The latest rumors surrounding the next generation of Apple wearable technology, the Apple Watch 2, are suggesting that the new smartwatch may contain both GPS capabilities and swim tracking.
Apple Watch 2 to include GPS
The Apple Watch 2 is expected to be released later this year. As ever with Apple, official information is very scarce and rumors are rife. Little is known yet about the forthcoming smartwatch but the latest speculation, emanating from Japan, is suggesting that the watch may contain a GPS chip.
This is good news for those fitness fanatics who like to log and monitor their runs. Previously you were required to have your phone with you for GPS capabilities, but it appears that this will now be built into the watch.
Apple has stated previously that one of the main functions people want from the Apple Watch is better fitness tracking functions and this would appear to go some way to keep them happy.
As well as tracking just how far you have run, this will also be useful for using the maps, although if you are walking around and lost, the chances are you will have your phone with you.
Swim tracking also to be included
Another feature, again which seems aimed at pleasing the athletic types out there, is the inclusion of swim tracking within the Workout app. Many different fitness wearable devices are able to track walking, running and bike riding, but now the swimmers and triathletes will be included too.
We can, therefore, safely assume that there will be a much higher level of waterproofing on the device.
Apple and the wearable market
The jury is still out regading the success of the Apple Watch. It certainly hasn’t been as successful as some were predicting, and outside the Apple fanboys, there has not been huge enthusiasm for the product.
However, it is worth noting that in their first full years of availability the watch out sold both the iPhone and iPod (incredibly, the watch sold twice the number of iPhones that were sold). Although there is no official breakdown of watch sales in the annual figures, analysts have estimated that about 12 million Apple Watches were sold last year.
The new watch will be supported by a new operating system. watchOS 3 fixes a lot of the bugs that are found in the first and second versions and is also listening fast. The whole user interface (UI) has been revamped which should make everything a little more intuitive and easy-to-use.
Another rumor doing the rounds is that the watch may have a front facing camera. This is expected to be specifically for FaceTime but that is as yet unconfirmed.
The lack of responsiveness to third party apps have been a big criticism and there is as yet little word about this how they are looking to tackle this problem.
It is expected that the next iteration of the watch will also be slimmer. Also, while this year maybe too soon, there have been reports that the OLED screen could be replaced with micro-LED panels. Although these are a little bit more expensive, they are a lot more energy efficient meaning the all-important battery life can be significantly improved.
As with all Apple rumors, nothing is gospel until we hear something direct from the Cupertino behemoth, so at the moment all we can do is wait and see.