It's About Time: 5 Highlights from Apple's Watch and MacBook Event

apple-watch

Apple Watch and MacBook Event: Top 5 Features of Apple's Latest Event

1. Apple Watch will be here on April 24th

“It’s not just with you, it’s on you.”

At Apple’s previous event we learnt that the watch, which showcases a unique blend between fashion and technology, will be available in three different models, The Apple Watch, the Sport and The Apple Watch Edition.

The Apple Watch starts at $549 for the smaller version, and $599 for the larger size, but depending on the type of strap you choose the watch can go up to $1,099. The Sport watch is the cheapest of the three, starting at $349 and $399 for the larger version, and the Apple Watch Edition, featuring 18-karat gold begins at $10,000.

Tim Cook announced that pre-ordering for the watches begins on April 10th, with the watches launching on April 24th.

Although the watches are closely related in their looks and functions, they’re created from a variety of materials.

APPLE WATCH MATERIALS

Apple Watch is formed from stainless steel, sapphire crystal and with a collection of bands to choose from.

apple-watch-edition

Screen Shot from Apple iWatch Trailer. Property of Apple Inc.2015.

APPLE SPORT WATCH MATERIALS

For withstanding more durable use, the Sport watch features Anodized aluminium cases in either silver or space gray, with strong ion-X glass and touch, flexible wrist bands.

APPLE WATCH EDITION: HIGH-END

At the top of the price range is Apple Watch Edition which features a whopping 18-karat gold case in either rose or yellow, with sapphire crystal and “exquisitely crafted” wrist bands and clasps. The $10,000 label really showcases Apple’s move in to the high-end luxury market. Cook explained that the Edition will be available in limited, specially selected retail stores only, in a special designated area of the store.

 

Screen Shot from Apple iWatch Trailer. Property of Apple Inc.2015.

2. Apple Watch Features

Rather than trying to please everyone with one piece of wearable tech, Apple is launching a collection of smart watches to appeal to different groups of people, and what they will desire from the product.

The Sport watch’s ruggedized structure should be able to take a good deal of wear and tear during its use, and it’s anodized aluminium case makes it the lightest of Apple’s watches and a conveniently portable fitness training companion.

On the other end of the spectrum, Apple Watch Edition is designed for the more fashion, style-conscious consumer, featuring an 18-karat gold case available in a unique rose or yellow colour. It even comes with a reversible leather charging box which also acts as charging facility for the watch.

APPLE WATCH FACES

Apple Watch faces are each available in two sizes, the smallest of them is 38mm, and the larger version 42mm. Each watch sits in a different case depending on the style.

apple-watch-specs

Screen Shot from Apple iWatch Trailer. Property of Apple Inc.2015.

APPLE WATCH’S INTERCHANGEABLE STRAPS

There’s also a collection of straps to choose from including a soft and flexible sport band, a leather loop, silver link bracelet, classic traditional buckle, modern buckle, and a Milanese loop band.

APPLE WATCH SPORT BAND

These straps are available in a variety of colors, with the sport band for example being available in a cheerful bright green, a blue, pink, white or black to suit personality and style.

APPLE WATCH LEATHER LOOP COLORS

The Leather Loop is a soft and flexible strap featuring a magnetic closure to ensure that the watch stays put, whilst the Classic Buckle strap has a stainless steel buckle to ensure a secure fit and feel.

APPLE WATCH LINK BRACELET

The Link Bracelet strap on the other hand can be closed using a butterfly clasp.

apple-watch-straps

Screen Shot from Apple iWatch Trailer. Property of Apple Inc.2015.

ALTER YOUR APPLE WATCH TO FIT

Sizing is also taken in to consideration with Apple’s built-in release button available on several of the links.  This Apple Watch feature allows you to customise your own strap as appropriate without needing to get it altered anywhere.

