Apple Watch Series 8 won’t get a faster processor…again

The rumor: Apple isn’t making their new watches any faster in 2022, according to Mark Gurman (86.5% accurate, via Power On).

  • “For those hoping for a faster chip in this year’s Apple Watch, I’m told the S8 chip will have the same specifications as the S7, which was also the same as the S6. Next year’s models, however, are slated to get an an all-new processor,” Gurman says
  • Apple is rumored to introduce 3 new Apple Watch models this year: a new SE, Series 8 and ‘Explorer Edition’ that is more rugged

Sam’s take: While I’m sure that supply chain shortages are the main reason we aren’t getting a faster chip this year…I’m still disappointed. One year is forgivable, but 2 years in a row? Come on. When will we see the processor improvements on Apple Watch that start to finally increase battery life?

Apple releases new Apple Watch bands and faces to celebrate pride

The news: Ahead of the beginning of pride month, Apple just released new watch bands and faces to celebrate the occasion.

  • The new Pride Edition Sport Loop features an embossed rainbow and the word “pride” written on it, and ships out on May 26 for $49
  • A new Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop was also released, with a rainbow set in dark mode…it also ships on May 26 for $49
  • Don’t forget the 2 new watch faces: Pride Threads corresponds with the first band and combines vibrant threads to show you the time, where Nike Bounce is a simpler, bold rainbow gradient with the time placed on top

Sam’s take: Apple’s yearly pride releases have become a staple in the community as everyone looks forward to them now. This year, they’ve done a great job yet again…even though the designs aren’t as stunning as last year to me. Regardless, I greatly admire and appreciate Apple’s support and recognition of the LGBTQ+ community…they began recognizing pride ahead of others and have been relentless since. Bravo.

watchOS 9: low-power mode, refreshed watch faces & new health features

The rumor: Apple is planning a ream of new features for watchOS 9, according to Mark Gurman (86.4% accurate, via Bloomberg).

Here’s what’s coming to watchOS later this year…

  • Improved atrial fibrillation detection “to calculate what is known as ‘burden,’ or how often a person is in a state of atrial fibrillation across a certain period”
  • New low-power mode that allows you to still use parts of the watch while extending battery life…there is a power-reserve mode currently, but it only shows the time
  • “Many” existing watch faces will be updated (but no additional details are provided)
  • More pre-selectable workouts and “additional metrics” are also coming
  • Down the road, watchOS will also support satellite connectivity like on iPhone 14, but we don’t know exactly when

Sam’s take: All of this sounds incredibly useful, in contrast to the upcoming hardware health features for future Apple Watch models. Low-power mode will be an instant hit, I’d love to see some tweaked watch faces, and I look forward to seeing exactly what new workout types are supported (give me a Frisbee workout, please). While I was severely underwhelmed by watchOS 8, it sounds like watchOS 9 will be a breath of fresh air.

Groundbreaking Apple Watch health features are coming…just not soon

The rumor: Apple is working on major advancements for Apple Watch, but development isn’t happening quickly, according to Mark Gurman (86.4% accurate).

Here’s the story, via Bloomberg…

  • Both a blood pressure sensor and noninvasive glucose monitoring have been in the works for years, but Apple still hasn’t finished work on them yet
  • While the blood pressure sensor could launch as early as 2024 or 2025, Gurman says the noninvasive glucose monitoring “is still several years away and hasn’t been assigned a target year of release yet”
  • Later this year, however, Apple plans to add a slew of minor health features via software in watchOS 9, including long-awaited medication tracking

Sam’s take: I can’t same I’m surprised here (but not in a bad way). Packing a blood pressure sensor and new kind of glucose monitoring into a wearable less than a quarter of the size of an iPhone is a momentous undertaking. Sure, I want these features to launch as soon as possible. But I get that health features take time, especially at this scale. Looks like nothing wild is coming until 2024…unless we do get the rumored body-temperature sensor this year.

Another rumor says Apple Watch Series 3 will FINALLY be discontinued this year

The rumor: Apple’s most outdated watch will be going away soon, according to Ming-Chi Kuo (72.5% accurate).

