Global speculation is rife as Apple prepare the market for the Apple Watch due for release in early 2015 with indicative pricing of US$350.
Two Sizes, Three Collections and Total Personalisation
Apple has released all the design specifications and features of the new Apple watch collection with the emphasis on personalisation.
There are two sizes 42mm and 38mm and a choice of three collections - Watch, Watch Edition and Watch Sport - each with two finishes.
The Watch has a polished case of stainless steel with a choice of steel or black finish.The Edition is made from 18k yellow or rose gold. Both these two collections have scratch-resistant, anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass screens. The Sport has a lightweight, scratch and impact resisistant Ion-X glass screen and body of anodized aluminion.
A large range of inter-changeable straps have been designed so the Apple Watch can be personalised by its wearer. These range from stainless steel metal link, to traditonal leather bands, to a fluroelastomer flexible strap. There are unique fastenings including magnets in some designs. Customisation extends to a choice of 18 different styles for the Watch, 6 styles for Watch Edition, and 10 styles for the Watch Sport.
Changing the way the Watch looks continues with the face. Show your photos, the weather, solar cycle, or Mickey Mouse - something to suit every mood or occasion.
Digital Crown and Taptic Touch
Apple has utilised the crown on the side of the Watch turning the traditional twisting movement into a new way to control lists, zooms and more. The watch senses the wearer is raising the wrist and turns on the display.
The Watch features a pressure-sensitive touchscreen, which can tell the difference between a tap and a press for access to additional features. The Watch also "taps" the wearer on the wrist to signify notificiations, vibrates and gives audio alerts.
A tap can be sent to other Watch wearers and your heartbeat can be recreated on another Watch owner's wrist. These are two aspects of Digital Touch, a Watch-only communication system where quick sketches can be sent between wearers who can also engage in direct chat using a walkie-talkie style app.
The New OS and new Watch Apps
The user interface is not simply a smaller version of iOS but an entirely new system designed for the small display size. The OS pulls key phrases form messages to create quick replies, or the wearer can add an emoji and dictate a longer rely. Siri can be accessed and the wearer can talk to the Watch like they do with the iPhone.
Favourite photos stored in iCloud can be viewed on the mini display, Apple Maps can be accessed and controlled with direction-specific vibration alerts keeping the wearer heading the right way.
Other features include using the Watch as a viewfinder for camera, and an Apple TV control. A Friends app keeps your favourite people in an easy to use list, while Handoff sees messages started on the Watch transfer over to the iPhone.
Its a Motivational Fitness Tracker too
The Watch takes fitness seriously and includes several new apps to help reach fitness goals. The Activity app is at the centre and uses a brightly coloured ring to visualise how much the wearer has moved, stood, and run during the day. The more it is use, the more the Watch will learn, and will set different goals each week to motivate the wearer to get fitter. It will even remind the wearer to get out of the chair and move about, prompting every hour.