Following the introduction of an always on display with last year’s Apple Watch Series 5, there are early indications that the Apple Watch Series 6 will continue to expand portable health options. Read on as we round out everything we know so far about the Apple Watch 2020, including details about the rumored lower end of the Series 3 replacement.
The Apple Watch Series 6 is likely to look like the Apple Watch Series 5. Reports indicate that there are no major changes awaiting the Apple Watch Series 6’s industrial design, and that it will follow the same overall form factor as the series. 4 and series 5.
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What awaits this year? We do not know yet, but the possibilities include new colors for existing lining materials, completely new materials and much more. And of course, Apple will probably also have new ribbon options and colors.
One of the changes introduced with watchOS 7 is the abolition of the Force Touch feature. Force Touch allowed Apple Watch users to tap the device’s screen to access additional content and controls, such as changing clock faces or clearing all alerts. Apple explains:
In versions of watchOS before watchOS 7, people could tap the screen to do things like change the dial or reveal a hidden menu called the Force Touch menu. In watchOS 7 and later, system apps make previously hidden menu items available on a related screen or settings screen. If you previously supported a long press to open a hidden menu, consider moving the menu items elsewhere.
Force Touch is technically a hardware feature that has been available on all Apple Watch models since day one, but with watchOS 7, Apple completely removes the feature, even if the Apple Watch hardware supports it. This is a way for Apple to force developers to make the necessary changes before the release of the Apple Watch Series 6 and to ensure consistency.
So with this in mind, it seems inevitable that the Apple Watch Series 6 will drop the hardware that was originally needed for the Force Touch. Removing Force Touch hardware features may also mean that Apple can make the Apple Watch Series 6 thinner, or wrap a larger battery or other sensors.
Apple Watch Series 6 Health Features
One of the tent pole features in this year’s Apple Watch update is expected to be oxygen level detection in the blood. Code found in iOS 14 by 9to5Mac has suggested that Apple Watch will add it this year.
How would this work? Oxygen levels in the blood between 95% and 100% are considered healthy; Oxygen levels in the blood below 80% can lead to impaired heart and brain functionality. Risk of respiratory or cardiac arrest is common after continued low oxygen saturation in the blood. This feature works in the same way as existing watchOS heart rate alert features. If the Apple Watch detects an oxygen level in the blood below a certain threshold, it will trigger an alert for the user.
Based on blood oxygen level detection, Apple is also developing enhanced electrocardiogram (ECG) capabilities for the Apple Watch Series 6. Apple Watch Series 4 and 5 currently result in uncertain ECG readings with heart rates between 100 and 120 beats per minute. A future update, either in software or hardware, will remove this limitation with an upgraded version of the ECG app.
It is currently unclear whether these new health features will be limited to the Apple Watch Series 6, or whether watchOS 7 can also bring them to the Apple Watch Series 4/5. History suggests that Apple will use these features to push upgrades to the Series 6, but we’ll have to wait to find out for sure.
Sleep Tracking has been at the top of my Apple Watch wish list for many years, and this year’s release of watchOS 7 finally makes the feature work. The new Sleep app lets you set your schedule, view sleep analysis and adjust settings for things like Wind Down and Sleep Goal.
The actual sleep tracking data is pretty basic, but the association with features like Wind Down and Sleep Mode provides a sleek experience. What’s interesting is that the Apple Watch sleep tracking is not limited to the new Apple Watch Series 6, although more advanced sleep tracking features may exclusively come with this year’s Apple Watch.
Actual, Bloomberg had reported that sleep tracking would be related to new hardware instead of new software. Although watchOS 7 provides sleep tracking support to all Apple Watch users, the Apple Watch Series 6 may have new hardware features.
More watchOS 7 features
We currently expect the Apple Watch Series 6 to be announced in September along with Apple’s 2020 series of iPhones. That said, given the current COVID-19 pandemic, product launch timelines are in flux, especially considering we already know the iPhone will launch “a few weeks” later than usual this year.
Whether the Apple Watch Series 6 can also be affected by these delays remains to be seen.
Should you buy an Apple Watch Series 5 or wait?
One of the most common questions, when a new Apple product is threatening, is whether to buy the current generation model or wait for the new one. At this point, we’re probably about two months away from the release of the Apple Watch Series 6.
This means that for most people it is probably wise to wait for the Apple Watch Series 6 to be announced later this year. Even if you do not end up buying the latest model, the introduction of the Apple Watch Series 6 will mean that the older models, such as the Apple Watch Series 5, are likely to receive a price drop.
If you decide to buy an Apple Watch Series 5 instead of waiting for the Apple Watch Series 6, you should avoid paying full price. You can keep track of the latest Apple Watch offers at 9to5Toys, or check out the Amazon prices below:
Apple Watch Series 3 follows up
In a strange event, Bloomberg has reported that Apple is also preparing a new Apple Watch to replace the Apple Watch Series 3. Apple is still selling the Apple Watch Series 3 in its series for $ 199, and it is a popular choice for buyers who only want training tracking features.
However, the Apple Watch Series 3 is beginning to show its age in terms of both design and processing power. The Bloomberg the report does not elaborate much on what to expect from the new version of the Apple Watch Series 3, other than to say that it will “compete with affordable training devices such as those from Fitbit.”
It is possible that the new lower part of the Apple Watch retains the same design as the Apple Watch Series 3, but adds a newer processor and features such as fall detection.
Apple Watch Series 6 packaging
As of 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 ahead of the expected release in September. We should also soon learn more about Apple’s reported follow-up to the Apple Watch Series 3.
What’s on your Apple Watch Series 6 wish list? What are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!
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