Apple Watch 2 to add FaceTime camera and iPhone-free abilities?

The Apple Watch 2 rumours are coming thick and fast, with latest reports suggesting the next-gen smartwatch will work without a tethered iPhone.

Although Apple’s existing wearable offers basic functionality when not in close proximity to your iPhone – you can tell the time for instance – features such as text and email alerts and weather updates quickly disappear when away from the phone.

According to latest reports, however, Apple is working on a new “tether-less” approach for the upcoming Apple Watch replacement.

This will reportedly be achieved by fitting the device with a new wireless chipset, giving the wearable its own Wi-Fi connection when your handset is elsewhere.

One such benefit of this native Wi-Fi support could be FaceTime, with the second-gen smartwatch seemingly set to add an integrated front-facing camera, making wrist-based video calling an iOS-themed reality.

Citing ‘multiple’ unnamed sources, 9to5Mac has suggested the inbuilt camera will be slotted within the “top bezel” of the next-gen Moto 360 challenger.

Although it is currently unclear what size sensor this camera will host, it has been suggested that Apple will pave the way for this move later this year, with the watchOS 2 software update already confirmed to add the ability to receive FaceTime audio calls through the timepiece.

Further Apple Watch 2 advancements mooted by the latest leaks include the addition of a new, high-end option that will sit between the Apple Watch and the Apple Watch Edition, and a minor battery boost.

Earlier this month, it was claimed that the next-gen wearable will play host to a P-OLED display crafted and supplied by LG.

Related: Apple Watch Tips and Tricks

If this feast of new features has got you excited, it might be time to steady yourself.

According to the leaks, reports of a holiday season launch are wide of the mark, with the Apple Watch 2 release instead pencilled in for early 2016.

While you wait, why not watch us race the timepiece across London against an iPhone…