Apple Watch 4 rumoured to be getting a game-changing new feature

The Apple Watch 4 (or Apple Watch Series 4, if you want to kowtow to the company’s official branding) is expected to launch later this year – and we’re starting to get a good idea of the new features it’ll offer. Here’s all the latest Apple Watch 4 rumours and release date gossip.

At WWDC 2018, Apple gave us our first real peek at what to expect from the Apple Watch 4, when it unveiled watchOS 5. Walkie Talkie – a feature which lets users exchange short voice messages with a quick tap on their watch face – was the obvious highlight then, but now we’ve got wind of some new hardware rumours to add to the speculative pie.

They come to us from a Fast Company report, which cites “a source with direct knowledge of Apple’s plans” as saying that the mechanism of the Apple Watch’s buttons could be getting a major overhaul with the Series 4.

While Apple is understood to be sticking with its current layout of a digital crown sitting atop a secondary button, the way users interact with these buttons could be set to change.

According to the publication, the Apple Watch 4’s buttons will utilise Apple’s Taptic Engine – haptic feedback, by any other name – so that they’re react to pressure rather than a physical press.

Related: Samsung Gear S4

The move to solid-state buttons will apparently allow the Apple Watch 4 to improve its water resistance rating, as the buttons will no longer need space to move up and down, and could also allow for a larger battery in the device.

Perhaps most significantly, Apple could integrate new sensors into these buttons, to provide users with more health data. Given that Apple talked up watchOS 5’s new activity features at WWDC, this doesn’t sound too far fetched.

However, these new features might not necessarily be ready in time – at least not according to Fast Company.

It says that they might not break cover until 2019’s Apple Watch – presumably the Apple Watch Series 5 – though by then, we’d be hoping to see a device that makes good on rumours suggesting a future Apple smartwatch with abandon buttons altogether in favour of touch sensors.

That kind of major overhaul seems a good bet for a 5th anniversary Apple Watch (aka Apple Watch 5 in 2019) as Apple likes to pull out all the stops for significant product milestones, so there’s reason to believe 2018 will indeed see the introduction of solid-state Apple Watch buttons.

Related: iOS 12

If this sort of redesign isn’t expected until the Series 5, then what does that leave for Apple to add to the Series 4? According to Apple tipster Ming-Chi Kuo, the wearable’s display should see a bump in size, and some new health-monitoring technology should be included.

Apple Watch 4 Release Date: When will the Apple Watch Series 4 come out?

The good news is that Apple is minded to refresh its Apple Watch wearable on a yearly basis, meaning we’ll almost certainly see the Apple Watch 4 launched along new iPhones – iPhone 9, anyone? – this autumn.

September 2018 is the most likely month, as Apple’s launch patterns are highly consistent and this is what has happened in previous years. This estimate has also been backed up with a recent prediction from reliable Apple tipster Ming-Chi Kuo.

 

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