Apple Watch Series 5 could be replaced with a seriously upgraded model this Fall.
Apple Watch Series 6 is, we think, to be revealed this Fall. You can read all the current rumors about the next Watch here. But now, courtesy of 9to5Mac, which has seen what’s claimed to be part of iOS 14, some of the capabilities of Apple Watch Series 6 have just been revealed. It’s pretty neat.
Here’s what we know.
1. Blood oxygen saturation monitoring
Apple won’t be the first to have this metric – Fitbit and Withings have both measured blood oxygen already – but you can imagine the Apple Watch will put it to good use.
Blood oxygen levels are related to health: 95% or above is healthy, under 80% is not. Healthline says:
“A below-normal blood oxygen level is called hypoxemia. Hypoxemia is often cause for concern. The lower the oxygen level, the more severe the hypoxemia. This can lead to complications in body tissue and organs.”
Continued low blood oxygen saturation can mean there’s risk of cardiac arrest or respiratory issues.”
The leaked iOS says that Apple is creating a new health notification based around blood oxygen levels. Already, many Apple Watches notify wearers if there are unusual heart rate levels, high or low, and this new feature looks like it will add a similar alert.
Is the ECG feature on Apple Watch about to be upgraded?
2. ECG upgrade
The most recent Apple Watch models, Series 4 and Series 5, are capable of taking an ECG (also known as EKG). This is a highly effective feature which is totemic of Apple’s commitment to improving health monitoring though its wearable.
But it has its limitations. It can deliver inconclusive ECG readings with heart rates that hit between 100 beats per minute and 120bpm. It looks like the next watchOS, possibly in conjunction with new Watch hardware, will overcome this.
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3. Shareable Watch faces
If you’ve ever glanced at a friend’s Watch and found yourself experiencing Watch face envy, you’ll be glad of this upgrade. Sure, if you like the look of that face, you can try and recreate it yourself, but maybe you just really like what your friend did.
The next watchOS software will, it seems let you share the exact configuration of a particular Watch face with someone else. It may even go direct from one Watch ton another, or perhaps via an iPhone – this isn’t clear yet.
As so many people have been asking Apple to support third-party Watch faces, this may be either a step towards that, or perhaps enough of a change to satisfy many.
Is the Infograph Watch Face to be upgraded this Fall?
4. Infograph Pro and Tachymeter
My favorite Watch face is Infograph. I love how much detail can be displayed at one time, clearly and legibly. A new Infograph, called Infograph Pro, is predicted and it includes a new element: a tachymeter.
That’s the dial that sits around the watch face on many analogue watches, designed to measure speed based on travel time or measure distance based on speed.
So, for example, if it takes 35 seconds to travel one mile (or kilometres), then a glance at the tachymeter dial next to where the second-hand is pointing shows 103, indicating that the speed is equivalent to an average speed of 103mph (or 103kph).
It’s easier to see it in action than to describe it, but an onscreen version would be cool.
5. Parental controls
The next software release will allow one iPhone to set up multiple Apple Watches (same as now) but allow all to be in sue at the same time (which is new). This means a parent can activate an Apple Watch for a child to wear, without needing a second iPhone. It will also allow parental controls to be built in, adjusting, for instance, what music could be available on the child’s Watch.
Further, it seems parents will be able to manage which apps and even complications can be used at certain times such as during the school day – so no more checking Instagram during class, kids.
6. Sleep tracking
Oh, finally. Regular readers will know I have been banging on about Sleep tracking on Apple Watch since the moment Apple bought Beddit. It looks like this Fall will be the time the new Sleep app will go live.
That’s great news on its own but it also suggests ramifications based on battery life or speed of recharging the Watch to make it possible to wear your Apple Watch at night as well as during the day.
New watchOS, new Watch app architecture, it seems.
7. New app architecture
Currently, app developers can release standalone Watch apps without the need for an iPhone companion app. Next time around, app design will change so the new apps are not based on previous app extension architecture – the Apple Watch app will be completely independent.
I’ll be updating this post – and this one – as new information comes to light, so please check back.
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