The Apple Watch Series 6 will require a renewed focus on older features

Illustration for an article titled Apple Watch Series 6 will require a fresh take on older features

Photo: Caitlin McGrath / Gizmodo

There is A good chance That Apple will drop its next-gen Series 6 smartwatch during the company’s Tuesday schedule. We already know what’s coming to Apple Watch this fall Watch 7 Software upgrades, but some things are still a mystery. The most Whispered about The rumor This is where series 6 may not have a lot of hardware updates, we are likely to get blood oxygen level monitoring.

Cold! And I don’t say that sarcastically. There are a lot of applications for blood oxygen-monitoring that are well-versed with Apple’s efforts to create ancillary health gadgets. It is just that monitoring of blood oxygen on the waitresses is not new.

As a refresher, Fitbit added SpO2 sensors – red LEDs were used to measure blood oxygen levels Ionic Smartwatch back in 2017. Later Fitbits also included sensors, although it was not By the beginning of this year Fitbit eventually provided an “approximate blood oxygen change” feature, which used this metric. Garmin trackers and watches also have these sensors, which are used to calculate your “body battery” or how well you have recharged between workouts. Polar also includes sensors in some of its warts, and earlier that summer, Samsung designed a blood oxygen-monitoring app for it Galaxy watch 3.

Apple haters Apple hates that Apple introduced it many years ago. (See our in the comments now Annual WWDC Kill The blog For proof of that.) But when it comes to blood oxygen-monitoring, it is worth considering. If a SpO2 sensor is actually coming in the Series 6, it is going to be able to really affect the spec.

It is not beyond the scope of possibility. Heart rate monitoring was around the age when Apple decided to blow everyone else off the pants by launching an ECG facility approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in the series. This is a move that Fitbit and Samsung are only catching up to now, two years later. Is Apple going to calmly announce that it has received FDA clearance for sleep apnea diagnosis, a matter of Fitbit Actively aimingThe Who knows, but if any company could make such a dramatic reveal, it would be Apple.

Is another matter After all Apple Watch is native sleep-tracking. However, as we noted in our Watch 7 preview, Apple’s sleep tracking is very basic. While this seems intentional, it is a bit disappointing because many other trackers and smartwatches out there give you a highly detailed breakdown of your sleep stage and sleep trends over time. Using WatchOS Beta, we found that tracking sleep reduces the battery by about 20% overnight and requires you to adjust your charging schedule. This is not necessarily an outrageous demand, and many Apple Watch lovers I’ve talked to who don’t really care about charging their watches every day. But if Gizmodo commentators are any indication, one-day battery life is a major reason some people haven’t jumped on the Apple Watch train.

This is appropriate when you consider that Fitbits manage to give you advanced sleep metrics, while remaining on charge for close to a week. Multi-day battery life is also something that Garmin and Polar have understood, and even budget smartwatches Timex Metropolitan R Over the last 24 hours.

Illustration for an article titled Apple Watch Series 6 will require a fresh take on older features

Photo: Caitlin McGrath / Gizmodo

Don’t get me wrong. It’s exciting that sleep-tracking is coming to the Apple Watch, and in all fairness, Apple’s MO has to offer only one feature, when the company thinks it’s anyone’s name. sLep-tracking was heavily rumored to launch with the Series 5 last year, but Apple waited until this year to roll out the feature. I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple’s sleep-tracking is kept basic for now as more advanced tracking requires performance that compromises elsewhere.

Whether or not this is fair, everyone hopes that the consumer will lead Apple when it comes to healthcare features for the product. The company has done this in several ways: from diagnosis of atrial fibrillation to launching Their own clinical studies In Reproductive Health, Heart Health and Hearing. And perhaps it’s Apple’s own fault, but since the Series 3, it has actually surpassed itself in significant changes to each subsequent watch (and adding huge improvements with each WatchOS upgrade). LTE added to Series 3. Series 4 improved performance and added ECG Reading Plus Afib Alert. The Series 5 came with an improved health and activity app, as well as an always-on display, period-tracking, and noise level monitoring. If the Series 6 simply adds sensors already seen in those other devices, unless those sensors enable more meaningful matrix or diagnostic equipment, it would be a bit lethargic. In any case, we probably won’t have to wait much longer to find out.