Apple Watch Series 6 rumors are landing left, right and centre – and if this avalanche of features actually happens it would be the best smartwatch of all time.
The main source of the leaks – spotted by 9to5Mac – is code for iOS14, which is hinting at some of the biggest features we’ve been craving on the Apple Watch.
Pulse ox and sleep
First up is Apple catching up with Fitbit and Garmin with pulse oxygen detection – which can be an early warning sign of sleep apnea.
Apple has been creating a serious health component for the Apple Watch, so this is one area it’s lagging. However, we can’t see Apple settling for the compromises around alerting users and labelling blood oxygen readings that Fitbit has made without FDA approval. It’s careful not to use the words “sleep apnea” and won’t serve any warnings for high levels of blood oxygen variation.
We’d assume that Apple would go for FDA certification, and that could take a long time.
But there’s more. Pulse ox tracking is best done at night, and that means that sleep tracking could be on the way for the Apple Watch for the first time.
Leaks seen by 9to5Mac show that new sleep goals heading to iOS 14 also have an Apple Watch element – but it’s not clear how much data would be captured. Sleep durations, for example, might not include the sleep stages we’ve become accustomed too.
Sleep tracking has been a major omission from Apple Watch Series 5, despite plenty of third party apps doing the job on watchOS.
Faces and tachymeter
Apparently there could finally be a loosening of rules around Apple Watch faces. Rumours point to an Infograph Pro watch face with tachymeter – a dial around the edge that acts as a stopwatch.
What’s more, there’s an expansion and re-upping of photo watch faces including ones that draw on communal albums with friends and family.
And you’ll be able to share watch faces – complications and all – with others.
Apple Watch Kids mode
Finally, there’s also word that watchOS 7 and the new Apple Watch could have a kids mode.
This would enable a phone to pair to multiple Apple Watch devices, which in turn can be limited to offer select calling to trusted contacts, and even schedule Schooltime when features could be limited.
A kids mode that enabled GPS location would be even more interesting – and there’s plenty of great features that parents could glean from a smartwatch. It would also be a great way to utilise older devices, as people upgrade.
We’re expecting a new Apple Watch to be announced in September 2020, so watch this space for updates. In the mean time, check out our list of upcoming smartwatches.