Those hoping for an Apple Watch 2 release at the World Wide Developers Conference will ultimately be disappointed. It seems increasingly unlikely that the second generation smartwatch will be delayed until September, and will ultimately launch alongside the iPhone 7. In some ways, this could be considered a negative public relations move, as the first Apple Watch was criticized for being intrinsically linked with the Apple Watch, and this is something that Apple is hoping to change with the Apple Watch 2.
Regardless of this independence issue, though, it does seem that the Apple Watch 2 will be delayed until September. There have been a few suggestions that Apple could decide to brand this smart watch in a similar way to some of its iPhone releases, but it still doesn’t seem likely that the second Apple Watch release will be called the Apple Watch S. There are numerous Apple product ranges which never received incremental upgrade names and branding, and we shouldn’t expect this with the Apple Watch either.
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But what can we expect from this critical smartwatch release? Here is a rundown of all the latest rumors and information relating to the Apple Watch 2.
Apple Watch 2 – Design
Rumors are abound that Apple will consider including a circular face in the next Apple Watch generation, but this will be a niche aspect of the smartwatch if it indeed materializes whatsoever. It is far more likely that the Apple Watch 2 will largely resemble the initial release, although a slimmer smartwatch has been anticipated in some quarters. Accessories and bands will also be updated to make the Apple Watch 2 more attractive to the fashion conscious among us.
One of the most interesting rumored aspects of the Apple Watch 2 is the suggestion that the California-based corporation will release an entirely new model of the smartwatch. It is thought that Apple will position this new version of the Apple Watch between the existing Apple Watch Edition, and the most expensive affordable version of the smartwatch. This variant would retail in the $4,000 ballpark, and will be expected to compete with major premium wristwatches produced by the likes of Rolex and Omega.
Probably the most important aspect of the Apple Watch 2 is the fact that it will be considerably more independent than the first release in the series. The original Apple Watch was criticized for being too heavily dependent on an attendant iPhone, and Apple will address this with the Apple Watch 2 by ensuring that it can connect to Wi-Fi independently. This will open up all manner of functionality for the Apple Watch 2, enabling users to make calls, send emails, receive text messages, and get app updates without a collaborating iPhone. 3G and 4G will be reportedly be available from launch.
It is believed that the Apple Watch 2 will feature the same OLED display which was included in the original smartwatch. It has also been reported that LG will be the sole supplier of displays for the Apple Watch 2, and considering that other reports this week have linked the Korean corporation with the manufacturing of the cameras for the iPhone, it would certainly seem to make commercial sense for both companies. The Watch 2 has also recently been linked with a flexible display.
Battery life has been a big bugbear in the existing Apple Watch, and it is certain that the corporation will attempt to address this with the release of the Apple Watch 2. However, a big problem with that Apple will face here is that it will be difficult to fit a larger cell into the Apple Watch casing. Thus, it is expected that software improvements will be relied upon in order to deliver improved battery life, and that it will be possible to charge the Apple Watch every second day as opposed to every day with the original smartwatch.
Apple is also expected to introduce smart bands for the first time with the Apple Watch, adding tools related to health and sleep monitoring. Smarter peripherals are also likely, as Apple attempts to ensure that the Apple Watch 2 is a smarter operator.
A patent which has emerged for a magnetic wristband could also be significant for the Apple Watch 2, with some analysts suggesting that this could appear in the smartwatch. The patent in question describes a watch strap which can provide a variety of different uses for consumers, with a sophisticated stand and methods of protecting the watch among this functionality.
In an attempt to improve the feature set of the Apple Watch 2, Apple is also expected to include a FaceTime camera for the first time in the series. Coupled with the more independent nature of the Apple Watch 2, this would enable consumers to make video calls directly from the device. It is debatable how often users will require to take photographs with a smartwatch, but this option will also obviously be available. For the record, many experts anticipate that the Apple Watch 2 camera will be capable of capturing five-megapixel resolution.
Finally, Apple is expected to include all of the health-tracking features which were omitted from the original Apple Watch last year. Apparently, the Cupertino-based company experienced some technical issues with much of the health functionality which was expected to be included in the original Apple Watch, and has been working on perfecting this for the release of the Apple Watch 2. It is notable that the original advertising campaign for the Apple Watch prominently featured athletic endeavors, so this aspect of the smartwatch will be significantly stepped up in 2016.
In a week in which the British Guardian newspaper ran a trending article which essentially lambasted the original Apple Watch for being useless, it seems critical that the consumer electronics giant gets on the front foot once again with its Apple Watch range. While Apple dominates the smartwatch marketplace following the release of the original Apple Watch, no manufacturer has been able to demonstrate that the technology can be a must-buy for consumers. Perhaps the Apple Watch 2 can change this perception.