Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Apple Watch Coming In April, What We Know About The New Wearable

Details of Apple's "most personal device ever" are still awaiting final cuts, but thanks to Apple CEO Tim Cook we do finally have one major piece of the puzzle. Speaking during this week's major 1Q earnings report, Cook confirmed that the new Apple Watch, first introduced back in September, will begin shipping as early as April.

"We’re making great progress in the development of it," Cook said. He also revealed that Apple is encouraged by the response from developers and app makers so far, saying "We’re seeing some incredible innovation."

This week is the first time Apple has publicly commented on the product's release date beyond a vague window of "early 2015."

What we know about the Apple Watch so far!

Other than the tentative release date Cook did not reveal much of anything related to the device itself beyond reiterating a starting price point of $349 which we heard in September. So far what we know from the previous reports is that the Apple Watch will be made available in three styles: the regular model, an Apple Watch Sport version aimed at active consumers, and an ultra-premium Apple Watch Edition.

Much like many of the early entries into the wearable market Apple's first generation watch will be designed to be a companion device to the iPhone, and as such, it requires an iPhone to function. Sorry Android fans you likely won't see support EVER! According to Apple, they have designed the Watch specifically as a companion device because they initially want Apple Watch apps to be entirely powered by the iPhone to preserve battery life, something that has been speculated as an issue with the new device.

As for Apple Watch design details customers will have the option of either an ion-strengthened or flexible sapphire display (depending on model), which includes an HD Retina screen with sapphire-covered sensors built into the zirconia backing. There will be two face options featuring a rounded rectangular body in two separate sizes (38 and 42mm) that is able to snap easily into an array of interchangeable bands. In total, there are six different body options: Stainless Steel, Space Black Stainless Steel, Silver Aluminum, Space Gray Aluminum, 18-karat gold, and 18-karat rose gold.

On the technical side we know the smaller 38mm Apple Watch has a resolution of 272 x 340, while the larger 42mm Apple Watch has a resolution of 312 x 390. Powering the wearable will be a custom designed S1 processor chip built specifically for the Apple Watch, which integrates several different subsystems into a single module. The S1 chip is said to be similar in power to the A5 processor in the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4s. It houses a gyroscope and an accelerometer to measure activity, and a sensor that detects heart rate. Topping it all will be a new NFC chip to allow the devices to work with Apple's new Apple Pay mobile payment service.

For their new Watch OS, Apple has built an entirely new operating system, which combines a bit of the old and new featuring cues from iOS 7 and iOS 8. The new Watch OS performs several different functions, including displaying the watch face, the home screen, full on apps, and notifications or quick information, which Apple calls "Glances."

Watch OS will run any number of applications from the basics of sending/receiving messages and calls to playing music, reviewing mail or calendar entries to viewing maps and weather. More advanced features include using the Watch as a remote for an Apple TV or a remote for your iPhone's camera. Watch OS and =the Apple Watch will support third-party apps, however we have not seen many details as to which companies may or may not be offering those as of yet.

One thing is for certain, whether or not you like the wearable market, given their market share and consumerist view of Apple's products. Their impending entry to the market is certain to make big waves!

For more info view the Apple Watch landing page

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