Following the discovery in the iOS 8.2 beta that there will be an app for Apple’s smartwatch on board, 9 to 5 Mac has spilled further details on the iPhone Companion app (as it’s currently named), showing off some of the functions and nuances of the Apple Watch.
One piece of the interface puzzle that was revealed is a small red dot which will appear at the top of the clock face – this can be turned on to show when you have a notification on your iPhone. You’ll also be able to track a stock on the watch face itself, if you have a major stake in a company and need to know about movements constantly.
As for messaging with the smartwatch, users will be able to respond to messages via voice – either sending a recorded audio reply, or having spoken words transcribed into text. You’ll also be able to set up default replies for received texts.
Fitness is one of the major cards of the Apple Watch, and the Companion app will be able to do things like alert you when you’ve been sitting down for too long, and update you on your fitness goals, and indeed how fit you are via tracking body movement, step counts, heart rate and so forth.
In terms of accessibility, the smartwatch will be able to read out text that is on the screen to aid the visually impaired, and on the security front, a four digit passcode can be set up like the iPhone (this is necessary to use Apple Pay with the watch).
The Apple Watch should be released at the end of March, according to the latest gossip. Many analysts are predicting soaring sales, with the likes of Forrester believing that the gadget will drive the tripling of wearable ownership this year, but others have been crawling out of the woodwork lately and pouring cold water on the smartwatch.
We’re still not convinced about the gadget ourselves, but you’d be a fool to underestimate the sheer power of the fact that this is simply a fresh new product from Apple – and that it will come in costly status symbol versions (stainless steel and gold models).