Even before Apple Watch went official, it was assigned unsaid responsibility to take wearables to the next level. The much awaited Apple Watch is now official, but it won’t be available for several months. Meanwhile, the Android Wear based ecosystem of smartwatches continues to evolve as a challenger. Let’s see what new Apple Watch brings to the table.
Apple Watch incorporates a very handy functionality – The digital crown. The mechanical dial is a versatile home button which can be used to magnify content, scroll pages and more – All without obstructing the screen.
Apple has transformed the conventional crown on an analog watch to a powerful tool which makes more sense than pinch to zoom and other analogous smartphone actions on a small smartwatch display.
This is another innovative feature unique to Apple Watch. Taptic enginer deliver haptic feedback, which is different for different actions. According to Apple, this new way of communication will engage more of your senses while communicating with Apple Watch. Its too soon to say how this will play out, but somehow it makes sense.
Retina HD Display
Like all things Apple, its smartwatch isn’t willing to compromise on pixel density either. Apart from Retina grade sharpness, the display is also laminated to a machined and polished single crystal of sapphire. In Sport edition watches, strengthened ion-x glass has been used (similar to new iPhones).
Apple also claims that the display is quite energy efficient, but didn’t talk much about battery backup. To save battery, the display lights up automatically when you lift your wrist or move it, its inactive otherwise. Tiny electrodes around the display recognize the difference between a tap and a press. Most Android wear watches don’t take watch display quality so seriously just yet.
GPS and WiFi for Measuring Distance
While the heart rate sensors aren’t a big deal anymore, Apple has tried to address Fitness uniquely as well. Besides heart rate sensor and Accelerometer, Apple Watch uses the GPS and Wi‑Fi in your iPhone to help measure the distance you travel during activities that can’t be measured in steps, such as cycling.
It has two separate apps to measure Activity and Workout which work together to track your activities and motivate you as well.
This is the smartwatch functionality which has made most sense so far. Google has been aggressive with notifications on Android wear and the whole thing has been well integrated. Apple on the other hand plans to let you do a bit more with notifications, for example, you can accept a facebook request when you see a notification
While you are reading a message on your Apple Watch, you can conveniently switch to your iPhone and pick up from where you left. This feature is similar to continuity feature demonstrated at between iOS and OS Yosemite X. “The message you were reading or app you were using on Apple Watch will be open and ready to go. Read new mail on Apple Watch, then respond on iPhone. See a sport score or news update on Apple Watch, and read more about it on iPhone.”
Apple Smartwatch doesn’t look as different in terms of design as compared to Android wear devices. It’s not outright charming either in our opinion, but Apple Watch is definitely finished well with premium material. Materials range from Aluminum to gold, with no dearth of customization options.
We still don’t know several things about Apple Smartwatch, but what matters is that these watches won’t be available for purchase till sometime in 2015. There is still time before we get to slap one on our wrist and with Android Wear watches poping ever so often, you can expect them to catch up and incorporate some of these features also keeping the price in check.
The fair comparison between the two platforms will be when Apple Watch is available on the shelves. Besides, we don’t think either has the potential to make users switch platforms (iOS to Android or vice versa) just yet.