When I was younger, say around 1996 to 2001, I used to wear a watch all the time. However, as time went along I stopped wearing a watch. I had a cell phone, so there was no need to wear a watch, I always had the time in my pocket. I have never been a watch aficionado like many others, I always wore less expensive watches, like a Timex, not the cheap $10 ones mind you, but the slightly more expensive $50 to $75 ones. The biggest reason I stopped wearing a watch was because of work. Whenever I wore one, given what I was doing at the time, the watch would get scratched or a band would break. After having two or three watches break, I decided it was time to stop wearing one. I may go back to wearing a watch, at least part of the time. Before I delve into how I might use the Apple Watch, let us look at what we know.
Here are some of the facts, as we know them, about the Apple Watch.
- The watch will come in three “editions”, Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition.
- Each watch will come in two sizes, 38mm and 42mm. Not all colors will be available in both sizes.
- There a number of bands for the the models. (A table is at the bottom of the page)
- Bands will be interchangeable.
- The Apple Watch Sport will use Ion-X Glass, while the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition will use Sapphire Glass.
- All Models of the Apple Watch will be water resistant, but not water proof.
- Due to being water proof, all models of the Apple Watch will use inductive charging.
- The Apple Watch requires an iPhone to use.
- The Apple Watch will support Apple Pay, on an iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus.
- There are sensors within the watch that will monitor your overall health.
- Prices will start at $350 for the Apple Watch Sport. As of this writing, pricing is unknown for the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition.
- The chip inside the Apple Watch is the S1.
There is definitely more that we know, but those are the highlights.
During Apple's September event, they announced the Apple Watch. It had been long rumored that Apple would unveil a watch, and they had. Even after seeing the keynote, looking at the website I decided that I would not buy one. While it would be a nice thing to have, since I do not wear a watch now, it may not fit into my life. However, as more time as gone on and I have have heard more about the Apple Watch, by listening to the Resolve Podcast, David Smith's Developer Perspective, and other podcasts, I have begun realizing that the Apple Watch could be useful for me. The biggest area for me will be exercise.
Living in an area that has four seasons, there is one part of the year, typically between November and February, that is not very conducive to exercising outside. Yes, I do know about gyms, but I refuse to pay for an area to exercise. When I exercise, it is typically only one type of exercise, and that is walking. When I do go walking, I typically go for at least two miles and upwards of four each time I go walking, which is usually at least 5 days a week.
Once I do get an Apple Watch, I will likely only be using it while exercising. What I end up using the watch for may change as time goes on, but this is my initial intent.
You may be asking, why Apple Watch and not another fitness band like the Fitbit Flex, Microsoft Band or another fitness band? The answer is quite simple. I already have an iPhone and I am an Apple Developer. While my existing apps do not an aspect that the Apple Watch could utilize, an app that I build in the future might. So it is best to see how the device would be used in practice, as opposed to just speculating on how the app would work on the device.
How Apps Work
With the Apple Watch being entirely reliant on an iPhone for usage, Apple Watch apps are only extensions to existing applications. This means that the initial batch of Apple Watch applications will be limited in terms of what is possible, which one might expect with a first release. Apple has announced that full-blown applications will be available later in 2015. They did not specify whether the first generation Apple Watch will be capable of running the full blown applications or not. Time will tell on this one.
There are two different types of interactions with Apple Watch. The first is glances. Glances are read-only views that will provide a quick way to look at information. The second is Actionable Notifications. These are a lot like notifications on other iOS devices. Notifications on the Apple Watch can create custom options based on the context of a notification. For instance, if a notification is a meeting request, two buttons may appear. One for accepting the invitation and another for rejecting the invitation.
It is possible to have an app that does not have a view on an iPhone and only handles supporting aspects for the Apple Watch app. It is not likely that many of these will appear in the store, nor is it clear whether Apple would reject an app that does not have a full iPhone interface.
There are two “looks” on Apple Watch, a short look and a long look. The short look is very limited and is used when an Apple Watch is not facing a user. This is for privacy. There is no customization with a short look. A long look is where a user can interact with an application to handle a task requested by the application.
It will be interesting to see what developers do with the Apple Watch. While there is a bunch of built-in functionality, there are aspects that are still not covered by Apple's default applications. The ability to have glances for quick information and actionable notifications for a more nuanced experience. The different looks will make it easy for users to protect their privacy, yet while maintaining usability. It will definitely be an interesting experience using an Apple Watch. I know the application that I am looking forward to using most with the Apple Watch will be Overcast, but that is just me.
Apple Watch Sport
|Sport Space Gray||Black||Yes||Yes|
|Stainless Steel||Black Classic Buckle||Yes||Yes|
|Stainless Steel||Milanese Loop||Yes||Yes|
|Stainless Steel||Soft Pink Modern Buckle||Yes||No|
|Stainless Steel||Brown Modern Buckle||Yes||No|
|Stainless Steel||Midnight Blue Modern Buckle||Yes||No|
|Stainless Steel||Stone Leather Loop||No||Yes|
|Stainless Steel||Bright Blue Leather Loop||No||Yes|
|Stainless Steel||Light Brown Leather Loop||No||Yes|
|Stainless Steel||Link Bracelet||Yes||Yes|
|Space Gray Stainless Steel||Link Bracelet||Yes||Yes|
Apple Watch Edition
|18 Karat Rose Gold||White Sport Band||Yes||Yes|
|18 Karat Yellow Gold||Black Sport Band||No||Yes|
|18 Karat Yellow Gold||Midnight Blue Leather Classic Buckle||No||Yes|
|18 Karat Rose Gold||Rose Grey Leather Modern Buckle||Yes||No|
|18 Karat Yellow Gold||Bright Red Leather Modern Buckle||Yes||No|