Earlier this week, at a special media event in California, alongside two brand new, bigger and better iPhones, Apple unveiled a new device called Apple Watch. It’s a smartwatch of sorts, which we have mixed feelings about, but the implications it has for health and fitness, and the way it integrates with your iPhone, therein lies the magic.
Whether you pick up one of Apple’s latest and greatest iPhones is irrelevant; the Apple Watch works with current iPhones, as well. With the introduction of iOS 8 later this month, you’ll find a new app on your home screen: Health. The Apple Watch integrates directly with Health to keep track of workouts, daily activity, steps, calories absorbed and burned, and more. If you’re out for a jog and leave your iPhone at home, Watch will keep track of everything and sync back up when you return.
On the back of Apple Watch, you’ll find four sensors (infrared and photodiodes) that measure your heart rate. Inside, there’s an accelerometer to recognize different types and intensities of motion. Assuming you have your iPhone with you, Watch also uses the GPS and WiFi on your phone to calculate distance for things other than steps — for example kayaking or cycling.
As you’d expect from a device meant to be worn all day, every day, Apple Watch is waterproof and sealed from the elements. It’s safe to get wet and dirty, going with you wherever you go.
Because Watches serve both personal fashion and function purposes, Apple has designed what amounts to millions of different combinations of Watch. There will be six different straps when it launches, and there are two different size Watch bodies. Add those combinations to the ever-expanding gallery of watch faces, and there’s no end to how you can customize and personalize yours. Check out this gallery for a few ideas.
What about pricing and availability, you ask? Apple Watch will start at $349 and range upwards from there. The company plans to release it in “Early 2015,” unfortunately missing the holiday shopping season, but lining up perfectly with those New Years Resolutions we’ll all be setting. The Apple Watch might just be the perfect companion to help you achieve those goals. As always, we’ll keep you posted.