  • Apple may discontinue the Series 3 Watch in the third quarter of 2022 due to its slow chip inside…
  • “The computing power can’t meet the requirements of the new watchOS,” Kuo says

Sam’s take: This is now the second time we’ve heard that Apple is looking to nix the Apple Watch Series 3, and I hope with all my heart that it’s true. Due to the low $199 starting price, a lot of folks are rightfully drawn to this product…only to realize that using it isn’t a good experience in 2022. The processor is severely outdated, updates are a nightmare, and its age has shown for years now. Good riddance.

Apple may finally discontinue the elderly Apple Watch Series 3 later this year

The rumor: Apple’s cheapest Apple Watch might finally stop being sold, according to Mark Gurman (85.5% accurate, via Power On).

Sam’s take: Nothing much to say here except finally. This should have happened 3 years ago. This is a bad product at this point in time and doesn’t make any sense at this point.

Apple releases new Black Unity watch band and first-of-its-kind watch face

The news: Apple just dropped their first new Apple Watch band of 2022 to commemorate the start of Black History Month.

  • The new Solo Loop band, which costs $99 dollars and is available to order now, features sprinkles of the vibrant red and green colors of the Pan-African flag and “symbolizes a communal belief in the necessity for a more equitable world”
  • Apple also released an accompanying Unity Lights watch face which is the first ever to include 2D ray tracing, where “each pixel on the screen simulates the light and shadow falling across it and the movement of the clock hands simultaneously reveal and hide the light, changing dynamically throughout the day”

Our take: I really, really dig the minimalism of this band and the meaningfulness behind it. It feels well thought out and intentional. And tech-wise: that new Unity Lights watch face is out-of-this-world cool. It’s really dope that Apple is implementing something genuinely new here as their way to celebrate the start of Black History Month.

Here are the 3 new Apple Watch models scheduled for 2022

The rumor: Apple is releasing 3 distinct Apple Watch models in 2022, according to Mark Gurman (87% accurate, via Power On).

This is what’s on the docket…

  • Apple Watch SE 2: non details currently known other than a follow-up to the existing SE
  • Apple Watch Series 8: potentially a flat-edge design, likely a temperature sensor
  • Apple Watch Explorer Edition: “ruggedized version aimed at extreme sports athletes”

Our take: The most interesting of these variants is, of course, the new Apple Watch Explorer Edition, a rugged version of the Apple Watch that is significantly more durable. Still skeptical? Display analyst Ross Young (100% accurate) has also predicted 3 new watch models next year…

Apple Watch Series 8 could come in 3 different sizes

The rumor: Apple is planning to introduce a third size variant for the Apple Watch Series 8, according to Ross Young (100% accurate).

  • Apple currently sells 41 and 45mm watches, but the new report suggests that a third size could also be added…we’re just not sure if it would be smaller or larger
  • Prior rumors have pointed to a rugged, more durable Apple Watch debuting next year alongside other Series 8 models

Our take: I didn’t get this rumor at first…but as soon as I looked at my wrist, I realized that I could wear a larger face on my arm. I think a slightly larger 48 or 49mm watch could look great on folks with larger wrists. This is just speculation though, as Young didn’t clarify which direction the size change would head.

Apple Watch Series 7 pre-orders start October 8, according to Hermès

The news: You’ll be able to pre-order the new Apple Watch in just over a week, according to Hermès, one of Apple’s official partners.

  • In multiple emails from Hermès, obtained by AppleTrack, customer service says “Apple Watch Series 7 will be available for preorder beginning October 8. 2021. Please let us know if you have any further questions!”
  • A source at Hermès has privately confirmed the validity of these emails without confirming the date specifically
  • Jon Prosser (74.6% accurate) has also heard a mid-October launch with pre-orders happening as soon as next week

Our take: Pretty sure we’ll be seeing pre-orders next week…likely on Friday. Excited to see if this year’s watch is as big of a design change as Apple has alluded to.

Apple Watch Series 7 release on-schedule, says Kuo

The rumor: Apple’s next watch won’t be impact by the delays in mass-production, according to Ming-Chi Kuo (76.6% accurate).

Our take: This closely mirrors a recent report from Mark Gurman (88.8% accurate), who also suggested that Apple’s next watch would also ship in close proximity to the event, and wouldn’t be delayed much if at all. Good news here!