Fans of wearable devices are eagerly awaiting the Apple Watch 2; Apple’s second attempt to produce a smartwatch. The first Apple Watch was a qualified success for the consumer electronics giant, with sales of the smartwatch ultimately rather encouraging for the corporation, even if the critical response to the Apple Watch was less than glowing.
With Apple expected to announce the Apple Watch 2 at the forthcoming World Wide Developers Conference (although some reports still doubt this), there has been a huge amount of whispering on the Internet about what we can expect from this next generation device. Apple must demonstrate that the Apple Watch 2 is a must-have device if the smartwatch series is to be considered a success, and particularly that it can operate effectively without an attendant iPhone.
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Apple Watch 2 – Design
There have been several suggestions for design changes in the Apple Watch 2, with many analysts believing that Apple will introduce a circular-faced version of the smartwatch. This would seem to make obvious sense, as wristwatches are of course most associated with this particular form of design.
However, two recent reports have also given more specifics about how the standard Apple Watch 2 may appear, although both have rather different ideas on how Apple will approach this next generation smartwatch.
Firstly, a note issued by Apple analyst Brian White, of Wall Street firm Drexel Hamilton, suggests that the California-based corporation will make significant changes to the appearance of the Apple Watch 2. Most notably, the consumer electronics behemoth will ensure that its next wearable device is between 20 and 40% thinner than the first generation Apple Watch.
This would certainly fit in with the ethos of Apple, which is always committed to producing ever thinner devices. And it would be particularly well suited to a smartwatch, with comfort, and thus weight, obviously being extremely important to the device.
On the other hand, a contrasting report by the by now legendary Ming Chi-Kuo – almost certainly the most accurate Apple analyst in the world – suggests that fans of the Apple Watch series should not necessarily expect a massive overhaul when the Apple Watch 2 is released. Kuo believes that Apple will follow the example of the iPhone range with the Apple Watch series, and only reboot the concept every two years, with the other intermittent releases similar to the S range of the Apple iPhone.
In accordance with this, Kuo believes that the Apple Watch 2 will only feature very minor design changes, and that any alterations with this next generation smartwatch will internal. Kuo anticipates spec upgrades in order to ensure that the Apple Watch 2 runs more smoothly, but anticipates that the design of the original smartwatch will largely be retained for the second generation.
Hardware and new features
One of the most important and notable new features and leaks related to the Apple Watch 2 is the inclusion of a FaceTime camera. This particular rumor has been doing the rounds pretty much ever since the original Apple Watch was released without one, but suggestions have not died down as the release date for the Apple Watch 2 approaches.
Apple is thus expected to include a small camera in the second generation smartwatch, with some reports suggesting that this will also be capable of recording video. This technology can then be utilized in order to enable wearers of the Apple Watch 2 to answer phone calls directly from their wrists. Of course, it would also be possible to capture photographs by using the technology.
Another prominent rumor related to the Apple Watch 2 is that the smartwatch will include a faster Wi-Fi chipset in order to make data transfer smoother and more powerful. This would also enable Apple to deliver more accurate location services with the Apple Watch 2.
One of the major complaints about the original Apple Watch was the relatively paltry lifecycle of the smartwatch, and Apple will almost certainly make a significant attempt to rectify this when the Apple Watch 2 is released. Central to this process could be including a larger battery in the next generation smartwatch, and reports have suggested that this will indeed be made possible by using a slimmer display in the Apple Watch 2.
And perhaps the biggest and most exciting rumored feature for the Apple Watch 2 is the inclusion of cellular connectivity, which would vastly improve the range of functions the watch is capable of when not directly pared to an iPhone unit. The New York Times has reported that Apple Watch 2 buyers will be able to choose from either 3G or 4G connectivity, with consumers apparently paying for a data plan in order to use this particular function.
This would enable the Apple Watch 2 to receive messages away from a Wi-Fi connection, and also to ensure that the device is significantly more independent from the iPhone. Other functions would also become available, with analysts suggesting that this would upgrade the flexibility of Apple Music in the Apple Watch 2, while features such as GPS functions could also be made available.
Apple is also expected to upgrade the health-tracking functionality included in the Apple Watch 2, particularly as this was downgraded when the Apple Watch was released last year. The Cupertino-based company apparently encountered technical difficulties with some of the health-related features it intended to include in the original Apple Watch, but these logistical difficulties will surely have been ironed out by the time that the Apple Watch 2 is released.
Little is known about what precisely this will entail, but it is expected that the Apple Watch 2 will be far more valuable for athletes than the first generation of the smartphone.
New models and Software
Apple is also expected to Produce a new mid-range version of the Watch, possibly priced at around $3,000 in order to compete with entry-level Rolex and Omega units. Finally, a new watchOS release is expected to accompany the Apple Watch 2, with watchOS 3 due by the time that the smartwatch releases.