One of Apple’s most anticipated products has finally arrived at its destination: on the wrists of its owners. And while the happy owners of the first Apple Watch are setting up their devices, testing out Force Touch, and downloading watch apps to their iPhones, we will analyze a few interesting features of the Apple Watch.

Charging MagSafe can give you a miser


There is nothing wrong with choosing the Apple Watch Sport, the cheapest watch model. But if this question is a sore point for you, and you even replaced the strap on your watch in order to hide its cost, don’t even think about carrying a charger with you. A plastic charger will give you away.

In comparison, the mid-range and super-exclusive (read: expensive) Apple Watch models — the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition — come with metal chargers. Fortunately, all types of chargers work very quickly and the difference between them is only in the case material.

MagSafe charging can charge other devices…


According to Apple Insider reader Albert Lee, the Apple Watch charger charged another of his smartwatches, the Moto 360, without issue. Both devices use the same Qi wireless standard for charging. Mashable conducted their own test and this fact was confirmed.

Actually this is a very important thing. The Qi standard is the most popular among mobile device manufacturers. It is also one of the three major wireless charging standards competing for leadership in the world of gadgets. Last year, two other standards from the top three — the new PowerMat and the earlier Rezence — joined forces. This greatly facilitated the task of manufacturers, so now one product can support 2 standards at once.

But at some point, the industry will have to choose one path and develop one standard. At least if wireless chargers become as popular as micro USB. In the meantime, thanks to Apple’s choice, the scales may tip towards the Qi standard.

Or could, if not for one fact.

…but Apple Watch doesn’t work with third-party Qi chargers (at least not yet)


Let’s go back to the Mashable tests. They also tried the opposite scenario — to charge the Apple Watch with Qi chargers from other manufacturers. Well, it doesn’t work the other way around. They tested 2 different chargers, but could not figure out the cause. This may be a technical problem, or it may be a physical incompatibility between the design of the watch and chargers.

We don’t know which version of Qi was used in the test, and that matters. Old versions were famous for their incredible demands: the device had to be charged in one strictly defined position. But last year, the standard received an update and began to support a more flexible type of charging — resonant. It is less demanding and can transmit energy over longer distances. It is possible that Apple products work with a newer version of Qi, and Mashable tested with older charger models, while newer models might work.

We’ve already seen third-party watch chargers in the form of docking stations and external batteries, and it’s logical to assume that these devices are designed not only for Apple.

Watches at Apple may be the starting point for the widespread introduction of wireless charging


The last few months have been very successful for Qi-charging. Ikea presented a collection of furniture with built-in wireless chargers — now you can charge your phone by simply placing it on a table or bedside table. For Apple, the switch to wireless chargers could have a major impact on the entire product line. Take, for example, the new MacBook, which surprisingly only has one port. If the watch is successful, the next laptop model may also get wireless charging. In this case, the only laptop port will no longer be such a problem. And over time, the iPhone and iPad can also get Qi-charging.

Perhaps Apple’s course is «far from innovative, especially when compared to other wireless charging technologies,» as IHT analyst Ryan Sanderson put it in a press release sent to me after the watch was announced. But he doesn’t need to be innovative. Apple products tend to speed up companies, technology standards, and even entire industries when taken to work with them. So at the very beginning of the path to mass use, wireless charging can get a push in the right direction.

Rehabilitation of the so discouraging digital crown: underwater use!


The water resistance of the Apple Watch is no secret, it is one of the functions of the watch. But when FoneFox gave the watch a water test—showering with the watch on your arm, swimming in a pool, and submerging the device in a bucket of water—it turned out that the touchscreen didn’t work underwater.

Fortunately, the digital crown copes with this task perfectly, confirming its own need in watch design. Just do not take this as an offer to arrange such a test yourself.

