The smartwatch wars are on. The much-anticipated Apple Watch is the latest contender, changing the wearables battle by finally bringing the iPhone to your wrist. Now, it's not just Android users who can access their phones without actually touching their phones – iOS users can get in on the fun, too. Here's how Apple Watch stacks up against its closest competitor, Android Wear.
Apps, apps and more apps. Apple Watch takes everything you love about your iPhone and jam-packs it onto your wrist. These include Messages, Mail, Phone, Camera, Photos, Passbook, Music, Maps and more. It will also come with fitness and workout apps, as well as a heart rate monitor and activity tracker.
Just like your iPhone, Apple Watch delivers real-time notifications for everything a business user needs, from incoming mail to messages and calls. It can show you what your calendar looks like, keeping track of upcoming events and your next meeting. You can also swipe down for the Notification Center to see any alerts you may have missed. Apple Watch also comes equipped with Siri and includes the same functionalities, such as turn-by-turn directions, voice-command calls and texts, answers to queries and more. [iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 6 Plus: Which Is Better for Business?]
Apple Watch also makes it easy to view summaries of information you access the most. Glancer — a navigation feature named as an homage to people glancing at their watches to check the time — lets you swipe through each screen to view what's next on your schedule, your location, the weather forecast and more. For more details, simply tap on the summary view to open the app.
Android Wear is all about functionality and productivity on the go, but it doesn't rely on a single phone to function. Whereas the Apple Watch will work with only an iPhone, Android Wear can be used with any compatible Android smartphone.
Although Android Wear offers some of the same capabilities as Apple Watch — notifications, messaging, calls, weather and more — what ultimately makes Android Wear different is its inherently Google-friendly functionalities. If you're a heavy Google user, Android Wear makes it very convenient to access everything from your Gmail to Google Calendar accounts, bringing these services from your phone to your wrist.
Another feature that makes Android Wear stand out is Google Now, an intelligent personal assistant that was previously only available on Android smartphones. With Google Now, all you have to say is "OK Google," and command it to perform all types of tasks, from creating reminders and doing Google searches, to looking up weather alerts, traffic delays, travel information and more. With Android Wear, everything can be hands-free, so you can get the information you need when you want it as quickly as you need it.
Wearables aren't just about technology — they have to look good, too. Apple Watch sports a square face that displays app icons on the home screen, while Android Wear comes with both square and round faces that show the time and latest notification. The real difference, however, is how each wearable will cater to the occasion and your style.
Those interested in Apple Watch have a wide range of styles from which to choose. There are three Apple Watch collections available:
- Apple Watch. This collection is made of polished stainless steel and scratch- resistant sapphire crystal. Band choices include leather, stainless-steel link and more.
- Apple Watch Sport. Built with aluminum, X glass and a super-durable fluoroelastomer band, Apple Watch Sport is designed for active lifestyles. This collection comes in white, blue, green, pink and black.
- Apple Watch Edition. This collection is all about elegance, featuring an 18-karat gold case and sapphire crystal display. Style choices include gold with a bright red or white leather band, rose gold with a rose gray leather band, and yellow gold with a midnight blue leather band.
Android Wear also comes in three styles:
- Moto 360. This latest model sports a round, classic clock face and a black or gray leather band.
- LG G Watch. Sporting a square face and digital clock, this model comes with a black or white gold band.
- Samsung Gear Live. This model offers a square, classic clock face and a black or wine-red band.
Cost and availability
Apple Watch will be on store shelves in early 2015. Pricing information is currently unavailable.
Android Wear costs $179 for the LG G Watch, $199 for the Samsung Gear Live and $249.99 for the new Moto 360.
Originally published on Business News Daily