Apple Resurrects The Scroll Wheel

Next Story

There Are No Easy Solutions To San Francisco’s Housing Crisis

After seeing countless competitors release smartwatches, Apple just unveiled its Apple Watch. At the heart, it looks a lot like Android Wear devices — it’s a tiny square touch screen strapped to your wrist. Yet, Tim Cook immediately stated that the company went through many iterations before finding a good user interface. In particular, navigating on the watch relies on the crown, a tiny scroll wheel reminiscent of the one you could find on your BlackBerry phone or iPod.

Whenever you want to zoom on a map, you can just turn the crown. If you’re reading a message thread, you can scroll through the thread with the same tiny wheel. Finally, if you want to go back to the home screen, you press the crown.

“What we didn’t do is take the iPhone and shrink the user interface and strap it on your wrist,” Tim Cook said.

You won’t find a tiny keyboard to answer your emails; everything has been redesigned for the watch. When you receive a message, there are a few predefined replies, but you can also send a customized emoji, which doesn’t look like something you’re going to use very often.

The home screen is an infinite grid of tiny rounded icons. You move around the home screen by swiping your finger on the display until you find the app you’re looking for. The home screen looks like a tiny map of apps; find the right app and zoom.

As with other smartwatches, the Apple Watch is mostly about notifications, widgets and music control for now. It only works with the two new iPhones, the iPhone 5, the iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5s. You can also control your Apple TV and use Apple Maps on your watch and get directions directly on your wrist. While you can pay with your watch using Apple Pay, you will still need to turn on your iPhone 6, as Apple Pay uses Touch ID.

Contrary to your iOS device, the display is also a giant clickable area. “As well as sensing touch, the display also senses force,” Jony Ive said in a video. The watch sees the difference between a tap and a press. This is useful to avoid accidental taps.

Developers can create apps. Twitter, American Airlines and Starwood Hotels were demoed onstage. It’s a brand new ecosystem for app developers with interesting new use cases. You can open your Starwood Hotel room by waving your watch at your door lock. While it’s still unclear, the Apple Watch will probably have a new App Store to manage these apps.

Overall, the user interface is very polished and shares familiar design cues with iOS. It doesn’t look like a toy when it comes to both hardware and software. Getting used to the crown will take a bit of time. That is, except if you were an avid BlackBerry user.

  1. apple0276

  2. apple0274

  3. apple0273

  4. apple0272

  5. apple0271

  6. apple0270

  7. apple0268

  8. apple0267

  9. apple0265

  10. apple0266

  11. apple0262

  12. apple0263

  13. apple0264

  14. apple0260

  15. apple0261

  16. apple0257

  17. apple0258

  18. apple0259

  19. apple0256

  20. apple0255

  21. apple0254

  22. apple0252

  23. apple0250

  24. apple0251

  25. apple0249

  26. apple0247

  27. apple0248

  28. apple0246

  29. apple0245

  30. apple0244

  31. apple0243

  32. apple0242

  33. apple0241

  34. apple0240

  35. apple0239

  36. apple0238

  37. apple0237

  38. apple0235

  39. apple0234

  40. apple0233

  41. apple0232

  42. apple0231

  43. apple0230

  44. apple0227

  45. apple0226

  46. apple0225

  47. apple0224

  48. apple0223

  49. apple0222

  50. apple0221

  51. apple0219

  52. apple0220

  53. apple0217

  54. apple0218

  55. apple0216

  56. apple0214

  57. apple0212

  58. apple0211

  59. apple0208

  60. apple0209

  61. apple0206

  62. apple0205

  63. apple0204

  64. apple0202

  65. apple0200

  66. apple0199

  67. apple0198

  68. apple0197

  69. Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 11.05.38 AM

  70. apple0196

  71. Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 11.05.47 AM

  72. apple0195

  73. apple0194

  74. apple0193

  75. apple0192

  76. apple0192

  77. apple0191

  78. apple0190

  79. apple0188

  80. apple0187

  81. apple0186

  82. apple0185

  83. apple0184

  84. apple0181

  85. apple0182

  86. apple0183

  87. apple0180

  88. apple0178

  89. apple0179

  90. apple0177

  91. apple0176

  92. apple0175

  93. apple0172

  94. apple0165

  95. apple0166

  96. apple0167

  97. apple0168

  98. apple0169

  99. apple0170

  100. apple0171

  101. apple0164