The Next Big Thing?
When the Apple Watch bows on April 24 it will be quite a step for both Apple and the smartwatch industry. Not only will it represent the first product from the tech giant to be introduced to the line-up since the passing of founder Steve Jobs, it will also be the first genuinely new product launched in five years.
Because of that, there’s quite a lot riding on the launch – and the company hosted a blow-out Keynote event earlier this year through which to introduce it.
However, is it worth the hype? And should you pre-order one? Here we breakdown the seven things you need to know before the Apple Watch hits stores.
It’s Not Going To Replace Your iPhone
The first generation of the Apple Watch has been designed to work in tandem with your iPhone, not in place of it.
Yes, you can definitely leave your iPhone at home while you go for a run or step out for a quick errand, but to really harness its power and utilise all of its functionality, your iPhone is integral to the process.
Shooting off text and audio messages as well as holding phone conversations might be a breeze, but any extensive use might see you going cross-eyed due to the size of the screen.
Don’t think of this as cutting the electronic umbilical cord – think of it as lengthening it.
The Pricing Varies Wildy
The Apple Watch probably has the widest price range of any smartwatch out on the market: from £299 to £13,500.
And while the technology is the same across the board, the range really puts the ‘wearable’ in ‘wearable tech’. Three different models, two sizes and six finishes take the timepiece from simple sporty bands to 18-Karat Rose Gold jewellery.
It Will Truly Become A Personal Device
Though you can personalise your iPhone, the Apple Watch is much more customisable.
In addition to changing the finishes and bands (in a move that will affect the overall price) the face of the watch is always up for altering – not only with what functionality is displayed on the screen in rest mode, but aesthetically too.
Are you a Disney fanatic like designer Bobby Abley? Go for Mickey Mouse. A nerd to the sciences? You’ll love the Astronomy face.
Prepare Yourself For The Tapping
As smartphones have become ubiquitous, ringtones, beeps and vibrations have too become common place. With the Apple Watch, that is no more.
Apple’s new ‘Taptic’ technology allows the mini-computer to tap your wrist to alert you to notifications. Text messages, phone calls and emails from VIP contacts are all reduced to discrete taps and buzzes on your wrist that you can react to or ignore at will.
Your Fitness Band Will Likely Be Rendered Null & Void
In addition to pulling double-duty by acting as a quasi-iPod and mini-iPhone, the new Apple Watch will be keeping an eye on your daily activity.
With the ability to measure heart rate, steps taken and calories, the device will render basic fitness bands null and void. In addition to being able to set and measure progress on health and activity goals, the Apple Watch will also be able to do simple things like remind you to stand up every hour while you’re at work, if you haven’t done so.
There’s Definitely A Learning Curve
Though most functions will be quite intuitive and easy to use – Apple Pay is a complete breeze with the watch – managing it all will be a learning curve.
The most significant thing out of the box: identifying which applications you do and do not want notifications from to stop that incessant tapping on your wrist.
Over Time The Device Is Only Going To Get Better
Unless you’re dying to be at the forefront of technology, you might want to wait a while to purchase your first Apple Watch – it’s only going to get better as time goes by.
The reliance on the iPhone for applications means that sometimes the device lags and lacks depth, but as developers create more native applications, this will soon pass.
Not only that, Apple Watch specific aspects, like the ability to send short sketches and your own heart beat to close contacts, can only be shared with other Apple Watch wearers.
So, what do you think – have you already pre-ordered the Apple Watch? Will you be purchasing one when they are officially released? Or do you prefer your classic timepiece?
Let us know in the comments section.