been part of an analog watch mechanism.
However, I wonder how does the watch work for left-handlers who wear their watch on their RIGHT wrist? The crown is in the wrong place!
The standard smart watch features apply. Users can receive app notifications and even draw sketches. It is also highlighted as a fitness tracker. It has a pedometer, accelerometer as well as heart rate sensors that will track vital health statistics. In addition, the Apple Watch also has built-in Near Field Communications technology that can be used for Apple Payment, the tech giant’s new e-payment system. From an ecosystem perspective, this could revolutionize payment as to how the App Store revolutionize mobile software market place.
The next unique feature is that the Apple Watch comes in two sizes – 38mm and 42mm. This will help it tailor to the female and also Asian market with smaller wrist sizes. Watches are a fashion statement and to wear an oversized watch just doesn’t exude coolness. Good move by Apple.
On the hardware front, the Apple Watch has a plug-less design, and will be recharged with a special MagSafe-style magnetic attachment that connects to the underside of the device. No wireless charging support though. In addition, Apple did not indicate the battery life for its watch, but CEO Tim Cook did mention charging at night, suggesting it might only last a day. In line with Android Wear watches. Personally, I find the design rather boring, it looks like a traditional smart watch and the silicone sport bands are plain ugly. Having seen the sleeker Moto 360, Asus Zen, and LG G Watch R announced recently, expectations on Apple Watch looks are unfortunately higher.
For all the talk on Apple poaching Tag Heuer senior executive Patrick Pruniaux, there have not been significant improvements on the design front.
The Apple Watch will require a connection with an iPhone and supports up to iPhone 5. This means current iPhone 5 and 5S users can use the Apple Watch. Android users are obviously out of luck.
The watch comes in three editions – Apple Watch (stainless steel case), Apple Watch Sport (aluminium case) and Apple Watch Edition (18-karat gold case). Easily changeable straps are also available, ranging from silicone sport band to stainless steel link bracelet.
The Apple Watch will also be available in two sizes – 38mm and 42mm. The watch will start from US$349 (S$440) and will only be available early 2015. We should see a similar release time in Singapore for the Apple Watch. At least Android users like me have a number of existing options.