On September 9, Apple announced Apple Watch, its latest new product line.
Stuff has been hands-on (and wrists-on) with the new device, and came to the conclusion that while it’s probably not revolutionary solely from a hardware standpoint, Apple’s software, ambition and partnerships could make it the device that brings the smartwatch to the masses.
It could also be what brings new thinking to existing iOS devices in a similar manner to how the iPhone and iPad has increasingly informed the Mac. We won’t be surprised if some aspects of Apple Watch arrive in future versions of the iPhone and iPad.
This isn’t an article of predictions or rumours, though; instead it's an exploration of technology and ideas which could benefit Apple's phones and tablets.
Apple Watch has a display that can detect the force of a touch and respond accordingly. A light touch is interpreted as a typical tap or swipe, but a more forceful one activates context-specific controls, akin to a right-click or two-finger tap. On a much larger display, this technology is more complex to implement, but it would have plenty of applications on iOS, from art apps through to digital instruments.
A sapphire display
During the introductory video for Apple Watch, Jony Ive noted that the display uses sapphire glass, sapphire being, the “second hardest transparent material after diamond”.
Prior to the unveiling of the iPhone 6, rumours suggested that device would also be getting a sapphire display, but it turns out that material was reserved for Apple Watch, presumably due to issues relating to cost, scale and a lack of flexibility (increasing the likelihood of a screen shattering when an iPhone is dropped). However, advances in technology and falling prices could change this by the time the iPhone 7 arrives.
READ MORE: Hands on with the Apple Watch