A former major iPhone feature might be found on the next Apple Watch
Israel's The Verifier notes that while Apple will not be holding a physical WWDC developer conference this year because of the coronavirus, the company did say that it will hold the event online instead. Google also canceled the actual physical part of its developer conference, Google I/O 2020; the event was set to run from May 12th through the 14th. Originally, Google hinted that it would look at alternatives but ended up pulling the plug on this year's conference.
Whatever format Apple uses to hold WWDC 2020 online, we should see the company roll out the latest build of its operating systems including iOS 14, iPad 14 and watchOS 7. The latter is the focus of The Verifier's report which seconds some of the features that we were talking about earlier this month. Close to three weeks ago we told you that snippets of code found in an early iOS 14 build revealed that watchOS 7 will contain a new health-related feature. Joining the heart-rate monitor and the electrocardiogram (ECG) will be a sensor monitoring the user's blood oxygen levels. Readings in a range of 95% to 100% are considered normal while those under 80% indicate that there could be a problem with the heart or brain.
The Apple Watch Series 6 is rumored to include Touch ID
The Apple Watch has already saved some lives thanks to the heart rate monitor and the ECG. Both have provided early warnings of serious problems and several Apple Watch users are still alive because of the device. The heart rate monitor is self-explanatory and the ECG looks for an abnormal heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation or AFib. The condition could lead to a stroke, blood clots, or death. Also expected in watchOS 7 is a long-awaited native sleep tracking app for the Apple Watch. This has been something that Apple Watch users have been waiting a long time to see and now it seems that it will be here later this year.
The Apple Watch Series 5 introduced an always on display
Unfortunately, the report notes that reportedly, watchOS 7 will not be available for the second-generation Apple Watch (launched in 2016) and older models. These units don't have the processing power or hardware to smoothly run the next watchOS build.
The report out of Israel also says that a rumor involving the Apple Watch Series 6 states that the Touch ID fingerprint scanner is being added to the device. The biometric sensor might be found in the Digital Crown on the side of the timepiece this year with Touch ID moving underneath the display for 2021's Apple Watch Series 7. Back in November, we told you about a patent filing submitted by Apple for an innovative antenna for a smartwatch that would stretch from the body of the timepiece itself through the watch band. The antenna would be able to bend, stretch, and flex and could be used "as a touch sensing device, force sensing device, temperature sensing device, and/or a fingerprint sensor." But we are getting ahead of ourselves; the Apple Watch Series 6 should have improved battery life, improvements related to Siri, support for Wi-Fi 6, and better 4G LTE connectivity for the cellular models.
Apple's smartwatch is the most popular watch (digital or analog) in the world and is part of the manufacturer's fast growing Wearables, Home, and Accessories unit. The division, which includes the highly popular wireless Bluetooth AirPods, has seen revenue increase 54% and 37% year-over-year during the last two fiscal quarters.
We should know more about what Apple has in mind for the Apple Watch Series 6 and watchOS 7 when it streams WWDC 2020, possibly sometime in June. The Apple Watch Series 6 could be unveiled this fall alongside the first series of 5G iPhone models. However, because of the coronavirus, there is still a possibility that this event could be delayed until early 2021.