Apple Watch Announcement
Earlier this week Apple held its “Spring Forward” event, announcing final details on their upcoming smartwatch, the Apple Watch. The company also unveiled a brand new, ultra thin and light MacBook (how much thinner can they really get? Take a look here), as well as a standalone Netflix-like subscription for HBO (Game of Thrones fans rejoice!).
But let’s take a look at more details from the Apple Watch announcement, which is going to come in three versions. The Watch Sport is the entry-level version of the smartwatch, targeted at fitness enthusiasts and starts at $349, featuring a fluoroelastomer, aluminum casing and Ion-X glass. The Watch is mid-level, starting at $549 and features stainless steel casing, sapphire glass and a variety of different bands ranging from steel to leather. Finally, there’s the Watch Edition - starting at a whopping $10,000. It’s made of 18-karat gold with a variety of bands to choose from.
Looking at the technical specs, each Apple Watch version has a choice of a 38mm or 42mm casing. They all require an iPhone to function, as the iPhone pushes all of the interactions and notifications over to the Apple Watch. Unfortunately, battery life only lasts up to 18 hours on “normal” use, about 5 hours with heavy use and takes 2 hours or so to charge. We’ll have to see if that improves with software updates, but not likely with the powerful Retina OLED display and Apple S1 chip that the device uses. So far, what sets the Apple Watch apart from the plethora of other smartwatches is its “Digital Crown” - which looks just like a normal watch crown, but instead of changing the time, turning the Digital Crown scrolls through content on the watch, and pressing on the crown allows you to go through menus. The Apple Watch also features “Force Touch”, which assigns different functions to how hard you tap on the watch face.
With a powerful processor and display, great touch-based functions, and a bunch of developers on board already for the Apple Watch, it will be interesting to see how gaming does on the device. Very casual games like Tiny Wings and Flappy Bird might be a good fit - check out PocketGamer’s ideas here. Are you going to start developing games for the Apple Watch? Or are you considering other devices like the Pebble Time Steel? Let us know in the comments below.
Bringing Mobile to PCs and TVs
As technology continues to evolve, the lines are starting to blur between our mobile devices like smartphone and tablets, and our stationary devices like PCs and TVs. We now have set top boxes that feature full gaming such as the Amazon Fire TV, and small form factors PCs like the Steam Machine which bring a console-like experience to the living room.
The cloud has helped to bring each of these experiences to another level - so that you can play a game on your mobile device and continue it on your PC, creating a seamless gaming experience. As games start to head this direction, the social aspect will be greatly improved since friends can play with each other from any device. Business of Games has written a great article on the topic, you can take a look at it here.