Soon after the release of iPhone 6 Apple also unveiled the Apple Watch smartwartch, the company’s first wearable device. The Apple Watch pairs with the new iPhones but it will work with some older versions of the iPhone, including the iPhone 5, 5C and 5S to display notifications. It features a magnetic charger, health and fitness apps and a crown that controls zoom and scrolling with a twist.
Apple said it will sell three versions of the Apple Watch, including a sports model and an 18 carat gold model called the “Apple Watch Edition.” The Apple Watch also comes in two versions, one 38mm and the other a 42mm size.
The Apple Watch will debut with many third-party apps that make use of the watch’s various features, including a Starwood Hotels (HOT) app that lets you unlock your door with your wrist.
The notifications and quick replies seem very interesting and worthwhile, but the new paired communication mode that Apple demoed, which allows one user to connect directly to another for real-time sharing of hand-drawn messages, customized animated smileys, heartbeats and more, initially strikes as a bit of a strange concept. Apple’s messaging is all about the novelty of the feature, however, which means that whether it catches on or not, it’ll take some acclimation.
Apple also unveiled a new mobile payments platform called Apple Pay, which works with the new iPhones and the Apple Watch.
The new iPhones will be able to interact with payment terminals in a simple tap. Apple has deals in place with the major credit card companies, including American Express (AXP), MasterCard (MA) and Visa (V), as well as several major retailers.
Apple touted Apple Pay’s security. The company said it doesn’t store your credit card information on your phone and the number isn’t even given to the merchant. Apple Pay also works with the iPhone’s TouchID sensor, allowing people to pay by touching the home button while tapping their phones on a payment terminal.