Watch Series 8 could gain new health features but Apple employees aren't thrilled

Watch Series 8 could gain new health features but Apple employees aren't thrilled
The Watch Series 7 was an insignificant upgrade over its predecessor, but the next model, the Apple Watch Series 8 is expected to bring a lot more to the table. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman talks about what to expect from the new model in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter.

The Watch Series 8 could offer an improved version of the atrial fibrillation detection feature which will be able to calculate how often someone is in a state of atrial fibrillation over a certain period. The feature, dubbed afib burden detection, may appear in the next version of Apple's smartwatch operating system watchOS 9 which will be introduced in June during the Worldwide Developers Conference.

watchOS 9 is also likely to include a new low-power mode that would let some apps and features operate on low power, thereby preserving battery life. Right now, the watch only displays the time in the low power mode.

There is also the satellite connectivity feature which will also reportedly be included in the iPhone 14 series. Satellite capabilities will let Apple's new devices send short messages and SOS alerts over satellite networks to first responders in situations when there is no cellular coverage.

The Watch 8 is also highly likely to feature a body-temperature sensor, but it will initially only help with fertility planning, and a later version could help you determine if you have a higher than normal body temperature but it may not display an actual measurement.

The watch may also ship with new watch faces and more workout types as well as additional running-related metrics.

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Apple accounted for 30 percent of all smartwatch sales in 2021 despite the fact that the Watch 7 was not that big of an upgrade, so it's safe to assume that the new features - and possibly a slightly updated design - could make the Watch Series 8 the best smartwatch of 2022.

Watch Series 8 unlikely to offer blood pressure and blood-sugar monitoring

Monumental features could still take several years. Mark says that the blood pressure feature could arrive in 2024 or 2025 and noninvasive blood-sugar monitoring is not expected until later this decade. Although some rivals like Samsung do have watches in their lineup that offer blood pressure monitoring, they must be calibrated with traditional blood pressure cuffs every month. 

Apple is currently said to be testing its tech on employees and its feature apparently won't tell you systolic and diastolic readings, but will instead alert you if it suspects you might have hypertension. Apple employees are apparently not thrilled with the pace of innovation and the company has lost a lot of key members in recent times.

The Watch 8 will likely be accompanied by a budget SE model and a premium rugged model which will be targeted at athletes. 

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