There might be plenty of Apple Watches under the tree this Christmas, but those who don’t get one might want to wait until later this year to pull the trigger on buying one.
According to a recent report, Apple may announce the Apple Watch 2 in June, and will feature a more powerful battery as well as a front-facing camera. The fact that the new device will include a battery is an important thing to note. When the original Apple Watch launched, it was largely criticized for its so-called “all-day battery,” which in fact lasted 18 hours of normal use, and yes, there are still 24 hours in each day.
A better battery will hopefully not only give the watch the ability to last with a likely improved display and faster processor, but also to last longer than the current Apple Watch.
Of course, Apple will have to be careful to ensure that the larger battery doesn’t lead to a bulkier device. Some suggest that the Apple Watch is already a little bulky, and the hope is that the company will be able to slim the device down a little for the second iteration.
Perhaps even more interesting is the fact that Apple may include a front-facing camera with the device. This will not only enable users to video-chat with their friends directly through their Apple Watch, but could also be used for selfies and in apps like Facebook.
In fact, Apple all but confirmed the addition of a FaceTime camera in the Apple Watch at this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference, with watchOS 2.0, the most recent version of the operating system that runs on the Apple Watch, allowing users to answer FaceTime audio calls from their device and route calls to either an iPhone or to be rejected. The addition of a camera could also be helpful for things like facial recognition, however that’s unlikely to provide a more accurate authentication process than biometric tracking like heart-rate detecting.
There are a number of other features that we’re hoping to see from the Apple Watch 2. One of these is more iPhone independence. Currently the Apple Watch needs to be connected to an iPhone in order to be used to its full potential. This is because of the fact that the device doesn’t have a mobile data chip of its own, meaning that it has to rely on the iPhone for data connectivity, calls, texts, and so on. To change this, it would certainly be interesting to see Apple include a more comprehensive mobile chip in the Apple Watch that allows the device to be used on a much larger scale by itself. This could also enable non-iPhone users to be able to get the most out of an Apple Watch.
It’s also likely that Apple will launch more variations of the Apple Watch along with the Apple Watch 2. Currently users can either purchase the Apple Watch Sport, the Apple Watch, or the Apple Watch Edition, with there being a pretty significant price difference between the different models. It will be interesting to see whether or not Apple tries to bridge the gap between the different devices. According to rumors, Apple is expected to make a few versions of the device that will sit in between the Apple Watch and the Apple Watch Edition. The device may include a body made from either titanium or platinum, however it’s not yet known exactly how much these devices will cost.
Despite the fact that it’s unlikely that Apple will change the appearance of the Apple Watch too much, many are still hoping that Apple will turn to a more classic watch design such as by introducing a device with a round face. It would definitely be interesting to see if Apple does indeed end up doing this, or if it at least introduces a round device as an option.
While the Apple Watch 2 may be announced in June, it’s not likely that it will be released to the public until a few months after that. It is, however, likely that the device will ship in time for the 2016 holiday shopping season.