July 7 update below. This post was first published on July 4, 2022.
Apple Watch Series 8 is expected in September. But according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman in his latest Power On Newsletternot one but two new Apple Watch models may include a body temperature sensor.
Gurman says there had been rumors about this feature for a while, but its inclusion was far from certain. Gurman says it depends on whether “capacity passes during internal testing”. But now he thinks it likely is: “I now believe the position is an opportunity.” This will be on the Apple Watch Series 8, but not on the cheaper second-generation Apple Watch SE, which is also believed to be in development. The second watch likely to be capable of this is “a new rugged edition aimed at extreme athletes.”
July 7 update. Details are coming out thick and fast about this year’s Apple Watch models. The latest revelations come from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurmanwho laid out more details for the Series 8, SE and the new rugged watch.
For the Series 8, he claims that the screen size will be exactly as it is now, which was expected, and that the new Apple Watch SE will have the same screen size – in the case of the SE, that’s a step up compared to the current SE. which has a slightly smaller screen. This leads me to believe that the design of the Series 8 and SE will be identical to the current Series 7.
But most of Gurman’s comments relate to the model designed for extreme sports enthusiasts, the rugged Apple Watch.
The screen, as mentioned below, is confirmed by Gurman as almost 2 inches diagonal, although he thinks that means about 7% larger screen than before. It has a resolution of about 410 x 502 pixels, which means it will have the same level of detail as Series 7, in other words, the same pixel density is predicted.
The larger screen, Gurman says, could “show more fitness stats or information on watch faces at once. The company has added several new fitness features to watchOS 9, including multisport workouts and improved intensity tracking during exercise routines.”
Past changes in screen sizes have resulted in more Apple Watch faces exclusive to the larger screens, so this is the next step in this direction. This new size means, “The nearly 2-inch display on the rugged model will make the display one of the biggest offerings from a mainstream smartwatch maker.”
Then there is the material for the housing. Apple has so far made watches with five different metals: aluminum, stainless steel, titanium and ceramic, plus the original watch edition that came in gold. Gurman says, “The extreme sports watch will use a strong metal material instead of aluminum”. Could this be a metal that has not been used before, or perhaps the return of ceramics?
It will also have a “more shatterproof screen”, although it’s not clear whether that statement compares to the aluminum watch or the more expensive models with a harder sapphire glass front.
Oh, and one more feature has been unveiled: a larger battery, “allowing athletes to monitor their workouts for extended periods of time,” Gurman has been told. This is interesting. Apple has always strived to ensure that no matter which watch you choose, battery life was the same everywhere. Will this change now or will the battery be able to do more active things but have the same overall battery life?
Gurman also says the new Watch will have the same S8 as the other 2022 releases, although he notes it will be “similar to the S7 chip in the Apple Watch Series 7, which was similar to the S6 in the Apple Watch Series.” 6 from two years ago, which is the first time the company has maintained the same overall performance in the Apple Watch for three generations in a row.”
My take is that Apple makes sure its processors do the job smoothly and responsively. Perhaps this is more of a sign of how powerful the current chip is that it needs little updating. Anyway, I believe that Apple wouldn’t release a watch at this stage in the product’s life without being strong in terms of performance.
July 6 update. Hot on the heels of body temperature sensor news comes a report of a strikingly different look for this year’s Apple Watch. For the first time ever, according to Ross Younganalyst and display expert, there will be three sizes of Apple Watch.
That doesn’t mean every model will come in three different sizes. Instead, one model could come with an all-new stone chip, ie a 1.99-inch diagonal display. So while the current models come in 41mm and 45mm case sizes, and these will continue to exist, it looks like there will be a 47mm model as well. That’s about a 5% increase in screen size.
This report was supported by another analyst, Jeff Pu, who, as reported in MacRumorssaid there will be a “high-end” model with a larger display in addition to the regular watch sizes.
It looks like the much-talked-about rugged Apple Watch will be the model with the new, larger screen. A larger screen suggests a revised design, as well as robustness. When Apple launched the iPhone 12 with flat edges, it said the new shape made the phone more robust (not to mention the ceramic shield on the front). So, could the flat Apple Watch design that seemed to be leaking last year be the design for this tougher Watch?
If so, for the first time we could see Apple launching new watches with a different design language: the Apple Watch Series 8 that matches the style of the current Series 7, in addition to the new rugged watch.
There will also be, it is predicted, a new Apple Watch SE that will likely resemble the Series 8 and possibly the first-generation SE will remain in the range to become the entry-level model at the lowest price.
As such, it could mean 2022 will be the biggest incremental change for Apple Watch in years. For now, let’s go back to the new health feature expected on the Series 8 and the rugged watch.
It means the Apple Watch can tell you if you have a fever. Well, after the last few years, any kind of early warning about a possible disease would be great, right?
But it’s not a thermometer. “The body temperature feature won’t give you a specific reading, like with a forehead or wrist thermometer, but it should be able to tell if he thinks you have a fever. He may then recommend talking to your doctor or using a special thermometer.
The current Apple Watch may have heart rate variability (HRV) — the small variations between one heart rate and the next — and Covid is believed to be bringing down HRV. So it’s already possible that the Apple Watch can spot Covid early and accurately, although this isn’t something Apple has ever claimed for its wearable.
So something like a fever alert could be interesting, and see Apple take the Watch even further into health monitoring.
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