Apple Watch (iWatch) confirmed release date, features, latest news and UK price
Apple Watch release date confirmed for April
Update: Apple CEO Tim Cook has confirmed the Apple Watch will launch in April 2015.
Apple Watch: April release date confirmed
@janemccallion: Tim Cook has confirmed the Apple Watch will start shipping in April during the company's first quarterly results call of the year.
"Development for Apple Watch is right on schedule and we expect to begin shipping in April," he told analysts and shareholders, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha. "The creativity and software innovation going on around Apple Watch is incredibly exciting and we can't wait for our customers to experience them," he added.
Cook didn't give any insight as to whether there would be a staggered release, as there has been in the past when Apple has launched a totally new product, or if all global regions will be able to buy it at more-or-less the same time.
Apple has previously confirmed the price of the entry-level Apple Watch in US dollars will be $349, which currently equates to about £229. It's known the Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition will cost more, with rumours flying that the Sport will be over $1,000 (£658) and the Edition costing significantly more, although this hasn't been confirmed.
The world got its first glimpse at the Apple Watch (iWatch) back in September, when Tim Cook led a typically slick and detailed presentation about the new smartwatch. The one detail that Apple left out, and is still yet to confirm, is exactly when the Apple Watch release date will be.
Other than that we got a good look at the Apple Watch and have a good idea of what to expect when it launches “early in 2015”. Apple has since released an official SDK for developers to start designing Apple Watch apps, revealing yet more information about what we can expect from the Apple Watch.
In this Apple Watch release date, news, features and price round-up we’ll be exploring the following:
Apple Watch latest news
Apple Watch: iPhone "Companion" app
(14/01/2015): @DavidCourt: The team over at 9to5Mac has done some great work in getting early screenshots of the new Apple Watch app. The images come off the back of Apple’s iOS 8.2 beta release, and clearly show that iPhones are set to control some of the more fiddly Apple Watch settings. Here’s what the leaked “Companion” app images tell us.
Apple Watch: Companion app settings
The Companion app has clearly been developed to act as a portal for adjusting the Apple Watch’s preferences. In a nutshell the app is there for users to toggle notification settings and let you organise the smartwatch’s honeycomb app layout – on the bigger iPhone screen.
In a similar way to Android Wear works, the iPhone app will play a big part in setting up the Apple Watch. Here’s a breakdown of what you can do with Companion.
Setup and accessibility:
- Passcode: a simple four-digit passcode can be set from the iPhone
- Unlock with iPhone: use the iPhone and Apple Watch to unlock each other when devices are close
- Erase data: Apple Watch will delete all data after 10 failed passcode attempts
- VoiceOver toggle: users can touch Apple Watch text with two fingers and have it read back to them
- Zoom toggle: enable or disable classic iOS zoom functions (double tap and pinch to zoom)
- Display: users can chose control the motion speed, transparency, onscreen labels, and toggle between mono and stereo audio
Messages and alerts:
- Alerts: decide if you want the smartwatch to display all, none, or only certain types of messages
- Replies: as there’s no keyboard on the Apple Watch, users can chose whether they prefer to dictate text, record audio messages, or enable both through the app.
- Default replies: create and store multiple default replies to messages. These replies can be selected by touch when replying.
- Alarms: toggle whether you want to receive push alerts from your iPhone for alarms or timers.
- Notifications: a red dot will appear on your watch indicating you have new notifications on your iPhone.
- Maps: the (almost famous) Taptic Engine can be turned on/off for navigation mode.
Fitness, device info and home screen:
- Health: the Companion app is where you can turn on and customise the Apple Watch’s health features.
- Tracking: these include heart-rate tacking, activity progress, exercise goals, step count achievements and weekly fitness summaries
- About: here you can find storage capacity, number of songs and photos on the device, installed apps, serial number, plus Bluetooth and Wi-Fi settings
- Apps layout: use your larger iPhone screen to organise and arrange the applications shown on your home screen.
- Monogram: embed a 1-4 letter stamp on the virtual background of your watch face.
Apple Watch connectivity details appear in latest iOS beta update 8.2
(13/01/2015): Vaughn Highfield: Reports of Apple Watch's possible March release date gained more credibility, after iOS app developers noticed references to the smartwatch in Apple's latest iOS 8.2 beta rollout.
The beta indicates that the Watch will connect via bluetooth, and specifically mentions having a dedicated app for making it run on an iPhone.
An image, courtesy of 9to5 Mac, shows an "other devices" panel in iOS 8.2's bluetooth options screen that gives the game away in regards to connectivity.
Typically an iOS beta lasts for around two months, so we should see iOS 8.2 arrive by March, and it's clear that it's going to be the iOS that works in tandem with the Apple Watch. In case you haven't figured it out already, it's a safe bet that you'll be wrapping your wrists with an Apple Watch come March.