The widely rumored and eagerly anticipated Apple smart watch is finally confirmed, and it was Apple's famed "one more thing" announcement at its press event today. Apple's design expertise and innovation are definitely in evidence. But don't get in line at the Apple Store just yet. It won't be on sale until early next year. That's regrettable, since most of the company's competitors are already have smart watches on the market.
Apple didn't mention the screen size or battery life of the Apple Watch, which is a bit of a surprise. But the company gave us a lot of other information about this smart watch. (Check out our first look at the Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and learn more about the Apple Watch from our hands-on at the Apple event.)
The watch contains many sensors, including an accelerometer, heart-rate monitor, and gyroscope to track your activities. A Fitness app will track all your movement, and the Workout app lets you customize goals for specific activities, such as running or biking. They'll share the data with the iOS 8 Health app on your iPhone.
For notifications of incoming e-mail, phone calls, and so on, you'll feel a buzz (Apple calls this the "Taptic," as it feels like a tap on the wrist), then they show up on the watch when you lift your wrist.
A feature called QuickBoard analyzes the text in a message to suggest quick canned replies. You can also dictate replies, or use animated customized emojis.
The Apple Watch features inductive (wireless) charging: A magnet on its back helps you to fit it precisely onto the charger.
With this smart watch, you'll be able to control music that's playing on other Apple devices, and Apple TV. It can serve as a viewfinder for your iPhone camera, too.
Apple emphasized, of all things, telling time on the Apple Watch. The company talked to horologists (experts on time-telling machines) to inform its design.
The Apple Watch will require an iPhone, which is no surprise. You can use an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus—but you can also use it with an iPhone 5, 5c, or 5s. The price will start at $349.
We look forward to testing the Apple Watch when it's available. We only wish that were sooner.