The Milanese Loop band is magnetic which means you can just wrap it around your wrist for it to stay in place.

apple-watch-released

Screen Shot from Apple iWatch Trailer. Property of Apple Inc.2015.

A DIFFERENT APPLE WATCH STRAP FOR EVERY OCCASION

Apple’s way of attaching a strap to the watch means that it’s quick and simple to change bands around depending on the occasion. Arguably this signifies Apple’s hope that we’ll purchase a collection of straps with our watches and change them around according to our preferences.

APPLE’S SMART WATCH CUSTOMISATION DOESN’T STOP THERE.

Of course, most watches are designed simply with one single clock face which tells the time, but with Apple Watch you can choose from 9 different clock faces. From an animated Mickey Mouse clock face, to a traditional clock face layout, each face has been created to ensure that everyone can choose one that’s reflective of their style and personality.

apple-watch-release

Screen Shot from Apple iWatch Trailer. Property of Apple Inc.2015.

APPLE’S CHANGING FACES

Here's a brief overview of the clock faces that you can choose from with Apple Watch.

"MICKEY MOUSE"

Mickey Mouse’s animated clock face really stood out to us! Mickey points to the time with his hands, and keeps time by tapping his foot every second.

"SIMPLE"

And at the other end of the spectrum, Apple Watch offers a simple, straight forward clock display which can be edited according to brightness and clock detail; a minimalistic, clean feel.

apple-watch-spoirts-band

Screen Shot from Apple iWatch Trailer. Property of Apple Inc.2015.

"MOTION"

With Motion, every time you raise your wrist you’ll be shown a different animated form of nature, whether it be a flower growing, a fluttering butterfly or a swimming jellyfish; quirky and original.

"COLOR"

Change bright colours around to suit your mood, either keeping it simplistic or adding detail where preferred.

"SOLAR"

This design analyses your location in the world and the time of day you’re in, to display the sun’s position in the sky in accordance with its solar path, which you’re then able to monitor.

"MODULAR"

This is a grid design which provides you with a detailed view of your day ahead, or a not so detailed view if you prefer..

apple-watch-revealed

Screen Shot from Apple iWatch Trailer. Property of Apple Inc.2015.

"ASTRONOMY"

Apple, in their overview of Apple Watch, explain that they have worked with astrophysicists to create a “digital orrery”. This digital interface allows users to view the solar system and the exact location of all planets at different scales.

"UTILITY"

You can customise this face to be simple, or if you prefer, fill it in with calendar events and meetings you’ve got taking place throughout the day.

"CHRONOGRAPH"

This face can be used to measure time in an extremely specific way using a customisable time scale.

NOT ENOUGH CUSTOMISATION FOR YOU?

As well as choosing (and practically designing) your own smart watch, you can even decide specifically which colours you would like the face to feature. You can also choose how you would like to be able to tell the time eg. In Milliseconds, to view the time in a way that you prefer. Essentially, you could argue that the extent of Apple’s customisation options mean that you’re practically able to create your own smart watch from scratch.

apple-watch-technology

Screen Shot from Apple iWatch Trailer. Property of Apple Inc.2015.

APPLE WATCH FUNCTIONS

Apple Watch’s “complications” is the name for the functions of the watch that go beyond telling the time. Among the complications offered by Apple in this device are an alarm, timer, calendar, stock quotes, weather updates, personal activity monitor, stopwatch, world clock, a moon phase application and sunrise and sunset information.

You never have to set the time on an Apple Watch because it automatically updates itself according to day light saving, or if you move locations.

3. New Apps for IOS

The keynote focussed on the positive impact Apple Watch apps could have on our every-day lives such as using Passbook to catch flights. Apple also took the time to explore with their audience the concept of ResearchKit, and the crucial part that members of the Apple family could play in opt-in medical research.

Apple describe ResearchKit as “an open source software framework that makes it easy for researchers and developers to create apps that could revolutionize medical studies, potentially transforming medicine forever.”

