Apple Watch faces

Speculation has surrounded Apple Watch for years – far back into the technological dark ages when it was referred to as ‘iWatch’ – but, despite being exceedingly more enlightened at present, we still don’t know everything about Apple’s long-awaited wearable.

That will change on Monday when Apple’s ‘Spring Forward’ event goes live, at which time more information about Apple Watch is expected to release, including prices and additional features. After the event, those attending will likely be able to go hands-on with an array of fully functioning Apple Watches in the white structure going up beside the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

The team at iDownloadBlog will be covering the keynote as it happens, per usual. Until then, however, tech and fashion enthusiasts must occupy themselves with the facts given us by Apple and leaks from other sources. As a result, we’ve compiled everything we know and think we know about Apple Watch.

  • It will ship in three versions, including aluminum Sport, stainless steel, and 18K yellow or rose gold Edition, each subsequently increasing in price.
  • There are two different sizes of Apple Watch: 38mm and 42mm, each with their bands sized according. It’s currently unclear if there will be any price difference between two sizes of the same style of Watch.
  • Bands are interchangeable, at least to a degree, and come in a wide range of materials, styles, and methods of keeping them securely on your wrist.
  • The Digital Crown is used for scrolling, as pinch-to-zoom isn’t enabled on Apple Watch. It also acts as a Home button, and a long press invokes Siri.
  • Force Touch is a technology new to Apple that recognizes the strength of a tap and can bring up options and UI elements different than those normally invoked with a regular tap.
  • All the computer components of the device are all included on a single chip, the S1, which is compact and perhaps also easily replaceable.
  • Apple Watch features a heart rate sensor on the bottom of the device, which, in conjunction with the accelerometer, is used to track one’s physical activity throughout the day.
  • Bluetooth is including in the device for communication with the paired iPhone and for streaming audio to wireless headphones.
  • Apple Pay is made possible with the device through the use of built-in NFC, which will work when paired with an iPhone 5 or greater.
  • The on-board Taptic Engine uses haptic feedback to simulate the feel of someone gently tapping on your wrist, which is used for inaudible communication and notifications.
  • The battery should last all day with mixed use, or up to five hours of heavy use, but will need to be charged nightly. Apple Watch uses a MagSafe-like wireless charger that magnetically snaps into place to charge inductively.
  • The Retina display is covered by Ion-X glass on Apple Watch Sport, while Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition are protected by a single sapphire crystal.
  • Water resistance seems to be a feature, as Tim Cook mentioned that he never takes the watch off during the day, even when showering. Regardless of his intentions behind that statement, the Apple Watch appears to be splash proof at least.
  • It’s a timepiece with nine different watch faces, most of which are highly customizable.
  • Watch OS, the operating system on Apple Watch, introduces new methods of communication, including sketches, taps, and heartbeats that the recipient will see or feel on their wrist.
  • Notifications from iPhone can be received and accepted on Apple Watch, and small tasks can be dealt with from one’s wrist.
  • The Watch doesn’t have a keyboard, but instead intelligent replies are generated by the device, and if that isn’t sufficient, voice dictation can send an iMessage reply on its way while iPhone remains in your pocket.
  • Phone calls can be received and carried out through the built-in speaker or via wireless headphones, and calls can be seamlessly transfers to your iPhone for longer conversations.
  • Email can be received, flagged, and marked as read from Apple Watch, although replies must be composed in Mail for iOS, which uses Continuity to open directly to the message on your iPhone.
  • Health and fitness tracking is a fundamental goal for Apple as of late, and the Apple Watch enhances this by tracking movement and heart rate, reminding wearers to move regularly and rewarding them for meeting exercise goals.
  • Third-party WatchKit apps will be available for the Watch, but they will require an iPhone to run for the time being. This is set to change in the future, however.
  • Models in testing are said to have 8GB of on-board storage for media, and music can be played from the Apple Watch with the use of wireless headphones.
  • Watch OS features a power reserve mode that will sleep much of the device’s functionality while still displaying the time. This apparently can be activated at will, not just when the battery is short on juice, but its primary goal seems to be to at least display the time for a couple more hours when the power is low.
  • It’s a fashion accessory just as much as, if not more than, it’s a smartwatch. Expect Apple to price it accordingly, as the target competition isn’t Android Wear as much as it is Rolex.
  • Apple Watch will begin shipping in April, but it’s possible that preorders will begin sooner.

