Apple Watch: breaking into a new market

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In a recent event in San Francisco, Apple unveiled essential details about their smartwatch that is due for release on  the 24th  of April, 2015.  With new details emerging, let’s see if we can fill you in on anything you missed about the product.

The Apple Watch packs so many functions into such a small package. It’s not just a timepiece that shows your texts and emails, it’s a fitness tracker, music player, a remote control for your Apple TV, and a payment kiosk via Apple Pay. If you’re an Apple freak then the watch is a must-have. It lets you experience the whole gamut of Apple’s technology at the flick of your wrist.

A helpful communication companion

In case you haven’t used a smartwatch before; the Apple Watch acts as a point of contact with your phone. You can send and receive messages, access your apps, and perform most of your mobile phone functions from your watch.  Once your iPhone is synced with the watch, you will receive notifications on your wrist. Voice controls are also integrated into the smartwatch– Siri’s right on your arm.

You will need an iPhone 5, 5C, 5S, 6, or 6 Plus to pair with your watch. Older iPhones aren’t compatible with the wearable. If you have an android phone you absolutely can’t use the watch. That’s just not how Apple does its business.

Apple Watch needs to connected to your iPhone to perform most of its key functions but it can work independently on some tasks. It is both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capable, so it can stay connected on a wireless network.

Working to help you work out

One of the key benefits of a smartwatch is its ability to double as a fitness tracker. Apple has ensured that the Apple Watch exceeds expectations on that front. The watch records three vital metrics: calories burnt, activity level, and time spent walking or standing.

Apple Watch has a combination of infrared and LED technology to measure heart rate. The back panel of the watch has four sapphire lenses that aid in measuring this data. Apple claims that this technology is incredibly accurate when compared to other watches with similar abilities.

While you are on a fitness regime, the Apple Watch can come in handy by tracking your workout by recording GPS and barometer data. We can expect a number of third party fitness apps to take advantage of this technology once the watch is released.

How does it differ?

The smartwatch distinguishes itself from the rest of the pack with its support for Apple Pay. If the new mobile payment system takes off as expected, Apple Watch would  be a very valuable accessory to own.

Apple Watch could soon be your new wallet. You can make payments at over 500,000 stores by simply swiping your smartwatch. The new contactless payment method might soon replace credit/debit card transactions.

The smartwatch can also be used as a remote control for your smart-devices at home. Apple Watch can communicate with other Apple devices. The company is creating an ecosystem that connects all your devices into one cohesive user experience.

The device uses the “Digital Crown” to navigate through the user interface. Apple put a lot of thought and design effort into finding a way for users to interact with a new device form factor. Users can also navigate through a touch screen and pinch-to-zoom functionality. The Watch includes a force-sensitive display and a haptic feedback  motor to provide a response to touch.

Watches for every wrist

The smartwatch comes in three variants: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition. It will be available in two sizes of 42mm and 38mm. The watch bands are available in six different colors. There’s a lot to choose from, so almost anyone can find something they like.

The Apple Watch Edition goes big by adding 18-karat gold to its ceramic body and sapphire crystal display. Also it’s somewhere between $10,000 and $17,000. Apple sure does want to make a statement with its new wearable.

Apple Watch Sport comes in two colors: Silver or Gray, and costs $399 for  the 42mm version and $349 for the 38mm.  The Apple Watch model starts at $549 for 38mm and stretches up to $1049.

The price could be a setback for many consumers. Fans of apple products are used to paying a premium, but a $350 minimum could be more than many people are willing to pay for an accessory that’s dependent on another device.

The Apple Watch is available for pre-order on the 10th  of April.

Final Words

Smartwatches have another benefit that isn’t always mentioned– checking your wrist for notifications means that you aren’t whipping out your phone as often. Splitting your usage between multiple devices saves battery and helps your phone last longer throughout the day.

The Apple Watch is definitely here to stay! This is Apple’s first foray into a new market since the iPad, and we’ll see how it performs. “Watching” (funny, right?) the market develop is going to be wonderful. Check out the device in your local Apple store to make up your mind on the product.


About the Author
Divya Palaniappan is an engineer and an avid techie who considers information worthless unless verified. When she isn't wracking her brain over machines she loves spending time in her garden.

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