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3 things I want from the Apple Watch 10 (and something I don’t)

OPINION: With its tenth iteration on the horizon, 2024 could end up being one of the biggest years for the Apple Watch yet.

As great as the Apple Watch has been for setting the standard on the smartwatch market, there’s no denying that the range hasn’t changed much in the last couple of years.

While Samsung moved towards a stylish, more sports-focused design from the Galaxy Watch 4 onwards and Google has adopted an almost pebble-like aesthetic in the Pixel Watch, Apple’s wearables have maintained the same look for almost a decade.

Well, if even a handful of rumours turn out to be true then the Apple Watch 10 (or the Apple Watch X) could bring about the design overhaul that’s desperately needed. While we wait to see if this speculation comes to fruition, I have a few more wishlist items that would make the Apple Watch 10 one of the best smartwatches yet (and one potential mistake that could hurt it).

We need custom watch faces

One of the best things the Apple Watch has going for it is the premium array of watch faces that Apple has designed from scratch. Whether it’s the recent Snoopy pick which brings the beloved character to life with great animations, or the timelapses of various cities worldwide, Apple has built up quite the collection over the years – but it hasn’t left much room for user expression.

Apple has never been a company to give users the complete freedom to customise things to their exact liking, but even if the watch face library was opened up a bit to feature designs created by watch brands like Casio or Seiko, it would go a long way towards allowing the Apple Watch to work better as a fashion accessory.

Apple Watch Series 9 on table

It’s time for an Apple Health overhaul

The simplicity of Apple’s fitness tracking software has always been one of the Apple Watch’s greatest strengths, but having spent enough time testing wearables from the likes of Garmin and Fitbit, it’s become clear that Apple doesn’t do the best job in actually breaking down information in a meaningful way.

For instance, cardio recovery and sleep tracking stats are just thrown at the user with very little explanation as to what it all means. By comparison, my trusty Whoop Strap 4.0 lets me know if I’ve been overtraining, if it’s time for a rest day, or the amount of genuine sleep I was able to get from the total time I spent in bed.

These are the breakdowns that make a huge difference and actually allow users to make actionable changes as a result. If I could get that information from my Apple Watch, it could be a game changer.

The battery situation has to change

Any fellow Apple Watch users will know exactly what I’m talking about here, and I’m still in partial disbelief over the fact that the abysmal battery life of these devices still hasn’t been addressed.

Apple’s been quoting the 18-hour battery life of the Watch for so long now that it feels almost like a moot point to even mention it, but against battery champions like the TicWatch Pro 5 and the OnePlus Watch 2, this reality of one-day per charge is starting to feel ridiculous.

One of the benefits of a smartwatch is that it can act as a backup device for when your phone runs out of battery, thanks to NFC payments and messaging, but that concept doesn’t really work if it barely outlives your smartphone.

Please Apple, don’t change the watch band design

One of the rumours I’ve seen is that in order to bring about battery gains for the Apple Watch 10, it could be using all-new watch straps that take up less space on the chassis itself, allowing for a larger battery cell.

While the allure of a longer battery life might sound like a tempting trade-off, it would be a great shame if every compatible watch band until now was suddenly made redundant.

I’m partially saying this because I’ve built up a nice collection of Apple Watch bands that I’d like to continue using, but there’s also a bigger problem at play. Apple has been making strides in reducing its e-waste, whether that be in moving to carbon neutral designs or taking charging bricks out of the box, but if it were to suddenly make countless compatible accessories useless then it would feel like an unnecessary betrayal of all the environmentally conscious work the company has put in thus far.

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