Apple Watch : A Smartwatch for the iOS Enthusiast

by Vincent Wee
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Apple may not be the first technology company to launch a smartwatch, however it has made its first piece of wearable, one of the most stylist smartwatch till date. The Pebble Time, on the other hand, lacks this premium look and feel which is present in the Apple Watch. Having said this, both smartwatches have their different strengths and weaknesses, and also their different sets of intended users. Some people might like the Apple Watch, while others might not, to each his own.

The world of wearable tech has been advancing rapidly, crying out for a product that can engage users. People are no longer contented with watches that can only tell time, they want more. Having a device that can have multiple functions is not something new to mankind. Smartphone is one of the very good examples of such devices – phone, computer, camera, music player, etc all in one. People are now looking for a device which can operate as a complimentary device to our smartphone. And this is the sign for the birth of wearable technology.

Just like Nokia‘s famous tagline, “Connecting People”, technology companies are making efforts to connect people in fun and unusual ways. The big boys, Google, Samsung, LG, Motorola, all want to have a share in this lucrative industry of the future – the Internet of Things (IoT). For the start, Apple Watch comes in two sizes (38mm and 42mm) and three models: Sport, Watch and Edition.

Apple Watch : The Specifications

 Apple Watch - Specs

Credits to : SpecOut

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Classy & Premium Design

Apple Watch - Design

Apple is famous for their design since day one. In fact, one of the keys to Apple’s success is their strength in product design and their obsessive attention to details. The Apple Watch uses the most luxurious materials and it is more elegant than the majority of its smartwatch rivals. Looking from afar, the Apple Watch might appear unremarkable as compared to the bolder Android Wear watches, however on a closer look, you can see a seamless, finely constructed piece of gadget. The casing is made from stainless steel  with a polished sheen, backed by a ceramic glass which protects the heart rate sensor on the back. All of these elements fitted perfectly together.

Apple does live with its compromises, especially the issue of thickness. The Apple Watch is relatively thick as compared to its stable of super-slim gadgets, but it does not look chunky on the wrist. The screen is wonderful. While under direct sun, it is still easy to differentiate between the LCD and the frame. Most of the time, the face of Apple Watch is just one smooth, unbroken piece of black.

Fashion customers are more skeptical than anyone, so Apple has picked a tough crowd. – Eric Wilson, fashion news director of InStyle

The Digital Crown, which allows users to interact with the smartwatch, sits off to the side, while the speaker and mic on the left, letting users make and receive calls. The crown is like a mini scroll wheel where users can click or turn it, and it moves seamlessly. There is another button below that brings up favorite contacts, or activates Apple Pay with a double-click. Pressing the digital crown as a button quickly returns you to the home screen.

Unlike the Pebble Time, Apple Watch features a touchscreen display. The touch screen is not like any other standard touchscreen, either — it recognizes normal touch and swiping motion, but it also has a feature known as the “force touch.” It practically can recognize how much force you apply behind an interaction with the smartwatch, this feature is somewhat similar to a right click, as it brings up more interaction options for the users. Most navigations on the Apple Watch happens by simply swiping and tapping the display.

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The Apple Watch is very comfortable as a watch –  it feels pleasant even when worn for the whole day. Although slightly heavier than other smartwatches, you will barely notice the extra weight. The only trade-off is that Apple Watch is not really waterproof – however, Apple says the smartwatch is water-resistant so you can gym, run in the rain and do the dishes with it. (If you care about your smartwatch being waterproof, then Pebble Time would be more suitable for you. It has 3ATM rating meaning to say that it is suitable for wearing in the shower and during water sports.)

The Wonderful Features of Apple

The watchOS is a weird mixture of both new ideas and some borrowed from iOS. Setting up the smartwatch is pretty straightforward, but a slight learning curve to this device. However, this learning curve will not be a show-stopper for most. Users will be accustomed to the device after a few days of playing around with it. Due to the size of the display, most things are fragmented down into manageable, bite-sized chunks.

Apple has spent plenty of time making its collection of watch faces great. The Apple Watch features a selections of beautiful watch faces, and also two other levels of apps: Glances, which are like the quick-summaries of applications, just like Widgets on iOS 8 and Mac OS X Yosemite, and the full-fledged applications. Users can swipe up for Glances, and down for on-watch notifications like texts or social media alerts and with a click on the Digital Crown will get them to the “home screen” grids of glowing bubble of applications.

Apple Watch - Glances

Taptic Engine is basically the same as the haptic user interface (UI) technology designed to bridge the digital-physical divide. Apple uses this technology to relay system notifications, reinforce audio alerts and offer a sensory experience unlike any others. Notifications now feel distinct from each other thanks to this technology, by associating the touch and sound with the different notifications.

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Like Android Wear, voice control plays a fairly important role for Apple Watch. It turns out that Siri is noticeably useful on Apple Watch. It is a handy assistant that allows you to cut through the menus and swipes from your voice command. Opening applications, sending text messages, getting directions while driving, can never be easier.

My Verdict

The Apple Watch is the nicest and coolest smartwatch available till date, but it is more like status symbol than wearable revolutionary. Getting an Apple Watch means locking oneself into an iOS universe, depriving you from using Android devices. Furthermore, I am a heavy user of Google products – Google Calendar and Gmail. Because of this, I could not take full advantage of the capabilities of what the Apple Watch can offer. Adding on to this, I am a fairly lazy person. Therefore I need a device with long battery life, and this smartwatch clearly lacks this hardware feature. The high price is also a consideration some people would not be able to get around with.

In conclusion, if you are an iOS user (iPhone, iPad, MacBook, etc), I am definitely sure that you will not want to miss this into your collection. However, if you are an Android user, I am afraid this piece of gadget is not your smartphone’s best friend.

Modified [11/05/19]: Removed broken links

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