Apple Watch Series 6 rumors: Blood oxygen levels, better sleep tracking and more

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Angela Lang/CNET

This year’s launch cycle may have been thrown for a loop, but the next Apple Watch remains on track for a fall debut. The following Apple Watch (likely dubbed Series 6), is expected to start alongside the new iPhones at a virtual launch event in September or October. Although we do not know exactly what Apple has in store for the watch, there are plenty of rumors, and even a few hidden clues at the latest WatchOS 7 update to unpack in the meantime. 

Design: A round Apple Watch, but not this season

Odds are, this year’s Apple Watch will look a lot like its predecessors: a squarish body with curved borders and an OLED screen that curves at the sides. As in preceding years, Apple might introduce some minor updates like increasing the dimensions of the display (to flaunt the brand new watch faces coming with WatchOS 7), different substances for the frame and a few more watch group options, but so far there’s not a lot of evidence of a radical redesign for your Apple Watch — nonetheless. 

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Rumors of a round watch face on the Apple Watch have been making the rounds for a couple of decades now, and Apple has issued a couple of Apple Watch patents that show what a round display could look like. However, the presence of a patent does not guarantee Apple will use it in a final solution, and a change that big would require Apple to rework the hardware and applications of this watch, therefore it could take a couple more years to be a reality. 


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Pulse oximeter to measure blood oxygen levels

Health continues to be a vital growth category for its Apple Watch since its beginning, most recently adding native sleep monitoring, mobility metrics and hearing health alerts in WatchOS 7. We expect this trend to continue. The health characteristic for your Series 6 this year might be the ability to monitor oxygen saturation, or SpO2 monitoring. 

Based on 9to5Mac, iOS 14 code snippets indicate the next Apple Watch is going to have the ability to detect blood sugar levels and alert users if it detects levels below what’s considered a”healthful” threshold, similar to what the watch currently does with all the low and high heart-rate alarms. Blood oxygen levels are generally measured with a pulse oximeter on the tip of this finger, and also to do so to the wrist, it’s very likely Apple would have to incorporate new hardware to the Watch, making it a Series 6 exclusive. 

A recent report by DigiTimes also mentions that Apple has made a bargain with ASE Technology, a Taiwanese manufacturer, to deliver new biosensors to the Watch that will enable SpO2 tracking during the night and day. 

This could be great timing, since some doctors are advocating pulse oximeter devices to track COVID-19 symptoms, and people have started buying pulse oximeters throughout the coronavirus pandemic

More robust sleep tracking 

The Apple Watch (Series 3 and higher) will eventually get native sleep monitoring with the upgrade to WatchOS 7 in the autumn, however the Series 6 could make sleep monitoring stronger by improving battery life and monitoring blood oxygen levels during the night. 

Unlike some sleeping programs in addition to some Apple Watch competitors that provide a breakdown of the quality and stages of sleep, the Apple Watch mainly focuses on the moment you spend asleep. It might have the ability to look at estimated oxygen variations at night and help users identify sleep-related ailments like sleep apnea, In the event the Series 6 has SpO2 tracking. 

A kid-friendly Apple Watch 

The leaked iOS 14 code reportedly also references new tools for parents. As opposed to give their children an iPhone, parents seeking to remain connected with their children could establish a second Apple Watch (entirely separate from their own) with their iPhone and Apple ID because the host. This would also provide parents the last say on the kind of content their children can access on like emergency contacts the watch and music. 

With a feature named SchoolTime, parents could even decide what apps may be used at exactly what occasions to restrict distractions in the classroom. 

This would also mean adapting some of the wellness attributes for younger consumers. In accordance with 9to5Mac, the ring method (used for action monitoring ) would be based on various metrics. As it does with adults the reddish move ring, as an instance, would monitor minutes rather than calories that are active. The Watch will also encourage kids to keep moving by providing virtual rewards when they participate in activities or sports. 

Tracking panic attacks and stress

The Apple Watch Series 6 will also reportedly arrive with different mental health monitoring features, including the ability to detect when the wearer is going to undergo a panic attack (another timely feature, if it pans out, during the global pandemic). This rumor was cited in the April 30 leak, which referenced”Mental Health Abnormalities Detection.”

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