Apple Watch: Behind the Latest Addition to Apple
by Liz Peterson | published Sep. 8th, 2015
If someone mentions Apple, your first thought probably won't go to the delicious sweet treat you usually dip in peanut butter. Apple -- the multibillion dollar company -- has created a variety of products each contributing to the advancement of technology. They gave us the Macbook, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad.
On April 24, 2015, Apple officially released their latest masterpiece, the Apple Watch.
Though the watch shares similarities to typical non-digital watches, the Apple Watch has the interface of all Apple products. The design was crafted to cater familiarity to users as its easy-to-navigate features make it the perfect accessory for those who don't want to carry about their iPhone or iPad everywhere. About the same size as the iPod shuffle, and conveniently connected to a strap, the Apple Watch has been tricked out to serve as a more personalized tool to its owner and all while being hands-free.
Placing the watch on your wrist you'll notice several things immediately. You will be aware that there is a little pulse, described by the company as a "tap" on your wrist. When this occurs, it is to notify the wearer of a notification from an app. This occurrence is thanks to the "Taptic Engine", a tiny linear motor also known as an actuator.
Accompanied with the "Taptic Engine" is a mini heart-rate sensor, an added bonus for those who like to exercise or are very particular about recording their health.
Possibly the most convenient feature Apple has made possible is the ability to sync your iPhone with your Apple Watch, allowing you to answer incoming calls and use the same apps on both platforms.
It's clear this watch is an all inclusive digital gadget, but Apple worked hard to preserve a familiar feature that all watches have, the crown. Apple prides itself in having a unique twist to the crown. Though the little spindle can still be found on the side of the elaborate watch, the crown much like the face of the watch has been digitalized. The crown controls the standard operation as a typical watch, but with the Apple Watch's crown you can twist and push the spindle like an actual button allowing access to different methods of navigation and serving as the magnifying glass to the watch when you wish to see content better on the small screen, making the crown very "versatile," as Apple describes it.
However, all of its unique features would not be possible if Apple didn't succeed in doing something so far-fetched you'd have a hard time believing it. The chip within the Apple Watch was strategically designed to hold an entire computer architecture. What does that mean and how is that a big deal? Well, a computer architecture is basically the foundation of a computer system's functionality, organization, and implementation, so like its heart and brain. A computer or laptop, or even tablets, have many different parts and pieces (I'm going to go out on a limb and say that's pretty much common knowledge). It takes multiple components for the computer's architecture to act accordingly. Apple has taken all those components and placed them into one chip about the size of an SD memory card. An entire computer system is in that tiny chip. That's pretty unbelievable, but their strive for innovation has led to something remarkable. To essentially the Apple Watch holds the same power as a laptop or desktop.
So what is the public response to this exclusive tech piece? Is it really any different from the other digital watches available such as the Fitbit or Samsung Gear2?
In today's world, everyone wants to come out with the next best thing, technology and otherwise. Fitbit is more utilized as an accessory for athletes or for people who want to better their health in general. You can't receive phone calls or text messages or skim through your apps.
However, nearly a year before the Apple Watch, on April 11, 2014, Samsung released the Gear2, a strikingly similar device. With the Gear2, you can receive notifications, phone calls, and take pictures. There is a fitness manager available, but also has app and device compatibility like its younger rival. It is water and dust resistant, and unlike Apple Watch, on the Samsung Gear2, the wearer can stream music through bluetooth devices on their watch as well as use it as a wireless remote for their TV if it is a Samsung product.
The earlier device is also remotely more cheaper than the Apple Watch only costing about $200 versus Apple's starting price of $349. Does that make one better than the other? Well, to be fair, the Apple Watch is basically a mini computer and with Apple, we know in time they'll only add to what the watch can do.
Looking at them visually, the most notable difference is that the Gear2 has a closer resemblance to an analog watch and appears to be slightly bulkier. Other than that, it is the same game that people play with cellphones: Android vs. iPhone.
"I really like it. I mean I think there are definitely a lot of improvements that can and will be made," said second year physical assistant major Emily Taegder-Vrooman. "I think the fitness app that it has I use most out of all the other features."
The Apple Watch overall has some interesting features and can only grow as a stronger piece of technology in the years to come. It will be interesting to see what Apple does with the product to further develop it.
As of right now, you can purchase the Apple Watch with a choice of three different variations: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, or Apple Watch Edition starting at $349.