5 things we want to see in the next Apple Watch


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

Zenwatch 3 Moto 360 2nd Gen and Gear S3

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.


  • It’s Me

    So, number one is to make it more like their competitors which have been complete failures. Why would anyone want to emulate failure?

    Round peg, square hole. Same reason our phones and monitors and TVs aren’t round, because round is inferior for most content and uses. Only if the main purpose is pretending to be a circular analog watch would a round display make sense.

    If they ever do a round Watch, it will certainly be an example of completely conceding function to form.

    • Stephen B Morris

      Because the “failure” isn’t in the look of the watch. I think a lot of people looked at smartwatches the wrong way. They saw it as a some revolutionary product to replace the phone instead of what it actually is, an accessory. It’s an expensive accessory, but ultimately an accessory. Looks are subjective but I think at this point in the game it’s safe to say that the Apple Watch isn’t the best looking one. A change in design could bring in extra sales and that is the name of the game. All that being said, the fashion houses have picked up where the tech industry have left off with Android Wear. So they are just exiting the early adopter phase for that industry. If at that point THEY can’t sell it, well then the winner and still champion is Fitbit.

    • It’s Me

      The failure is almost every smartwatch OEM on the market. Fitbit is still the leader but their sales are crumbling (been buying fitbits for years myself). Fitbit now sits well behind xiaomi and Apple and continues to decline. And almost all of the fashion houses are finding no more success than Samsung and Motorola.

      The mistake by lots of pundits is thinking a smartwatch, because it has “Watch” in the marketing name and tells time, that it should therefore pretend to actually be an analog watch and be round. Other than that, pretending it’s an analog watch, there is no one reason to make it round.

      A change in design could spur sales. And it could hurt sales. Change for the sake of change is as strong a business plan as chasing failures or making things square for no particular reason. If round is functionally inferior for displaying content, then it is unlikely to spur sales. Would you buy a round TV just because it’s change?

    • Stephen B Morris

      No I wouldn’t buy a round TV. I wouldn’t buy a round cellphone even though I found the Runcible a bit intriguing. However the content displayed on a television and the content displayed on a watch have different requirements. I admit that I haven’t spent too much time with the Apple Watch or its apps but I can’t imagine it having enough info on its screen that the shape of the watch would affect the visibility of its info. The shape of the watch is the very least of Android Wear’s problems.

      The only reason to make a round watch vs a square one is strictly a style one. Doesn’t mean that they need to stop making the square watch. If it tells time and sits on a person’s wrist, it’s technically a watch. Just like the calculator watch or the luxury watch or the 50¢ watch that you find in kids cereal (if they still do that). Not everything can hold value at the same rate. I agree that it isn’t a sound business plan to take risks unnecessarily however I’m guessing this probably wouldn’t be a big one.

      I’m just saying that the Movado’s and TAG’s of the watch business have just started selling this stuff and are in the early adopter phase with their customers. Fossil is just coming out of that phase with their customers so they have a bit of a head start. The tech is now in the hands of those specialize in selling watches. As for Apple, they still don’t seem comfortable with the amount that their watches have been selling because any sort of growth that is mentioned to the public is spoken using percentages. Percentages make smaller numbers seem impressive and helps build perception that things are going well. Once Tim Cook starts stating actual numbers at the keynotes and earnings calls, then there will be a better gauge as to how well they are actually doing.

    • It’s Me

      If it’s just a watch, buy a watch.

      But it’s a smart watch. My TV tells time and hangs on the wall. If some one therefore marketed it as a smart clock, it wouldn’t make sense to make it round, even for style.

      Other than time, the content displayed on smart watches is better suited to square, every single time. Pictures, messages, stats, weather, any text, etc…all better suited to square, just like our phones and monitors.

      The watch companies will likely move towards designs that are more and more watch-like and less and less smart watch-like. They’ll definitely prioritize the watch-ness of their models. We’ll see if that really catches on with watch fans or smart watch users.

    • Marshall Davidson

      I have to say I totally disagree with you about Android watches being inferior. In regards to texting I find the ability to type a response or better yet to reply with my voice far better than anything Apple offers in this category. That, and the functionality of the Google Assistant and you’re way off base.
      I can’t say much about pictures or calculators on a watch but for weather and other stats it more than meets my needs. If you want a watch dedicated more to health stats those exist for which Android and even Apple really dont cater to as much.
      But what makes Android better is the battery life. I can at least get two solid days of use from the device whereas with Apple there is no way.

