Schlagwort-Archive: Apple Watch

Apple Watch: Life’s too short for slow computers

Don’t buy a watch that makes you wait

Here’s the problem with the Apple Watch: it’s slow.

It was slow when it was first announced, it was slow when it came out, and it stayed slow when Watch OS 2.0 arrived. When I reviewed it last year, the slowness was so immediately annoying that I got on the phone with Apple to double check their performance expectations before making „it’s kind of slow“ the opening of the review.

I was thinking about this in the context of two stories today: Intel abandoning their smartphone chips and Apple’s Tim Cook saying that eventually we’ll look back on the Watch as a huge hit like the iPod and iPhone.

Intel built its entire business on our unquenchable thirst for power in the PC era — the company rode Moore’s Law to higher and higher levels of performance, and when the mobile revolution arrived and the industry and consumers reprioritized battery life and heat, Intel began faltering. Computers got fast enough — Apple’s new MacBook has a brand-new Core M processor in it, but it’s not fast. It’s just capable of doing all the things you might want it to do. And it’s great. Everyone I know who has one loves it.

The same thing is true in a different way for smartphones and tablets: iPad sales have slowed because most of them are fast enough to run a bunch of video streaming services and the browser, and that’s what people use them for. Smartphones are ridiculously powerful; so much so that their upgrade cycle dramatically outpaces the ability of developers to actually make use of their features. I still haven’t seen a good use of 3D Touch on the iPhone 6S; I suspect we will never see anyone make use of LG’s Friends modules for the G5. We are surrounded by powerful, capable computers, and we use so little of their maximum capability. The only thing that even threatens to drive a major hardware cycle in the near future is VR, and we’ll see how long that lasts.

But then I look at the Apple Watch and it’s so obviously underpowered. We can sit around and argue about whether speeds and feeds matter, but the grand ambition of the Apple Watch is to be a full-fledged computer on your wrist, and right now it’s a very slow computer. If Apple believes the Watch is indeed destined to become that computer, it needs to radically increase the raw power of the Watch’s processor, while maintaining its just-almost-acceptable battery life. And it needs to do that while all of the other computers around us keep getting faster themselves. It’s a hard road, but Apple is obviously uniquely suited to invest in ambitions that grand, with billions in the bank, a top-notch chip design unit, and the ability to focus on the long-term.

The other choice is to pare the Watch down, to reduce its ambitions, and make it less of a computer and more of a clever extension of your phone. Most of the people I see with smartwatches use them as a convenient way to get notifications and perhaps some health tracking, not for anything else. (And health tracking is pretty specialized; Fitbit seems to be doing just fine serving a devoted customer base.)

If you ask me, I think it’s better to slowly stack new capabilities on top of more powerful hardware than to push out a million ideas that work too slowly in practice. And it seems I’m not alone in this — here’s John Gruber, a week ago:

My hope is that Apple does more than just make the second generation watch faster/thinner/longer-lasting, and takes a step back and reconsiders some of the fundamental aspects to the conceptual design.

Are smartwatches computers, or not? And if they’re computers, how fast do they have to be to be useful computers? The most interesting thing about the Apple Watch is how sharply it throws those questions into relief.

http://www.theverge.com/2016/5/3/11578082/lifes-too-short-for-slow-computers

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The first Apple Watch may not be for you — but someday soon, it will change your world

Further reading: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/09/technology/personaltech/apple-watch-bliss-but-only-after-a-steep-learning-curve.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share

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A column from Farhad Manjoo that examines how technology is changing

It took three days — three long, often confusing and frustrating days — for me to fall for the Apple Watch. But once I fell, I fell hard.

First there was a day to learn the device’s initially complex user interface. Then another to determine how it could best fit it into my life. And still one more to figure out exactly what Apple’s first major new product in five years is trying to do — and, crucially, what it isn’t.

