- Rumors suggest Apple might add sleep-tracking to future Apple Watch models and the company could bring back the ceramic casing option.
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The Apple Watch has certainly come a long way in recent years when it comes to its health-tracking capabilities. The latest model, the Apple Watch Series 4, comes with an electrical heart sensor for conducting an electrocardiogram test, which can help spot irregular heartbeats.
The new software launching for the Apple Watch this fall, which will be available for older models too, brings several wellness-oriented enhancements, such as the ability to natively track female health metrics.
And if the recent rumors and reports are any indication, it looks like the next iteration of the Apple Watch will take the company's health ambitions even further.
Here's a look at what we're expecting to see from the next Apple Watch, which could debut in September if Apple keeps with the pattern it's followed in years past.
Sleep is the one key health metric the Apple Watch can't track natively, but it sounds like that may change in the near future. Apple is said to be testing sleep-tracking capabilities for future versions of its smartwatch, according to Bloomberg.
It's a feature that many of the Apple Watch's rivals have offered for years. Fitbit devices, for example, can track metrics such as how long you've slept and how much time you spent in light, deep, and REM sleep.
However, if Apple is indeed working on sleep-tracking technology, it may not debut in this year's model. Bloomberg says it's likely to arrive in the 2020 version of Apple's smartwatch.
A new ceramic casing option
Apple nixed the option to buy an Apple Watch with a ceramic casing when it cut the luxe Apple Watch Edition from its lineup in 2018. Now, however, there's a chance that Apple Watch shoppers will once again be able to buy an Apple smartwatch with a ceramic finish.
TF International Securities Ming-Chi Kuo, who is known for making accurate predictions about upcoming Apple products, said in February that he expects to see a new ceramic casing design, as MacRumors reported.
Apple uses ceramic on the back of the Apple Watch Series 4, but if Kuo's predictions prove to be accurate it may play a bigger role in the next watch's design.
A possible September launch date
Apple has unveiled new Apple Watch models every year since 2015, so there's a chance it could do the same this year. The company typically announces its new Apple Watches and iPhones during the same September event.
Last year, for example, it revealed the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR on September 12 along with the Apple Watch Series 4. It debuted the iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and Apple Watch Series 3 on the same day in 2017.
An upgraded processor
Apple typically upgrades the Apple Watch's internals, so it seems plausible that it could do the same this year. Last year's Apple Watch Series 4 ran on Apple's S4 processor, which the company claims is up to twice as fast as the S3 processor in the Series 3.
Apple's latest watch software
Apple revealed its new software for the Apple Watch, called watchOS 6, during its Worldwide Developers conference in June. The software update will bring new features such as a standalone app store and new wellness metrics like hearing health. It'll be available for Apple Watch models ranging from Series 1 through Series 4, and if Apple launches the Series 5, it will likely run watchOS 6 by default.
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