Rumors of Apple's plans for a smartwatch have been doing the rounds for over a year at least. The company has never confirmed the existence or development of this so-called iWatch (the above is a render). However, since Apple isn't in the business of confirming any rumors regarding upcoming products, the rumor mill has chugged along regardless of this fact. Since early 2013, we've been hearing about everything from iWatch patents to displays. We've rounded up all the rumors below and will be updating this article periodically. Read on for everything there is to know about Apple's much talked about iWatch.
One of the most important aspects of wearable tech is that it be fashionable. By nature, a smartwatch needs to have a big enough screen to display the time (obviously) but also a limited amount of text or (at the very least) clear notifications. Apple's iWatch is rumored to have a flexible or curved display, similar to the Galaxy Gear Fit from Samsung. An Apple patent filed in August of 2011 emerged last February and talked about slap bracelet-style accessories with flexible displays. The screen would display information in real time and the slap bracelet approach would allow the wearer to place it in a wider variety of places (such as the wrist, arm, or ankle).
Of course, it wouldn't be an Apple-branded mobile device without a splash of iOS, and rumors from 2012 suggest that the iWatch will indeed run Apple's mobile operating system. While it's hard to imagine a full version of iOS running on a smartwatch, it doesn't sound like the device will run Apple's iPod software either. Instead, it's possible we'll see a modified version of iOS designed specifically for companion devices, much like Apple has done with CarPlay.
Right now, it looks like Apple will be pitching this as a fitness tool and companion device. The device will likely incorporate the same pedometer and exercise monitoring functionality as the current generation iPod nano. We're also assuming it's going to somehow connect to your iPhone. Now, between your phone, your iPod and your watch, you might be thinking that exercising is looking extremely heavy on gadgets at this point. However, it looks like Apple is going to cram as much functionality into the watch so you don't necessarily need to bring all three. The most recent rumors suggest that this device is going to count steps, and incorporate data and image processors as well as light, proximity, temperature, and biometric sensors. Patent filings also point to data and image processors, a camera, support for playing audio files, facial recognition, voice control and authentication, and telephony. We're hoping there's also a battery in there, too.
This is a tough one, considering we don't have anything official just yet. iWatch is the most prevalent name we've seen throughout these months of rumors and it seems like a pretty obvious choice given the nature of the product. However, cast your mind back to the dark days of 2009 and the endless Apple tablet rumors and you'll remember that no one thought Apple would name it's rumored tablet the 'iPad.' The months leading up to the unveiling were filled with talk of 'the Apple tablet,' 'the iSlate,' and the 'the iTablet.' When the iPad name emerged, there was uproar. "It sounds like a feminine hygiene product!" was chief among the complaints (believe it or not). So, while iWatch might be the most obvious name, Apple doesn't always go for obvious.