It was only on Day 4 that I began appreciating the ways in which the elegant $650 computer on my wrist was more than just another screen. By notifying me of digital events as soon as they happened, and letting me act on them instantly, without having to fumble for my phone, the Watch became something like a natural extension of my body — a direct link, in a way that I’ve never felt before, from the digital world to my brain. The effect was so powerful that people who’ve previously commented on my addiction to my smartphone started noticing a change in my behavior; my wife told me that I seemed to be getting lost in my phone less than in the past. She found that a blessing.

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With a selection of stylish leather and metallic bands, the Apple Watch starts at $350 and goes all the way up to $17,000. Credit Apple

The Apple Watch is far from perfect, and, starting at $350 and going all the way up to $17,000, it isn’t cheap. Though it looks quite smart, with a selection of stylish leather and metallic bands that make for a sharp departure from most wearable devices, the Apple Watch works like a first-generation device, with all the limitations and flaws you’d expect of brand-new technology.

What’s more, unlike previous breakthrough Apple products, the Watch’s software requires a learning curve that may deter some people. There’s a good chance it will not work perfectly for most consumers right out of the box, because it is best after you fiddle with various software settings to personalize use. Indeed, to a degree unusual for a new Apple device, the Watch is not suited for tech novices. It is designed for people who are inundated with notifications coming in through their phones, and for those who care to think about, and want to try to manage, the way the digital world intrudes on their lives.

Still, even if it’s not yet for everyone, Apple is on to something with the device. The Watch is just useful enough to prove that the tech industry’s fixation on computers that people can wear may soon bear fruit. In that way, using the Apple Watch over the last week reminded me of using the first iPhone. Apple’s first smartphone was revolutionary not just because it did what few other phones could do, but also because it showed off the possibilities of a connected mobile computer. As the iPhone and its copycats became more powerful and ubiquitous, the mobile computer became the basis of a wide range of powerful new tech applications, from messaging to ride-sharing to payments.

Similarly, the most exciting thing about the Apple Watch isn’t the device itself, but the new tech vistas that may be opened by the first mainstream wearable computer. On-body devices have obvious uses in health care and payments. As the tech analyst Tim Bajarin has written, Apple also seems to be pushing a vision of the Watch as a general-purpose remote control for the real world, a nearly bionic way to open your hotel room, board a plane, call up an Uber or otherwise have the physical world respond to your desires nearly automatically.

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Credit Stuart Goldenberg

These situations suggest that the Watch may push us to new heights of collective narcissism. Yet in my week with the device, I became intrigued by the opposite possibility — that it could address some of the social angst wrought by smartphones. The Apple Watch’s most ingenious feature is its “taptic engine,” which alerts you to different digital notifications by silently tapping out one of several distinct patterns on your wrist. As you learn the taps over time, you will begin to register some of them almost subconsciously: incoming phone calls and alarms feel throbbing and insistent, a text feels like a gentle massage from a friendly bumblebee, and a coming calendar appointment is like the persistent pluck of a harp. After a few days, I began to get snippets of information from the digital world without having to look at the screen — or, if I had to look, I glanced for a few seconds rather than minutes.

If such on-body messaging systems become more pervasive, wearable devices can become more than a mere flashy accessory to the phone. The Apple Watch could usher in a transformation of social norms just as profound as those we saw with its brother, the smartphone — except, amazingly, in reverse.

For now, the dreams are hampered by the harsh realities of a new device. The Watch is not an iPhone on your wrist. It has a different set of input mechanisms — there’s the digital crown, a knob used for scrolling and zooming, and a touch screen that can be pressed down harder for extra options. There is no full on-screen keyboard, so outbound messages are confined to a set of default responses, emoji and, when you’re talking to other Watch users, messages that you can draw or tap.

The Watch also relies heavily on voice dictation and the voice assistant Siri, which is more useful on your wrist than on your phone, but still just as hit-or-miss. I grew used to calling on Siri to set kitchen timers or reminders while I was cooking, or to look up the weather while I was driving. And I also grew used to her getting these requests wrong almost as often as she got them right.

