12 Huge Questions We Still Have About Apple's IWatch

IWatch ConceptSET SolutionAn iWatch concept design.

It’s all but confirmed that Apple will release a wearable wrist computer, the so-called iWatch, this fall.

There have been numerous reports about what it will be able to do, but there are still a lot of questions left unanswered. Here’s what we want to know.

What will it look like?

An Apple patent for the iWatch.

Even though we've seen dozens of iPhone 6 leaks in recent months, we have yet to see anything accurate about the iWatch design. New York Times writer Nick Bilton, who was the first to report that Apple was working on the iWatch, said the gadget would be made out of curved glass.

But that's about all we know.

How much will it cost?

Most smartwatches today cost at least $US200. Some, like Samsung's Gear 2, cost $US300.

That's a lot to ask for a smartphone accessory. If Apple's iWatch costs somewhere in the $US200 or $US300 range, it'd have to offer something special to entice people to buy one on top of a $US650 iPhone.

Will it really have a 2.5-inch screen?

The Nike FuelBand.

Reuters recently reported that the iWatch will have a 2.5-inch screen. However, that seems way too big considering chunky smartwatches like Samsung's line of Gear watches have 1.6-inch screens.

If the iWatch really does have a 2.5-inch screen, it might be a curved narrow band sort of like Nike's FuelBand fitness tracker, which makes more sense for something you wear on your wrist.

How will it deliver notifications?

How Google's Android Wear watches deliver notifications.

One of the biggest problems with today's smartwatches is that they're too noisy. Most deliver every call, text, email, tweet, etc. that hits your phone to your wrist.

If the iWatch will show notifications from your phone, it will need a way to simplify the process so as not to annoy users.

Will it be open to app developers?

When the iPhone first launched, developers couldn't make apps for it. All you got were the apps that came with the iPhone out of the box.

Now the question is whether or not Apple will take the same approach for the iWatch. Will developers be able to write apps for the gadget? Or will they have to wait until the iWatch gains more traction?

Will it come in multiple sizes?

Today's smartwatches look huge on skinny wrists.

One size may fit all in the smartphone world, but that's because you typically keep the device in your pocket or purse. But people's wrists come in different sizes.

Most smartwatches today come in just one size, which looks awkward on people with skinny wrists. There have been some mushy reports about different iWatch sizes, but nothing solid yet.

Will it come in different colour options?

Since smartwatches are always exposed, it makes sense for them to come in a variety of colour options.

Will Apple allow you to swap the band for a different colour? Will the gadget itself come in different colours? Today's smartwatch colour options are pretty limited.

Will it work without your iPhone?

Smartwatches today only have limited functionality unless they're paired to your smartphone using Bluetooth. How will Apple's iWatch handle being tethered to the smartphone? What will it be able to do on its own?

What will the software be like?

An older version of the iPod Nano.

It's logical to guess that the iWatch will run iOS, the same software that powers iPhones and iPads. But the full version of iOS probably won't make sense on a tiny watch screen.

So the question is: How will Apple strip down iOS to function on the iWatch?

Will the battery last longer than a day?

Most colour screen smartwatches have trouble lasting longer than a day on a single charge. If you're going to have a gadget strapped to your body all day, it'd be annoying to charge it before the sun even sets.

If the iWatch is going to be a success, it will need good battery life.

How will you charge it?

Samsung's Gear Fit watch needs a special dongle to charge.

Speaking of battery life, the iWatch will need an easy way for users to charge it up. Today's smartwatches have clunky charging methods. For example, Samsung's Gear watches require you to attach a dongle before charging with a regular USB cord.

A wireless charging solution, which would let you place the watch on a charging pad, would make much more sense.

The big question: Why does anyone need a smartwatch?

Apple CEO Tim Cook with an Apple Store customer.

Apple's biggest challenge will be convincing folks that they need an iWatch on top of the iPhone. What will the iWatch be able to add to the smartphone experience? How will it make your life better?

So far, no one has been able to make a solid case for owning a smartwatch. Will Apple be able to?

Now for some gadgets you can buy right now.

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