      But perhaps the bottom line is these watches no matter what your preferred brand, still fall far short of what people ideally want and its difficult to say that gap will ever be bridged satisfactorily

    • It’s Me

      You’re misunderstanding me. I am sure they are quite capable of doing all of those things. From a technology perspective, of course they are.

      But a round display, the shape, is inferior for displaying such content. Originally TVs we round. Why aren’t they still round? Because it’s an inferior shape for the content. From a technology perspective, we could design a round screen that is every as technically capable as our square-ish shaped TVs, but the shape itself would be inferior.

      I’ll ask you the same question: Would you use a round phone or a round TV if people complemented you on the way it looked?

    • Marshall Davidson

      What content are you referring to? News? Weather? Messaging? I don’t agree at all. If you’re looking at photos or a video then the answer is yes but who does that on a watch?
      Bottom line is these are notification devices and nothing else. They simplify having to whip your phone out everytime an email or message comes your way and allow for quick responses that more than meet the average users needs. You seem to be confusing these devices with multimedia capability and that’s just not something I think people care as much about in a watch.
      But beyond that I can ask my Android watch to play a certain song through Google Play music and it works like a charm without my having to manually search for it.
      So on that score the multimedia works for me and I suspect a great many others as well.

    • It’s Me

      Bottom line is these are notification devices and nothing else. They simplify having to whip your phone out everytime an email or message comes your way and allow for quick responses that more than meet the average users needs.

      Messages. Generally using written words. When was the last time you read a round book? Do you understand why books generally aren’t round? Text formatting doesn’t lend itself to round shapes.

      People make up the weirdest excuses sometimes.

    • Marshall Davidson

      Do you understand how its possible to verbally text a message without typing? I can in fact reply to a message much faster by saying what I want and its pretty darn accurate. I can also type and the circular face doesn’t really inhibit it beyond the small size of any watch vs. phone.
      It seems pretty clear to me you have limited experience with Android devices or are just hyping up Apple watches.
      And your example of reading a round book is patently ridiculous. No one reads a book on a watch buddy.

    • It’s Me

      Do you understand I was talking about reading those texts? Do you understand that that reading anything beyond a very few words doesn’t work as well on a circle as on a square? Do you understand that’s why books aren’t round? You do understand that if you are typing on your watch, that the text doesn’t naturally fit the circle, right?

      Clearly I wasn’t talking about reading a book. I was talking about reading anything. Maybe most of messages you receive are monosyllabic but many of us receive actual sentences in our messages. Some of us respond with actual sentence. Doesn’t have to be a book not to fit properly in a tiny circle.

      I think maybe you did understand and you’re just pretending to be so confused. I think you do understand your excuses are weak. Or maybe you’ve never worked with UI design before and you really are confused about things like shapes.

      Either way, it’s weird.

    • Marshall Davidson

      Are you seriously suggesting that messages can’t be read on a circular device? lol!
      What a ridiculous proposition. You have no idea what you’re talking about if you claim only one form factor is suitable for reading a message or an email. I can read messages just fine along with any other written communications I get on the watch.

      You’re grasping at straws pal and that’s the part that is WEIRD.

    • It’s Me

      Um no. I am suggesting that round is inferior for reading. Duh.

      Why are you pretending to be this dumb?

      I honestly hoped the book analogy would help you. Clearly not. Let me hold your hand: books aren’t round because it makes formatting text and reading text more difficult. In that way, it’s an inferior shape for the job. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, just inferior.


    • Marshall Davidson

      And I’m telling you there is nothing wrong with reading a text or a message on a round device.
      Are you that stupid to think that the wording on these watches isn’t linear? lol! Do you honestly believe the words are in a circle or rounded in their display?

      All you’re demonstrating here today is how little you know what you’re talking about. Enough said.

    • It’s Me

      Are you brain injured? Honest question, because you really seem to be struggling with simple geometry.

      Back to a question from a while back: do you understand why books aren’t round?

    • Marshall Davidson

      lol! Keep reaching pal. Your analogy to books is pure desperation. You can’t address the fact that the texting on a round watch is linear, therefore it reads no different than how it reads on a square device. Can you get this concept through your thick skull? Apparently not.
      And in case you haven’t noticed, the square design is among the minority of smart watches on the market today and circular designs are far more classy and popular among users. I’ve had far more complements on my Android watch than I ever had on a Apple Watch.

