Apple Watch Settling Into Role As Fitness & Notification Wearable With Siri, Apple Pay
Originally pitched as a multitude of things, including an intimate communication tool and new frontier for mobile apps, the Apple Watch has been refined and simplified in the years since its debut, focusing on what Apple has determined to be the fledgling device's core strengths.
Accordingly, Apple has shown a willingness to go back to the drawing board with the Apple Watch, refining what works and eschewing what does not. Those changes have helped sales of the Apple Watch to grow, reaching a new record in the holiday 2016 quarter.
The Apple Watch also works well as a fitness and health device because, again, it handles most of the capabilities on its own. Closing out Activity rings is an automatic process that resets itself every day. Heart rate is automatically measured and saved to the Health app throughout the day.
Though the Apple Watch remains largely the same externally, Apple has made some tweaks on that front too. While the first-generation "Edition" model came in gold and was priced over $10,000, Apple reversed course with the second-generation model last September, switching to a more affordable white ceramic version that carries a starting price of $1,249.
Inside, Apple made the device far more capable with the Series 2 model thanks to a new dual-core S2 processor. Once again, this addresses some of the slowness with the original model's hardware and software. The focus is yet again a device that is both faster and easier to use.
The Apple Watch was first announced in September of 2014, but didn't find its way onto the wrists of consumers until April 24 of 2015. While launch-day hardware is still supported two years later, the software has changed considerably.
As the Apple Watch passes its second birthday, expect a new update this fall that could add an LTE radio for independent wireless connectivity. Undoubtedly a new model will also be faster, and offer equal-or-better battery life.
However, there haven't been any rumors of a forthcoming round Apple Watch. And given Apple's migration away from fashion and toward health, fitness, and ease of use, it seems unlikely that a round-screened model might arrive anytime soon.
As the Apple Watch has evolved over its first 24 months, Apple's focus has remained on simplicity and speed. Expect future updates to make it even easier and more convenient to interact with the device— helping to make it an even more integral part of Apple's ecosystem.
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