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We expect the next Apple Watch, which should be the Series 6, to land in coming months, and should hit the market next to the iPhone 12, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max. There’s plenty of time to wait and lots of speculation floating around, including what we can find out about the potential following the WWDC conference that happened on Monday. Aside from those announcements, Vanessa Hand Orellana put together a list of other plausible and likely rumors about the Apple Watch Series 6 for cnet, with an eye on leaks, new patents, and the good old internet rumor mill.

Round face? A resounding “no”

In the past we’ve had some design tweaks along the lines of bigger screens, a range of band designs, and interesting materials, but the general watch look hasn’t morphed too much since the inaugural design when Apple Watch was launched back in 2014. You’re not going to see a change this year either. 

Talk over recent years has been of a circular face for Apple Watches. Competitor smartwatches, like the Samsung Galaxy Watch, has a circular face so you’d be forgiven for guessing Apple might go that way. Fueling said rumors have been some patent filings from Apple that have shown round displays. Up to now, this is still little more than a fantasy; just because there’s a patent doesn’t mean the innovation will ever get used. Even it one of the patents does rear its head in the future, the journey from patent to reality takes years. Apple would need to wholesale rework its hardware and software and that’s not looking anything like likely in 2020.  

Give it some face 

You can access loads of customizable watch faces, known as complications, for your Apple Watch. These can be anything from Disney characters to dynamic weather forecasts. The training wheels still aren’t off for third-parties wanting to create watch faces, and its a change that’s unlikely to happen.

What we might see is the ability to share watch faces. 9to5Mac has said that every face configuration will be shareable as a file through AirDrop. The same report, which cites leaked coding for iOS 14 as its source, note that the WatchOS7, the upcoming WatchOS, will come with a tachymeter in analog form, allowing speed and distance to be measured accurately.

Also a possibility is the potential to share photo albums from the photo app which would let you customize your watch face with a slideshow-style setup. All your family could add photos into an album and everyone can see it on their wrists. 

The final face-related rumor should hearten the patriots, you may get an “international” option that means your watch face can be your national flag. 

Fit in something new

Integral to the Apple Watch since launch has always been fitness, and that’s not letting up this year. MacRumors tells us that Apple is developing its very own fitness app. Differentiation itself from the current Activity app that tracks fitness progress and comes with the Apple Watch and iPhone already, the new app will have workouts to follow under different categories such as cycling, running, strength training, rowing, dance, and yoga.

You can already get a plethora of other apps that offer this function, but making a fitness app that’s native to the Apple Watch could finish off some of the competition. The new app should be available through the Apple Watch, iPhone, and Apple TV when launched. It could even be a freebie, so says MacRumors in their report, since there’s no evidence of in-app purchases, although there’s still scope for it to be a subscription-based app in the same vein as Apple Music. 

See your sleep, maybe

Been waiting for a native sleep tracking app? This could well be your year. Apple acquired the sleep sensor company Beddit in 2017 – it’s an under-mattress tracker and the feature might just get integrated into the Apple Watch. There was an accidental mention of a sleep app on a screenshot that was displayed with the Alarm app in the App Store recently. A reader of MacRumors spotted the image in October 2019 and it’s no longer available to check out. There was a leak on Twitter on April 20 that looked to corroborate the rumor.

At the moment you can track your sleep with an Apple Watch using third-party apps. The biggest challenge for Apple when trying to create a native app has been battery life. You can get about one and a half days out of the current Apple Watch, yet you’d need to be wearing the watch overnight to track your sleep. Batteries would die even quicker so there’ll need to be a bigger and better battery as well as new software, likely in the form of the WatchOS7, to get more life out of the battery. You can see why Apple wants to fix the issues, competitors like Samsung and Fitbit have been doing sleep tracking for years. 

Pulse oximeter to measure blood oxygen levels

A native sleeping app might still be lacking on the potential Series 6 Apple Watch, but there’s still lots of health and wellness stuff that should come with the new bit of kit. 

SPO2 tracking is expected to be the big hitter when it comes to health features in 2020. The watch will be capable of measuring the oxygen levels in your blood, in the same way as a pulse oximeter does, and you’ll get notified if you hit below a certain level, so reports 9to5Mac. The timing of the advance is good, there are some doctors that recommend normal pulse oximeter devices so that patients can monitor COVID-19 symptoms. The leak from April 20 seems to back this all up. 

You can currently do something not dissimilar by tracking your heart rate with your Apple Watch, giving you an alert if it goes too high, becomes irregular, or your heart rhythm indicates atrial fibrillation. 

There’ll need to be a new sensor in the Series 6 for this advance to feature, and that sensor will likely be a pulse oximeter. There’s already tracking of VO2 max, that’s your maximum oxygen consumption, on the Apple Watch that you can access from the Activity app. It takes advantage of the heart rate sensor as you exercise along with GPS, so the change may be possible through a less complicated software upgrade. 

There are also other rumors that indicate that the next Apple Watch will be able to monitor the wearer’s glucose and blood pressure. Yet, these changes may apply to the models in the future.

Cuffs are off for blood pressure monitoring

Apple Insider dug up an recent patent application from Apple that suggests there may be an addition of blood pressure monitoring on the new Apple Watch. The patent suggests the watch would have some new sensors plus extra software that will be able to take your blood pressure without any arm cuff. 

 

The patent does offer some promise, but, like the round face, there’s no guarantee that it’ll ever make it on to the Watch. Even if it does land at some point, the filing was pretty recent so chances of it getting on the Series 6 in 2020 are pretty slim. 

One for the kids   

As to the leaked iOS 14 code, there also might be a bunch of new tools for parents. For instance, in order to manage what kind of content their kids are into, now parents will be able to set up a second Apple Watch (completely separate from theirs) using their iPhone and Apple ID as the host, rather than give their kids an iPhone. Besides, they’ll be able to control the emergency contacts and music their kids have access to. 

Another feature called SchoolTime in WatchOS7 will help parents to choose the apps that their kids will be able to use during their schooltime so that they won’t get distracted in the classroom.

In addition, Apple will adapt some of the health-related features to the younger wearers. For instance, as to the 9 to 5 Mag, the ring – activity tracking system, would be based on different metrics, compared to the adults’ ones. Rather than counting calories, the red move ring will track the minutes of exercising. This way, the Watch will motivate kids to keep moving, offering them various virtual rewards for taking part in outdoor activities or sports.

Tracking panic attacks and stress

The rumor has it that the Apple Watch 6 series will come with some new health-related features, such as the one, able to predict when the owner of the watch is about to have a panic attack. This rumor was already mentioned in the April 30 leak and was called the “Mental Health Abnormalities Detection.”

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