Feverish speculation indicates Apple is planning to launch an iWatch to rival Samsung’s Galaxy Gear and the Pebble Steel. We explain what features it might have in store.
Thought Apple was done with creating innovative new products? Not if the iWatch has anything to do with it. Rumours of an Apple-made watch have been circulating since last year, spurred on by CEO Tim Cook’s declaration that the recent explosion in wearable technology is “profoundly interesting” and “ripe for exploration.”
Assuming the so-called iWatch does launch later this year, it already faces plenty of competition from the Samsung Gear 2 and Pebble Steel. So what does the iWatch need to stand out from the crowd?
What is a smartwatch? – our expert guide
Apple iWatch – five must-have features
1) Eye-catching design
When talking about wearable tech, Tim Cook has already said “you have to convince people it’s so incredible you want to wear it.” Thankfully, Apple’s design prowess has always helped its products catch the eye, whether that’s the original iPod or the brand new iPad Air. When it comes to an iWatch, a curved LED screen and aluminium strap are absolutely essential.
2) Five day battery life
From the smartwatches we’ve tested so far, battery life has become the battleground between poor and top-performing products. No one wants to charge another device everyday. The Pebble can already survive for somewhere in the region of five days so anything less than this will quickly prove irritating, as we quickly discovered with Samsung’s Galaxy Gear.
3) Dazzling apps
What good is an Apple-made gadget without apps? The iPhone proved the most popular mobile, largely because it got all the best downloads first. A similarly thriving ecosystem for the iWatch would go a long way to ensuring it’s a success.
4) Fitness-focussed features
So far, the best wearable technology we’ve seen has focused on fitness-centric features, rather than handling phone calls or taking a decent picture. Apple has to be careful though, fitbands like the Nike+ FuelBand are already popular devices that use GPS functionality to track your exercise regime. An iWatch would have to borrow some of the same features, while being different enough to persuade FuelBand owners to switch their allegiances – including a heart rate monitor would be a good start.
5) Siri to take centre stage
Consumers might not care too much about Siri, but Apple views the personal assistant as an integral part of its devices. Given the whole point of a smartwatch is to avoid you grabbing your phone for a quick snippet of information, voice-prompted notifications are an easy way round this problem. So long as they work properly, that is.
Would you buy an iWatch?
So that’s what we want from an iWatch but would you buy one? Whether you’re champingat the bit for Apple’s latest product or just can’t be bothered, share your thoughts in the comments section below.