Now that we know a lot of what Apple Watch can do, it seems clear that Apple has been planning this device for a very long time. iOS 8, for example, brought Continuity and Handoff, two key components in Apple Watch’s interaction with iPhone. iOS’s Health currently integrates with third-party health and fitness apps to display data, but its long term purpose is evidently to sync with Apple Watch. iOS 8’s Predictive keyboard is simply a foreshadowing of suggested replies for Messages on Apple Watch, and the list goes on.

It’s difficult – even ludicrous – to imagine that any of these components were developed only for iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite integration and added to Apple Watch as an afterthought. Instead, Apple has been easing users into these features over time, as well as testing them out in other scenarios, in order for Apple Watch’s functionality to smoothly integrate into what people already love about iOS 8.

Further still, iOS 7’s design was thrown together rather quickly – the iOS 6 look was dropped not long after Jonathan Ive was made design chief – but Apple Watch has been Jony’s pet project for years, and its UI seems to be a much better representation of what Sir Ive considers excellence in software design.

Because of the obvious care that has gone into this device, Apple has a lot riding on Monday’s event and the success of the company’s first wearable. We’re sure to see new features that were saved for the final announcement, and I’m confident that Apple has more to tell us than they showcased in September.

Excitement always piques among technology fans before a presentation, but tomorrow’s event will be different. Not because it’s Apple’s keynote or because we might see product refreshes, but because Apple is entering an entirely new market. Sure, we saw a rather large glimpse last year, but there are still a lot of lingering questions that have yet to be answered, many of which will be a turning point for potential customers. People often list each new iPhone keynote as a critical moment for the company’s future, but tomorrow – when Apple tries to sell its brand new product to the world – is far more pivotal than any event we’ve seen for years.

  • No One Important

    The phone call on the watch is my biggest want from this watch. Tomorrow is going to be exciting.

  • Lagax

    “It’s a fashion accessory just as much as, if not more than, it’s a smartwatch.”

    I hate when people say that… It’s just not true, it’s not. Nobody is going to buy this like ‘ouh this is the best looking watch on the market’, MAYBE ‘ouh, this is the best looking smartwatch on the market’. I’m going to get one. But I would never describe it as a fashion accessory. What the hell is going on with people “IF NOT MORE THAN” ?! come on… It’s like these people that say “oh you have an iPhone, you bought it only because you like showing off…” this is crazy!

    • If you own an 18K solid gold iPhone, you bought it only because you like showing off.

      • Lagax

        No. Not only. If that, you would have bought a Vertu or a $80 Samsung thing and make it gold, come on… Don’t be crazy…

    • Rowan09

      People buy luxury watches because they are the best looking on the market? Even when a Rolex is plain and simple it’s still expensive because of the name.

    • Kr00

      So people buy Rolex watches for the resale value, do they?

      • SoylentGreen

        No, ppl buy them so folk like yourself can oooh and ahhhi and speculate on motives for the purchase. It’s probably a surprise to you but people buy watches in order to check the time. But I’d bet a hundred bucks to a mouldy biscuit that the fact that they “hold” their value very well is a major factor for many consumers.

      • Kr00

        Don’t presume what folk like myself do or don’t do. Only wankers like you buy things to oooh and ahhhh over in the presence of others.

      • SoylentGreen

        That’s a clever statement

      • Kr00

        Great, then start with yourself. You clearly need a dose of your own medicine.

      • SoylentGreen

        Nothing original? Just an echo chamber, a parrot at best,
        1 Apple watch sold…

      • Kr00

        If I had wanted my own comeback, I’d have wiped it off your moms chin.

  • GuyWithTheThings

    With the prices of this Watch, Apple will make you a millionaire. But only if you were a billionaire.

  • If the latest rumored prices are real then wow they are out of their minds. The jump between the sport and the regular watch itself is huge! Good luck getting people to buy into that concept. I’m just ready for the thing to come out already so we can focus on better products.

  • Rupinder

    Kind of disappointed that not all versions will have a sapphire screen. We’ll see tomorrow.

