The buzz about Apple Watch has gained steam as its release date nears. It is Apple’s first original product since the iPad in 2010. Reports suggest that Apple has asked its suppliers in Asia to manufacture 5-6 million units to meet the initial demand. Ahead of its official release, let’s take a detailed look at the Apple Watch’s design, price, features, and apps.
Apple Watch design and build
At its March 9 event, Apple said that the Watch will be available in two sizes: 38mm and 42mm. Buyers will have a choice of three models: Watch Sport, the standard Watch and Apple Watch Edition, each with a variety of straps. There are three different types of leather straps, a Milanese loop, a link bracelet, and a strap made using a high-performance synthetic rubber.
It features a sapphire crystal display along with a sidewinder, called a Digital Crown, which can be used to scroll, zoom in and navigate the user interface. The screen supports touch input and features a new Force Touch technology, which allows users to perform different functions by applying different levels of pressure on the screen.
What Apple Watch can do for you?
The Cupertino company claims that its Watch is “incredibly accurate,” keeping time to within 50 milliseconds of the Universal Time Standard (UTC). You can personalize it with a variety of watch faces such as animated, numeric or traditional analog. Apple Watch enables users to read email, send messages, and answer calls to their iPhones directly from their Watch.
There is a full on-screen keyboard, but Apple Watch also depends on voice inputs, making Siri more useful on the wrist. Apple’s Taptic Engine alerts the user to important notifications with a gentle tap. It comes with a built-in accelerometer and heart rate sensor that track your workouts and provide a comprehensive picture of your daily activities.
Though most of the features of Apple Watch are linked to the iPhone, there is a lot it can do even when you are away from your iPhone. While away from your iPhone, you can use your Apple Watch to play music, audiobooks and podcasts. It comes with Apple Pay, so you can pay for your purchases even if you’ve left you iPhone at home. It can also control your Apple TV.
Apps for Apple Watch
Apple claims that developers have submitted more than 1,000 apps for its wearable device. But not all of them will be available at launch. Apps currently available for use on the Watch include Uber, Facebook, Twitter, Apple Pay, Siri, iTunes, along with a number of hotels and airlines connections. Pandora announced Wednesday that its app will be ready for Apple Watch before the device hits the stores later this month.
Apple Watch battery life
Apple claims that its wearable device offers up to 18 hours of battery life. If you go through the details about its battery on the Apple Watch information page, you’ll see that the claim of 18 hours battery life assumes “90 time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app use, and a 30-minute workout with music playback from Apple Watch via Bluetooth.”
If you translate it into other uses, the Watch can deliver three hours of talk time, six and a half hours of workout time, and a little over six ours of audio playback. If you use it as nothing more than a timepiece, allowing for five time checks per hour, the battery will last two full days. The Power Reserve mode can extend the battery life up to 72 hours.
Most importantly, Apple Watch has a replaceable battery. According to TechCrunch, its battery should last three years before requiring a replacement.
Apple Watch price
Apple Watch Sport is the most affordable of the lot. Made with a pure aluminum, its pricing starts at $349 for 38mm and $399 for 42mm model. The standard Apple Watch starts at $549 for 38mm and $599 for 42mm and goes up to $1,049. The 18-carat gold Apple Watch Edition starts at $10,000 and goes up to $17,000. This is definitely not for everyone.
But you are in for a hefty discount if you are an Apple employee. The Cupertino company has come up with a special limited-time discount for its employees. For 90 days, Apple employees can get 50% discount on the standard Apple Watch and the Watch Sport. You’ll also get $550 off of the gold Apple Watch Edition.
Apple Watch pre-order and release date
The iPhone maker will start accepting pre-orders for the Watch on April 10th at 12:01 a.m. PT. You can pre-order the device through Apple’s online store or via its dedicated app. In case you are not sure whether Apple Watch is for you, you can reserve a fitting session online and then visit an Apple Storeh. The Watch will start shipping on April 24th.
But not all the models will ship immediately. German Apple blog Macerkopf discovered Wednesday that the German and British Apple Online stores showed some models saddled with shipping dates of 4-6 weeks. According to Macerkopf, Apple Watch Sport in all color and strap options will ship between April 24 and May 8. Some variants of the standard Apple Watch will ship between April 24 and May 8, while others will ship in “4 to 6 weeks.” For Apple Watch Edition, the shipping date is “May.”