Here’s What We Learned About The Apple Watch Today

We learned some stuff. But not that much.


Today in San Francisco, a whole bunch of dudes (and one lone lady–Christy Turlington Burns) gathered onstage to tell us a bit more about the Apple Watch. There were, of course, more than a few concerns leading up to today: How frequently do you have to charge it? Did Apple have to make concessions for all that rumored battery drain? And maybe most importantly, how much is it gonna cost?


Here’s what we learned:

Does it tell the time?

I’m kidding.
Of course! Interestingly, though, Tim Cook made it a point to mention that the Apple Watch is accurate to within 50 milliseconds of the UTC. (Does anyone care?)


Can it take calls?
Indeed it can. When you receive a notification, it emits a gentle buzz as part of a mechanism called the Taptic Engine. It’s like a silent mode for your wrist.

What about fitness?
“It’s a comprehensive health and fitness companion,” said Cook, a noted gym nerd. It can track your movement, how much you’re exercising, and tell you when you’ve been sitting still for too long. It also takes your heartbeat.

Using all this biometric data, it can feed you back workout metrics, training instructions, the distance you’re running or biking—the sort of information a gym nerd might appreciate. “It’s like having a coach on your wrist,” said Cook.


This was proceeded by a fitspo video of model Christy Turlington completing a half-marathon while wearing an Apple Watch in Tanzania.

So you’re saying it’ll help me get ripped?
Maybe. No guarantees.

What else can the watch do?
Apple is pushing a feature called Glance, which are basically little snackable bites of information that you can glean from your wrist. Top tweets. Emails. Sports scores courtesy of ESPN. You can glance down at that stuff instead of looking at your phone.


What about features that are actually useful?
You can also use Apple Watch to summon an Uber. Shazam is there, too. One of the more useful-looking features, though, is that you can use Watch to say, open your garage door. Or monitor the security cameras in your connected home.

I really like Apple Pay. Can you use Apple Watch to pay for stuff?
Yep. You can use Apple Watch to pay directly at a terminal. When you put your watch next to a payment scanner it will handle the transaction via Apple Pay, emitting a gentle tap to alert you that the payment is complete.

Interestingly, Apple didn’t mention security features. Or what sort of financial limitations—if any—are in place should your shiny new watch get stolen.


Okay, big question. How long does the battery last?
Battery life has certainly been one of the big concerns, with initial reports suggesting that you would need to charge it (magnetically) multiple times a day. Tim Cook said onstage you can expect 18 hours of battery life, though he failed to specify what kind of usage that entailed.

You’ll probably still need to charge it every night.

How much is it going to cost?
There are a ton of models and combinations for you to choose from. The watch face itself come in two sizes: 38 mm and 42 mm. The sport edition—rubber straps—starts at $349, and is available in a variety of band colors. Stainless steel starts at $549 for the 38 mm model and $599 for the 42 mm model. The 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition? A cool $10,000.


When can I get one?
Pre-orders begin April 10—the same day Samsung’s Galaxy S6 is said to go on sale. You can pick one up April 24.

So, is this thing gonna flop?
We’ll see!

About the author

Chris is a staff writer at Fast Company, where he covers business and tech. He has also written for The Week, TIME, Men's Journal, The Atlantic, and more