The Apple Watch just recently became available in retail stores, but that hasn’t prevented the internet from releasing a slew of rumors about what’s in store for the next generation of Apple Watch. According to a report released by 9to5Mac, the Apple Watch 2 will feature a FaceTime camera, greater independence from the iPhone, and availability in new material variations at new price points.
The Apple Watch currently has the ability make or answer phone calls, as well as the ability to re-route video/FaceTime calls to audio-only calls on your wrist. However, Apple may be looking to add a FaceTime camera to the top bezel of the Apple Watch 2, allowing users to make or answer FaceTime calls via the Watch, as well as possibly shoot photos or video using the wearable.
Greater independence from the iPhone will also reportedly be stressed in the Apple Watch 2. Apple is said to be integrating an upgraded wireless chipset into the Watch, which could greatly improve the wearable’s functionality while not tethered to an iPhone. Current Apple Watch features including activity tracking, mobile payment, and music playback work just fine while not tethered to an iPhone, but a new wireless chipset may allow users to text, email, and check the weather without the assistance of an iPhone nearby. New wireless technology may also allow Apple’s Find My Watch feature to function without the iPhone, as well.
On top of these new features, Apple is reportedly looking into making new material variations available for the second Apple Watch. Looking to attract purchasers at price points in between $1,000 and $10,000, Apple may introduce Apple Watch variations in titanium, tungsten, palladium, or even platinum. Which materials and/or band variations Apple chooses is yet to be seen.
One feature that is likely to remain unchanged is battery life. Although consumers expressed some worry about battery life before the Apple Watch launched, Apple’s market research reveals that the majority of Apple Watch users are perfectly happy charging their wearables nightly. Although battery life in the Apple Watch 2 may see a slight increase, it probably won’t be an area of focus for Apple’s engineers.
Those eagerly anticipating the Apple Watch 2 will likely have to wait until next year. Until then, Apple Watch users will have to rely on the updated operating system for the original Watch, watchOS 2, to keep them satiated. WatchOS 2 will be made available this fall, and will feature new watch faces, as well as email functionality improvements, and new “Digital Touch” messaging features.