Did you hear? Apple is launching a watch!
Tech news is making regular news with the introduction of the Apple Watch, the company’s first new product line since the iPad was launched five years ago this month. Today is the first day you can order the Apple Watch for delivery on April 24. But you should know a few things before you whip out your credit card to get Apple’s latest gadget.
Not only is the Apple Watch new, the way you buy it is new too. Don’t expect to walk into an Apple Store and walk out with a Watch today (or tomorrow), that’s not how it works. And don’t expect to walk into the Apple Store today and try out the Watch, unless you have an appointment.
Times are changing.
How to Buy an Apple Watch
Beginning today you can order an Apple Watch either online at the Apple Store website or by using the Apple Store app.
Trying Out the Apple Watch
If you want to “try before you buy” you can make an appointment to test out the Watch in an Apple Store. Reserve your time slot by going to the Apple Store website or app. You get 15 minutes to try the Watch, unless you’re going for the $10,000+ gold Edition models, in which case you get a full 30 minutes to test drive the Watch.
Supply versus Demand
If you want be one of the first people to have the Apple Watch on your wrist, you may not want to wait until you try one on to make your purchase. “We expect that strong customer demand will exceed our supply at launch,” said Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail and Online Stores.
If you’re willing to compromise on the size, color or style of Watch you want, you may have a better chance if you want to wait to see one in person before you buy. But if your heart is already set on a specific Watch, you may have to order it quickly or wait patiently until supplies are replenished, perhaps this Summer.
Deciding on Which Watch to Get
Apple has made the decision of which Watch to get deliciously complicated, depending on how you feel about choice. 54 possible Watch configurations are available to you (assuming that you have zero budget restrictions), making your decision more challenging.
The first choice you should make is which model of what you want:
- Sport – Aluminum
- Watch – Stainless Steel
- Edition – Gold
Another choice is size. The Watch comes in either 38mm or 42mm sizes, measured lengthwise, not diagonally as smart phone screens are. The larger Watch gives you more screen real estate which may prove to be a valuable investment if you become a big fan of the Watch. The larger Watch costs an extra $50 and is reported to have a slightly longer battery life.
Seeing an Apple Watch in person and trying it on your wrist is the best way to determine which size works best for you. If that isn’t an option, you have other ways to make your best guess about size.
Apple Store Website Watch Sizing Guide
The Apple Store website shows you the 38 and 42mm Watches and provides a grid of sizes for the bands.
Apple Store App
Open the Apple Store app and choose the Apple Watch. Select a model, then tap View Pricing in the upper right corner. On the next screen choose Compare Case Sizes to see the actual size of the Watch.
Printable Watch Sizing Guide
Many websites are offering mockups of Apple Watches in the two sizes. You can print out these images, cut them out and fit them to your wrist to get an idea of which size works best for your wrist.
⇒ Check out iOS Gadget Hacks printable guide to Apple Watch sizes.
Sport — $349 or $399
Watch — $599 to $1099
Edition — $10,000 to $17,000
If price is a factor, then you may want to opt for the Sport Watch. This is the first edition of the Watch, after all, and you may want to save some of your pennies for the next version of this tech.
If price isn’t a factor, well then you can just skip this section and base your choice on other considerations. But you probably knew that already…
Bands also are available in different sizes and all Apple Watch bands fit all Apple Watches of the same size (38 or 42mm), but Watches come with specific band choices. This spreadsheet from Robservatory.com shows the different band choices for each Apple Watch.
The Sport model includes two straps in Small/Medium and Medium/Large. Look for websites to pop up where you can swap straps to get a different color. Link bands make removing and adding links easy so you can customize the size of your band.
⇒ Don’t Miss Apple Watch — It’s Almost Time!
Should You Get an Apple Watch?
The question may come up whether you should get an Apple Watch and your answer may be obvious:
Your answer is probably Yes! if you want the latest tech, are an Apple/wearable tech fan, and are excited about having Apple’s newest gadget. You may already have become a fan of smart watches and have been dreaming about the day Apple launched a watch.
You may already have picked out which apps you’ll be loading on your Watch and know which model, color, size and band are your favorites.
⇒ Check out PC Mag, Apple Watch Apps You’ll Want to Try
If you’re all-in on the Apple Watch, then make sure to place your order after you’ve finished reading this article (and sharing it widely on social media).
Perhaps you’re not a fan of watches, Apple products or of tech at all. You may not have been one of the first to get a smart phone, in fact you may still be using a flip phone. Nothing wrong with that at all. No need to spend your money on tech you don’t need.
You may not want an Apple Watch because you don’t have an iPhone. You need to have an iPhone to pair with the Apple Watch. Getting an Apple Watch without having an iPhone would be a waste of money. And plain silly.
You may be curious about the Apple Watch but want to take a wait-and-see approach before you make your purchase. No one needs a Watch, the question is: how badly do you want one? Enough to justify the price?
Think about what you’ll be using your Apple Watch for most.
If all you want is to know the time, well there are other watches that may be a better choice for your chronometer. But you’ll have a choice of thousands of watch faces to make your Watch feel fashionable, functional or both.
You can keep your Watch face clean, showing only the time, or add other information. Fill your face as you please with the weather forecast, battery life, stock prices, activity tracker, current temperature, phases of the moon, and other data.
Apple Watch will have third-party fitness apps available as well as native Apple apps including Fitness and Activity. The Watch is smart enough to know when you’re sitting or standing, so if you’re looking for an excuse to get up from your desk or peel off your Couch Potato moniker, Apple Watch may be for you.
If you’ve been missing important calls, text messages or other notifications because your phone’s buried in your pocket, purse or other location, Apple Watch can help you stay connected. The Watch notifies you with information on your screen and with taps and vibrations to let you know something important is happening. You can control how often and in what events the Watch will notify you.
Pulling your phone out can violate all forms of social etiquette at times, but furtively glancing at a notification on your Watch, not so much. Just be careful not to overdo, otherwise your glances quickly will become obvious and downright rude.
Wearing an Apple Watch could make you the coolest kid on the block…at least until the next cool tech comes out.
Are you thinking of getting an Apple Watch? If so, which one are you getting? If not, why not? Are you going to try one on first in the Apple Store? Is the $17,000 Edition Watch calling your name? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section below!