19 Things You Need To Know About The New Apple Watch

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As expected - and detailed in our live-blog of today's (September 9) event - Apple announced the Apple Watch, a portable, wearable device that is clearly looking to invade every aspect of your life. But what does it mean? And why should you, the discerning consumer, care?

Here's every thing you need to know about the Apple Watch - which costs $349, and will be available starting in 2015.

1. It Goes On Your Wrist

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Kind of an obvious point, but yes, basically, it's a watch. The Apple Watch comes with a square display set on a watch band in six styles total. There's both a sport band that's durable and elastic, and a fancier leather band with magnetic clasps. And if you're totally hardcore, there's also a stainless steel band.

2. It's Not An iPhone

Apple is adamant that their new device isn't just an iPhone shrunk down and thrown on your wrist. Instead of pinch to zoom and other standards of the iPhone touch display, you have a little dial on the side - called a digital crown - that allows you to scroll through menus, select items, and return to your home screen.

3. You Guys Like Bubbles?

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Part of the whole "Not an iPhone" thing is that the rigid display of iOS has been replaced by a cloud of bubble-apps on the main menu that you can scroll through with your digital crown. Related, Viserys would like his own digital crown:


The app menu has about 15 apps per "page," but can be zoomed out to see all of the apps on your phone in a big old bubble cloud.

4. App-Lite

You're not going to get full-fledged apps with the Apple Watch. Instead, it'll provide light-weight interactions, like the ability to share a small sketch, or your heartbeat with another user.

5. Okay, There's Also A Touch Display

Unless your fingers are thin and spindly like a stylus, you won't be able to make deft interactions with the face of the Apple Watch. But it does still have a touch screen like the iPhone, and allows you to tap and press - and it knows the difference between both of those movements.

6. There's Also A Speaker

It's a speaker Apple describes as discreet, which means you won't be able to blast music or phone messages, but you will be able to hear them on a person by person basis. Which also means we're one step closer to the Apple Shoe:

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7. Charge It Wirelessly

In a huge step, the Apple Watch can be charged wirelessly, meaning you won't have to plug it in constantly, so much as rest your hand on an electrified plate for hours at a time. Just kidding. Maybe.

It actually uses a magnetic charger, similar to magsafe on Apple laptops - and requires charging every night.

8. Two Sizes

The watch comes in two sizes, just like the new iPhones, in case you have #smallwristproblems.

9. Three Styles

There's also three styles: Apple Watch; Apple Watch Sport (which is 60 percent stronger); and Apple Watch Edition, which is made from 18k gold because you're already buying a watch made by Apple so why not.

10. Also It's A Watch

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Lest we forget in the shuffle, it's also a watch among others things. You can choose from multiple watch face styles, including a throwback Mickey Mouse watch and a moon-phase focused astronomy face that also allows you to search through the stars in the solar system. Take that, 1980s calculator watch.

11. And It's Other Things

There are other basic apps you might expect in the Apple Watch, like Stocks, Weather, Calendar and a music player.

12. You Can Reject People Right From Your Wrist

Tied into the calendar app is notifications, which after a small, discrete buzz on your wrist, can be accepted or rejected with one tap of your finger. Not only that, but you can use emojis, because of course you can.

13. Siri Wants To Live On Your Wrist

The iPhone's helpful assistant has made her way to the Apple Watch, allowing you to ask about movie times, info on movies, and generally not actually be very helpful unless you over-enunciate. Still, it's important to note that the Apple Watch does recognize voice commands.

14. Maps To The Stars

The Apple Watch also includes a Map app, just like the iPhone - and just like the iPhone, it provides directions, and gives a discreet - did we mention it's discreet? - vibration when you need to turn. Better yet, it'll feel different depending on which direction you need to turn, which is crazy.

15. You Can Torture People

Beyond sending emojis and drawings, if you tap on a friend's contact on your list, and they are also wearing the Apple Watch, they will feel a mild buzz. Basically, Apple has taken "I'm not touching you" into the future.

16. Get Social

Lest you think it's all about watch-to-watch communication, the Apple Watch keeps it quaint with Facebook and Twitter check-ins and notifications - as well as composing tweets and status messages.

17. You Can Open Your Hotel Door

Starwood hotels will allow you to open your hotel room door (starting next year) simply by tapping your watch against the handle. Which sounds awesome in theory, but is going to look slightly dumb in practice -- I'm just saying.

18. It's A FitBit

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One of the major features of the Apple Watch is fitness. There's even a dedicated Fitness app that will keep track of your movements, while a Workout app will help you set Fitness goals. The Watch also tracks your heart rate, which I wish I had right now because BOY AM I EXCITED.

In addition, the app(s) can track calories and calculate how much more exercise you need to do to burn your goal for the day. Not only that, but based on your personal level of activity, the Watch will change those goals to encourage you to be as fit as you would like to be. It's like having a little life coach on your wrist!

19. It Works With Your iPhone

Though Apple didn't clarify at their event, the Watch works directly with your iPhone, presumably against you in the robot uprising, but again, they didn't specify.


What do you think? Does the Apple Watch seem worth it? Other features you want? Let us know in the comments below.

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