8 things you need to know about the Apple Watch

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    No prizes for guessing that Apple announced the Apple Watch together with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. This had been in the rumour mill for some time now, and the only surprise is that it took this long.

    Given the amount of information we have on the new product, we’ve decided to condense the features of the Apple Watch into eight most important points so that you, the consumer, will have an easier time deciding whether to get one.

    1. Three collections, two sizes

    The Apple Watch makes its debut as part of three collections. First is the Apple Watch basic model, which is made of stainless steel.

    Then there’s the sport version, which comes in an aluminium casing.

    The third collection is the Apple Watch Edition. These high-end watches are made of 18-karat gold, with Apple claiming that an extra hard alloy was used in making them.

    The watch also comes in two sizes, depending on which fits the wrist better.

    2. Many, many, many straps

    Watch strap aficionados take note. This Apple Watch looks to satisfy your craving for having a variety of interchangeable straps by introducing six different types of straps at launch.

    According to the introductory video, Apple will have an elastomer-based sport band, a leather loop with embedded magnets, a leather band, a classic leather buckle type, a stainless steel band and a stainless steel mesh with magnetic closure.

    Introducing the Apple Watch

    3. That digital crown

    This is a pretty neat idea, and one of the best innovations on the Apple Watch.

    While normal watches have a dial, the Apple Watch carries a digital crown. It’s basically a smart dial to provide the user with device navigation functions such as in-app scrolling or zooming, without having to use their fingers to pinch or swipe. This, according to Apple, improves user experience as the user’s fingers would not block the tiny display of the watch when navigating through the apps.

    4. Fitness and Workout

    This device makes the most sense to us from a fitness point of view. While the fashion argument of getting it is somewhat valid (here at GrateNews, we’re partial towards circular watch faces), we feel that the winning feature would be the new Fitness and Workout apps (no, we don’t want to even begin considering the “sending your heartbeat to a friend” feature.)

    These apps come with functions such as an accelerometer, a heart rate monitor and they also make use of your iPhone’s GPS .

    5. Will only work with an iPhone

    This would be a deal breaker for most. But honestly, why would you even want the Apple Watch if you’re not an iPhone user?

    6. Jury is still out on battery life

    A big concern for us now is how taxing will the Apple Watch be on the battery life on both the watch and the user’s iPhone? Technical details are yet to be revealed, but considering that the watch only debuts early 2015, there’s still time for Apple to get that part of the product right before release.

    7. Apple Pay capabilities

    Make payments with your watch, simple as that. In line with Apple’s dream of replacing our physical wallets (very unlikely) with Apple Pay, NFC functions will be enabled on the Apple Watch, which at least gives us that bit more convenience when buying stuff.

    8. Price, though, is pretty steep

    At a starting price of US$349, buying the Apple Watch isn’t going to be an impulsive decision for us (we hope not). Just for reference, the Galaxy Gear 2 sells for US$299 and the Moto 360 goes for US$249.

    Besides, do we really need a smart watch?

    So what do you think about the new Apple Watch? Yay or nay?