Plans for an imminent Apple Watch 2 release date look increasingly likely, as continues leaks suggest we won’t have to wait too much longer for the next wave of wearables. Now, yes, the original Apple Watch might still be less than a year old, but it appears we’re going to have to get used to updating our smartwatches as regularly as our phones – at least if Apple has its way.
A raft of new features are set to be bestowed on the Apple Watch 2, rendering the wrist wear of early adopters obsolete. They might not be the additions you were hoping for, however. While dreams of a circular screen look set to be dashed, the addition of an integrated camera could revolutionise the wearable experience, for better or worse.
So, exactly what can we expect from the new smartwatch? Read on to find out, and bookmark this page as we’ll continue to update it with the latest Apple Watch 2 rumours and news as additional details emerge.
Best Apple Watch accessories
Who updates their watch every year? Well, Apple seemingly wants us all to. The Apple Watch 2 release date has reportedly been pencilled in for April, following a formal unveiling a couple of weeks earlier in mid-March.
That’s according to claimed insider sources who have suggested the second-gen Apple Watch will be the star of a high-profile launch event that will also see a smaller, 4-inch iPhone 6C smartphone land as well as an updated MacBook Air range. Such a launch would put the watch on retailers’ shelves a year after its predecessor.
This isn’t mere speculation, either. Quanta, the company responsible for piecing together the original Apple Watch, has even let slip that the second-gen wearable will be coming earlier than many will have expected.
“Quanta and Apple are currently developing the second-generation of the Apple Watch, expected late next year in the second quarter,” company Chairman Barry Lam stated recently.
With Q2 2016 running between April 1 and June 30, this would put the mooted Apple Watch 2 release date bang within this three-month timeframe. According to further leaks, the wearable has already entered production too.
Apple Watch 2 design: Slimmer but no circle expected
Apple Watch vs Samsung Gear S2
Only squares wear square watches. Or at least that used to be the case, before the Apple Watch brought the unconventional watch shape to the fore. Now it’s cool to be square. Well, maybe. OK, not really.
We all still not-so-secretly covet circles on our wrist, and certain rumours have suggested that Apple will oblige with its next-generation wearable. We wouldn’t advise putting too much stock in these claims, though.
This smattering of spherical speculation is being heavily outweighed by claims that the Apple Watch 2 will stick with the four-corner approach. So, if you’ve got your heart set on a circular smartwatch, you should probably turn your attentions to the Moto 360 and Samsung Gear S2instead.
While new shapes might not be on the agenda, design tweaks certainly are. The Apple Watch 2 has been tipped to feature a slimmer screen in order to make space for a larger battery. Leaked patents have also shown the company is keen to put a second screen in the Watch’s strap, although we don’t expect that to happen this time around.
Apple could have completely new Apple Watch models in mind, though. For those not content with the standard, Sport and Edition devices, it has been suggested further Watch options could be in the works. Platinum, titanium and even Liquidmetal-hewn models have been tipped. You can still expect two sizes, though, with the 38mm and 42mm options having proved a hit with both the slight and beefy of wrist.
Apple Watch 2 features: Inbuilt camera to up your selfie game
Apple Watch vs Moto 360
Early adopters often get shafted when it comes to second-gen features boosts. So, if you’re currently sporting Apple’s original wearable on your wrist, get ready for a good ol’ shafting. The new model is set to add a number of key additions including improved health tracking and the ability to monitor your sleep patterns.
One big new feature addition that’s been repeatedly tipped is the addition of an integrated camera.
Now, we can’t really see the benefit of awkwardly angling our wrists to take a crap, grainy snap when our smartphone will be in our pockets anyway – but hey, when has a lack of practicality ever put off a major tech manufacturer?
What’s more likely is that Apple will squeeze a small user-facing snapper above the wearable’s display. And no, this isn’t so you can further boost your already overcrowded selfie album. Instead, it will let you make and receive FaceTime video calls from your wrist, building on the current audio-only options.
What’s more, if, as suggested, the Apple Watch 2 is going to keep tabs on your sleep, it will need a better battery life. With the device’s current staying power needing recharging less than 24 hours after you strap it to your wrist, without a battery boost you’d have to trade nighttime tracking for daytime usage. Some of these battery enhancements won’t be down to hardware changes, though. Oh no…
Apple Watch 2 software: Behind-the-scenes tweaks to boost battery life
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Apple’s first wearable has already changed a lot over the past year thanks to a number of major software updates. The Apple Watch 2 is expected to take things to another level and act as the launch platform for a reworked watchOS 3 release.
Don’t expect any radical design changes, though. The refreshed software will keep the bubble-based app icons and still work around the Digital Crown-friendly interface. Along with a new processor, however, it will allow the new Watch to ditch its reliability on the synced smartphone.
Sure, you’ll still need a phone to be close by for most things, but the wearable looks set to add some basic standalone messaging options – when connected to a Wi-Fi network anyway.
The big software changes won’t be ones you see. Enhanced algorithms will up the device’s fitness and health-tracking skills, while software refinements will help better manage the Watch’s power usage, adding a couple of hours to its staying power. Nice.
Apple Watch 2 price: Expect another bank-breaking wearable
Now, as you might expect this far out from launch, Apple has yet to share any formal Apple Watch 2 pricing plans. If you’re holding out for a cut-price, wallet-friendly offering, however, you should probably uncross your fingers now and start making an appointment to remortgage your house.
Prices for the original Apple Watch ranged from £299 (38mm Apple Watch Sport) to an eye-watering, pension-troubling £13,500, 18-carat Rose Gold Apple Watch Edition with Modern Buckle strap. We’d expect the new model to line up with pricing parity to its predecessor.
That’s all we know for now, but stay tuned for all the latest Apple Watch 2 news and rumours as addition details emerge.