2016 will be a big year for the Apple Watch, as Apple attempts to convince consumers that its smartwatch is a viable product niche in its own right. Although the first iteration of the Apple Watch was successful in enabling Apple to dominate the marketplace, it hasn’t really captured the imagination of the public in the same way that the incredibly dominant iPhone range has previously.
So many analysts and Apple fans alike are wondering what the corporation has in mind for the Apple Watch 2, and the latest indication is that we might not have too much longer to wait. Rumors suggest that Apple will reveal the second iteration of its Apple Watch series at the World Wide Developers Conference in June. With refreshed Mac hardware and the iOS 10 operating system also expected, this will be a massive event, but the second version of the Apple Watch will undoubtedly generate headlines.
Apple Watch 2 – Slimmer build
In particular, it is suggested that the Apple Watch 2 will be significantly slimmer than previous releases. Apple analyst Brian White, of Wall Street firm Drexel Hamilton, filed a report from China, where he is touring technology firms and manufacturing facilities, which indicated that the next generation of the Apple wearable will be significantly slimmer than its predecessor.
The figure that has been associated with the Apple Watch 2 is that it may be around 40 percent slimmer than previous Apple Watch releases. This would certainly fit in with the overall Apple ethos, which appears to be close to obsessed with producing ever sleeker devices!
In terms of the credibility of the source, White has been successful in predicting product announcements from the California-based corporation previously, but in the nature of all soothsayers not all of his predictions have been correct. It is interesting to note, though, that we can expect the Apple Watch 2 earlier than was anticipated, as this indicates that Apple is attempting to slot the smartwatch in between the releases of the iPhone SE and forthcoming iPhone 7. Previously it had been suggested that the Apple Watch 2 could possibly be unveiled alongside the premium smartphone.
Aside from the slickness of the Apple Watch 2, recent reports also suggest that this latest smartwatch release will feature an outstanding new modular smart band which will deliver outstanding functionality. An innovation associated with this new band is the inclusion of GPS receivers and wireless charging battery packs, ensuring that the Apple Watch 2 benefits from a significantly improved feature set.
This news appears to be pretty solid in nature, as it broke alongside the revelation of a patent application alongside a detailed strap design with installed electronic devices. According to the text of this patent, these devices can be connected to the Apple Watch 2 via a diagnostics port, suggesting that this may be implemented in time for the release of the second generation smartwatch.
It had previously been reported that one of the major innovations included in the Apple Watch 2 will be the ability of the device to issue alerts to immediate family members in the instance of an emergency. And the Apple Watch 2 will also be able to detect a heartbeat in particularly serious situations, and even contact the emergency services directly, accessing 911 and other local emergency contact numbers as required.
Reports in line with this suggestion also indicate that Apple will develop a cellular radio for the Apple Watch 2 in order to collaborate with this technology. Reports from close to Apple also describe a ‘mesh network’, enabling the smartwatch to connect to devices nearby. The new system also reportedly has the ability to default to sending an SMS alert via a GPS device signal.
Apple could also include a camera in the Apple Watch 2 for the first time, with consumers suggesting that this could be a significant improvement over the initial iteration of the series. It is possible that a front-facing camera could then be used to make FaceTime calls.
Apple is extremely unlikely to abandon its existing design when the the Apple Watch 2 is released, but the corporation could introduce a circular option for consumers as well. After all, a circular design is ultimately what people associate with a wristwatch, and it seems remiss of Apple not to have gone down this route when the original Apple Watch was released.
Apple will almost certainly improve the specs of the Apple Watch 2 by souping-up the internals of the smartwatch. Apple must be careful not to alienate existing Apple Watch owners, but considering that the internal specifications of every iPhone is improved on an annual basis, it seems certain that Apple will follow this procedure with the Apple Watch range as well.
One of the primary improvements in the Apple Watch 2 will be the introduction of enhanced health-tracking functionality, with numerous features ultimately dropped from the original Apple Watch being included. Apple experienced logistical difficulties with several health-tracking features that were intended for the original Apple Watch, and these could finally see the light of day when the Apple Watch 2 is released.
It is not exactly known what features were ultimately omitted from the Apple Watch, but we do know that there was a strong emphasis placed on the athletic capabilities of the smartwatch in initial advertising.
Battery life and wireless charging
A major criticism of the original Apple Watch is that it delivers insufficient battery life, and this detracts from the convenience that should be associated with a wristwatch. The Apple Watch 2 must improve on the battery life of the initial device. Apple may also choose to embrace wireless charging when the Apple Watch 2 is released, as this would provide additional convenience, and is a feature already included in such mainstream devices as the Galaxy S7.
Apple is also likely to ensure that consumers have a wide variety of strap and face choices when the Apple Watch 2 is released, and it appears based on rumors that this device will be a significant step forward over the initial release.