Apple has expanded its Apple Watch product line to include partnership-created watch straps, before announcing the release date of the next Watch OS at the Bill Grant Civic Auditorium in San Francisco at a special live event this week.
Though no one truly knows how many Apple Watch units have been sold since its launch back in April, it’s certainly true that style will be a big pull for most. If Apple isn’t providing a design a customer wishes to present, it’s unlikely they’ll make a sale. To combat this, Apple has begun partnering with design companies to produce branded straps that are compatible with the smartwatch.
First is Hermes – the French luxury brand, which will be providing three leather styles, and a custom watch face. But they don’t come cheap, with pricing starting at $1,100. For more information and styles visit the Hermes page on the Apple website.
Apple also introduced new Gold and Rose Gold models for the Watch Sport’s anodized aluminum case, plus new fluoroelastomer Sport bands in lavender, antique white, stone, and midnight blue.
The stainless steel edition now includes a two-toned buckle in black or saddle brown, while the space black stainless steel Apple Watch now comes with black Sport band. Additionally, the 18-karat rose gold case can now come with a midnight blue buckle strap.
Finally, Apple is also producing a (PRODUCT)RED Sport band with a stainless steel Watch, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Global Fund to fight AIDS. The full line-up can be found on the Apple website.
The next big news focused on the smartwatch’s software. Apple revealed that over 10,000 Watch apps were now on the App Store. They gave a taste of what would be coming soon – including Facebook Messenger, iTranslate, and Go Pro, which turns the Watch into a viewfinder for the video device.
Finally, AirStrip for physicians was announced, which enables real-time monitoring of someone else stats, including heart rate.
Much of this was possible due to watchOS 2 which was previously announced at WWDC in June. The second edition of the operating system brings Time Travel, which allows users to use the digital crown to skip through their day or week to view upcoming appointments. It will also introduce third-party native app support. This means apps won’t necessarily have to run on the iPhone to work on the Watch.
After pushing the Watch gift buying holiday scenario, it was revealed on stage that watchOS 2 would actually land much sooner – on September 16.