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An Apple Watch app allows hotel guests to open the door to their room by touching the watch face to the door. Credit Michael Appleton for The New York Times

The Watch also has a completely different software design from a smartphone. Though it has a set of apps, interactions are driven more by incoming notifications as well as a summary view of some apps, known as glances. But because there isn’t much room on the watch’s screen for visual cues indicating where you are — in an app, a notification or a glance — in the early days, you’ll often find yourself lost, and something that works in one place won’t work in another.

Finding nirvana with the watch involves adjusting your notification settings on your phone so that your wrist does not constantly buzz with information that doesn’t make sense on the Watch — like Facebook status updates, messages from Snapchat, or every single email about brownies in the office kitchen. Apple’s notification settings have long been unduly laborious; battling them while your hand is buzzing off the hook is an extra level of discomfort.

Other problems: Third-party apps are mostly useless right now. The Uber app didn’t load for me, the Twitter app is confusing and the app for Starwood hotels mysteriously deleted itself and then hung up on loading when I reinstalled it. In the end, though, it did let me open a room at the W Hotel in Manhattan just by touching the watch face to the door.

I also used the Watch to pay for New York cabs and groceries at Whole Foods, and to present my boarding pass to security agents at the airport. When these encounters worked, they were magical, like having a secret key to unlock the world right on my arm. What’s most thrilling about the Apple Watch, unlike other smartwatches I’ve tried, is the way it invests a user with a general sense of empowerment. If Google brought all of the world’s digital information to our computers, and the iPhone brought it to us everywhere, the Watch builds the digital world directly into your skin. It takes some time getting used to, but once it clicks, this is a power you can’t live without.

The New York Times announced last week that it had created “one-sentence stories” for the Apple Watch, so let me end this review with a note that could fit on the watch’s screen: The first Apple Watch may not be for you — but someday soon, it will change your world.

Iphone Killer: Your phone is ruining your life!

„Along the way, the Apple team landed upon the Watch’s raison d’être.

It came down to this: Your phone is ruining your life.

Like the rest of us, Ive, Lynch, Dye, and everyone at Apple are subject to the tyranny of the buzz—the constant checking, the long list of nagging notifications. “We’re so connected, kind of ever-presently, with technology now,” Lynch says. “People are carrying their phones with them and looking at the screen so much.”

They’ve glared down their noses at those who bury themselves in their phones at the dinner table and then absentmindedly thrust hands into their own pockets at every ding or buzz. “People want that level of engagement,” Lynch says. “But how do we provide it in a way that’s a little more human, a little more in the moment when you’re with somebody?” Our phones have become invasive. But what if you could engineer a reverse state of being?

What if you could make a device that you wouldn’t—couldn’t—use for hours at a time? What if you could create a device that could filter out all the bullshit and instead only serve you truly important information? You could change modern life. And so after three-plus decades of building devices that grab and hold our attention—the longer the better—Apple has decided that the way forward is to fight back.

Apple, in large part, created our problem. And it thinks it can fix it with a square slab of metal and a Milanese loop strap.

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“ Read more here: http://www.wired.com/2015/04/the-apple-watch/

Could Wearable Computers Be as Harmful as Cigarettes?

The Health Concerns in Wearable Tech

This article is from NyTimes and is published on the Idea due to exigent health concerns:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/19/style/could-wearable-computers-be-as-harmful-as-cigarettes.html?_r=0

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Credit Tim Robinson

In a similar vein, some researchers and consumers are now asking whether wearable computers will be considered harmful in several decades’ time.

We have long suspected that cellphones, which give off low levels of radiation, could lead to brain tumors, cancer, disturbed blood rhythms and other health problems if held too close to the body for extended periods.

Yet here we are in 2015, with companies like Apple and Samsung encouraging us to buy gadgets that we should attach to our bodies all day long.

