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Has Apple created the smartwatch that people will want to buy?

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook described Apple Watch as “the most personal device we’ve ever created” with a particular focus on health and fitness.

Image: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

AFTER TWO YEARS of rumours, Apple has finally announced its entry into the smartwatch market with its own product: Apple Watch.

Describing it as “the most personal device we’ve ever created,” Apple CEO Tim Cook called the company’s smartwatch a comprehensive health and fitness device, and announced two new apps to accompany it.

The Fitness app tracks all of your movements and can detect the activity you’re engaging in while Workout allows you to set specific goals.

The watch has a built-in gyroscope, accelerometer, a heart rate sensor and a Taptic Engine for input sensing. The watch needs to be paired with an iPhone and will need an iPhone 5 or newer to properly work.

The interface is relatively similar to Android Wear, Google’s smarwatch OS, but there are a few key differences.

For one, alongside a touchscreen display, the watch has what Apple calls a ‘Digital Crown,’ located on the side of the watch. This is used to scroll, zoom and navigate the screen without obstructing your view.

Apple Event Tim Cook talking about Apple Watch. Source: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

The touchscreen display can recognise the difference between a tap and a press, the latter called Force Touch, which will act as an alternative button press.

On the software side, the watch will come with Siri as well as Maps and Photos, but the most curious aspect was the messages section. Instead of using a keyboard, the watch offers up preselected answers, or if that fails, a voice reply, customisable animated emoji, or the most fun option, draw a response through ‘Digital Touch’.

The watch is also able to use Apple Pay, the company’s new mobile payment service.

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If you really want to, you can also send your heartbeat. The watch reads it and the person receiving it feels a vibration that actually matches your pulse.

However, virtually nothing was mentioned about the battery life, a feature that will likely be a major factor for those considering buying one.

If Apple wants people to be wearing it all the time, and plans to track users’ activity constantly, then it will need the battery life to back it up. There was a brief mention of the charger used, but no more.

The smartwatch will go on sale early 2015 (the price given is $349 in the US) and will come in three models: the standard Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and the luxury Apple Watch Edition.

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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