The Apple Watch Series 5 was a major update, bringing an always-on display to the device for the first time. This year, early indications are that the Apple Watch Series 6 will continue to expand health capabilities.
The Apple Watch Series 5 was a major update, bringing an always-on display to the device for the first time. This year, early indications are that the Apple Watch Series 6 will continue to expand health capabilities. Read on as we round up everything we know so far about the 2020 Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch Series 6 is likely to look similar to the Apple Watch Series 5. Reports indicate that there aren’t any major changes in store for the Apple Watch Series 6’s industrial design, and that it will follow the same general form factor as the Series 4 and Series 5.
That being said, it’s not out of the question that Apple will offer new finishes, colors, and casing options for the Apple Watch Series 6. With last year’s release of the Series 5, Apple debuted an all-new titanium option.
What’s in store for this year? We don’t know yet, but possibilities include new colors for existing casing materials, new materials altogether, and much more. And of course, Apple will likely have new band options and colors as well.
Apple Watch Series 6 health features
One of the tentpole features of this year’s Apple Watch update is expected to be blood oxygen level detection. Code found within iOS 14 by 9to5Mac has indicated that Apple Watch will add it this year.
How would this work? Blood oxygen levels between 95% and 100% are considered healthy; blood oxygen levels below 80% may lead to compromised heart and brain functionality. Risk of respiratory or cardiac arrest is common after continued low blood oxygen saturation. This feature would work similar to existing watchOS heart rate notification features. If Apple Watch detects a blood oxygen level below a certain threshold, it will trigger a notification for the user.
Building on blood oxygen level detection, Apple is also developing improved electrocardiogram (ECG) capabilities for Apple Watch Series 6. Apple Watch Series 4 and 5 currently result in inconclusive ECG readings with heart rates between 100 and 120 beats per minute. A future update, either in software or hardware, will remove that limitation with an upgraded version of the ECG app.
As of right now, it is unclear whether these new health features will be limited to the Apple Watch Series 6 or if watchOS 7 might also bring them to the Apple Watch Series 4/5. History suggests Apple will want to use these features to push upgrades to the Series 6, but we’ll have to wait and find out for sure.
Sleep tracking has been at the top of many Apple Watch wish lists for years, and it appears that 2020 will finally be the year that brings the feature to users. 9to5Mac has reported many of the details on what to expect:
While asleep, the Apple Watch will track the user’s quality of sleep using its multiple sensors and inputs, including the person’s movement, heart rate, and noises. Data about the user’s quality of sleep will be made available in the Health app and a new Sleep app for the Apple Watch.
The biggest question is how Apple will tackle the battery life issue for Apple Watch sleep tracking. According to 9to5Mac sources, Apple has developed a feature that will remind users to charge their Watch beforehand so they can get through the night.
Bloomberg has reported that sleep tracking will be tied to new hardware rather than new software. This means that existing Apple Watch users will likely have to upgrade to the Apple Watch Series 6 in order to take advantage of native sleep tracking capabilities.
More watchOS 7 features
While these are unlikely to be exclusive to the Apple Watch Series 6, 9to5Mac has reported several other details on what to expect from watchOS 7 this year.
This includes a new Infograph Pro watch face that will feature a tachymeter. A tachymeter is an analog watch scale located around the dial that is used to measure speed and distance based on travel time. There will also be new “International” Apple Watch faces with country flags.
WatchOS 7 will also have numerous new features for parents and kids. For instance, a new feature called SchoolTime will allow parents to manage which apps and complications can be used during certain hours, like class time.
Currently, we expect the Apple Watch Series 6 to be announced in September alongside Apple’s 2020 lineup of iPhones. That being said, given the current COVID-19 pandemic, product launch timelines are in flux.
Various reports have suggested that the iPhone 12 could be delayed due to COVID-19 and corresponding economic uncertainty. Whether or not the Apple Watch Series 6 might also be affected by these delays remains to be seen.
Apple Watch Series 6 wrap-up
As of right now, that’s all we know so far about the Apple Watch Series 6. As always, it’s likely that we’ll continue to learn more about the device in the lead-up to its expected release in September.