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Apple Watch Series 8: All we know so far about Apple’s next wearable

It’s been nearly a year since Apple released the Apple Watch Series 7, meaning we’re already seeing plenty of news and rumours surrounding the Apple Watch Series 8. Read on to discover everything we know about the next Apple Watch so far. 

The Series 7 impressed us with its large screen, speedier charging and long list of easy-to-use fitness and smart features, earning it a place at the top of our best smartwatch guide. However, the battery life and lack of neutral colour options left room for improvement. Not to mention its more expensive than many rival watches. 

More recently, Apple gave us all an early peek at watchOS 9 during its annual WWDC developers’ conference. 

Here, we got a first look at the new software features coming to the Apple Watch in 2022, including heart rate zones and AFib History, custom workouts, a medications app and sleep stages. Apple will also introduce a number of new and updated watch faces with the next version of watchOS. 

Scroll down to learn everything you need to know about the Apple Watch Series 8 and don’t forget to bookmark this page as we update it regularly with all the latest leaks and rumours.

Release Date

There’s not yet been any official word on when the Apple Watch Series 8 will arrive, but fortunately there’s a reliable launch pattern in place when it comes to previous generations of the wearable.

Therefore, we can predict with some confidence that it will arrive in early September, but we’ll keep our ear to the ground for more specific information. It will most likely be unveiled alongside the new iPhone 14 series.

Price

Again, at this stage there’s been no official announcement regarding the price of the watch, and we’ve not yet come across any reliable leaks either.

The previous Apple Watch cost $399/£369, and we would expect the new version to have a similar starting price too.

Design

The biggest question of all is, how different will this watch be when compared to previous editions? While the line has been regularly updated on an annual basis since its first introduction, this year there’s actually some rumours of a major redesign to the classic curved screen.

A Twitter tipster with the name ShrimpApplePro suggested that this time around the Apple Watch’s screen will not have rounded edges but will instead lie completely flat, just like the screen of the iPhone 13. This rumour was given more weight when it was publicly supported by Jon Prosser, a renowned leaker of Apple information.

Ross Young, the CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants, also teased that there might be a third size option available for the Apple Watch Series 8. Whereas previous editions have been available with a case size of 41mm or 45mm, Young seemed t indicate that a bigger display may be added to the range in 2022.

Finally, there’s been word from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman that there may be a rugged version of the Apple Watch available in the new generation, which might appeal to trekkers and hikers who need a watch that can survive exposure to extreme elements.

Earlier this year, Apple filed a patent for a “stand-alone water detector”, which uses a membrane to react quickly if water enters your watch (via TechRadar). The new system would supposedly be more accurate at detecting water than the current gel-filled sensors.

Features and Specs

One of the first rumours that did the rounds was that of a skin temperature sensor, in a report published by the Wall Street Journal, which claimed that he technology could be implemented on the Apple Watch in 2022. However, later information now seems to point to 2023 as being the earliest date we might see this implemented.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, a highly reliable source on Apple, gave the following assessment of new fitness sensors in his Power On newsletter:

Don’t expect any of these soon, though. Body temperature was on this year’s roadmap, but chatter about it has slowed down recently. Blood pressure is at least two to three years away, while I wouldn’t be surprised if glucose monitoring doesn’t land until later in the second half of the decade.

Nonetheless, whether they appear on the Apple Watch 8 or not, it is clear that there are some exciting and important features in the pipeline for the series of wearables. On top of the skin temperature sensor, these features would include sleep apnea detection and even car crash detection.

At WWDC 2022, Apple announced a number of new features confirmed to be coming to the Apple Watch Series 8 and older watches with WatchOS 9.

New fitness features include heart rate zones to tell you if your BPM is too high or low during exercise, along with the ability to create custom workouts with specific goals in mind on your watch. 

As far as health features go, Apple is introducing a medications app to track prescriptions, vitamins and supplements with regular reminders, as well as warnings where two drugs might conflict with each other. The company is also updating its sleep tracking to break down the REM, Core, Deep and Awake stages of sleep, as well as introducing an AFib History tool to help those with atrial fibrilations track irregularities in their heart beats. 

Finally, WatchOS 9 will allow users to showcase a number of new and updated watch faces, including pets in the portraits watch face and new background colour options.

Trusted Take

With Google’s first smartwatch, the Pixel Watch, arriving this year, there will be plenty of eyes on what Apple does to continue its dominance in this area.

I can’t see Google’s attempt instantly offering a better experience than the Apple Watch, however I am sure Apple will want to show what it can do. The rumours of a redesign have popped up again and while I am not hugely sold on a flat design, a fresh look would be welcome after years of the same overall blueprint.

Max Parker

By

Deputy and mobile editor

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