    • Merman123

      That’s not a rumor. It’s a fact already.

  • ravinigga

    I dont think 18k gold is not really gold but just wait for tommorrow

    • 18-karat gold means that the gold content is around 75%, the remaining other 25% would be composed of other elements, possibly to strengthen the structure and give it a shiny finish. It wouldn’t be practical to make the entire watch body out of 25k gold (100% purity) as pure gold is very soft and would get covered in scratches faster than an iPhone 5 in a pocket full of keys.

  • Rares

    “Everything we know so far: get used to one kidney”

    • Javier Lopez

      – Joseph Stalin
      See what happens when you don’t site your sources?

      • Rares

        What do you mean?

  • richard bryant

    Actually the watch doesn’t have Siri built in. It apparently uses “voice commands” kinda like how we had back in iOS 5 with that blue wave in the background.

  • Warmachine69

    Because the iphone 5 and 5s don’t have a secure element and the apple watch supposedly has apple pay, does that mean that your credit cards will be stored on a secure element on the watch or apple pay won’t be supported on the watch if you have a 5 or 5s?

    • Javier Lopez

      This is a brilliant question. I hadn’t thought of this predicament.

  • Javier Lopez

    Prediction for Watch Edition

    1.0 Ounce of 24 Karat Gold (purest gold) = $1170 as of today

    The watch is predicted to have 2 ounces of gold which costs $2,340 if it were pure 24 Karat gold (which it won’t be: it will be less pure at 18k). With that said, the baseline price of the watch is said to begin at $349 for the sport version which seems considerably fair.

    If you were to take these factors and apply a retail markup to the craftsmanship of this “new 18k alloy,” the sapphire crystal display, and the overall finished product, I sincerely believe the price of the Watch Edition to be more so in the $4,000 to $5,000 range.

    This can and will directly compete with companies like Rolex, Tag Huer, and others who dabble in this price range.

    Just my two cents.

    • Magnusarie

      Do you know what the price of a baseline Rolex is? You wont find any Rolex in the 5k range, and a baseline Tag at that price is not even considered high end.

    • FreeGreezyDoe

      Theyre not competing with Rolex if they do it for 5k its gonna be at least 15-20k

      • Javier Lopez

        You pretty much nailed it. Good stuff.

  • JayDee917

    Whatever happened to that article where iDB “revealed” the Apple Watch pricing structure? Did that turn out to be a fake?

  • Dante Arellano

    No info about battery life .:.::no good same history like the iphone
    Expensive like any product of Apple course
    Very very limited capabilities
    Another miclo screen like the original iphone
    The watch dont work without a iphone
    Same marketing first generation poor and limited capability next generation better chip and better battery life very predictable very.

  • yesterday might well have been the last day you’ll ever have to manually set your watch for Daylight Savings Time.

  • Eikast

    I googled up on Rolex watches and apparently some models take up to a year to make…So I’m pretty sure that the SS Apple Watch (at least without the link strap) shouldn’t be more than $500. Apparently Apple’s steel links take up to 9 hours to make (machine) then they’re hand polished. So yeah, estimates of it costing around $200 probably doesn’t seem to off.

    But hey, I don’t know jack shit, just what I’ve read online. If that SS Apple Watch is $500 I’ll be sure to grab one with the sports or possibly leather strap. Then down the road I’ll get the steel link (maybe around my birthday in October). Then this bad boy should last me until an Apple Watch 3 is out. Hopefully by then I’ll have a career job. As of now, my tax return will be paying this bad boy off.

    Sorry about the long post.

  • hkgsulphate

    we need cydia on the apple watch

  • Magnusarie

    Apple fan boy, i am not! but again i own a few apple products.

    But mark my words, Apple watch will sell well and do better than other smartphones because its an Apple product but wont be a success story as predicted.

    People keeps on assuming that Apple watch will sell like an iPhone.

    Phones are shipping in millions because they do much more than make calls these days, wearables especially smartphones are accessories, not necessities either for business or personal uses.

    Personally, Apple watch will be the real test for Apple under Tim Cook.
    Let’s wait and see………………………

    • Fanboy 

      Apple fan boy, i am! And I agree with you.