New iPhones won’t be the only hardware worth keeping your eyes peeled for at Apple’s September 12th hardware event.
Many are also expecting the release of the Apple Watch 3, with rumours suggesting that Apple’s new wrist-worn device will aim for a series of new functionalities that will continue to propel growth for the maturing wearable.
In anticipation, here’s a round-up of all the things we would love to see in the third-generation Apple Watch.
1. Circular design
Apple is a company known, above all else, for its design prowess. That’s why there was always something a little off about the Watch. Apple’s square design never looked quite right — it’s out of line with all of the other premium watches on the market and while it works as a sports accessory, it fails to look as stylish as many of its competitors.
The Moto 360, a popular Android smartwatch, proved a circular design can work well, even with the issue of the flat-tire (which has since been addressed by other circular smartwatch manufacturers).
In addition, turning to a circular design could shake-up more interest in the device, which is the front-runner of a somewhat stagnant industry that many manufacturers have been steadily backing out off.
It’s not entirely likely that a design refresh this significant is in the cards, however, considering the burden it would put on app developers to modify their apps for a different shape or size.
What is expected, by some, is the introduction of a Micro-LED screen rather than the currently used OLED display — the change would be expensive, but more efficient on battery life.
2. Cellular connectivity
Perhaps the single most important step towards added functionality that Apple could deliver with its new Watch is cellular connectivity. As it stands, the Apple Watch has to be within range of an iPhone to make calls and receive notifications, among other things. With cellular connectivity, it would be untethered from the phone, giving users more freedom.
This dream may just come true, as well, since Bloomberg‘s reliable Apple tipster Mark Gurman has reported that the Apple Watch 3 will have LTE capabilities courtesy of an Intel modem. Analyst Ming Chi Kuo of KGI Securities (who has also leaked accurate info in the past) added that the wearable would likely come in two variants: one LTE capable and one without.
Though details are unclear, LTE service would likely work as it does with other Android LTE smartwatches — the customer would need to purchase monthly service add-on through a carrier, which would include data and automatic number syncing for seamless calls.
3. Glucose monitoring
Since the very beginning, the Apple Watch has been tipped to feature a non-invasive device that would measure the blood sugar levels of people with diabetes. Now, CNBC has reported that CEO Tim Cook is wearing a prototype glucose tracker that pairs with the Apple Watch, and that the company hired a team of biomedical engineers precisely for the purpose of developing the tool.
How exactly such a feature would work is unclear, but it would certainly be a massive help to people with diabetes, many of whom have to draw blood several times a day. Further, it would make the Apple Watch unmatched in health diagnostics by any other smartwatch.
4. Smart watchbands that add new functionality
One of the ways that Apple could include such a unique feature as glucose monitoring would be the addition of smart watchbands, a concept well-circulated in the rumour mills and backed up by an unearthed patent.
Pebble was once planning to introduce this type of modular enhancement with the Pebble Time 2, but the concept unfortunately never made it to market. There were plans for straps that added things like another 250mAh battery, NFC capabilities or gesture recognition.
If Apple does plan to debut smart watchbands with a glucose monitoring band as its marquee offering, it could allow the company to offer its customers many more innovative features without radically changing the design or internals of the Watch itself.
5. Upgraded, more capable internals
We’d also like to see more capable internals, allowing the Watch to work completely independent of its paired iPhone. This, of course, would require significantly more power, but the features we’ve seen so far from watchOS 4 likely demand smoother and easier navigation than we’ve seen in the past.
At the very least, we can expect Apple’s next smartwatch to be zippier than the previous versions, with what will likely be a new dual-core chipset.
What would you like to see in the next Apple Watch? Let us know in the comments.