Technology

It’s time for the Apple Watch: Everything you need to know

Kirsten Robb /

At a recommended Australian retail price of $14,000, you may not be running out to slap the premium Apple Watch on your wrists on its April 24 released date, but chances are the early adopters will want to get a closer look at the much anticipated piece of wearable tech.

Apple announced the Australian release date overnight, along with updates to its MacBook and MacBook Pro personal computers.

But there’s not just one Apple Watch. The tech titan has unveiled three watches, starting at $499 for the Apple Sports version. The $14,000 price tag will get you the Apple Watch Edition, crafted from custom rose or yellow 18-karat gold alloys.

Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi told SmartCompany Australia can expect a fairly good response to the device, but will probably find there will be limited supply in 2015.

“We believe the lower cost products will sell the most and they will run out the soonest,” says Fadaghi.

The Apple Watch promises not only to be an “incredibly accurate timepiece” according to Apple’s statement, it vows to be your “groundbreaking health and fitness companion”, allowing users to access a range of third-party apps to monitor their bodies from their wrists.

“We can’t wait for people to start wearing Apple Watch to easily access information that matters, to interact with the world, and to live a better day by being more aware of their daily activity than ever before,” said Apple chief executive Tim Cook in a statement.

Plus you can use the watch for many of the same features you’d use a smartphone for – answering calls, checking the weather, accessing maps or listening to music.

SmartCompany takes a look at the Apple Watch’s key features.

 

Three different watches

 

Deciding not to take the ‘one watch fits all’ approach, Apple has designed three specific watches for different consumer tastes – the Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Sport and the Apple Watch Edition – each of which comes in two sizes, 38 mm or 42 mm.

The plain Apple Watch collection has polished stainless steel or space black stainless steel cases with a Retina display protected by sapphire crystal. You get a choice of three different leather straps too. It retails at $799.

The Apple Watch Sport is the cheapest of the three watches and the lightest, made with an anodised aluminum body. It also features strengthened Ion-X glass face to make it sturdier than the other watches.

The swanky Apple Watch Edition is clearly designed for the fashionistas and even comes with a leather box that doubles as a charger, according to MacWorld.

 

Telling the time

 

Users can choose between a stopwatch display, a grid designed modular face, or a motion face with animations of butterflies and jellyfish. The watch doesn’t just keep the time, but tells you sunrise/sunset, upcoming calendar events and daily activity levels.

 

Send messages

 

The Apple Watch allows users to send messages, read email and answer or transfer calls to your iPhone. You can use touch screen technology to send a sketch you’ve drawn in the watch, or even send the rhythm of your own heartbeat. The watches don’t currently have video calling ability.

Apple has also incorporated what it calls “Taptic” vibrating alerts, which are kind of like the push notifications you receive on your iPhone. You get what MacWorld is calling a “pretty gentle prod” when you get messages from friends or a phone call, or when the Maps function is telling you to turn left or right.

 

Fitness

 

An inbuilt Activity app shows you a visual snapshot of your daily activity including calories burned, brisk activity and how often you’ve stood up to take a break from sitting during the day. A Workout app gets more specific with metrics for activities like walking, running and cycling.

The watch collects the data to suggest personalised activity goals, reward fitness milestones and keep you motivated.

Fadaghi says Telsyte anticipates health fitness band users, such as FitBit, will consider upgrading from a band to the watch for this reason.

 

Other specs

 

The watches will use Apple’s new Digital Crown display to allow users to scroll, zoom and navigate the screen without your fingers obstructing the display. The 42mm version will have a screen resolution of 390 x 312 pixels, and the 38mm model will have 340 x 272 pixels.

Apple also claims the watches will have18-hour all-day battery life , will use voice command technology Siri and US customers will have access to the Apple Pay function to use the watch as a mobile payment method.

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Kirsten Robb

Kirsten Robb is a former journalist at SmartCompany. Previously, she worked at News Corp as a property reporter for Leader Newspapers and the Herald Sun, and holds a Masters of Journalism at Melbourne University.

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