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Five things you need to know about the Apple Watch

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When Apple launches a product it becomes the talk of the town and we're quick to know what it's all about. But for the first time, the Apple Watch has left us a little bemused. Is it really an iPhone in watch form and is it actually wearable on a day-to-day basis?

The smart watch has received some skepticism and many have asked if we need to be so connected that the digital world is literally strapped to our wrists. But there are some truly useful functions of the Apple's new watch that could help us to streamline our daily routines, be productive and help us stay fit.

From the various design styles on offer to the apps you can expect to use on it, we take a look at the five key things you need to know about the Apple Watch before it goes on sale on 24 April (available to pre-order and have in-store previews from 10 April). 

1. It's a fitness motivator

The Activity app on Apple Watch is designed to capture your physical activity throughout the day and help motivate you to sit less, move more and get some exercise. Three coloured rings illustrate how much you've been standing, exercising and generally moving and it will handily remind you of how much exercise you should be doing. Over time, the watch learns your activity and fitness levels and uses that information to improve the accuracy of your measurements and suggest personalised activity goals.

The watch also acts as an advanced sports watch, giving real-time stats when you play a match or go to the gym via the in-built Workout app. As part of the launch campaign, supermodel Christy Turlington used the Apple Watch to train for the Kilimanjaro Half Marathon for her charity Every Mother Counts. She says the device tracks her time, measures her distance and pushes her pace. In eight weeks she'll run the London Marathon and will be logging her progress each week on apple.com.

2. It's designed to boost your efficiency

Apple Watch enables you to send messages via dictated texts or soundbites, read full emails and answer calls right from your wrist. When you have important notifications, it will alert you with a gentle tap and it will allow you to send doodles, taps or even the rhythm of your own heartbeat to others. 

It will allow you to pay for coffee or anything else via the Apple Pay app (this is currently only available in the US), board a plane with the Passbook app and ask Siri for on-the-spot directions.

3. It won't die half way through your day

Apple's chief executive Tim Cook said the watch would typically last owners 18 hours between charges. A Power Reserve facility means the watch should continue to show the time for "up to 72 hours" after other functions are turned off and when the juice does finally run out, it'll take takes 2.5 hours to charge from 0% to 100%.

4. Some of your much-loved apps will be on there

Facebook, Instagram, Uber and the song naming app Shazam are some of the applications that have been confirmed for the device, which will have 8GB of storage. Apple says thousands of other apps have been developed, including one that allows touchless payments (currently only available in the US), using the watch as a hotel room key card in W hotels, a boarding pass to get through airport security and unlocking certain models of BMW cars. It will also allow you to add individual songs, albums and playlists and stream them to external speakers or headphones via Bluetooth.

5. There are multiple designs to choose from

The last thing we want is a chunk of technology unattractively sitting on our wrists. Which is why Apple has designed various styles of the watch depending on your taste, wrist size and whether you're a left or right-handed watch wearer.  

The watch screens are available in different finished depending on the collection you buy. AppleWatch Sport comes in anodised aluminium, AppleWatch is stainless steel and AppleWatch Edition is either 18K gold or rose gold. 

Apple watch

Six types of straps are on offer: a link bracelet, a sports band, a leather loop, a classic buckle, a modern buckle and a Milanese loop.

Apple Watch

From traditional analogue to various colours, the face can be custom-designed. With millions of variations on offer, no two watches will look the same. 

Apple watch faces

The Apple Watch collection will range in price from £299 to £13,500 depending on the metals and straps you choose. The devices are due to go on sale on 24 April.

Images: Apple

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