      I’ve never seen such a stubborn fool like you post here about something so ridiculous in defence of your favourite brand which we all know what that is. Pathetic.

    • It’s Me

      So the round book question really was to difficult for you. I figured but was hopeful.

      I asked you politely to stop pretending to be dumb. Why do you persist?

      Linear. Great. You mean it scrolls. Or rather, it is forced to scroll across because it would look ridiculous to scroll vertically the way almost every mother display would display text. A square display would display the same text across and scroll vertically. Like every other display we use today. Duh.

      And yeah, most smart watch designs are round. Mostly because their users want to pretend that are analog watches. Compliments don’t improve their functionality. Duh. And most round smart watches are selling like crap. Wonder why.

      Ok. I’m sorry. You aren’t pretending to be dumb. You honestly don’t understand basic geometry.

      Otherwise, it is absolutely hilarious that you really want to pretend round is the same as square. That you want to pretend round works as well as square for text content. It’s kind of pathetic but really funny.

      We don’t have to continue this conversation. You are either special needs slow or pretending to be. Either way, not much interested in holding your hand anymore.

    • Marshall Davidson

      You know it never ceases to amaze me that people post on topics of which they haven’t the first clue or any personal experience and seem to think their opinions mean something. lol!
      If you haven’t the first clue what linear means then its no wonder you look as stupid as you do here but let me say it for the cheap seats okay.
      It doesn’t read in a rounded fashion nor is the display of the message distorted. Do you understand this? I doubt it.

      And your comment about people pretending to wear an analog watch is the most stupidest thing I’ve ever read here. A watch for many is just as much about functionality as it is a piece of jewellery to complement whatever else you wear. If people choose that design its because it goes much better than your cheap Fitbit or Apple Watches. Bottom line.

      I’m done debating with you because you are sorely lacking in facts and peddling an opinion based on prejudice and ignorance.

    • It’s Me

      You’re right, decades doing development, including UI work, across various form factors means I have no understanding of the subject.

      But someone lacking basic, JK level geometry know better… 😀 thanks. I needed a laugh. You are good for a laugh if nothing else.

      So, what happens to that sentence as you scroll up when there is still display space but that sentence won’t fit? Think hard.

      Would you argue as hard that a triangular shape is just as good if that’s what your vendors provided? Would getting compliments help you? I honestly think you would, but you clearly aren’t very bright.

    • Marshall Davidson

      Have a little dignity and move on from this topic okay buddy? I mean seriously.

      p.s. Scroll up and the sentence won’t fit? ROTLFMAO! Yeah, I should think that’s the same for any square device but what about the fact I’ve read the sentence already and don’t need to see it on the display anymore?
      You’re hilarious.

    • It’s Me

      Scroll up and the sentence won’t fit? ROTLFMAO! Yeah, I should think that’s the same for any square device but what about the fact I’ve read the sentence already and don’t need to see it on the display anymore?

      Seriously? Just remove the text that won’t fit across anymore, even though there is still lots of vertical space left? Design nightmare.

      Ok. I see. You are just that dumb.

    • Marshall Davidson

      You see there you go again. You have zero experience using a round smart watch and are projecting an opinion based on a complete lack of facts.
      FYI, there is very little space available outside of the text or an email I receive on my watch. You make it sound like the wording is spaced out to occupy as little of the screen as possible and if you had personal experience the last half dozen posts on your part could’ve been avoided.

      Which brings me to another point. This article obviously doesn’t share your view and the users of these form factors would also strongly disagree so you’re out here playing devil’s advocate or something along those lines without the benefit of any insight whatsoever. Just let it go and admit you don’t know what you’re talking about and more people will respect that than your continued asinine comments.

    • It’s Me

      No, I’m making it sound like the horizontal space on the display is not consistent. Mostly because geometry says the horizontal space on the display is not consistent.

      And yeah, I understand what the article said. That’s why I replied to disagree. Are you really that dense? Sorry, rhetorical question, of course you are. You’ve gone out of your way to make that clear.

    • Marshall Davidson

      You look at this solely from a geometric perspective but haven’t had the benefit of experience then really that just proves you don’t know what you’re talking about.
      It never seems to occur to you that Android OS for smartwatch is optimized to run on a circular screen and aims to use as much of that real estate as possible.