Each iPhone is integrated with intelligent sensors able to track movement, measure and record information which could, if we choose to opt-in, be collected by researchers to help us advance in medicine.

apple-watch-new-release

Screen Shot from Apple iWatch Trailer. Property of Apple Inc.2015.

BUT JUST HOW MUCH PERSONAL DATA ABOUT OURSELVES ARE WE WILLING TO SHARE?

Following the nervousness surrounding the introduction of the fingerprint sensor, Apple has reassured its fans that the sharing of all data is an optional activity, and that we would have clear sight of any data that we have chosen to share: “We know how much you value the privacy of your information, and ResearchKit has been designed with that in mind. You choose what studies you want to join, you are in control of what information you provide to which apps, and you can see the data you’re sharing.”

As well as supplying research facilities with information, such data is also accessible to us for our own use, which means that we can use these sensors to explore our own health.

ResearchKit is already being used by several leading medical institutes, specifically to look in to improving our data research on asthma, diabetes, breast cancer, Parkinson’s disease and cardiovascular disease.

apple-watch-features

Screen Shot from Apple iWatch Trailer. Property of Apple Inc.2015.

Apple explained that the main problem medical researchers have in the first place is finding participants willing to take part in studies, and generating a varied and accurate database which allows them to gather information to enable them to advance in their studies. According to Cook, 700 million iPhones have been sold to date across the globe, making it the perfect tool to gather a broad range of data from around the world.

Along with ResearchKit comes HealthKit, which allows health and fitness apps on iPhone to work together. With our permission, ResearchKit can gather data that we’re gathering from our health and fitness studies such as our exercise routine and calorie intake, which could then be passed on to medical researchers.

4.The 12-inch Retina, 2lb MacBook with 9 hours of battery life

Apple's MacBook laptop family welcomes a new addition, the “MacBook”, with a body almost as slim as the keyboard itself, no fan inside it, and weighing in at only 2 pounds.

MacBook comes with a revised track pad called "The Force Touch" which is said to respond to gentle touches wherever the user presses on the surface. Pressure sensors beneath the surface of the touch pad mean that users are given a new way to interact with and make gestures to their MacBook which the sensors are able to recognise and respond to.

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Screen Shot from Apple iWatch Trailer. Property of Apple Inc.2015.

MacBook’s new "Tapic Engine" system provides a click sensation for users when they touch anywhere on the surface of the touch pad, with The Force Touch enabling the user to tell the MacBook what they want based on tiny variations in the pressure applied to the touch pad.

Tapic Engine also sends users a response when they ask the MacBook to perform an action, so that we’re aware that the request has been received.

MacBook also boasts a nifty new port, the USB-C port that acts as a charging facility, USB data transfer mechanism and also a video output that support HDMI connections, all in one. Apple reported that this tiny port is one third of the size of a traditional currently used USB port.

 

Screen Shot from Apple iWatch Trailer. Property of Apple Inc.2015.

5.Apple is the first to offer HBO’s cable free online service

HBO, the American cable and satellite television network will be available to Apple TV users from April 2015 at $14.99 a month. Users can subscribe to HBO directly from their Apple TV or mobile IOS device without any subscription or cable sign-up required.

HBO NOW” allows access to all of HBO’s television programs, without any contract or additional fees. The first month of HBO NOW is also free to all Apple users, all you need to do is download the app from the App Store.

Game of Thrones will be available to view, as well as other popular television series such as Sex and the City, The Sopranos, Silicon Valleyand X-Men. All of this streaming is possible via Apple TV’s “AirPlay” feature which allows you to wirelessly stream content.

All programs can be viewed in full HD, and users are also given access to the behind-the-scenes footage and bonus features of each series, so it’s pretty much like owning all of these shows on DVD to watch whenever you fancy.

What did you make of Apple's Special Event? Are you intrigued by the Apple Watch, or have you got your eye on another wearable gadget?