The watch can measure blood oxygen levels (but won’t)


When iFixit opened up the 38mm Apple Watch, they discovered that the heart rate monitor could measure not only beats per minute, but also blood oxygen levels. In medicine, this method is called pulse oximetry. It helps to monitor the level of oxygen in the blood of an anesthetized patient during surgery, as well as when taking medication for pulmonary diseases and strenuous exercise.

Naturally, this suggests certain sports — rock climbing, or, remembering the water resistance of the watch, not very deep diving. But here you have to stop. The iFixit team believes that Apple is not publicizing this sensor due to federal regulations. Blood oxygen measurement straddles the line between fitness and medicine, and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can be quite picky when it comes to issuing approvals for medical devices.

At the moment, we don’t know if this sensor will be used as a ResearchKit tool in Apple’s research project, or if it’s just a way to please extreme athletes. So far, we only know that such a sensor exists and it is waiting in the wings.

Some parts are easy to replace…


Batteries have a limited lifespan. Most often, it is measured by the number of charge-discharge cycles, before the appearance of malfunctions or complete failure. The Apple Watch battery will also run out of time over time. For some watch owners, this may be an impetus for replacing the battery on their own.

So there is good news and bad news. The battery is quite easy to replace yourself, it is held only by a small amount of glue. But first you need to get to it — there is a clock screen on the way. The watch must be heated to soften the adhesive holding the screen and detach the cables from the display. Based on iFixit’s experience, this can be quite a challenge.

Other elements of the watch — wires, speaker, buttons and Taptic Engine, and all their tiny screws can be a problem for farsighted people, but the task does not look overwhelming. However, the clock processor seems to be firmly attached.

Please note that attempting to open the watch and repair it yourself will automatically void the warranty. Such experiences are not for the faint of heart or people with poor eyesight. (Watchmakers don’t use a magnifying glass for nothing.)

…and some are not so easy


The S1 «processor» inside the Apple Watch is actually a whole system on a chip that combines the processor itself, wireless antennas, memory, and sensors. Tiny but very powerful technology. Apparently, this is the glue that holds it together.

Few Apple Watch owners will look that deep, and judging by iFixit’s reports, it’s rather a good thing.

Despite the rumors (and hopes) of an upgradable product, the difficulty of extracting the S1 yourself casts serious doubt on the idea of ​​​​just changing the internals.
Unfortunately, our first glance meets an obstacle — the silver lid marked S1 is not a lid at all, but a solid block of plastic resin that hides all the treasures.
So a fully packaged S1 system makes board-level repairs impossible.

Like conventional watches, the straps will get dirty and deteriorate over time.


The Apple Watch band won’t ever look like this (unless you throw it in a fire), but it won’t stay pretty forever.

Even the greatness of Apple cannot undo the rules of elemental chemistry. The watch is designed to be worn on the hand, so it cannot avoid constant contact with the skin, especially the strap. You can clean the metal of your watch, but a leather or fluoroelastomer strap will never look like new again.

There are already thousands of watch apps


Watch wearers can already do a ton of things on their wrist: unlock the door to their Starwood hotel room, read New York Times headlines, shop, navigate the street, check in to Foursquare, stay up to date with Expedia bookings, and much, much more.

And if that’s not enough, the IFTTT service (short for «If This Then That», «If A, then B» — approx. per.) just released watch versions of the Do Button and Do Note apps, giving its users access to 170 other apps. According to an IFTTT spokesperson, «People can easily launch their favorite ‘recipe’ with a single tap on their wrist.»

It’s not yet entirely clear which of these apps are actually useful or what exactly people want to do with their wrists, but we can only applaud the developers’ willingness to give us choices.

Many accessories are already on sale, and more coming soon


Accessory makers couldn’t wait for the Apple Watch to come out. Now that the watch is on sale, expect waves of trendy straps, battery straps, strap adapters, stands, docking stations, power banks, bumpers, and even armored cases that will also help hide the fact that you bought the cheapest model. hours. And this is just the beginning.

I haven’t seen cases yet that can disguise an aluminum watch as gold, but like everything watch related, it’s only a matter of time. [readwrite]

От Yara

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