Apple Inc. is reportedly completing work on software for the Apple Watch and plans to release its first smartwatch in March. Apple previously said the Watch would be released in “early” 2015, then said it would launch in the spring, likely after the Chinese New Year.
Select Apple retail employees will receive training on the Apple Watch from Feb. 9-16 at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, or its offices in Austin. When they return to Apple stores, the employees will train their teams on the device's features and notifications, according to a report from 9to5Mac.
The developers of Pipes, a customizable news aggregating app for iOS, have created a virtual demo of the Apple Watch that you can tinker with here. The virtual smartwatch offers an interactive look at Apple's "Glances," while some apps only show screenshots. Pipes has made a few apps interactive, including its own, as well as Music, Phone and Instagram. Pipes also included a feature to let Watch app developers see a screenshot of their app on the smartwatch, as well as its logo alongside the circular icons on the home screen.
The virtual Apple Watch demo was created “to let users and developers get a real feel [for] how the Apple Watch really works,” Pipes co-founder Siddharth Goliya said in an email. “It's one thing seeing the video and another testing and” getting to try out the Apple Watch live.
Apple has been finalizing the Watch’s operating system and trying to improve its battery life. The company initially was mum on how long the Watch would last on a charge, but CEO Tim Cook later remarked that Apple thought “people are going to use it so much, you will end up charging it daily.” Sources told 9to5Mac that Apple also is working to refine the Watch’s “inductive” charging.
Apple Watch will ship in three variations: a standard, sport and “edition” model. The aluminum and glass sport model will cost $349, Apple says. It has not announced pricing for the standard model, which will ship with a stainless steel watch case and a sapphire crystal screen. Analysts have said Apple plans to price the sapphire-toting standard Watch at $500 and charge “thousands” for the gold “edition.”