Apple is preparing to introduce some major software and indeed hardware changes to its freshly released smartwatch, including new health and fitness functionality, security measures, and integration with Apple TV.
This news comes from a trusted source of 9 to 5 Mac, and on the health front, Apple is apparently planning on adding sleep tracking features in the “near future” – and also possibly a blood pressure monitor, plus blood sugar measurement which will be further down the line. That ties in with previous rumours we’ve heard that Apple didn’t get all the health functionality it wanted in its smartwatch initially, and has always planned additions on this front.
Cupertino also wants to give developers the ability to implement their own watch face “complications”, Apple-speak for the widgets on the watch display which impart at-a-glance info.
As for the Apple TV, the idea is to hook the next incarnation of the set-top box up with the smartwatch, allowing folks to use the Apple Watch as a remote control, alongside the major Siri integration which is expected for the new Apple TV that will be revealed this summer.
Finally, a Find my Watch feature is expected to be introduced, along the same lines as the iPhone’s capability that allows the owner to pinpoint the location of their device, and hopefully recover it, or wipe the Apple Watch to protect data if it has been stolen.
This will work via a process called “smart leashing”, with the smartwatch using its wireless signal to determine its whereabouts in relation to the iPhone – and that system will also have a handy side benefit whereby it can warn a person with, say, a tap on the wrist if they’ve left their iPhone behind somewhere.
Sadly, this latter functionality may not pitch up until the Apple Watch 2, as the source reckons it might require a more powerful wireless chip in the smartwatch. So while we won’t see this at WWDC, some of the above will likely pop up.
Also on the improved functionality front, we recently heard that the Apple Watch is actually far more water-resistant than Cupertino lets on, as it’s just IPX7 rated, or “splash and water resistant but not waterproof”.
However, one blogger successfully took it on swims and dives with no ill effects – though some models may just be more watertight than others, and of course over time, seals may weaken on the device.