Want to wear an Apple? Yes you can!

The wearable space just exploded. HUGE explosion. Apple released its long-awaited wearable Tuesday, simply called Apple Watch.

There are three variants: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition. The differences between them are only apparent in the different materials (including aluminum, 18K gold, and pink gold) and wrist strap choices, which vary between feminine, masculine and youthful.

The Apple Watch starts at $350, and it will be available “early next year,” according to the company. Pricing for Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition were not announced at yesterday’s event. The watch will require an iPhone to operate, but it works with the iPhone 5 or later and isn’t tied to just the new iPhone 6 devices.

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The interfaces of all three models are alike, and there are a number of standout features.

Instead of interfacing with the watch by touching the screen, which just gets your fingers in the way and blocks your view, you can navigate through the menus and apps by touching the crown. Twist it to zoom in and out of screens and menus. Press it and you go back to the home screen (just like on the iPhone).This is evidently a well thought out and thoroughly tested feature, Apple has proved its prowess in design again. Like Always!

There’s an additional button just beneath the crown. Tapping it brings up something Apple calls “Digital Touch” communication. It’s based around a list of friends you’ve communicated with in the recent past. You can send small pictures and sketches to your friends with just a few taps. This is also going to come in handy when you want to send something but do not want to reach out for the phone, very thoughtful feature!

The screen itself works much like a Retina display on iPhones and iPads, but it can also sense force. So the familiar two-dimensional touch input system gains a third, vertical dimension.

On the back, there’s a crystal with LEDs that can measure your heart rate—this adds health-tracking capability to the watch. Also on the back is a wireless, induction based charging mechanism. The charger attaches to the back of the watch via a magnet. There’s also vibrating mechanism on the back so you can get notifications and haptic feedback for each of your finger taps. This design aspect makes it entirely different from all the other wearables out in the market today.

Raising your wrist awakens the display. When it comes to life, you see a simple list of apps made just for the watch. There are also several watch faces to choose from. You get sporty, chrono-style faces, retro digital readouts, and even a whimsical Mickey Mouse face. You can change the color of the face by rotating the crown, or swipe to change the contents of the face so it shows the date and other fields of information on its screen. It feels useful and readable without looking gimmicky, again the UI is excellent.

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There are some health-tracking features to help you make your fitness goals for steps, calories burned, and so on. The watch also works with Apple Pay, the company’s new mobile payments system.

“We’ve been working on Apple watch for a long time,” Cook says. “It covered every discipline at Apple.”

Kevin Lynch, a new face on Apple’s media event stage who led the software effort, stepped onstage in Cupertino to give us the first live demo of the watch.

Apple wanted to build the watch so functions were easy to find and use. The menu screens are bubbles of circular app icons you can arrange how you like. You can arrange “neighborhoods” of apps. To open an app, you tap it.

Apple also thought it was important to relay other information in a single glance style. It does this using a new interaction it calls Glances, a swipe up from the bottom of the watch face. You can arrange these however you like, swapping through the water, the music you’re playing on other devices. You can also send some sort of silly 3-D animated smiley face, allowing you to share a lot of emotion without doing a whole lot.

Siri is also built into the watch, so you can do things like ask what movies or other events are playing tonight in your area. You can then use the crown or your finger to scroll through the list. There’s also a photo app. You can see an overview of photos, displayed in a grid-like Photostream, and again, you can use the crown to zoom into them, or swipe to scroll through them. You can pull up any collection of photos here. Navigation is smooth and nifty.

If you are using maps, in a map, you can pan around by swiping, you can also zoom out by rotating the crown. When you press the bottom left, it takes you back to where you are. There’s also a search command, using it, you can search by diction or look through your favorites. Search for a location like StarBucks, you can get store information as well as directions for walking or driving.

A big key to whether the watch succeeds or fails is the buy-in of third-party developers. Using the new API called WatchKit, developers can create rich, actionable notifications for the device. Apple has been engaged with partnerships and client applications for the launch, as well. The watch can alert you to friend requests on Facebook. Twitter’s there too. For an incoming tweet, you can reply straight from the message. You can even unlock hotel room doors at some hotels using the watch. You can also get notified when you’re walking near sight-seeing spots you’ve pinned on Pinterest and get walking directions to them. The watch works with BMW cars, you can challenge friends to runs on the Nike app, and you can control things in your home using the Honeywell app.

So all in all, the Watch is here, let us see which exciting route it takes from now and also what innovative uses spring up for this much awaited innovation from Apple! What do you think?


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