      I just happen to think its silly that you would comment here as much as you do when in fact you have no personal experience of these devices ranting on about how inferior the form factor is when its anything but. You should pick your battles more carefully

    • It’s Me

      Well, duh. of course it is optimized for a round screen. It has to be because the majority of AW devices are round. Duh. Duh. Duh.

      None of which actually changes the geometry. The fact they compensated for being round doesn’t mean round isn’t inferior. The very fact that they have to compensate for it should make it obvious, even to someone as obviously challenged as you. Geometry says round is inferior for almost all visual content. Period. There isn’t even a debate there (well not an intelligent one anyway).

      Of course I look at it from the perspective of geometry, because we have been talking about geometry. Duh. I see you find that inconvenient now, so you want to drop it. But that is exactly what we have been discussing.

      Pick my battles? Really? You are arguing against basic geometry. You are fighting against the geometry we teach to 4 year olds. I don’t have to have used an AW to understand basic shapes and basic geometry. I don’t need my decades of software development working with all kinds of form factors. I don’t need any of that because I have something you don’t. A functioning understanding of shapes.

      Shít kid, maybe it’s time to go back to school. I worry about society having to take care of you. You will clearly need a lot of assistance in life.

    • FlamesFan89

      Do you mind if I ask, who is looking at pictures on their watch? and a follow up question, why?

      Square, round, dodecahedral, it doesn’t matter, looking at pictures on your watch when you most likely have your phone in your pocket, just seems like someone trying to show off that they have a smartwatch, as opposed to wanting to actually view the pictures at any sort of reasonable scale.

    • It’s Me

      A friend of mine, for one. He and his wife just had their first baby, so she is often firing off pics to him. He likes just glancing at his wrist to see some of them and pulls out his phone for ones we really wants to see. I could imagine being at a store and my wife sending me a pic of something to buy as another case.

      Granted, most people won’t be browsing the photos on their watch because it’s better on their phone. Of course, that’s true of almost all functions. But if you have a smart watch, one assumes it is for using the “smart” features. Handicapping it specifically for those features doesn’t seem really bright.

    • FlamesFan89

      I’d agree with that. I can’t say I’d ever want to spend a significant amount of time looking at pictures on my watch though.

      At the end of the day, I think the reality is, I’m not the target market for a smartwatch. I have a Fitbit that I wear most of the time, and it can display notifications, but to be honest, I turned that off, as I found it to be annoying. I know that’s not all that smartwatches do, but me personally, I’d just rather take the one second it takes to pull my phone from my pocket and be able to properly interact with any notifications I have.

      Smartwatches have fascinated me me though, purely from the market space they are trying to be a part of, that being primarily the fashion world, where function generally holds little value.

    • It’s Me

      In that sense you and I are similar. I’m still wearing a Fitbit (though the band is coming apart again so it might be time to move on) and have no smart watch.

    • FlamesFan89

      FItbit is really letting me down. I doubt I will buy another. They don’t seem to last more than a year at a time, and considering their price, that simply isn’t good enough in my books.

      If Timex can make a crappy digital watch and sell it for $20 at Walmart, that would likely last a decade without the band coming apart or ripping, or whatever, then surely for $170, Fitbit can produce one that lasts longer than 1 year. I realize there is a lot more going on with the internals and the display, but come on, they can’t spend a little bit of time coming up with a band that has some durability? Or how about making the darn things waterproof, as in their whole lineup. It is after all a fitness tracker, which people are going to use while sweating, or in the rain, etc.

      Anyway, end of rant. We seem to see eye to eye on this.

    • Stephen B Morris

      I definitely agree with your last point. Hybrid watches seem to be showing up a lot more. Having a step counter and haptic feedback for notifications while still designing the watch to look the way you intended to look makes total sense and probably an easy sale if positioned right. As for your other points we will have to agree to disagree to a certain degree. I concede that I am in the minority when it comes to AW and that there is some validity to your arguments even though it is subjective. I can only speak for my experience and to be truthful, I enjoy my AW watch. Granted my expectations were nowhere near what others were expecting which is probably why I like it. It serves my use cases well despite Google messing up the UX and Google Assistant on the watch. I don’t feel that the text or notifications are displayed in an inferior way since the text is being formatted properly and replying to them is easier with the swipe keyboard. It counts my steps and syncs to Google Fit (My app of choice) I can check my feed and so on with ease. Would the Apple Watch a better fit for me? I don’t see myself with an iPhone anytime in the near future and I don’t think Apple ever intends to recognize any other device not in their ecosystem. I also don’t like the main screen with all the circles or that I can easily see where the screen ends and the bezel begins when the screen is off. Nitpicking I know but for me those type of details turn me off. But I am curious about the expanded health capabilities that Apple says it has and being able to view your pictures is kinda neat. So I won’t say never. But my watch works great and I haven’t felt the need to shelf it yet. Ultimately I bought the watch because I thought it would look good on my wrist and it does. No buyer’s remorse here.

