3 More Apple Watch Details Exposed

Source: Apple.com

Source: Apple.com

When it comes to information about its unreleased products, Apple is a notoriously secretive company. While it is widely known that Apple usually refreshes its iPhone and iPad product lines in the fall each year, the company usually won’t even confirm its annual media events until invitations are sent out a week or two ahead of time. Additionally, the invitations to the media events don’t even name what products will be unveiled. This strategy has allowed Apple to capitalize on the media frenzy generated over each new product release, since the product typically becomes available for sale less than two weeks after consumers get their very first look at it. However, while this is the marketing strategy that Apple has used for the majority of its product releases, the company opted for a slightly different approach when it came to the Apple Watch.

Although Apple unveiled the Apple Watch at its media event in September, the device won’t be released until “early 2015,” at least over three months after it was first announced. The company has also been following a different strategy when it comes to revealing details about the device’s capabilities and features. When the California-based company first announced the Apple Watch at its media event in September, it focused solely on a few of the device’s unique design elements and interface features, such as its “custom alloys of polished or space black stainless steel” and its pressure-sensitive Force Touch display.

However, since then, a few more details about Apple’s upcoming wearable tech product have continued to trickle out.  Last week, Apple launched its WatchKit software development kit, which revealed some new information about the device’s apps and technical specifications. Now, even more details have emerged about Apple’s first wearable tech product, thanks to several recent updates made to the company’s Apple Watch webpage. Is Apple is trying a new approach to releasing its products or is it simply posting new information as it is provided by its engineers?  While it’s not clear what Apple’s strategy is, here are three more details that the company recently revealed about its as-yet-unreleased Apple Watch.

Source: Apple.com

Source: Apple.com

Complications

While Apple previously listed the Watch’s functions under a single “Features” page, the refreshed Apple Watch website now includes three separate sections that describe the device’s capabilities. One of the new sections is titled “Timekeeping.” Although the Timekeeping webpage recycles some previously revealed information about the Apple Watch, it also incorporates some new information, including the names of various watch faces and details about specialized functions called “complications.”

As noted by Apple, watch faces for the Apple Watch range “from traditional to playful to artful to educational.” Most of the names are self-explanatory, such as the Mickey Mouse face, the Chronograph face, and the Simple face. Other faces include quirkier features, such as the Motion face that provides different visual animations each time a user raises their wrist, or the Solar face that tracks the sun’s position in the sky based on the time and the user’s current location.

Users can also customize their own watch face by combining various complications. Complications for the Apple Watch include everything from weather and stock updates, to a world clock and an activity monitor. Apple also showcased the multiple display options available for some of the Apple Watch’s complications via three different stopwatch displays: hybrid, digital, and analog.

“Apple Watch is first and foremost an incredibly accurate timepiece,” stated Apple on the new Timekeeping webpage. “It does everything a watch should, but in ways no other watch ever has. It’s also connected to your calendar, your contacts, and your schedule. So in addition to showing you the time, Apple Watch actually understands what time means to you. It helps you be more productive and efficient. So you get more out of every moment.”

Source: Apple.com

Source: Apple.com

Communication methods

In another section titled “New Ways to Connect,” Apple provided new details about the various ways that users will be able to communicate with each other, including new animations that demonstrate the Sketch, Tap, and Heartbeat features. As previously described by Apple, Sketch allows users to create a quick doodle and forward it to a friend, Tap allows users to send customized tap patterns, and Heartbeat allows users to record and send their pulse using the device’s built-in heart rate sensor.

The New Ways to Connect section also provided more details about how the Apple Watch will handle messages, calls, and emails. When a user receives a message notification, they can read or dismiss the notification by simply raising or lowering their wrist, respectively. Users have a variety of response methods they can choose from, including dictating a text response, sending an emoji, recording an audio message, or simply sharing their current location. Messages, calls, and emails can also easily be transferred to the iPhone for composing lengthier responses.

“You won’t just send and receive messages, calls, and mail more easily and efficiently,” stated Apple on the New Ways to Connect webpage. “You’ll express yourself in new, fun, and more personal ways. With Apple Watch, every exchange is less about reading words on a screen and more about making a genuine connection.”

Source: Apple.com

Source: Apple.com

Health and fitness features

Finally, in a new “Health and Fitness” section, Apple went into further detail about the Apple Watch’s built-in activity-tracking apps and sensors. Apple posted three new Activity app animations that demonstrate how the Apple Watch will track how many calories a user burns, how much exercise a user completes, and how often a user stands. Information for each metric can be displayed numerically, as a ring, or in a bar graph. Although the Apple Watch includes an accelerometer and a heart rate sensor, it must rely on the iPhone’s Wi-Fi and GPS in order to accurately keep track of a user’s daily physical movement.

The Health and Fitness section also highlighted the Workout app which is geared toward tracking more vigorous exercise activities. Both apps can also be paired the iPhone’s Fitness app in order to keep track of activity over longer periods of time.

“Apple Watch is our most personal device ever, and there’s nothing more personal than your health,” stated Apple on the new Health and Fitness webpage. “Just as Apple Watch is designed to keep you more efficient, organized, and productive, it’s also made to keep you moving. Because being active is vital to living a healthy life.”

Although Apple’s website updates exposed new details about the Apple Watch’s complications, communication methods, and activity-tracking features, the California-based company has still not revealed exactly when the device will be released, or how much it will cost beyond the $349 starting price. However, the latest rumors from French Apple news site IGen.fr suggested that the device will be launched on Valentine’s Day (February 14), 2015 and will range in price from $349 to around $5,000.

Follow Nathanael on Twitter @ArnoldEtan_WSCS

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