While there is no definitive research on the health effects of wearable computers (the Apple Watch isn’t even on store shelves yet), we can hypothesize a bit from existing research on cellphone radiation.

The most definitive and arguably unbiased results in this area come from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a panel within the World Health Organization that consisted of 31 scientists from 14 countries.

After dissecting dozens of peer-reviewed studies on cellphone safety, the panel concluded in 2011 that cellphones were “possibly carcinogenic” and that the devices could be as harmful as certain dry-cleaning chemicals and pesticides. (Note that the group hedged its findings with the word “possibly.”)

The W.H.O. panel concluded that the farther away a device is from one’s head, the less harmful — so texting or surfing the Web will not be as dangerous as making calls, with a cellphone inches from the brain. (This is why there were serious concerns about Google Glass when it was first announced and why we’ve been told to use hands-free devices when talking on cellphones.)

A longitudinal study conducted by a group of European researchers and led by Dr. Lennart Hardell, a professor of oncology and cancer epidemiology at Orebro University Hospital in Sweden, concluded that talking on a mobile or cordless phone for extended periods could triple the risk of a certain kind of brain cancer.

There is, of course, antithetical research. But some of this was partly funded by cellphone companies or trade groups.

One example is the international Interphone study, which was published in 2010 and did not find strong links between mobile phones and an increased risk of brain tumors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded in 2014 that “more research is needed before we know if using cell phones causes health effects.”

Another study, in The BMJ, which measured cellphone subscription data rather than actual use, said there was no proof of increased cancer. Yet even here, the Danish team behind the report acknowledged that a “small to moderate increase” in cancer risk among heavy cellphone users could not be ruled out.

But what does all this research tell the Apple faithful who want to rush out and buy an Apple Watch, or the Google and Windows fanatics who are eager to own an alternative smartwatch?

Dr. Joseph Mercola, a physician who focuses on alternative medicine and has written extensively about the potential harmful effects of cellphones on the human body, said that as long as a wearable does not have a 3G connection built into it, the harmful effects are minimal, if any.

“The radiation really comes from the 3G connection on a cellphone, so devices like the Jawbone Up and Apple Watch should be O.K.,” Dr. Mercola said in a phone interview. “But if you’re buying a watch with a cellular chip built in, then you’ve got a cellphone attached to your wrist.” And that, he said, is a bad idea.

(The Apple Watch uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to receive data, and researchers say there is no proven harm from those frequencies on the human body. Wearables with 3G or 4G connections built in, including the Samsung Gear S, could be more harmful, though that has not been proved. Apple declined to comment for this article, and Samsung could not be reached for comment.)

Researchers have also raised concerns about having powerful batteries so close to the body for extended periods of time. Some reports over the last several decades have questioned whether being too close to power lines could cause leukemia (though other research has also negated this).

So what should consumers do? Perhaps we can look at how researchers themselves handle their smartphones.

While Dr. Mercola is a vocal proponent of cellphone safety, he told me to call him on his cell when I emailed about an interview. When I asked him whether he was being hypocritical, he replied that technology is a fact of life, and that he uses it with caution. As an example, he said he was using a Bluetooth headset during our call.

In the same respect, people who are concerned about the possible side effects of a smartwatch should avoid placing it close to their brain (besides, it looks a little strange). But there are some people who may be more vulnerable to the dangers of these devices: children.

While researchers debate about how harmful cellphones and wearable computers actually are, most agree that children should exercise caution.

In an email, Dr. Hardell sent me research illustrating that a child’s skull is thinner and smaller than an adult’s, which means that children’s brain tissues are more exposed to certain types of radiation, specifically the kind that emanates from a cellphone.

Children should limit how much time they spend talking on a cellphone, doctors say. And if they have a wearable device, they should take it off at night so it does not end up under their pillow, near their brain. Doctors also warn that women who are pregnant should be extra careful with all of these technologies.

