The Apple Watch Series 6 is the upcoming new version of the most popular smartwatch in the world and it is expected to be unveiled along with the new iPhones in the middle of September of 2020, but early leaks and rumors are already here and indicate it will get some important new features.
In this article, we are rounding up all the major new features expected to come to the Series 6, as well as rumors about its pricing and release date. Read on...
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Apple Watch Series 6 release date
Set your calendars for late September, 2020
Ever since 2016, Apple has released a new watch at its fall iPhone event that usually happens on the second Tuesday of September.
In 2020, possible dates for this event are September 8th or September 15th, with the actual release date for devices set for the next Friday after the event. So chances are that you will be able to find the Apple Watch Series 6 in stores on either Friday, September 18th, or the next one, on September 25th.
Of course, considering the difficult coronavirus situation, nothing is certain about this year's schedule and it is quite possible that there are some delays.
Apple Watch Series 6 price
No surprises on this front
The Apple Watch Series 6 shapes up to be a gradual upgrade and not a revolutionary one, and that's why we don't see a reason for a hike in prices.
We expect the Series 6 to replace the Series 5 model, and prices of the new one will remain the same:
- Apple Watch Series 6 40mm Wi-Fi: $400 for aluminum sports model
- Apple Watch Series 6 44mm Wi-Fi: $430 for aluminum sports model
- Apple Watch Series 6 40mm Wi-Fi + Cellular: $500 for aluminum sports model
- Apple Watch Series 6 44mm Wi-Fi + Cellular: $530 for aluminum sports model
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Apple Watch Series 6: Force Touch is gone
watchOS 7 has removed support for the feature
After doing away with 3D Touch on iPhones, it seems that Apple will also kill Force Touch on the Apple Watch, and the Series 6 won't have the required hardware support for the feature.
Force Touch has been an interesting addition: it's a genuinely useful extra layer of the whole system, but it suffered from one big problem which is that it was hard to predict when you could use it and what for. With watchOS 7, support for the feature seems to be gone. In its Human Interface Guidelines, Apple is telling developers to relocate items previously accessed by Force Touch: "In versions of watchOS before watchOS 7, people could press firmly on the display to do things like change the watch face or reveal a hidden menu called a Force Touch menu. In watchOS 7 and later, system apps make previously hidden menu items accessible in a related screen or a settings screen. If you formerly supported a long-press gesture to open a hidden menu, consider relocating the menu items elsewhere."
Apple Watch Series 6 biggest new features
WatchOS 7 has revealed some of the features that will be supported on the upcoming Apple Watch Series 6: sleep tracking, new watch faces, a redesigned Activity app that now goes by the name Fitness, and support for dance as a workout.
The biggest one among these might be sleep tracking. Such a feature is already present on other smartwatches like ones by Fitbit and Withing, and it's also been available on the Apple Watch via third-party apps, but never natively.
A Bloomberg report from early 2019 claimed that Apple has been testing sleep tracking on a watch since late 2018. The company has allegedly run a secret program with testers at specialized facilities near its headquarters in Cueprtino, California. It's worth knowing that Apple's Health app on iPhones has had a separate sleep tracking category for years, but right now it uses data from the alarm clock on an iPhone, which of course provides little actual information about the quality of sleep. Apple acquired Finnish company Beddit in 2017, a company that makes a sleep-tracking sensor that is currently available on the Apple Store for $150. As soon as in October 2019, we saw a mention of a yet non-existent "Sleep app" on the Apple Watch. The discovery came from Twitter user Daniel Marcinkowski and all those combined provide interesting background to how we ended up finally getting sleep tracking on the watch.
Also new on Apple Watch S6: Much better Gym Stats
While smartwatches and the Apple Watch in particular have been great companion devices for runners, cyclists, swimmers and a few other sports, gym goers lifting weights have had less use for the watch.
Apple has been working actively to change this and it has introduced a new "Apple Watch Connected" initiative for popular gyms in the United States. The new program will have the gyms bring Apple Watch-connected equipment as well as reward programs based on workout data collected by the watch.
Participating gyms are required to offer an app for either the iPhone or the Watch so that members can track their fitness progress, plus they have to support Apple Pay and offer a rewards program. Gyms will also need to have equipment compatible with Apple's GymKit API for tracking workouts. The program will require users to opt in, meaning that Apple will not automatically gather data about you.
The list of participating gyms includes Orange Theory, Crunch Fitness, YMCA, and Basecamp Fitness, and more can join in later on.
We are not sure whether this will result in particular features related to the Apple Watch Series 6 or all Apple Watches, but we would not be surprised to see a focus on better gym exercise tracking become one of the major features in the Series 6 release.
Apple Watch S6 New Health Features
Blood pressure and blood sugar measurements
In early 2019, reports emerged that Apple had hired clinicians and engineers to explore adding features like blood pressure and blood glucose measurements to the watch. A report by The Fast Company mentioned that these stats will be useful for people who need to manage their diabetes, as well as will come in handy for more precise sleep tracking. These features never materialized on the Apple Watch S5, so it is possible that they might make their debut on the Series 6.
Will the Apple Watch Series 6 come with a new design?
The rectangular shape will stay, but new elements including flat edges cannot be ruled out
The Apple Watch physical form has basically not changed at all since the launch of the very first one in April of 2015 and there are no rumors saying that the Series 6 will be an exception.
We expect it to retain the rectangular form factor that has proven to be popular with users, but it is possible that elements of design change. Apple's new 2020 iPhones are rumored to get a new design with sharper corner and flat edges, and we would not be surprised to see the Apple Watch borrow some cues from that new design aesthetic.