December 7, 2023
Joe Maring / Digital Tendencies

The unique Apple Watch was introduced in September 2014, with the precise product launch in April 2015. Whereas we’re getting the Apple Watch Sequence 9 subsequent month, it’s prone to be a really iterative replace. As a substitute, we should always give attention to what Apple may very well be doing for the Tenth anniversary of the Apple Watch, just like what the corporate did with the Tenth anniversary of the iPhone, which gave us the iPhone X.

With this in thoughts, 2023 is basically not the yr to count on large options to come back to the Apple Watch; that may are available 2024 or 2025, and rumors recommend that this anniversary smartwatch may very well be referred to as the “Apple Watch X.”

Assuming the Apple Watch X is as revolutionary for the Apple Watch because the iPhone X was for the iPhone, right here are some things I’d prefer to see.

It’s time for a brand new design

Apple Watch Series 5 and an Apple Watch Ultra next to each other.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Tendencies

There have been rumors prior to now a couple of potential refreshed design ever for the reason that Apple Watch Sequence 7. Regardless of these rumors, the appear and feel of the principle Apple Watch by no means modified, although many individuals (together with myself) actually thought it could.

Whereas a redesign wouldn’t have made sense again then, it makes a bit extra sense with a Tenth-anniversary model of the wearable. For instance, the iPhone design largely remained the identical all through the years till it hit the 10-year mark, because the iPhone X eradicated the traditional House button that the iPhone was recognized for prior to now decade. If Apple is popping out with an Apple Watch X, then a redesign must be part of it. The Apple Watch, other than the Apple Watch Extremely, has just about regarded the identical yr after yr. It’s time for a change.

What sort of redesign ought to the Apple Watch X have? That’s undoubtedly an unknown. I bear in mind when the Sequence 7 rumors appeared to level to an Apple Watch with flat edges, just like the iPhone 12 type. I assumed that regarded type of cool, however I do know that I used to be in all probability within the minority on that one.

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro and Apple Watch Ultra next to each other.
Joe Maring / Digital Tendencies

I believe it could even be neat if Apple Watch went with a round form as a substitute of a sq.. This could assist make the Apple Watch look much less like a smartwatch and extra like a standard timepiece, just like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 or Google Pixel Watch. After all, I do know that may additionally make it tougher to distinguish the Apple Watch from the competitors, however let’s face it — spherical watches undoubtedly look extra elegant in the long term.

A extra conventional spherical face would additionally deliver us to my second level: using conventional watch bands.

Give us common watch bands …

The Apple Watch Ultra with the Solo Loop and Ocean Band bands.
The Ocean Band alongside the Apple Watch Extremely with the Solo Loop band. Andy Boxall / Digital Tendencies

I’ve been utilizing an Apple Watch for nearly a decade at this level. Over these years, I’ve acquired a fairly first rate quantity of Apple Watch bands, whether or not they’re from Apple or third-party ones.

Nevertheless, one of many rumors concerning the Apple Watch X that appears to have popped up is the potential for shifting to a brand new mechanism for attaching bands to the watch. At present, Apple Watch bands proper now work by sliding into the chassis of the watch case and are locked in place by way of a particular mechanism. The rumored change can be a magnetic system, in keeping with Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.

Whereas this new methodology sounds method simpler, it could be yet one more proprietary methodology of band attachment. This could imply the previous decade of Apple Watch bands can be rendered incompatible, and in one other 10 years, this magnetic methodology may very well be incompatible as properly.

I might truthfully like to see Apple simply make the Apple Watch X suitable with normal 20mm watch bands, identical to how the Samsung Galaxy Watches have been. By utilizing a regular and common band system, you need to use any 20mm watch band that’s already in the marketplace, and there are millions of choices. This provides customers extra potentialities on types and makes it in order that the band received’t be rendered out of date the following time Apple makes a change to how the band system works.

… or a brand new proprietary band design

The side of the Apple Watch Ultra with the Ocean Band band.
Apple Watch Extremely with the Ocean Band Andy Boxall / Digital Tendencies

Since that is Apple, as a lot as I’d prefer to see Apple undertake a common band methodology, that’s extremely unlikely. Let’s face it — it took complete EU rules for Apple to begrudgingly swap over to USB-C on the iPhone 15 in spite of everything (if the rumors are true).

