Apple Watch release date, price and features

Apple Watch launches April 24 with new prices

Apple Watch apps

Apple Watch doesn't just beams all iPhone notifications to your wrist, it lets you play with and control all sorts of apps with its touchscreen and digital crown.

Apple Watch apps
A handful of the Apple Watch apps being demoed

Among Apple's 20 built-in apps are Messages, Activity, Workout, Calendar, Weather, Mail, Photos, Camera Remote, Music, Passbook (which now includes Apple Pay) and even Apple Maps for navigation.

There are also a number of third-party apps already being developed even before Apple Watch's launch thanks to entruperal developers taking advantage of Apple's WatchKit software.

We've rounded up the best Apple Watch apps to help you decide whether or not you'll want one at launch. Many will be extensions of built-in iPhone apps, but there will also be new ones.

All Apple Watch apps and settings are organized within a single iPhone companion app that's already here as part of newly launched iOS 8.2, and no this smartwatch container app can't be deleted.

Apple Watch heart rate monitor

Apple Watch's two built-in fitness apps make use of its heart rate monitor and other sensors. Its Activity app tracks movement, exercise minutes, how long the wearer stands.

Apple watch price
Apple is focusing on health and fitness more than Google's Android Wear

The smartwatch can also - optionally - ping you when you're unhealthily sitting idle for far too long, like the Jawbone Up24 can do. If "sitting is the new cancer," as Tim Cook said, this is a potential solution.

Apple Watch's other app is Workout, which gives real-time stats for your total exercise time, distance, calories and pace. Keeping you motivated are goals, reminders and achievements.

Apple watch price
Sensors on back: Apps are sure to make use of the heart-rate monitor

Apple Watch may be more accurate than the Nike FuelBand SE and Fitbit Surge. Without GPS, structured coaching or marathon-worthy battery life, Apple Watch 1.0 doesn't offer the best fitness routine.

But it could become world's best running watch one day with the right training. The company has been fine tuning its custom heart rate monitor and other sensors in a secret gym lab over the last two years.

Apple Watch release date, price and features

Apple Watch battery life

The Apple Watch battery life is supposed to last all day, but don't expect a full 24 hours from this first iteration of the smartwatch.

Instead, Tim Cook has promised 18 hours of a typical day, which technically does sync with his comments that it can be "worn all day" and is something that's "simple to charge at night."

This number is based on an Apple Watch being paired with an iPhone and used for 90 time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app use and a 30-minute workout with music playback via Bluetooth.

There's a Power Reserve mode that kicks in when the battery life is critical, and the 42mm case will feature a slightly bigger lithium-ion battery. Either watch sizes' battery can be changed by Apple.

By comparison, the Moto 360, LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live the last about a full day and newer Android Wear watches ASUS ZenWatch, Sony SmartWatch 3 and LG G Watch R go a day and a half.

We have to test out the Apple Watch to see how it stacks up. At least the disturbing reports about it having as little as 2.5 hours of battery life were unfounded. As we predict, these fears were overblown and likely based on always-on screens or prototypes.

Apple Watch magnetic charger

Apple iWatch has long been rumored to have a 400mAh battery. The battery size is still unknown quantity, so when we not learn about the true battery specs until we test it out in April.

Apple Watch battery life
Easy to connect like a MagSafe power adapter

We sure do know about the recharging method, though. Apple Watch's crystal back houses a magnetic inductive wireless charging solution similar to the MagSafe design.

Again, Apple bucks another trend here - this time it's eschewing the popular Qi wireless charging method - in favor of its own inductive charging standard.