Yesterday, September 9, was MacWorld 2014, and we got way more than we bargained for. In addition to two new iPhone 6’s and Apple Pay, a digital wallet, there was “one more thing”. And it blew me away.
That was the Apple Watch. An exquisite, precise timepiece that had my class drooling, saying “I want one!”
First things first: this watch is absolutely gorgeous. There are three different versions, plain Jane Apple Watch, a beautiful ticker, the Apple Watch Sport, a scratch-and-dent-proof version with rubber watch bands, and Apple Watch Edition, an incredible 14-Karat gold watch that is absolutely stunning.
The straps are all interchangeable. For the plain one, there’s several varieties of leather, metal, and rubber. The Sport is rubber. The Edition is leather. The bodies are available in stainless steel, aluminum, and gold. The watch is rounded off on the sides.
The watch face is dominated by an always-on screen. It will display a customizable watch face. It slopes down gently at the edges to meet the body. To the right are, furthest from you, a knob that is used to zoom and scroll. Pressing it will send you to a home screen filled with circular apps that can be navigated by tapping different app sectors. Holding it will evoke Siri. Closest to you is a button that will access your contacts for quick communication. On the bottom of the watch are various sensors.
Usually I’d talk about specs, but this area is clouded. The whole system has been condensed into a sealed chip called the S1. There is a big battery and something called a “taptic engine”. The display is also pressure sensitive, easily distinguishing a long press from a tap. The watch is waterproof, so you can swim with it.
The watch is centered around well, time! The display is always on and always shows your custom watch face. Swiping up from the bottom of the display produces a “glance” – a view of your day. Pressing the knob will bring you to your home screen. There are lots of apps, like health, which helps you set health goals and work toward them.
Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are a few of the apps that are already on the watch. There is also Apple Pay, a way to pay for things without a physical credit card. Once your info is entered just tap the register and you’ve paid.
If you receive a notification, you’ll have the ability to reply to them using some default responses. Typing emails, texts, and social media is enabled using speech-to-text technology.
Now on to the taptic engine. It’s like the vibrator motor already in your phone, but it “taps” you. If you receive a notification, the engine will go off and you’ll feel a “tap on the wrist”. You can also message people by drawing images.
The Apple Watch is simply magical. It just works, it looks great, and it’s $350. If it was out now, I’d buy it. Alas, it comes out January next year. I firmly believe it’s worth the wait.