Apple Watch 6 rumors: Pulse oximeter, sleep tracking (and the battery to support it?)

Angela Lang/CNET

The following Apple Watch (probably a Collection 6) remains to be months away from making its grand debut alongside the rumored iPhone 12, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max. However there’s nonetheless loads of hypothesis surrounding a Collection 6 smartwatch to carry us over within the meantime. We have compiled a roundup of believable and compelling new options for the Apple Watch Collection 6 based mostly on the most recent leaks, rumors and Apple patents

Design: A spherical Apple Watch, however not this yr

Save for just a few minor modifications similar to bigger screens, totally different supplies and numerous watch band designs, the look of the watch hasn’t modified a lot since Apple launched the primary Apple Watch in 2014. And this yr can be no totally different.

Rumors of a round watch face on the Apple Watch have been making the rounds for just a few years now. A few of its Android counterparts just like the Samsung Galaxy Watch have round designs, so it would not be an excessive amount of of a stretch to assume Apple would comply with go well with. So as to add gasoline to the hearth, the corporate has additionally issued a pair Apple Watch patents that present a spherical show. However thus far, it is only a risk; the existence of a patent does not assure Apple will use it in a product. Even when one among these patents does develop into a actuality, it will probably take years. A change this large would require Apple to transform the {hardware} and software program of the watch, and thus far we have not heard something that will point out it is taking place in 2020.  

New watch face choices, however no retailer 

The Apple Watch has tons of customizable watch faces (generally known as “problems”) starting from animated Disney characters to weather-centric interfaces. However Apple nonetheless hasn’t loosened the reins for third-party watch faces, and we do not see that altering anytime quickly.

As an alternative Apple may permit customers to share watch faces. Based on a 9to5Mac, every watch face configuration can be shared as a novel file by way of AirDrop. The report, which cites leaked iOS 14 code because the supply of its data, additionally says WatchOS 7, the following model of Apple’s smartwatch software program, will add an analog-style tachymeter to its design choices that will measure velocity and distance.

You may additionally have the ability to use shared albums out of your images app to create a personalized watch face that cycles by way of the images in that album. Which means members of the family may add particular person images to the shared album for everybody within the group to see on their wrists. 

Lastly, for patriotic customers, WatchOS 7 could add an “worldwide” possibility that permits you to select a rustic’s flag as your watch face. 

A brand new health app

Health has been on the core of the Apple Watch since its launch, and this yr Apple could take it even additional. Based on MacRumors, the corporate is engaged on a standalone health app. Not like the present Exercise app that tracks your progress and is already on the Apple Watch (and iPhone), this one would offer you guided exercises for an assortment of various actions similar to working, biking, rowing, energy coaching, dance and yoga. 

There isn’t any scarcity of third-party health apps like this for the Apple Watch, however a local health app may put quite a lot of these out of enterprise. The app can be accessible on the iPhone and Apple TV in addition to the Apple Watch. And it is likely to be free. The MacRumors report says there isn’t any proof of in-app purchases, however that does not essentially rule out a subscription based mostly method like Apple Music.  

Apple Watch 6 rumors: Pulse oximeter, sleep tracking (and the battery to support it?) 1

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Apple Watch Collection 6: What to anticipate


Native sleep monitoring could lastly arrive

This might lastly be the yr when Apple Watch will get native sleep monitoring. Since buying the sleep sensor Beddit again in 2017, a tracker that sits underneath the mattress, there have been rumors about Apple integrating an identical function within the Apple Watch. A “Sleep app” was additionally by accident talked about in a screenshot of Apple’s preinstalled Alarm app within the App Retailer. The picture was noticed by a reader of MacRumors again in October, and has since been eliminated. An April 30 leak on Twitter appears to corroborate this rumor.

At the moment, sleep monitoring is on the market on the Apple Watch by way of third-party apps and one of many largest hurdles for Apple to supply it natively has been battery life. The present Apple Watch fashions final a few day and a half of regular use, however a function like this might require in a single day monitoring. This could probably drain the battery a lot quicker. It is within the firm’s greatest curiosity to resolve this challenge quickly although; many Apple Watch opponents like Fitbit and Samsung have had it on their gadgets for years. 

Pulse oximeter to measure blood oxygen ranges

Even when the Collection 6 does not have native sleep monitoring, Apple will probably proceed increasing well being and wellness options for the following Apple Watch.  

This yr’s large well being function may very well be what’s generally known as SPO2 monitoring. This could permit the watch to measure your blood oxygen ranges, like a pulse oximeter, and warn you if it dips beneath a sure threshold, according to 9to5Mac. That is good timing, as a result of some doctors are recommending pulse oximeter devices to monitor COVID-19 symptoms, and folks have begun purchasing pulse oximeters during the coronavirus pandemic. The April 30 leak corroborates this rumor as effectively. 

The Apple Watch already does one thing comparable with coronary heart price, and alerts you if it detects an abnormally excessive, low or irregular coronary heart rhythm indicative of atrial fibrillation (afib). 

For this to be potential, the Collection 6 may require a brand new sort of sensor, probably a pulse oximeter. Or it’d have the ability to pull with a software program replace and use the present {hardware}. The Apple Watch already tracks VO2 max (or most oxygen consumption) contained in the Exercise app utilizing the GPS and coronary heart price sensor throughout train. 

Different well being rumors embrace glucose and blood-pressure monitoring on the following Apple Watch, however these may very well be additional off. 

A child-friendly Apple Watch   

The leaked iOS 14 code reportedly additionally references new instruments for folks. Somewhat than give their youngsters an iPhone, dad and mom seeking to keep related with their youngsters, may arrange a second Apple Watch (fully separate from theirs) utilizing their iPhone and Apple ID because the host. This could additionally give dad and mom the ultimate say on what sort of content material their youngsters can entry on the watch like emergency contacts and music. 

With a function known as SchoolTime in WatchOS 7, dad and mom may even decide what apps can be utilized at what occasions to restrict distractions within the classroom. 

This could additionally imply adapting among the well being options for youthful customers. Based on 9 to five Mac, the ring system (used for exercise monitoring) can be based mostly on totally different metrics. The purple transfer ring, for instance, would monitor energetic minutes as a substitute of energetic energy because it does with adults. The Watch may also incentivize youngsters to maintain transferring by providing digital rewards after they participate in sports activities or out of doors actions. 

Monitoring panic assaults and stress

The Apple Watch Collection 6 may also reportedly include a number of psychological well being monitoring options, together with the power to detect when the wearer is about to expertise a panic attack (one other well timed function, if it pans out, through the world pandemic). This rumor was additionally mentioned in the April 30 leak, which referenced “Psychological Well being Abnormalities Detection.”


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