Apple’s plans for the next Apple Watch revealed

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By Larry Banks

The Apple Watch only just launched in April, and many people are still waiting for delivery of some of the harder to get models, but the company is unsurprisingly already planning new features for the next version of the record-breaking smartwatch.

Next Apple Watch adds video calls

The next iteration of the Apple Watch will apparently include a camera for video calling, among other features, according to well informed blogger Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac, who says that he’s spoken with sources familiar with the Cupertino-based company’s plans for the next model.

It’s unlikely to launch this year, rather in 2016, but Gurman’s sources say that the model referred to could just be a prototype. This means that of course some of the features may not make it to production, though Apple is likely already testing them out.

Here is a summary of what to expect from the next Apple Watch, according to Gurman:

The new model will  have a FaceTime camera. The camera itself will be embedded in the top of the watch so users can make and receive video calls. The current version can only mirror the camera on your iPhone and act as a remote control, rather than making video calls.

The watch will be able to do more things without an iPhone. The second generation of the Apple Watch will include a different Wi-Fi chip that makes it more capable of doing things on the watch, such as sending texts and emails, without having to be connected to an iPhone. This is referred to by Apple as “tether-less”, says Gurman. You can already do lots of things of course on the watch without being connected to a phone over Bluetooth, such as playing music and activity tracking. But Apple wants to make this even easier by adding a different Wi-Fi chip.

There will be new Apple Watch models. Apple is considering new Apple Watch tiers that lie somewhere between the normal Watch version and the solid gold Edition models. It’s not clear, but Gurman believes that we may see different materials being used, such as platinum or titanium.

There may not be any battery life improvements. Apple has apparently found that most customer are happy with the Apple Watch’s battery life and that typically they have up to 40% left at the end of each day. Gurman says the company believes users don’t mind charging each day, and are likely to take the same route they took with new iPad models by keeping the battery life the same but adding features.


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