The Apple Watch is a great smartwatch and fitness tracker, but I’d love to see more wellness tools, longer battery life and extra usage for its U1 chip.
Why it matters
Apple is the market leader in wearables, but competitors such as Fitbit and Oura are leading in certain areas.
Apple is expected to announce new features for the Apple Watch during its WWDC introductory presentation on Monday.
Firstdid something more than work notifications on your wrist. But over the years, the wearable device has evolved into a powerful fitness tracking device and communication device. Still, there are many ways Apple could improve its smartwatch.
Whilea wide selection of workouts, intuitive software and addictive activity rings have made it my favorite fitness tracker, I often want more. Other gadget manufacturers like and Fitbit, surpass Apple in certain areas, especially when it comes to sleep tracking. It’s time for Apple to catch up and hopefully its next smartwatch will help the company get there.
Apple usually releases new onesmodels in the fall. But we expect to take a peek at new software features for current and upcoming models on Monday, when Apple’s World Developer Conference begins. Here’s what I’d like to see.
Longer battery life
Battery life has long been the Achilles’ heel of Apple Watch. While the Apple Watch can usually last me about a day and a half,can last for several days with one charge. The for example, it can usually work two to four days before it is charged while lasts up to six days according to CNET reviews. (But remember that battery life will always vary depending on usage.)
I would love to see a multi-day battery life of, even if it’s only three days. That would be enough to take my Apple Watch on a weekend trip without worrying about whether to plug it in or pack a charger. It would also make the Apple Watch a more sustainable sleep tracking tool. I haven’t used the Apple Watch for sleep tracking often because I think its exercise and activity tracking is more useful than using a battery. But extending the time between charges could change that.
To be honest, Apple has bypassed this with improvementscharging speed with series 6 and 7. And that is somewhat useful. For example, if you wear your Apple Watch overnight, you can top it up during your morning routine and still have enough juice to last all day.
For most people, this is an adequate solution. But since I’m so obsessed with closing my rings of activity, mineit stays attached to my wrist as long as I am awake. I also rely on him to keep me on schedule as I get ready to leave the house in the morning, so I’d rather have him stand on my wrist than on the charger.
Apple could have another battery solution in its plan that could debut in WatchOS 9. The update could include a new low-power mode that would allow Apple Watch to run some apps and features while conserving battery life, according to Bloomberg . It sounds like the new feature will provide more functionality than the current clock power reserve mode, which only displays time.
Exercise recovery functions
My Apple Watch can tell me a lot of things, such as how many active calories I have burned and long-term progress toward my fitness goals. But one thing can’t tell me if I need a day off.
Since I’m usually very fixated on closing activity rings, I sometimes force myself to exercise when I probably need to take a break. There are times when I know I can try harder, but still opt for easier training. It would be great if the Apple Watch could help me make decisions based on body signals, my recent activities, and sleep.
already offers this metric: . As the name implies, the readiness rating indicates whether your body is rested enough for a hard workout or you should skip the gym and rest. Both Oura and Fitbit also offer tips and can adjust your fitness goals based on your score. For example, these apps can tell you to pay attention to how you feel and to get some rest if you get a low score. And if you get a good or average result, they may suggest moderate training.
The Apple Watch can encourage you to move if you haven’t made much progress towards closing the rings. He can also congratulate you on a particularly active day. But there are no specific metrics that prioritize recovery such as Oura and Fitbit’s readiness results. Mindfulness app andMediation programs certainly help, but it would be nice to see the recovery built into the goals and metrics of the Apple Watch in a meaningful way.
It sounds minor, but this kind of advice goes a long way. On days when I feel tired, a low readiness rating along with a reminder to calm down gives additional confirmation that I don’t have to commit to full training if I don’t feel enough. Apple Watchdon’t go far enough because they are easy to ignore. Readiness assessment is usually more correlated with how I feel based on my sleep and activities, so it makes more sense than a reminder to take a deep breath.
The Apple Watch is already doing a good job of motivating me to move. Now I just need to be reminded to rest.
More detailed sleep monitoring
Apple can record metrics like sleep duration, time spent in bed, sleep trends, and breathing rate, but that’s all. Simply put, the Apple Watch simply doesn’t have as much to offer compared to otherswhen it comes to sleep monitoring.
For starters, I’d love to see an overview of how much time I spent in deep, light and REM sleep. Load-bearing products from Fitbit, Oura,i I can do that, with Apple being the main bumper. General sleep duration may be sufficient information for some people. But that extra context about specific sleep states helped me understand why I might feel tired even if I had gone to bed earlier. Some wearables go even further and provide additional metrics such as resting heart rate and body temperature during sleep.
Apple also offers other features aimed at improving sleep, such as tools to relax before bed and set sleep goals. There are also several third-party applications such as Pillow and AutoSleep that bring additional features such as tracking sleep cycles on the Apple Watch. But adding more comprehensive sleep tracking to Apple’s own app would make the Apple Watch feel like an even better-rounded wellness device. Bloomberg reports that expanded sleep monitoring could come this year, though he did not share additional details.
Different goals of activities for certain days of the week
Rarely is any day exactly the same when it comes to. Factors such as how much I slept the night before, social plans, what I ate that day and whether I go to work in the office affect how active I am. So I wish I could adjust the goals of the Apple Watch to each day of the week.
You can change your movement, posture and exercise goalsby opening the Activities app and tapping the Change Destinations button. But there are no options for adjusting these goals to specific weekdays. For example, I would like to increase my goal of moving on days when I know I will go to the office, because my trip to work involves a lot of walking.
Read more: Why Apple Should Launch an iPhone Subscription Plan
More use for U1 chip
Apple Watch Series 6 and 7 as well, 12 and 13 have Apple’s U1 ultra broadband chip. If you are unfamiliar, ultra-wideband is a short-range wireless protocol that allows accurate location tracking. But don’t think of it as an alternative to GPS. Instead, UWB is often used to help devices communicate with nearby gadgets in the same room. This makes Apple’s AirDrop sharing feature faster because it can locate other iPhones nearby more accurately, for example.
Ultra Broadband, or UWB, also enhances the way the iPhone and Apple Watch models function as digital car keys. Compatible cars can recognize your device when it’s nearby, which means the car will unlock as you approach it instead of asking you to keep your phone or Apple Watch close to the key reader.
This is a promising start, but I’d love to see even smarter use cases for the U1 chip. In theory, UWB could give our devices another layer of intelligence that essentially allows nearby gadgets to respond to your presence. My colleague Stephen Shankland came up with some ideas on how UWB could be practically useful whenlast year.
Imagine when your TV could automatically switch to a real Netflix profile when it detects that your phone or watch is nearby. Or what if your smart speaker only gave calendar warnings relevant to the people in the room? Apple seems to be moving in that direction as witnessed, which can provide certain haptic effects when transferring audio to an iPhone equipped with UWB. I hope to see even more of these functionalities built into the Apple Watch.
We’ll probably have to wait until the fall to find out what’s in store for the next Apple Watch. Based on Apple’s history, it seems plausible to expect routine upgrades like the new processor. But fromSeries 6 instead of a generational upgrade, I hope to see bigger updates in the near future.