As expected Apple officially announced the Apple Watch, the latest addition to the Apple ecosystem, expected to release on Friday, April 24 to customers in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US.

As a timepiece, communication device, health and fitness companion and App notification center, the Apple Watch can do a lot, and Apple detailed many of the key features earlier today at the company’s Spring press event. “Apple Watch begins a new chapter in the way we relate to technology and we think our customers are going to love it,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We can’t wait for people to start wearing Apple Watch to easily access information that matters, to interact with the world, and to live a better day by being more aware of their daily activity than ever before.”

“Conceived, designed and developed as a singular product, Apple Watch merges hardware and software like never before,” said Jony Ive, Apple’s senior vice president of Design. “In Apple Watch, we’ve created three beautifully curated collections with a software architecture that together enable unparalleled personalization in a wearable device.”

Apple Watch introduces the Digital Crown, an innovative way to scroll, zoom and navigate fluidly without obstructing the display. The Retina display with Force Touch on Apple Watch senses the difference between a tap and a press, providing a new way to quickly and easily access relevant controls. The all-new Taptic Engine discreetly delivers a gentle tap on your wrist whenever you receive a notification or message.

As a timepiece, the Apple Watch keeps time to within 50 milliseconds of UTC, the universal time standard. Apple Watch can be personalized with watch faces ranging from traditional analog such as the Chronograph face, a Modular face, or event animated butterflies and jellyfish. Specialized functions on the watch face—known in watchmaking as complications—include the sunrise/sunset, upcoming calendar events or daily activity level. With multiple customizable watch faces and complications, Apple Watch enables millions of possible configurations. Swipe up from the watch face for Glances that quickly show you information you care about, such as the weather forecast, your current location on a map or the music you’re listening to.

Apple Watch enables you to send messages, read email and answer calls to your iPhone right from your wrist. The Taptic Engine alerts you with a gentle tap so you won’t miss important notifications. With Digital Touch, Apple Watch allows you to communicate in all-new ways by sending a sketch, a tap or even the rhythm of your own heartbeat. Interact quickly and conveniently with the world around you with Apple Watch by paying for coffee using Apple Pay, boarding a plane with a Passbook boarding pass, or raising your wrist to ask Siri for turn-by-turn directions in Maps.

Apple Watch encourages you to sit less, move more and get some exercise every day. The Activity app provides a simple visual snapshot of your daily activity with three rings that measure active calories burned, brisk activity and how often you’ve stood up to take a break from sitting during the day. Apple Watch provides the detailed metrics you need during dedicated workout sessions for the most popular activities, such as walking, running and cycling through the Workout app. With an accelerometer, a built-in heart rate sensor, GPS and Wi-Fi from your iPhone, Apple Watch smartly uses the best sensors for different types of motion and provides a comprehensive picture of your all-day activity and workouts. The Activity app on iPhone collects your activity and workout data from Apple Watch so you can see your history in greater detail. Apple Watch uses this history to suggest personalized activity goals, reward fitness milestones and keep you motivated.

Apple Watch is available in two different sizes, 38 mm and 42 mm, and in three distinct collections—Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition. Apple Watch Sport features a lightweight anodized aluminum case in silver and space gray with a Retina display protected by strengthened Ion-X glass and matching high-performance fluoroelastomer Sport Band in five colors. The Apple Watch collection features highly polished stainless steel and space black stainless steel cases with a Retina display protected by sapphire crystal. The Apple Watch collection comes with a choice of three different leather straps, a stainless steel link bracelet and Milanese loop, and a black or white Sport Band. Apple Watch Edition features cases specially crafted from custom rose or yellow 18-karat gold alloys developed to be twice as hard as standard gold, a Retina display protected by polished sapphire crystal and a choice of uniquely designed straps and bands with 18-karat gold clasps, buckles or pins.

From requesting an Uber, checking in to your American Airlines flight, booking a bike for your Equinox class to remotely controlling your Honeywell Lyric thermostat while away, the possibilities for Apple Watch apps are endless. These experiences extend the functionality of your favorite iPhone apps, while delivering an innovative way to interact—right from your wrist. Popular apps such as Instagram, MLB.com At Bat, Nike+ Running, OpenTable, Shazam, Twitter, WeChat and more will also be available on Apple Watch. The new Apple Watch app that comes with iOS 8.2 on iPhone lets you browse, buy and download apps from the Apple Watch App Store.

Designed to be worn throughout your day, Apple Watch delivers up to 18-hour all-day battery life and comes with a unique charging solution that combines Apple’s MagSafe technology with inductive charging for a quick connection that simply snaps into place.

By design, the shopping experience for Apple Watch will be the most personalized Apple has ever offered. When Apple Watch becomes available for pre-order from the Apple Online Store on Friday, April 10, Apple retail stores and department store shop-in-shops will begin offering customers the chance to preview their choice of Apple Watch and try it on in-store.

Apple Watch is available in three collections, Apple Watch Sport, priced at $349 (US) and $399 (US); Apple Watch, available from $549 (US) to $1,099 (US); and Apple Watch Edition, crafted from custom rose or yellow 18-karat gold alloys, with prices starting at $10,000 (US). Apple Watch requires iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus running iOS 8.2. or later. iOS 8.2 will be available for download today.