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Apple Watch marks company’s first dive into wearable tech

The very sleekly-designed Apple Watch features a square face, sapphire glass, swappable bands and a rotating digital crown found on top. Watch customers can opt for six different straps, including a sport band, a leather loop, a classic leather buckle and a stainless steel strap. All are easily adjustable.

Apple Watch offers Siri technology, so you can ask the Watch which movies are playing NYC, for example, and the screen will quickly display the listing.

“We love to make new products that improve people’s lives. We love to make things that allow our users to make things that they could never have imagined,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said today during this morning’s announcement. “We think it will redefine what people expect from its category.” He called it “the next chapter in Apple’s story.”

Using the Watch seems intuitive. Pressing the dial on its “digital crown” will shuttle you to the gadget’s homescreen, which users can personalize.

One of the must useful feature harnesses Maps, so a Watch wearer can receive haptic feedback on where he or she is going, and the Watch will offer exact directions to the destination.

A ground-breaking feature uses “digital touch” technology to let you feel the heartbeat of another Watch user.

A more applicable add-on, though, lets you send messages and drawings to other Watch users. You can send a picture of a fish, say, to another Watch user to inform him about how you want to get sushi for lunch. The other user can reply with a question mark instead of writing text.

Watch can let you control your iPhone’s music playlist, or Apple TV or Apple computer products.

Apple Watch requires the iPhone to function, Cook noted, including the new iPhone 6 models and all iPhone 5 smartphones.

Watch charges using an inductive charger that fits on the back of its rectangular face. “It’s so simple it’s something only Apple could do,” Cook says.

The Apple Watch will cost $350 and will be available in early 2015.

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