What is the Apple Watch?

After years of guesses and presumptions, sneak peeks and an iOS upgrades, the behemoth that is Apple has finally released their watch.  The Apple Watch (not iWatch as many can’t help but call it) is a slick, well designed piece of kit that has surely caught your eye in adverts and articles before, but what actually is it do you really need one in your life?

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What does it do?

The Apple Watch has been built to work alongside your iPhone.  Without an iPhone it is certainly not worth considering getting yourself an Apple Watch.  The Watch uses Bluetooth to connect to your iPhone and allows users to wear a personal Apple device that communicates naturally with your iPhone in many interesting and convenient ways.

It’s a watch!

First thing’s first, this is most definitely a watch, not a tiny laptop or camera.  It’s natural state is to simply display the time, which it can do in many nice ways.

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It comes in three editions Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition. Each of these appear different on the outside coming in different colours and with different straps but internally they’re all the same.

How can I operate it?

The Apple Watch has several ways of using it.  The screen itself (despite it’s size) is a touchscreen, there is a button on it’s side that can be pushed for direct access to friend options, it has a knob on it’s side that can be turned for scrolling lists and zooming in and zoom and Apple’s friendly assistant Siri works through the watch for verbal instructions.

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What makes it more than a watch?

The Apple Watch has been designed to not only move as much reasonable functionality from your iPhone to the Watch screen as possible (answering calls, reading messages and emails) but also allows for fresh functions such as measuring its wearer’s heart rate.

Downloading a companion app on your iPhone allows you to setup the watch and to personalise a number of important settings such as the watch display type, default methods of receiving messages and fitness tracking.

Once setup the watch then allows you to use many of the iPhone’s abilities on it’s screen.  More and more existing apps are updating to provide Apple Watch features, including calendar apps that alert the watch as to upcoming events, apps that allow you to use it as a TV remote, pay for physical items without needing to use a credit/debit card and the list is growing all the time.  Currently Instagram, Shazam, Starwood (the hotel chain)’s SPG app,  Uber and WeChat have all begun showing off how they interact with the Watch.

Can it be used as a fitness tracker?

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Over the past couple of year’s fitness trackers have become HUGE!  One of the biggest selling points of the Apple Watch is it’s features as a fitness tracker.  Using an inbuilt accelerometer and heart-rate monitor it can track your workout intensity, calories burned and fitness activity.  Using it in a gym will track how hard you’re working but taking it out for runs or bike rides also allows it to link up with your iPhone’s tracking ability to show you your location, pace etc all combined with fitness information providing users with an incredible overview of how hard they’ve been working out.

Should you buy an Apple Watch?

If you’ve not got a iPhone then no, definitely not.

If you’re an avid iPhone user who is currently shopping around for a fitness tracker/new watch then it might be worth considering getting the Apple Watch.

If you’ve got around £500 sat around gathering dust that you don’t know what to do with then perhaps this could be a good purchase?

It’s a lot of money, but a great little gadget.  Personally I don’t find it much hassle reaching into my pocket to check my phone to read emails, to see who is calling or to look at a map.  Glancing at my wrist might save me a couple of seconds but for this price it’s not enough of a difference to warrant picking one up.  For those who are into running, cycling and Apple products then this is very much worth a look.

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