    • FlamesFan89

      I agree with you that it doesn’t need to be round. I love the look of square or rectangular watches, and own a couple myself (non-smartwatches that is).

      It’s an interesting market though, because a watch, a traditional watch, while being a tool (tells you the time), is far more a fashion accessory than it is a tool. If the function (telling time) were the ultimate goal, all watches would either be digital, or at least have all numbers and increments highly visible, but that’s not the case. There are vast numbers of watches with no numbers at all, no increments shown. They generally still perform their function of telling the time, but they are MUCH more designed to be a fashion accessory.

      Smartwatches fall into a strange space in that regard, they are trying to be a tool that has far more functions than just telling the time, but have to compete in the same market as those which are pure fashion accessories. I say this not to make any sort of defined point, or to argue with you, but rather to express that I find it really interesting, and think it has been interesting to see all the various companies make attempts at it, and see what their take is.

      The Apple Watch seems to be the only one that has had real traction (outside of fitness trackers), but I really feel like that is far more to do with the brand loyalty that Apple has, as opposed to it actually being significantly better in any way. That’s not to say it isn’t a good device, just that it isn’t significantly better, yet has significantly better sales. To me that shows that brand loyalty is playing a significant role. Sony for example has a square smartwatch that looks great. It’s got GPS, it’s IP68 certified, yadda yadda yadda, but I highly doubt it has any significant sales.

      Anyway, just some thoughts.

    • It’s Me

      well said. I actually agree with a lot of your positions here.

  • Shawn Kent

    Allow fast forward and rewind within the music app. Those of us who listen to audio books on our watches know my pain

    • rick

      i’d settle for better integration with google music or slacker or any other service

  • Bernhard Prawer

    I have a Question. Does someone know if the Apple Watch Series 3 is getting the Micro LED? I look forward to your answer.

  • Marshall Davidson

    Despite all these ‘dream features’ what about the issue of battery life? LTE connectivity sounds great but for a device that already barely lasts a day how long does anyone think it’ll last with a cellular connection? I just don’t see it as a positive development and nor do I see these watches replacing phones which is what LTE ultimately would aim for.
    The idea of a circular design would be nice admittedly as I’ve been using a Fossil Q Android watch and not only find it far more functional but also cheaper to say nothing of getting many complements on how good it looks. The same can’t be said about Apple Watches which are generally quite ugly with that square bezel.

    Beyond that this will always remain an accessory and an overpriced one at that. I still can’t understand the appeal of the watch and I’ve had one myself so I speak from some experience.

    • You don’t own the watch, right?

  • FlamesFan89

    It doesn’t need to be circular, or not square. There are countless traditional watches that are square or rectangular. Circular isn’t the issue with the Apple Watch’s look.

    The problem with the Apple Watch’s look, is that it looks like a child’s toy. My daughter literally has a watch toy called a LeapBand, made by Leapfrog, that hit the market before the Apple Watch, that has a similar shape and design. The Vtech Kidizoom is even more comparable in style. It too hit the market before the Apple Watch was announced, and man oh man, does the Apple Watch ever look like it.

    I’m not an Apple fan, but I have always thought that when it comes to design and style, they are top of the heap, but from the moment I first saw the design of the Apple Watch it thought looked like a joke. I was honestly disappointed with Apple. They can, and should, do better.

    • It’s Me

      Eye of the beholder, at that point. Should they change it to meet your preferences when it seems to be doing OK as it is?

    • FlamesFan89

      No, they should do whatever they think it is best. It’s their product, and as you say, it seems to be doing OK as it is. It’s simply my opinion that it looks like a child’s toy, and is very similar to actual existing children’s toys, and that I expected something better from Apple. I’m free to share that, and to point out those comparisons, just as you are free to disagree with me. What Apple does with their designs has nothing to do with my, or your, opinion.