But what about adults? After researching this column, talking to experts and poring over dozens of scientific papers, I have realized the dangers of cellphones when used for extended periods, and as a result I have stopped holding my phone next to my head and instead use a headset.

That being said, when it comes to wearable computers, I’ll still buy the Apple Watch, but I won’t let it go anywhere near my head. And I definitely won’t let any children I know play with it for extended periods of time.

Addendum: March 21, 2015 Editors’ Note on NyTimes.com
The Disruptions column in the Styles section on Thursday, discussing possible health concerns related to wearable technology, gave an inadequate account of the status of research about cellphone radiation and cancer risk.

Neither epidemiological nor laboratory studies have found reliable evidence of such risks, and there is no widely accepted theory as to how they might arise. According to the World Health Organization, “To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use.” The American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have all said there is no convincing evidence for a causal relationship. While researchers are continuing to study possible risks, the column should have included more of this background for balance.

In addition, one source quoted in the article, Dr. Joseph Mercola, has been widely criticized by experts for his claims about disease risks and treatments. More of that background should have been included, or he should not have been cited as a source.

An early version of the headline for the article online — “Could Wearable Computers Be as Harmful as Cigarettes?” — also went too far in suggesting any such comparison.

Apple Watch Event: Uhrsache (sic!) und Wirkung

Der Spiegel Online analysiert knallhart:

„Erst eingehende Tests werden zeigen, ob die Benutzung der neuen Uhren tatsächlich so intuitiv und angenehm ist, wie Cook und sein Team das bei der Vorstellung ein ums andere Mal betont haben. Sicher ist, dass Apple bis heute einen Vertrauensvorsprung hat, wenn es um die Einführung neuer Geräte geht. Steve Jobs versprach einst: Wenn wir etwas anfassen, dann machen wir es so, dass die Kunden es lieben werden. Löst die Apple Watch dieses Versprechen ein, dann kann sie einmal mehr einer Gerätekategorie zum Durchbruch verhelfen, bei denen andere die undankbare Vorreiterrolle übernommen haben. So wie das bei MP3-Playern, Touchscreen-Handys oder tragbaren Touch-Computern schon der Fall war.“

Und subsummiert, die Ängste, aller Beteiligten, Mitarbeiter, Fan-Boys, überzeugten Innovationsliebhabern, und Aktionären:

„Erweist sich die Apple Watch aber als überflüssiger Schnickschnack, als allzu klobiges Anhängsel mit zu wenig echtem Mehrwert für seinen Preis, dann kann die Uhr das Gegenteil bewirken: Wenn der Konzern nur einmal unter Beweis stellt, dass nicht jedes seiner Produkte automatisch zum unverzichtbaren Alltagsgegenstand wird, könnte das der Beginn eines rapiden Abstiegs werden.“

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Spiegel Online resümmiert:

„Die Ankündigung mit der vermutlich nachhaltigsten Wirkung aber ist die zugleich am wenigsten spektakuläre. Der berührungslose Bezahldienst Apple Pay ist einmal mehr eine aufpolierte Kopie bereits im Markt befindlicher Angebote, man denke nur an Google Wallet. Android-Handys mit NFC-Chips gibt es längst, das Zahlen per Handy aber hat sich bislang nirgends durchgesetzt. Apple aber hat im Smartphone-Bereich in den USA bis heute einen Marktanteil von 40 Prozent – und Cooks Mannschaft hat es offenbar verstanden, sich mit vielen großen Laden- und Restaurantketten zu verbünden.

Schafft Apple es, mit seinen neuen Geräten schnell große Kundenzahlen zu erreichen – und die Geschichte legt nahe, dass das klappen könnte, – könnte mit einem Mal auch das Zahlen mit dem Handy – oder der Uhr – zur Alltagsgeste werden.

