Apple Watch review

Apple Watch features: What can the Apple Watch do?

We've determined that the Apple Watch is a good-looking piece of kit, but what can it actually do?

Well first things first you're going to need an iPhone 5 or later in order to use the Apple Watch, and you're going to need to download the dedicated Apple Watch app (if you've updated to the latest version of iOS 8 you'll find that you've already got it).

Interacting with the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch runs Apple's own software, with some familiar elements taken from iOS in addition to many new ones. Interacting with the Apple Watch is an all-new experience, with new Force Touch technology that helps it determine when you're tapping and pressing, a physical button called the Digital Crown that can be pressed and scrolled, a second button that takes you to the Friends screen and also voice control using Siri.

Siri can be used to search, set reminders, dictate messages, get directions and more. It's as easy as raising your wrist and saying "Hey, Siri" followed by your command.

There's also Taptic Feedback, which uses vibrations that'll tap you on the wrist for alerts, directions and more. You can even send others your heartbeat and they'll feel it tapping on their wrist (sickeningly romantic, isn't it?).

With all of those ways of interacting with the Apple Watch, it's certainly going to take a bit of getting used to. You'll need to spend some time getting to know your Apple Watch to figure out whether you need to tap, scroll, swipe, push or speak to get the job done. You'll find lots of Apple Watch tutorials in our sister site Macworld's Apple Watch section.

Apple Watch review: Notifications

While wearing the Apple Watch, you'll get notifications for emails from VIPs, text messages, social media alerts and more. Apple has designed the Apple Watch interface with little snippets of information that the company calls 'Glances'. They're mini versions of apps that aim to let you get the information you need within seconds – Apple says you shouldn't need to spend more than 10 – 15 seconds looking at your watch at a time.

If you are the kind of person who likes to constantly check their iPhone for notifications, then the Apple Watch could be a time saver, as you'll simply need to glance at your wrist. But equally, if you'd prefer an occasional bit of peace and quiet away from the digital world filled with Facebook and Twitter and email, getting tapped on the wrist every time a notification arrives is probably not a good idea, so we'd suggest that the Apple Watch (or any smartwatch, for that matter), isn't going to be for you.

Next section: Apple Watch apps