Apple has introduced three collections of the new Apple Watch just after revealing the new iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus.
Apple unveiled its first smart watch on Tuesday. The move was hotly anticipated, as Apple enters a competitive and rapidly expanding market. The new watches will be available starting in early 2015, starting at $349.
Apple’s teaser videos show a variety of different straps attached to the Apple Watch, with a wide range of both materials and colors. Apple has designed six different straps and a special mechanism for swapping them around. The Apple Watch will come in two sizes and three different finishes, and it will include inductive wireless charging.
The glass covering up the Watch is made of sapphire crystal, the hardy scratch-proof material that was speculated to be used in the new iPhone 6 models’ displays. Sapphire is a relatively common material in high-end watchmaking and it makes perfect sense for it to be used here. The actual display is a flexible Retina panel that has been laminated to the sapphire.
Unsurprisingly, the Apple Watch will only work in conjunction with an iPhone, but you will need a relatively recent model, starting with the iPhone 5.
“We love to make new products that improve people’s lives. We love to make things that allow our users to make things that they could never have imagined,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said today. “We think it will redefine what people expect from its category.” He called it “the next chapter in Apple’s story.”
Cook stressed that Apple didn’t just take the iPhone and put it on your wrist. Pinch to zoom, for example, wouldn’t work on a watch. Instead, the watch has a small dial on the side — Apple calls it a digital crown with IR and LED diodes. Pressing the dial will take you to the watch’s homescreen, which users can personalize just like the watch face.
The interface makes full use of the digital crown, and developers will be able to use it for their own apps. The Apple Watch will also be using voice input through Siri.
In addition, Apple developed something it calls “digital touch” to allow you to quickly share a sketch you draw on the watch face. Given that the watch doesn’t have a keyboard, these sketches allow you to still communicate relatively complex ideas easily.
The dial also understands the difference between a simple touch and a press, and the watch will offer at least some haptic feedback.