Für Ladenketten könnte die Anschaffung der entsprechenden Hardware mit einer ausreichend großen, zahlungskräftigen Klientel plötzlich doch interessant werden, und genau das sind Apples Kunden. Und stehen die Scanner erst einmal an den Ladenkassen, sind auch die NFC-Chips in allen anderen Handyfabrikaten plötzlich wieder im Spiel. Wenn das geschieht, wenn unsere digitalen Alltagsbegleiter auch zu unserem bevorzugten Zahlungsmittel werden, ist das zwar bequem – es bringt aber auch völlig neue Datenschutz– und Sicherheitsprobleme mit sich.“

Derstandard ergänzt:

„Das US-Magazin „Fortune“ würdigte Cook seinerzeit als „das Genie hinter Steve“. Als Zuständiger für das operative Geschäft sorgte er dafür, dass nach Umsetzung der kühnen Visionen schwarze Zahlen in den Büchern standen. Jetzt muss Cook mit der Computeruhr beweisen, dass sein Apple die gleiche visionäre Kraft wie zu Zeiten von Jobs hat. Dieses Image hilft dem Konzern, weltweit Millionen seiner teuren Premium-Smartphones und Tablets zu verkaufen.“

Original-Zitate nachzulesen bei: http://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/gadgets/apple-watch-iphone-6-und-smartwatch-koennten-bezahlverhalten-aendern-a-990734.html und http://derstandard.at/2000005390426/Tim-Cook-tritt-mit-Apple-Watch-aus-dem-Schatten-von

2014′ Apple Special Event unboxing new Iphones, Apple Pay, Apple Watch and many more

See All the Glorious Gadgets From Apple’s Big Event

CUPERTINO, California—Today Apple unveiled a trifecta of new products that are surely sending worrisome ripples down the spines of the company’s competitors.

At a massive media event here at the Flint Center for Performing Arts, Apple announced two new large-screen iPhones, a new mobile payment platform, and an advanced touchscreen wristwatch. Judging by the numerous outbreaks of applause and the occasional standing ovation, the new products were met with great support by the huge audience of press, Apple employees, and VIPs from the entertainment, technology, and fashion industries.

But don’t worry if your eyes weren’t glued to the video livestream—or if you were one of the countless viewers who suffered from numerous drop-outs and technical problems and were left in the dark for much of the event. Here are the most important things you need to know about Apple’s big day.

The New iPhones: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

After a dramatic introductory video, Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller unveiled two new iPhone models today, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Both are styled with a smooth, brushed aluminum rear face that curves gently into the front face. They look like small iPads.

The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch display with a 1334×750 pixel resolution. The iPhone 6 Plus features a 5.5-inch screen with full HD 1920×1080 display resolution. Other than this size difference, the phones are essentially the same.

 

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On the rear, they’ve got an 8-megapixel shooter with an f/2.2 aperture 8-megapixel camera. It’s got a new sensor and speedier autofocus. The 6 has digital image stabilization, but the 6 Plus also has additional optical image stabilization that uses its gyroscope and the M8 coprocessor to cancel out extra shakiness. The front-facing camera gets some new features like HDR and a burst-shot mode.

Inside, an A8 processor promises to be up to 87 percent more efficient than its predecessor, offering CPU processing power up to 25 percent faster and GPU speeds up to 50 percent faster than the iPhone 5s’ A7 chip. The M8 motion coprocessor, in addition to aiding in image stabilization, can now tell when you’re walking, running or cycling, and can give you credit if you’re traversing up and down stairs thanks to a barometer that detects changes in air pressure.

Both devices feature Touch ID home buttons and NFC (more on that in a sec). The iPhone 6 goes on sale Friday, September 19th starting at $200 on contract for 16 GB, $300 for 64 GB, and $400 for 128 GB. The iPhone 6 Plus starts at $100 more.

ApplePay, Apple’s Mobile Payment Initiative

“Payments is a huge business. Every day between credit and debit, we spend $12 billion, and that’s just in the United States,” Cook said to introduce what a huge space payments is—a huge space digital payments have yet to crack.

