Apple released its much-anticipated Apple Watch on Friday (in select stores), but the gadget isn’t for sale inside Apple Stores just yet. Instead, Apple let people order the watch online, for deliveries that began Friday, so customers will be spending more time tinkering with their new watches this weekend instead of standing in line.
There’s plenty of reading to catch up on, if you’re new to the Apple Watch. Here’s what you need to know on Day 1.
The Watch may take some time to understand. In early reviews of the Apple Watch, some technology writers said there was a steep learning curve to getting used to the gadget. Farhad Manjoo, the State of the Art columnist for The New York Times, said it took him three days — “three long, often confusing and frustrating days” — before he got in the groove.
The Watch has a user interface that’s very different than other Apple devices. The digital “crown” is the signature feature for navigating the device. It can be twisted to zoom in or out of a screen or to scroll through lists.
To help users get acclimated to the Watch, Apple has posted a detailed user guide on its website walking customers through the many features of the product.
You run Apple Watch apps with an iPhone. The Apple Watch requires an iPhone to fully operate, partly because the brains of apps will live on the iPhone. And as reported in March, the app shopping experience is a bit different for the Apple Watch. For third-party Watch apps, you will actually be downloading iPhone apps that have built-in “extensions” to support the Apple Watch. In other words, you will look for Watch apps to download using the iPhone, not the Watch.
Apple on Friday hit the switch for the Apple Watch app store. Apple’s iPhone customers can search for Watch-compatible apps by opening the Apple Watch app and selecting the tabs labeled “Featured” or “Search.” The store currently contains several thousand apps.
A few stores are selling the Watch. If you’re eager to get an Apple Watch, there are a few boutique fashion shops (jn the US) carrying it inside stores. But if you aren’t lining up already, chances are they will be sold out by the time you get there. Apple doesn’t expect to sell watches directly inside Apple retail stores before June; your best bet is to order one online.
The Apple Watch is something you should probably try before buying. The smartwatch, unlike past Apple products, is different from other gadgets that you’ve ever owned. Sure, it’s a wristwatch, but it’s also a miniature computer packed with features designed to augment the abilities of the iPhone. The watch cases and bands also come in different materials, sizes and colors. So you’ll want to see how the watch feels on your wrist and looks with your outfit.
Even though you can’t buy an Apple Watch at an Apple store just yet, Apple is letting people try on the Watch inside its stores. You can schedule an appointment on Apple’s website, or just walk in and ask an employee to help you try on the Watch.
The Apple Watch comes in different flavors. There are three different models sold at different prices, and the bands are interchangeable. The Apple Watch also comes in two different sizes — 38mm and 42mm.
The cheapest model is the Apple Watch Sport, the one tailored to athletes, which starts at $350. The larger Apple Watch Sport costs $400.
The next step up is the Apple Watch, with a more fashionable stainless steel case. The smaller version of this watch costs $550 to $1,040, and the larger one costs $600 to $1,100. The price range for both depends on the band.
The Apple Watch Edition, the high-end version, has a case made of 18-karat gold and starts at $10,000.
© The New York Times 2015