Based on Gurman, Apple could also be altering how the band system works on the Apple Watch X to make the most of a magnetic attachment methodology. If that is true, then I believe it could be an excellent change, although it does render my present band assortment ineffective.

I’ve acquired many alternative bands over time, with a lot from Apple and a handful of third-party bands too. I’ve observed that some bands are a bit tougher to slip into the chassis, or the locking mechanism doesn’t all the time “click on.” I’m unsure if that was a difficulty with the Apple Watch itself or the band I used to be making an attempt to make use of, however both method, in my expertise, it’s all the time 100%.

However a magnetic system sounds so much simpler, particularly if MagSafe on the iPhone has taught me something. With a magnetic attachment system, I might assume there can be fewer factors of failure when switching bands out — assuming they’re sturdy sufficient to remain linked throughout exercises and different rigorous actions.

Regardless of being a proprietary methodology, the present Apple Watch band system works fairly properly, with just a few exceptions. I’m positive if Apple is certainly altering the way it works, it’ll get it proper.

Precise wi-fi charging

Charging Galaxy Watch 4 with Galaxy S22 Ultra
Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Tendencies

Ever for the reason that unique Apple Watch, Apple’s used a proprietary charging puck for its smartwatches. That is really the case with a whole lot of smartwatches on the market — most of all of them use some type of proprietary charger that solely works with that system.

It’s time that modified, and I hope Apple does so with the Apple Watch X. I might like to see the Apple Watch X merely cost up while you place it on prime of a Qi-compatible wi-fi charging pad or perhaps a MagSafe charger. That will be a lot extra handy, and also you wouldn’t essentially have to recollect yet one more charger to deliver with you when touring.

This might very properly simply be a pipe dream, however hey, it could be an superior one if it was carried out.

Higher battery life

Apple Watch Ultra showing Battery Grapher app.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Tendencies

For the principle Apple Watch Sequence, battery life has all the time been round 18-ish hours. That is superb, because it will get you thru the day, and up to date fashions even launched sooner charging, so you possibly can prime it off faster to have it final by way of the night time for sleep monitoring.

However with the Apple Watch Extremely, battery life is just about doubled at round 36 hours on a full cost. After all, the Extremely additionally has the most important case dimension at 49mm, so it could make sense that Apple can match a bigger battery in there in comparison with one thing smaller, just like the Apple Watch Sequence 8.

Rumors appear to point that the potential swap over to a magnetic band system would imply extra room on the within of the Apple Watch. This might lead to a bigger battery, which might equate to longer battery life.

Now, I actually don’t count on the Apple Watch X to have the identical type of battery life because the Extremely, however it could be good to see it get greater than the standard 18 hours of battery life that we’ve gotten yearly.

New well being sensors and capabilities

The Apple Watch Ultra's heart rate sensor active.
Andy Boxall / Digital Tendencies

If the Apple Watch X is coming, then this is able to even be one of the best time so as to add new well being sensors and different capabilities. In spite of everything, the Apple Watch is at its finest as a well being and health tracker.

I personally would like to see non-intrusive blood glucose monitoring, although it’s arduous to say how far Apple has include that expertise. This space should be just a few years behind, but when the Apple Watch X comes out in 2025, who is aware of — it may undoubtedly be a chance.

One other addition may very well be the power to observe blood stress or pores and skin temperature through the day. Another wearables in the marketplace are starting so as to add such options, just like the Samsung Galaxy Watch (in choose international locations), so it solely is smart for Apple to catch up there.

Time will inform

The Apple Watch Ultra with the Apple Watch Series 8 and Watch SE 2.
(Left to proper) Apple Watch SE 2, Apple Watch Sequence 8, and Apple Watch Extremely Andy Boxall / Digital Tendencies

A ten-year anniversary of a product is all the time a giant deal, and Apple is aware of this. It launched the iPhone X in honor of 10 years of the iPhone, and it’ll virtually actually do the identical with the Apple Watch. Although the Apple Watch is probably not as “revolutionary” as the unique iPhone, it’s nonetheless a product that has modified the lives of many individuals around the globe.

If the Apple Watch X is coming, it must make a giant splash with adjustments. In any other case, it could simply be one other minor and iterative replace like we’ve been getting — nothing particular. For 10 years of Apple Watch, we deserve one thing wonderful.

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