There has been a lot of speculation and rumor lately about the much anticipated second generation Apple Watch that has just surfaced online could will be launched in March along with updates to other Apple products such as the MacBook range.
The latest generation Apple Watch was launched in April 2015, but it took many months for it to be launched internationally. In our book, it is therefore unlikely that Apple Watch 2 will be released in a few months and less than a year since the first version.
What seems more likely is a number of new color bands and other design partnerships with well-known fashion houses, similar to Apple and Hermes. We may even see official “smart bands” that extend Apple Watch’s battery life and can add additional functionality using the special connector in one of the strap attachment points.
Despite the fact that we believe that Apple Watch is 2, it is very unlikely that the iPhone will be released in March. However, we expect some important announcements at a special keynote event in March: a new “Special Edition” for the iPhone 5 (supposedly a 4-inch iPhone with curved metal sides, NFC and TouchID)) and new Macs. Hopefully this will include a major update for the MacBook Pro (thinner, faster, lighter!) As the current models look a bit dated.
Let us assume for the time being that there will be no Apple Watch 2 in March, but only a little later this year. What great new features and hardware improvements can we expect?
Here is a brief description of the features that may be available for Apple Watch 2.
More powerful and energy efficient with CPU / GPU
It is certain that new hardware will be used in Apple Watch 2, including a new “S2” chip that will power everything. Little is known about how much more powerful the new chip will be, but it should shorten the loading times of the apps and certainly be more energy efficient. Hopefully this will improve battery life and make the experience smoother. A more powerful combination of CPU and graphics chip also means more striking visual effects (e.g. the use of 3D) in more apps.
The S1 chip, which can be found in all variants of today, Apple Watch uses a 28-nanometer manufacturing process. In the simplest sense, this means that the size of the smallest components and circuits must not be less than 28 nm.
The currently most modern silicon manufacturing process, such as “FinFET” (a kind of “3D” semiconductor), which is used by Apple partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), uses the smaller 16 nm or 14 nm process. The A9 chip in the iPhone 6s is based on 16 nm chips from TSMC (and 14 nm chips from Samsung) and presses more transistors into the same area. If Apple uses the latest chip manufacturing techniques, it will result in smaller, more powerful, and less power-hungry chips. In short – better in everything …
From a technical point of view, Apple should be able to add a FaceTime camera to Apple Watch 2 that is either embedded in the screen or slightly above it. This would make FaceTime video calls with Apple Watch a real possibility, although admittedly this takes a significant load off the battery.
Hopefully, such a camera will not stand out too much and ruin the rather slim but reserved aesthetics of the Apple Watch, which, however, fits almost invisibly into the front, as is the case with Apple’s laptops and iMacs.
New housing materials
Will Apple use reworked metals and case materials for Apple Watch 2? Current models use a special stainless steel alloy for the Apple Watch and a very durable 7000 series aluminum alloy for the Apple Watch Sport (the Apple Watch Edition is currently ignored).
Apple is already using sapphire for the Apple Watch screen (not the sport model, which is a type of ion-impregnated glass like Gorilla Glass), and that shouldn’t change in Apple Watch 2. It is possible that an even harder glass is used, although this is currently quite difficult to damage.
Anything that makes Apple Watch 2 more durable and more difficult to scratch would be a welcome change, but most people will probably agree that Apple Watch is already a fairly long-lived device and doesn’t require any major changes in this department.
General design updates
Regardless of new case materials, the jury is still open as to whether the exterior of the Apple Watch will have any major design changes in terms of basic shape and button layout. However, Apple occasionally optimizes its hardware between full redesigns, so there may be minor changes next time.
Apple has been criticized by some people for the rectangular design of the Apple Watch. A circular model (similar to the Moto 360) would reassure people who think it is a more natural design for a watch, but at this point in the life cycle of the product, such a big change would prove too difficult for developers Complexity to be swallowed or introduced in watchOS to support multiple screen dimensions (in addition to today’s two rectangular sizes).
So we’re pretty confident that Apple Watch 2 will look almost identical to the current generation model.
One of the features that many people would like to see in Apple Watch 2 is a built-in GPS. This means that the watch does not need a connected iPhone to get location-based apps, e.g. B. those that capture your position.
This is certainly a feature that we would really like to see Apple Watch 2. On the other hand, the majority of people who wear an Apple Watch have their iPhone with them most of the time, so the users who would benefit would almost certainly be are in the minority.
Some of Samsung’s earlier smartwatches and others have built-in cellular capabilities so devices can connect to the Internet without using a phone. While this is ideal for when you’re on the go, such as when you’re running or leaving your iPhone at home, it’s very unlikely to be available in Apple Watch 2 due to the impact on battery life. Currently, an iPhone appears to remain an indispensable companion for the Apple Watch and to limit potential customers to iPhone owners.
The latest operating system version available for Apple Watch is watchOS 2, which has some significant improvements over watchOS 1 – for example, native apps.
Apple will no doubt be working on watchOS 3 in time for the new hardware, of course there will be dozens of cool new features, in addition to APIs that developers can use to add functionality to their own apps.
What features are planned is not yet known about watchOS 3, but we’ll probably take a look at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), which usually takes place in early June. watchOS 3 is expected to fix many of the shortcomings of watchOS 2, offering new ways to interact with apps and more intuitive ways to manipulate the app icons on the home screen.
Even with the larger screen on the 42 mm Apple, you can see that navigating the installed apps is a bit tedious. Therefore, we would definitely be happy about improvements in this area. Perhaps the ability to display apps in a simple list or swipe between them as a “full screen view” would be useful.
It is always difficult to speculate what is new about a product that has not yet been announced. Rumors about Apple Watch 2 are popping up every week now as the possibility of an updated model will spark feverish interest in the coming months.
Whether Apple Watch 2 will really see the light of day in March is completely unknown to all except Apple insiders. However, it is almost guaranteed that it will be launched in 2016 – and we can hardly wait !!!