Earlier tonight, Apple officially launched the Apple Watch at a press shindig, finally putting a firm date and price on the gadget – and of course revealing some new details about the smartwatch.
The good news is that the UK on sale date is the same as the US, contrary to some rumours that suggested the case might be otherwise – the Apple Watch will be out on April 24 in both countries, and seven others to boot (Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong and Japan).
The timepiece offers startling accuracy (it keeps time within 50 milliseconds of UTC, Apple says), and innovations on the UI front including the “digital crown” for easier interface navigation, and Force Touch, the latter of which can tell the difference between a light tap and a fuller press of the screen (offering more interface options in the small amount of display real estate).
It is a health and fitness gadget, of course, and provides a wide range of stats on your daily activity (down to how much you stand up during the course of the day), plus the watch offers personalised fitness goals, with weekly reports and reminders if you’re not being active enough. It is, apparently, like having a fitness coach on your wrist (as opposed to on your back, we guess).
You can take calls direct from the watch, and of course Siri is on hand (literally) to provide navigation directions, or reminders about your schedule.
As for the battery life, which has been the area Apple has been beavering away on since last autumn’s unveiling, Cupertino claims that the watch boasts 18 hours of longevity. The exact amount will depend on how you’re using the gadget, of course, and presumably this figure is for a fairly balanced normal use case.
As for the price? Well, over here the basic Apple Watch Sport will start at £299, moving up to the midrange Apple Watch starting at £479, and as for the infamous gold Watch Edition, that will run you to… wait for it… £8,000.
Ouch indeed – the rumours about the sky high price were bang on for the golden version, though the middle of the road Apple Watch (featuring stainless steel and space black stainless steel cases) wasn’t as expensive as some had thought (there was talk of that tipping up closer to a grand).
Pre-orders open on April 10, and you’ll be able to avail yourself of a “try-on by appointment” at Apple’s retail stores, too, should you wish to find out first-hand what all the fuss is about.