Thursday, September 11, 2014

Do You Need An Apple Watch? See the Features and Specs

The Apple Watch is a more convenient, accessible way to stay connected and share information.
 by Grant Andrews

This Tuesday, Apple announced the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which are sure to drive massive sales for the company when they are released on September 19. 

The standard iPhone 6 has a 4.7 inch display, with the iPhone 6 Plus boasting the larger 5.5 inch display. The phones also have higher resolution than their predecessors, with 1344 x 750 pixels for the iPhone 6 and 1920 x 1080 for the 6 Plus, rendering more than 2 million and 3 million pixels respectively. The new 64 bit A8 chip also has double the transistors of the A7 chip, and consumers can also expect better battery life and the ability to make purchases using their phone with the near-field communications (NFC) technology and the Apple Pay service. Along with a range of social features, the new iPhone seems to be everything you could want from a smartphone.

However, the announcement of the iPhone 6 was not the most exciting news from Apple this week; they also announced the new Apple Watch, a smartwatch which will be fully integrated with other Apple products.

Apple is a bit late to the game in the smartwatch market: last year saw the release of smartwatches including the Samsung Galaxy Gear, the Sony Smartwatch 2 and Qualcomm Toq, and many others were released earlier this year. Despite this late start, they definitely have caused the greatest buzz in the smartwatch market with the announcement of the Apple Watch, and since the company has already become linked with quality and user satisfaction, their leap into the smartwatch market indicates that it will soon become a must-have item for many tech-savvy consumers.

The Apple Watch will be available in a range of styles and colours, including the standard model in polished or space black stainless steel, the Apple Watch Sport in space gray or silver anodised aluminium, and the Apple Watch Edition in 18-karat rose or yellow gold. These will each have a variety of strap choices and come in either 38mm or 42mm sizes. 

The smartwatch boasts retina touchscreen display with Force Touch, a technology which can sense the difference between a tap and a press, the Taptic Engine and a built-in speaker which together deliver audible and tactile notifications to users, a sapphire glass cover, and a custom S1 System in Package (SiP) chip for powerful processing.

Additional features include a built-in heart rate sensor, an accelerometer, GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g, Bluetooth 4.0 and MagSafe wireless charging capabilities. 

The company highlights the innovative new navigation device called the Digital Crown, allowing users to scroll, zoom and navigate the smartwatch's display easily and unobtrusively.

The Apple Watch also seamlessly integrates with other Apple products through the Handoff feature, where you can start a message on your watch and continue it later on another device, as well as connecting to your iCloud where you can access and share any information from other devices. It has been marketed so far as a tool to help you be healthier and more productive, providing health information and even potentially connecting with medical practitioners, as well as having an Activity app which measures your calories burned, your brisk activity and how often you stand up during the day. The many business and organiser features also allow for easier access to personal information.

The Apple Watch will be available in early 2015 and prices will start at $349 (around R3800).