Post link 11 March 2015, 4:46
By James Covert and Kate Sheehy March 9, 2015 | 11:46pm nypost.com

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Photo: ZumaPress


It’s Dick Tracy 2.0.

Apple on Monday officially unveiled its first completely new gadget since the late Steve Jobs was running the show — a smartwatch that acts as a phone, deejay and credit card while also providing vibrating alerts that can remind a wearer to monitor her heart rate or check his Twitter feed.

Oh, and it provides the time — to within 50 milliseconds of the Universal Time Standard, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook.
“Apple Watch is the most advanced timepiece ever created,’’ Cook boasted.

The 54-year-old Cook, in a clear reference to wristwatch-communicating cartoon detective Tracy, said, “I’ve been wanting to do this since I was 5 years old! The day is finally here.”

The smartwatch, armed with the proper apps and iPhone link, allows users to:

. Make and receive phone calls
. Check e-mails
. Receive texts and send back short replies or audio messages
. Make purchases using Apple Pay
. Control iPhone music and act as an Apple TV remote
. Ping pals through a touch vibration system
. Check out social-media sites
. Get live sports, weather and news updates without having to pull out the phone
. Monitor their heart rate and activity level
. Check into a hotel — and even unlock their room door
. Order a car through Uber
. Control remote devices such as the garage door — and view video footage from home-surveillance cameras
. Activate Siri by simply raising their wrist and saying, “Hey, Siri’’
. Go through airport security and board a plane with an e-ticket
. Get directions through gentle vibrations to signal when to turn left or right

The device ranges in cost from $349 for the basic aluminum case with special-rubber band (for the model called Apple Watch Sport) to more than $10,000 for a rose- or yellow-gold-encased Edition version complete with an 18-carat clasp.

There’s also a more middle-of-the-road, stainless-steel version that runs from $549 and $1,049, depending on the size of the face, type of band and how it is personalized, such as with crystals.

Modal TriggerThe watches can be pre-ordered starting April 10, at which point they will also be available to try out in retail stores.

They go on sale April 24.

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The watch features what Apple calls “a digital crown,” which on regular watches is the little knob on top that you lift to set the time and then twist to wind. The Apple Watch’s crown allows users to magnify content and scroll.

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There is no keyboard, so the device is best for receiving information as opposed to sending it.

Apple is promising an “all day” battery life of 18 hours. It must be recharged daily — although that can be done wirelessly through a magnetic charger that attaches to the device’s back.

The Watch’s built-in fitness apps monitor activity via a trio of metrics, with reminders to Move, Exercise and even Stand.

Cook brought model Christy Turlington onto the stage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Calif., to help hawk fitness features like tracking a user’s heart rate — and report when we’ve been sitting too long and need to take a walk.

Thousands of apps have already been created for the device — and there’s even one to help users navigate them, Cook said.

Ben Wood, the head of media-research giant CCS Insight, predicted 20 million Apple Watches would be sold by year’s end.

“There is pent-up demand from loyal super-fans who would likely buy millions even it only told the time,” he said. “The key challenge Apple has to address today is giving ordinary iPhone owners a reason to buy its new smart watch.”

But Ernest Doku, tech expert at comparison-pricing Web site uSwitch.com, noted the watch is a fine piece of machinery: “Gimmicks aside, this really is a elegant and luxurious gadget, while also being extremely useful for health and fitness fans,” he wrote.
Additional reporting by Jamie Schram and Chris Perez


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