Apple Watch 6 rumors: Pulse oximeter, sleep tracking (and the battery to support it?)

Apple Watch 6

Apple Watch 6: The next Apple Watch (likely a Series 6) is still months away from making its grand debut alongside the rumoured iPhone 12, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max. But there’s still plenty of speculation surrounding a Series 6 smartwatch to hold us over in the meantime. We’ve compiled a roundup of plausible and compelling new features for the Apple Watch Series 6 based on the latest leaks, rumours and Apple patents.

A round design, but not this year

Save for a few minor changes such as larger screens, different materials and various watch band designs, the look of the watch hasn’t changed much since Apple introduced the first Apple Watch in 2014. And this year will be no different.

Rumours of a circular watch face on the Apple Watch have been making the rounds for a few years now. Some of its Android counterparts like the Samsung Galaxy Watch have circular designs, so it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to think Apple would follow suit. To add fuel to the fire, the company has also issued a couple of Apple Watch patents that show a round display. But so far, it’s just a possibility; the existence of a patent doesn’t guarantee Apple will use it in a product. Even if one of these patents does become a reality, it would likely take years. A change this big would require Apple to rework the hardware and software of the watch, and so far we haven’t heard anything that would indicate it’s happening in 2020.

New watch face options, but no store

The Apple Watch has tons of customizable watch faces (known as “complications”) ranging from animated Disney characters to weather-centric interfaces. But Apple still hasn’t loosened the reins for third-party watch faces, and we don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Instead, Apple might allow users to share watch faces. According to a 9to5Mac, each watch face configuration will be shared as a unique file via AirDrop. The report, which cites leaked iOS 14 code as the source of its information, also says WatchOS 7, the next version of Apple’s smartwatch software, will add an analogue-style tachymeter to its design options that would measure speed and distance.

You may also be able to use shared albums from your Photos app to create a customized watch face that cycles through the photos in that album. That means family members could add individual photos to the shared album for everyone in the group to see on their wrists.

Lastly, for patriotic users, WatchOS 7 may add an “international” option that lets you choose a country’s flag as your watch face.

A new fitness app

Fitness has been at the core of the Apple Watch since its launch, and this year Apple may take it even further. According to MacRumors, the company is working on a standalone fitness app. Unlike the existing Activity app that tracks your progress and is already on the Apple Watch (and iPhone), this one would give you guided workouts for an assortment of different activities such as running, cycling, rowing, strength training, dance and yoga.

There’s no shortage of third-party fitness apps like this for the Apple Watch, but a native fitness app could put a lot of those out of business. The app would be available on the iPhone and Apple TV as well as the Apple Watch. And it might be free. The MacRumors report says there’s no evidence of in-app purchases, but that doesn’t necessarily rule out a subscription-based approach like Apple Music.

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