Billed as “the most personal device” Apple has ever created is the tech giant’s long-awaited wearable: the simply named Apple Watch.
An extremely precise and customizable timepiece, an intimate way to connect and communicate, and a a comprehensive health and fitness companion, the latest addition to Apple’s stable of devices follows in the footsteps of the iPod and is marked by the inclusion of the scroll wheel-inspired Digital Crown — a versatile tool that answers the fundamental challenges associated with magnifying content on a small display. Using the Digital Crown, users can scroll, zoom, and navigate the Apple Watch, making selections and scrolling through lists and messages, without obstructing the flexible Retina display — a laminated crystal of sapphire, the hardest transparent material on earth outside of diamonds.
While the Digital Crown can be used for a bevy of functions — like activating the included Siri or leaving the home screen to access your apps — the watch still employs a touchscreen for ease of use. For example, to switch between the included and infinitely customizable watch face designs, one can simply swipe along the screen and then choose a specific face by tapping it. Furthermore, swiping up on the watch face activates Glances —- condensed, easily scannable views of the apps you use most. Finally, preset phrases, smart responses based on your conversation, audio messages, your location, and even interactive emojis can be sent to fellow Apple users with a touch of the watch’s Friends button — located on the side of the wearable right next to the digital crown.
Undoubtedly the hallmark of the new Apple Watch, however, is its existence as a revolutionary wearable fitness tracker. Two included apps give a complete picture of your health and fitness: Activity and Workout. While the Activity app monitors movement throughout the day, the Workout app tracks dedicated workouts. Not only does the watch boast visible-light LEDs and photosensors to detect your pulse rate, but a built-in accelerometer measures body movement while the GPS and Wi-Fi from your iPhone allow the watch to track your distance.
The Activity app provides a complete picture of your daily activity using a trio of categories: Move, Exercise, and Stand. As you might guess, Move gives you an overview of how active you are, Exercise measures brisk activity, and Stand shows how often you’ve stood up to take a break from sitting. The Workout app, on the other hand, keeps track of everything from calories burned and time to distance and pace for your workouts and allows you to set goals, chart your progress, and earn awards as you track specific workouts. You can then track your progress over time in more detail with the iPhone’s Fitness app as it stores all your activity data and lets you see your workout history whenever you want.
Crafted from custom alloys of stainless steel, aluminum, and 18-karat gold and available with a variety of different straps to match your lifestyle, the Apple Watch will work alongside the iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, and 6 Plus and start at $349 USD when it launches early next year.