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Apple Watch 7: Apple’s next wearable could have the feature fans have waited for

With the developer beta for watchOS 8 well underway, it won’t be long now until we feast our eyes on the Apple Watch 7 in all of its rumoured glory. Here’s everything we know about Apple’s next mainline wearable.

As much we loved the more colourful aesthetic that came with the Apple Watch 6 range, the device itself wasn’t the huge leap forward that a lot of smartwatch fans were hoping for. Blood oxygen tracking can be a handy feature if you have chronic health issues or if you regularly hike at high altitudes, but for most people it just isn’t a major selling point and it’s left us thinking about what could be coming down the pipeline with the Apple Watch 7.

Over the last few months we’ve seen rumours aplenty, so many in fact that it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly which features are going to appear on the Apple Watch 7, and which will be held back another year. There’s even word of a more fitness focused Apple Watch being launched alongside the mainline device, all the info of which can be found right here.

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In past years, Apple has announced the Apple Watch alongside the iPhone with the two devices available for purchase around a similar time. 2020 changed that, as instead of one all-encompassing Apple September event it was split off into a trio of online-only shows.

We got the Apple Watch Series 6 (and SE model) in September and then the iPhone 12 series in October. We’d assume Apple would switch back to having one large if conditions were possible for that next year, however that’s purely guesswork at this stage.

Still, we’d expect Apple to release the next version of its flagship wearable either in September or October 2021 as this fits with the previous entries. Of course, a lot can change between now and then.

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As far back as September of 2020, the rumour mill has spun the notion that the Apple Watch 7 will feature a completely revamped design to what we’ve typically seen from Apple’s wearables. 9to5Mac was the first to stir these rumours, but now prolific leaker Jon Prosser has corroborated this story with eye-catching renders of the next Apple Watch.

Supposedly based on official photos shown to Prosser from an unnamed source, these renders show a whole new approach for the Apple Watch 7, one that seems to be taking its cues from the similarly revamped iPhone 12 range.

If these renders are on the money, then the Apple Watch 7 could be ditching the traditional curved chassis for one with flat edges. There also seems to be larger indentations on the watch’s left-hand side, which could have something to do with the highly speculated blood glucose monitor that’s expected to appear.

The updated design isn’t the only piece of news to appear in this leak however, as you may have also spotted that the mint green colour featured in the render is entirely new for the Apple Watch. Given that Apple seems to be going all in on offering a wider range of colour options for its latest products (just take a look at the M1 iMac), it makes sense that the company would also look to expand the variations on offer for the Apple Watch 7.

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The latest tidbit of Apple Watch 7 news seems to point towards a larger battery being the wearable’s main feature. According to Taiwanese site UDN, the S7 processor will utilise doubled-sided System in Package (SiP) technology that will allow it to be considerably thinner than its predecessor, opening up more room in the Apple Watch 7 itself for a bigger battery. Given that the Apple Watch is regarded as last-in-class where battery life is concerned, moves to fix this glaring issue would be a huge boon for day-to-day use.

One of the biggest rumours to emerge about the Apple Watch 7 thus far is that the wearable could include blood glucose tracking as its next big feature. Reported by ETNews, this could be a groundbreaking development for the Apple Watch 7 as it will establish the device as the first smartwatch to include a non-invasive means of tracking glucose levels in a user’s bloodstream.

Understanding one’s blood glucose levels is essential for anyone suffering from diabetes, but the means of doing so usually involve a continuous glucose monitoring system that pierces the skin. To avoid the discomfort that can come such devices, having a full-blown optical sensor that can track the same metric from above the skin will be a huge selling point.

While these early reports appeared to indicate that the blood glucose monitor would be part of the Apple Watch 7’s repertoire, Apple insiders have revealed to Bloomberg that it’s unlikely consumers will see this feature on an Apple wearable for several years yet. Those same insiders claim that a body temperature sensor is likely to be the main key feature of next year’s Apple Watch in 2022.

Bloomberg’s report does reveal however that with regards to the Apple Watch 7, the updated design will allow the screen to be pushed further to the edges, making the bezels even smaller than they already are. Ultra-wideband connectivity is also expected to be implemented, allowing the Apple Watch 7 to operate with many of same tracking features found in the Apple AirTag. This would corroborate one of the major updates of watchOS 8, which will soon allow Apple Watches to unlock hotel and car doors from a distance.

The report also mentions that Apple might be planning a more robust Apple Watch designed for athletes who typically flock to wearables from the likes of Garmin and Coros. There’s no telling what this more rugged Apple Watch might bring to the table, but Apple will certainly have its work cut out for itself as diehard runners and athletes tend to be highly entrenched in the data-rich ecosystems of its competitors.

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