Alongside its two new iPhones, Apple introduced its first truly wearable device, Apple Watch, on Sept. 9.
The first smartwatch from Apple does just about everything a user might expect from such a device. Apple Watch will run a miniature version of an operating system on a single chip. It will be able to send and receive messages as well as make and receive calls.
There are apps already created to use on the Apple Watch. Some are focused on fitness, like heart rate monitors and pedometers.
To navigate on the touch screen of the Apple Watch, the company has created what it calls the Digital Crown. Apple believes Digital Crown is its biggest innovation since iPhone Multi-Touch and iPod Click Wheel.
The smartwatch wearers can use the Digital Crown face as a Home button. This can be used to access Siri, Apple’s digital assistant. The Digital Crown also enables a user to scroll, zoom, and navigate on the Apple Watch’s small interface.
In an official release on the company’s website, Jony Ive, Apple’s senior vice president of Design, explains:
“With Apple Watch, we’ve developed multiple technologies and an entirely new user interface specifically for a device that’s designed to be worn. It blurs the boundary between physical object and user interface. We’ve created an entire range of products that enable unparalleled personalization.”
The first wearable watch from Apple will be sold in two face sizes, 38mm and 42mm. The smartwatch was designed to be durable. The face unit is made from either stainless steel or anodized aluminum. A more fashionable option will be sold in 18k gold.
To that end, the smartwatch is being sold in three different lines, based on purpose and style: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition. The watches will also be sold with a varying array of straps to match the face.
The new Apple smartwatch is also enabled with Wi-Fi 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 4.0 to sync with an iPhone. The company says the following phones will work with Apple Watch if they’re running the new iOS 8 that the company just introduced.
The Apple Watch will be available starting in early 2015. The company says the device will start at $349.
In the meantime, Apple is also launching WatchKit. The kit gives developers tools to develop apps with “actionable notifications” for Apple Watch. Later next year, Apple says developers will be able to create fully native apps for Apple Watch.