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Working with American Express, MasterCard, and Visa, the new ApplePay systemas been designed to work with over 220,000 merchants at launch, including familiar locations like Walgreens, Whole Foods, Macy’s, and Target. Using NFC, you simply tap your phone on a payment terminal to purchase things. It’s that easy. How it works is a bit more complicated though. It uses a combination of NFC, Touch ID, and a secure chip Apple calls the Secure Element. You add a card by snapping a photo of it, then getting verification from your bank. During a transaction, a unique device number, rather than the actual credit card information, is sent to the merchant along with a dynamic security code. Apple doesn’t collect your data—what you buy is between you and the merchant. And if you lose your iPhone, you can suspend payments with Apple’s standard-issue Find My Friends app without needing to cancel your actual credit card.

It will launch in the U.S. in October as an update to iOS 8.

Apple’s Wearable: The Apple Watch

The biggest question mark surrounding today’s event was whether Apple would actually unveil its long-rumored wearable computing product. The company did not disappoint. The Apple Watch is officially here.

“Apple watch is the most personal device we’ve ever created,” Cook said after receiving a standing ovation and a round of wild applause. Apple’s CEO calls it “a new intimate way to connect and communicate direction from your wrist.”

The timepiece, which is accurate to within plus or minus 50 milliseconds, is not just technologically impressive. It’s also quite stylish. The faces and the different hardware choices let you trick out the watch to match your own personal style.

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The watch face looks very similar to a traditional watch, including a dial on the side that Apple calls the “digital crown” that translates movement into digital data. Apple kept some of the tech specs on the vague side—the product won’t actually ship until next year. What we do know is that the display is a sheet of sapphire, and inside is a custom designed chip encapsulated to protect the electronics. On the rear are four sapphire lenses which hold LEDs and photo sensors for detecting your heart rate.

With regards to looks, the Apple Watch is a bit of a chameleon. It comes in three editions: Apple Watch, Watch Sport, and Watch Edition. Apple Watch is the most basic, Watch Sport is more durable, and Watch Edition is more exotic and made of gold. There are six different straps you can mix and match to suit your needs: a quilted leather strap with a magnetic clasping band, a traditional leather buckle, a stainless steel link bracelet, and a mesh chain loop are among the choices. The device comes in not just two band sizes, but two watch face sizes, to suit folks with different-sized wrists.

But it’s not just the hardware that’s customizable. “With every breakthrough, Apple has also had to have a breakthrough in user interface,” Cook said. What Apple didn’t do, he says, is take the iPhone and shrink the interface and strap it on your wrist. The display is too small, and it would make for a terrible user experience. Instead the digital crown is a key part of the navigation experience, as are onscreen taps and swipes.

The menu screen is composed of bubbles of circular app icons you can arrange however you like, including grouping them by “neighborhood” of related apps. Twisting the crown zooms in and out on the group of apps. To open an app, you tap it. A feature called Glances lets you swipe upwards from the bottom of the screen to cycle through a customizable series of data screens. Siri is built into the watch, so you can dictate questions like “What movies are playing tonight?” A new feature called Digital Touch lets you select a contact then send a super-quick message just based on taps and drawings that your contact can then feel (via a vibration) when it reaches their wrist. It’s intended for messages that have a more personal context—and are a lot less wordy—than your usual text message.

The Apple Watch has a number of other apps including Maps, notifications from third-party apps, and a lot of customizable watch faces. Third-party apps, like ones from American Airlines and W Hotels, are also on the way. A pair of Apple-built health and fitness apps use both the watch and your iPhone’s sensors to give you a holistic view of your daily activities, combining the features of a general activity tracker and an advanced sport watch.

The Apple Watch charges using an inductive charger that fits on the back of its rectangular face. There’s no word about exact battery life yet. Few details were given about pricing, as well. All we know is that the Apple Watch will start at $350, and that it will go on sale in early 2015.

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Source: http://www.wired.com/2014/09/apple-event-faq