A matter of time: Apple Watch is announced but not available until 2015

From $349 device focused on health and communications

A matter of time: Apple Watch is announced but not available until 2015

Unsurprisingly, during its iPhone 6 press event, Apple also announced its entry into the world of smartwatches.

Unsurprisingly, it wasn't called the iWatch.

Instead the Apple Watch is what CEO Tim Cook called "the most personal device we've ever created".

Enabling customisable faces, and built from materials such as stainless steel, aluminum and an 18-karat gold plating, the rectangular hardware matches the curved corners of the iPhone 6 phones.

Of course, the reveal comes with its own set of caveats.

For one thing, the Apple Watch - which comes in three flavours (standard, Sports and the gold Edition and two sizes, priced from $350 - won't be available until 2015.

It also needs to be synced to an iPhone 5 or iPhone 6-class device to work fully.

Finger on the pulse

In terms of offered functionality, the Apple Watch works much like other smartwatches in terms of working as a second window to email, text and other messaging alerts, and voice commands via Siri.

There will also be a Watch-specific Friends messaging service.

With two sizes, three flavours and multiple strap devices, Apple Watch offers plenty of choice

In keeping with the forthcoming HealthKit API and Health app in iOS 8, Apple Watch has a strong health and fitness component; something reflected in the integrated Activity and Workout apps.

As has become a standard for fitness smartwatches starting with the BASIS, the back case of the watch includes infrared and visible light LED to detect pulse rate.

Of course, it will also run Apple Maps as well as any apps that are extended to support the watch via the WatchKit API, although as Apple points out this will be a lightweight interaction compared to full iPhone apps so it's unlikely that Apple Watch will be a good fit for dedicated gaming, although plenty of developers will no doubt make an attempt. 

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.