Next edition of Apple’s smartwatch will feature FaceTime, independent Wi-Fi and improved battery
The Apple Watch is set for a major upgrade next year when the next edition of the device goes on sale.
The second generation of Apple’s wearable will feature a series of marked improvements over the original device, which was only put on general sale in April, upon its launch next year, according to sources speaking to 9to5Mac.
The new device will be more independent from iPhones, feature improved battery life, and come with a range of software updates – including FaceTime, the report said.
Top of the list for Apple appears to be making the Apple Watch 2 much more of a stand-alone unit. Currently, the Watch needs to be within 10m of its parent iPhone device to operate to the best of its abilities.
However, the next generation of the Watch is set to be much more independent, thanks to a new ‘tetherless’ function and wireless Wi-Fi chipset, which will allow it to connect to Wi-Fi networks, use GPS and send messages within the need for a paired iPhone.
Next up is improved battery life. Currently seen as one of the major hurdles to overcome before wearables can enjoy true market penetration, the Apple Watch 2 should feature improved hardware that will enable all-day battery life – although it’s likely that users will still need to charge their device overnight.
This followed research from Apple following the original Watch’s release which found that average consumers finish each day with between 30 percent and 40 percent charge remaining on their Apple Watches.
Lastly, there should be a raft of new software and services with the new device.
Apple’s WWDC event earlier this month hinted at the possibility of Apple Watch FaceTime in a future device, as it called for increasing power and functionality for a possible video camera inside the device’s top bezel.
This should allow users to answer FaceTime Audio calls from the Apple Watch, as well as route FaceTime video calls to either be answered on an iPhone or rejected.
This could also possibly include some new models, as Apple looks to attract customers to fill in the gaps between the mid and high range Watch models. This could mean lower-priced gold Apple Watch variations, higher-priced steel models with more advanced bands, or versions with new materials, such as titanium, tungsten, palladium, or even platinum.
Until then, there’s the release of watchOS 2.0, scheduled for later this year, which will provide a range of minor updates and improvements.
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