Apple Watch: what’s it for?

Supplement your iPhone with a Watch accessory that tells more than just the time

Since the days of the iPod, Apple has had a magical hold over a large portion of the consumer electronics market, changing the way people use and relate to technology.

But with the Watch products, the company faces a bit more of a challenge, primarily because many of us simply don’t wear watches anymore and perhaps don’t see the point in getting one now. We’ve heard it before with other smartwatches on the market, too: why do I need one?

It is indeed a good question, and it all depends on what you want to get out of your technology. Perhaps you’re just a lover of the latest gadgets and simply need to have the latest advancement. Perhaps you really are looking for a better way to communicate and view your online information and services without pulling out your phone every single time.

From Apple’s supplied information, we can see that apart from being able to tell you the time through different styles of watch faces (even a Mickey Mouse face), its operating system supplies more functions through built-in apps to make it an accessory (albeit a high-end one) to your iPhone.

The Watch is designed primarily for ‘quick looks’ and ‘fast interaction’, meaning you can simply glance at it to see who has just emailed you, or you can tap it to accept and reject calls. You can even read entire emails on the watch itself, or read and respond to Messages.

That means you can put your phone in your bag or refrain from getting it out of your pocket in favour of just glancing at your watch as you’re walking or talking.

It’s perhaps more discrete for checking messages and email while you are out with someone, and maybe a more polite way of rejecting phone calls and informing people you are busy rather than pulling out your larger phone slab. (Though let us not forget that it's also poor form to look at your watch while being out with someone, too, so the opposite might be true and it could just end up being too intrusive a gadget.)

But there are other things besides checking for and responding to messages and calls. A number of built-in apps allow you to look at Maps, make use of Siri, check your calendar, and control your entertainment, be it music through your iPhone, or video content through your Apple TV. In this sense it becomes a wrist remote.

Connected devices, such as LED bulbs, could also be controlled from the wrist. Need to know the weather forecast? Look at your watch. Want to see really small thumbnails of your photos? Look at your watch.

Mobile payment apps, flight boarding apps, and other transport apps can make the Apple Watch a convenient way to pay at a register, check in at the airport, or book a taxi, and no doubt even more apps will come online once developers sink their teeth into the new form factor.

We think the most useful aspects of the Apple Watch are health related. Apple will be releasing a Sports variant of the Watch (it will have an anodised aluminium case and a Sport Band and command the lowest price), with Wi-Fi and GPS, and sensors that can track your steps, distance, heart rate, stairs you’ve climbed, calories burned, and your general level of activity throughout the day.

All of this can be done today with a simple fitness tracker from the likes of Fitbit, but the smartwatch interface can put a more colourful spin on the stats that it records and the motivation tools that it supplies.

It can get into minute details such as telling you how often you’ve stood up from your desk and give you reminders to get up if you’ve been sitting for too long.

It’s this type of little, seemingly meaningless information, and the setting of goals, that can sometimes be a catalyst for making you more active throughout your day. So there’s a slim chance that the Apple Watch could help you become a fitter person.

The Apple Watch will become available to buy on 24 April and it will come with different bands and in three varieties: Watch Sports, standard Watch, and Watch 'Edition'. Two bezel sizes will be available: 38mm and 42mm. Stainless steel will be present on the Apple Watch, and aluminium on the Watch Sport, with a couple of different looks for each.

The cheapest price will be $499 for the smaller version of the Watch Sports, while the standard Watch will cost $799. Watch 'Edition' will be made from 18-karat gold alloys and aimed at entertainers and sports stars (or anyone else) who can afford to drop $14000 on a wrist accessory.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Apple watch

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Elias Plastiras
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?