The next Apple Watch (likely a ) is still months away from making its grand debut alongside the rumored in the fall, but there are plenty of rumors and a few clues hidden in the to unpack in the meantime. Below we’ve compiled a roundup of plausible and compelling new features for the Apple Watch Series 6.
Design: A round Apple Watch, but not this year
Chances are, this year’s Apple Watch will look a lot like its predecessors: a squarish body with rounded edges and an OLED screen that curves at the sides. As in previous years, Apple could introduce some minor upgrades like increasing the size of the screen (to show off the new watch faces coming with), different materials for the frame and a few more watch band options, but so far there’s not a lot of evidence of a radical redesign for the Apple Watch… Yet.
Rumors of a circular Apple Watch patents that show what a round display could look like. But the existence of a patent doesn’t guarantee Apple will use it in a product, and a change this big would require Apple to rework the hardware and software of the watch, so it could take a few more years to become a reality.have been making the rounds for a few years now and Apple has even issued a couple of
Pulse oximeter to measure blood oxygen levels
Health has been a key growth category for the Apple Watch since its inception, most recently adding native sleep tracking, mobility metrics and hearing health in WatchOS 7, and we expect the trend to continue. The big health feature for the Series 6 this year could be SpO2 tracking, or the ability to monitor oxygen saturation in the blood.
According to 9to5Mac, iOS 14 code snippets suggest the next Apple Watch will be able to not only detect blood oxygen levels, but send an alert if it detects levels below what’s considered a “healthy” threshold, similar to what the watch already does with the high and low heart rate alerts. Blood oxygen levels are generally measured using a on the tip of the finger, and to do this on the wrist, it’s very likely Apple would need to add new hardware to the Watch, making it a Series 6 exclusive.
This would be good timing, because some doctors are recommending, and people have begun .
More robust sleep tracking
The Apple Watch (Series 3 and higher) will finally get7 in the fall, but the Series 6 could make sleep tracking even better by improving battery life and tracking blood oxygen levels at night.
Unlike sleep apps and Apple Watch competitors that give a breakdown of the quality and stages of sleep, the Apple Watch mainly focuses on the time you spend asleep. If the Series 6 has SpO2 tracking, it may also be able to look at estimated oxygen variations at night and help users spot sleep-related conditions like sleep apnea.
Blood pressure without the cuff
A recent Apple patent discovered by Apple Insider suggests the company may also add blood pressure monitoring to future Apple Watch models. According to the patent, the Watch would use a combination of new sensors and software to measure blood pressure without relying on a traditional arm cuff.
The existence of a patent, while promising, doesn’t guarantee the feature will become a reality. Even if it does, the recent date of the filing suggests it wouldn’t be ready to launch in this year’s Series 6.
A kid-friendly Apple Watch
The leaked iOS 14 code reportedly also references new tools for parents. Rather than give their kids an iPhone, parents looking to stay connected with their kids could set up a second Apple Watch (completely separate from theirs) using their iPhone and Apple ID as the host. This would also give parents the final say on what kind of content their kids can access on the watch, like emergency contacts and music.
With a feature called SchoolTime, parents could even determine what apps can be used at what times to limit distractions in the classroom.
This would also mean adapting some of the health features for younger users. According to 9to5Mac, the ring system (used for activity tracking) would be based on different metrics. The red move ring, for example, would track active minutes instead of active calories as it does with adults. The Watch will also incentivize kids to keep moving by offering virtual rewards when they take part in sports or outdoor activities.
Tracking panic attacks and stress
The Apple Watch Series 6 will also reportedly come with several mental health monitoring features, including the ability to detect when the wearer is about to experience a mentioned in the April 30 leak, which referenced “Mental Health Abnormalities Detection.”(another timely feature, if it pans out, during the global pandemic). This rumor was also