Apple is finally entering the budding market of wearable technology with the Apple Watch.
Crowds at the Apple event Tuesday met CEO Tim Cook with a standing ovation as he announced the tech giant's latest — and highly anticipated — product. (Video via Apple)
"What we didn't do was shrink the iPhone and slap it on your wrist."
That's true. As usual, we started today with fantasy mock-ups burned into our minds, but now we've come to find out the Apple Watch is ... watchlike.
Apple's rounded rectangular frame is fitted with a solid piece of sapphire glass on top and complete with your choice of straps and personal style.
On one side is another watchlike feature, the crown. Apple's digital crown echoes the iconic iPod click wheel. The sensitive scroller can be twisted to move information and zoom in, among other features, without ever obstructing the view of its wrist-sized screen. It's also the home button. (Video via Apple)
Other tactile features include a touch screen that can sense pressure. This allows users more functionality and screen options when exploring apps. Apple also introduced a new way for Apple Watch users to communicate, called "digital touch." Wearers can send messages to other watch owners just by tapping on the screen to send vibrations, drawing on the screen, or even sharing their heartbeat.
As you'd expect, Apple Watch requires the new iPhone 6 or any phone from the 5 series to use.
The wrist extension uses streamlined versions of apps to display only the most relevant information that will update everywhere you use Apple. Apple also announced WatchKit, an SDK for developers to scale down their apps.
Apple Watch also focuses on one category of apps in particular: health. Alongside the hardware, Apple announced its Activity app and Workout App. Activity app uses rings to measure your standing time, calorie burning and overall exercise. Sensors placed on the back face of the watch turn physical heartbeats, pulses and vital information into digital readouts.
Apple Watch is fully customized and available in a multitude of interchangeable magnetic linking straps, two sizes and three different variations: Apple Watch, Watch Sport with an aluminum frame, and Watch Edition made with 18-karat gold.
The product will start at $349 and officially launch sometime in 2015.
Some notable missing elements: battery and wireless charging. Jony Ive nor any presenter mentioned the watch's battery life, and unlike earlier guesses, the Apple Watch will still need a cord to charge. But it will use inductive charging with a simplistic design that allows owners to place the charger in any fashion on the back face.
Tim Cook admitted he couldn't fit all the details into one Apple event but hinted the watch could be used to control Apple TV, will include camera remote, and of course can be used for Apple's newest venture into mobile payments, Apple Pay.
Cook's mantra throughout the presentation was clear: Apple wants to make sure its wristwear will "redefine what people expect from a watch."