Apple Has Released the Highly Anticipated Watch

After months of speculation, the Apple wearable is finally here. 

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After months of speculation, the Apple wearable is finally here. It's called, well, Watch. Technically it is called "Apple Watch." An iPhone is required for Watch.

The watch is all about customization, "to reflect your personal style and taste," says Tim Cook. After the watch launched, stocks skyrocketed to 101.56. Cook described this as a "the most personal device we have ever created." The watch is in line with HealthKit as expected. Cook notes that this is very much not a shrunken iPhone.

Of note is the "digital crown," basically a traditional winding watch gear remastered for navigation. This is the Watch's home button (and it's pretty genius.) Jony Ive, the designer, is hinted to as Cook says, "Watch has an amazing and rich design story." For how much concern there was around the Watch not looking clean or well, wearable, it actually turned out quite stylish.

There are all sorts of band options (like a normal watch): leather, metal, loop. The leather is a personal favorite, though the links looks elegant even with the screen. This thing is all about customization, as there are also tons of watch faces, everything from a standard analog watch to a galaxy view.

The screen is digital sapphire, all touch. It can detect your pulse and movement, again perfect for HealthKit.

My personal favorite thing about the Watch? The animated emojis. Apple created custom emojis for the device, and man do I love an emoji. As an added form of communication, the Watches can send heartbeats between devices. That means if your friend (and you get to pick your Watch friend lists a la Favorites) wants to send you their heartbeat, they can. It's a weird way to communicate, but I like your take on romance, Apple.

Siri is built into the Watch. The voice recognition is key for the relatively small screen.

The maps feature is really curious: it will buzz, meaning vibrate, directions on your wrist, indicating which way to turn.

Apps on the device will allow you to control HomeKit, you can check in to American Airlines flights, and Starwood Hotels will let you unlock your door with Watch. After the API comes out in full, we should see a major rollout of Watch apps.

And now Tim Cook reminds us that we should work out. They play a video showing the Watch's variety of health and fitness uses, and Cook explains the Watch is all about getting us to "move more and sit less." Again, it is stressed that Watch will track movement, distance, heart rate, and sedentary time. For serious workouts, there is an additional app that keeps track of your workout regime, kind of like a digital personal trainer (and a lot of other wearables, see Nike.) It does let you set fitness goals and will be able to track closely as you progress towards achieving them.

There are three collections: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Collection. Apple Watch requires an iPhone 6 Plus, 6, 5S, 5 or 5C. It starts at $349. As for a timeline, Cook said "early next year," so we are missing the holidays on this one.

Apple Pay will work with Apple Watch.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.