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We're still many months away from the launch of the Apple Watch Series 8, but we're already hearing details about Apple's next-generation wrist-worn device.

Apple-Watch-Series-8-What-We-Know-Feature-2.jpg

This guide aggregates everything we know about the Apple Watch Series 8 so far based on rumors. Note that it's still early, so these features have yet to be confirmed.

Design and Size Options

Little is known about the design of the Apple Watch Series 8 at this point, but it could look similar to the Apple Watch Series 7 as Apple just increased the display size with the Series 7 models and Apple usually sticks with a display size for a couple of years.

Display analyst Ross Young has suggested the Apple Watch Series 8 could come in three sizes instead of two, with Apple adding a larger size that would join the 41 and 45mm size options.

Prior to the release of the Apple Watch Series 7, multiple rumors suggested Apple was working on a refreshed design with flat edges similar to the flat edges of the iPhone 13 and iPad Pro, but that didn't end up happening.

prosser-apple-watch-series-7.jpg

Given the number of rumors that confirmed Apple was planning such a design, it could still be happening, but for the Series 8 rather than the Series 7.

Rugged Apple Watch

According to Bloomberg, Apple is working on a version of the Apple Watch "with a rugged casing" that's aimed at athletes, hikers, and others who use the watch in more extreme conditions than day to day wear. It will feature the same functionality as a standard Apple Watch, but with improved impact resistance and protection. Apple is expected to launch the rugged Apple Watch in 2022.

Health Features

According to The Wall Street Journal and other sources, Apple is developing several new health features for future Apple Watch models. These include blood-pressure monitoring, a thermometer for fertility and sleep tracking, sleep apnea detection, and diabetes detection.

Some of these features could be introduced in the Apple Watch Series 8, but it is not clear if all of these sensors are ready so Apple could also hold the functionality until a later date.

Blood Glucose Monitoring

Apple is rumored to have a team of biomedical engineers working on a method for non-invasively monitoring blood glucose levels using optical sensors, technology that could potentially make its way into the Apple Watch at some point in the future. Such a feature would make diabetes management much easier because it would not require puncturing the skin.

Blood glucose monitoring has been a feature that Apple has been working on for years, based on rumors, but it is a serious health feature that would likely require regulation.

DigiTimes claims that Apple is working on short wavelength infrared sensors, which could allow the Apple Watch Series 8 to monitor blood glucose by measuring the amount of sugar in the blood. DigiTimes isn't always the most reliable source, so this isn't a guaranteed feature for the Series 8 by any means, but blood glucose monitoring is a feature that Apple has been working on for some time.

Blood Pressure Measurements

Apple supplier Rockley Photonics is working on an advanced digital sensor system that allows wearable devices to monitor biomarkers like core body temperature, blood pressure, body hydration, alcohol, lactate, glucose trends, and more, using optical sensors.

This technology could eventually make its way to the Apple Watch given the partnership between Apple and Rockley, and rumors suggest we will see blood pressure monitoring capabilities introduced at some point.

A wrist-worn blood pressure monitor could be used to detect when blood pressure is rising and the function would be able to detect hypertension. Apple is aiming to release this feature in 2022, but it could be pushed back as the technology still needs to be perfected.

Blood pressure monitoring would work by measuring the speed of the wave of a heartbeat through a user's arteries using sensors. It would tell a user how their blood pressure is trending, but it won't be able to provide baseline systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements.

Temperature Sensor

Apple was considering adding a body temperature sensor in the 2021 Apple Watch, but Bloomberg says it is instead likely to be introduced in the 2022 update.

A temperature measuring function would be useful for fertility tracking and keeping track of sleep, and in the future, it could also detect when a user has a fever.

Sleep Apnea Detection

Apple is aiming to use the existing blood oxygen sensor to detect sleep apnea, but there are issues with taking frequent readings without significantly impacting battery life.

Car Crash Detection

Apple is working on a crash detection feature for the iPhone and the Apple Watch, which could come out in 2022. It will use sensors like the accelerometer to detect car accidents when they occur by measuring a spike in gravitational force.

When a car crash is detected, the iPhone or the Apple Watch would automatically dial emergency services to get help. Since it's planned for 2022, this could be a feature designed for the iPhone 14 models and the Apple Watch Series 8, though it's not likely to be limited to those devices. It will be an expansion of the Fall Detection feature that's in existing Apple Watch and iPhone models.

Apple Watch Patents

Apple has patented several interesting technologies that could potentially be used in future Apple Watch devices, such as a biometric authentication feature that authenticates identity based on the wearer's skin pattern. Such a feature would eliminate the need for a passcode when wearing the Apple Watch.

apple-watch-biometric-sensor.jpg


Another patent describes a self-tightening Apple Watch band that would adjust during intensive activities like running or working out for accurate heart rate readings, and loosen up afterward. The tightening could also be used for directions, workout reps, and more.

apple-watch-band-indicators.jpg


A third patent describes an Apple Watch band with an LED indicator that would visualize the progress of an activity or task, providing a visual indicator when completing a workout or an Activity ring, for example.

Apple in December 2019 published a patent describing how the Apple Watch could help doctors monitor the symptoms of Parkinson's patients using sensors to keep track of tremors. Apple believes this method of data tracking will allow users to better track their symptoms so they can plan activities around symptom patterns.

A 2020 pair of patents suggest Apple is researching Touch ID and an under-display camera for the Apple Watch. Apple describes a side button with an integrated Touch ID fingerprint sensor that could be used for user identification and device unlocking. Currently, the Apple Watch unlocks with a passcode and also when the paired iPhone is unlocked.

As for an under-display camera, the patent describes a two-stage display technology that includes a camera that is externally visible only when engaged.

In 2021, Apple outlined a radical redesign of the Apple Watch in a patent filing, featuring a rounded watch face, wrap-around flexible display, and digitally-customizable watch bands.

apple-watch-wrap-around-display-patent-design.jpg


Apple has filed several other patents covering the possibility of moving hardware into the Apple Watch's band, including batteries, speakers, kinetic power generators, haptic feedback devices, and even cameras.

There's no word on whether these patented features will make it into an actual Apple Watch in the future, but it's interesting to see what Apple is working on and considering behind the scenes.

Guide Feedback

Have questions about the upcoming Apple Watch Series 8, know of a feature we left out, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

Article Link: Apple Watch Series 8: Rumors, Specs, Release Date
 
Last edited:

Phil77354

Contributor
Jun 22, 2014
1,375
1,259
Pacific Northwest, U.S.
I would have not expected the ability to obtain an EKG reading from an affordable watch, and now I'm wearing one. With O2 reading, pulse rate, and all of the other features both health and non-health related.

As incredible as it seems, I fully expect that we will have glucose monitoring and blood pressure monitoring soon, if not next year then not that far into the future.

These are really spectacular achievements, and I'll be the first to order an Apple Watch with these features.
 
The flat design is awful and has always been awful. Please, no.

As for additional health sensors - sure, if they work right. The blood ox on my series 6 is so all over the place as to be useless.

I think that is the nature of blood oxygen sensors in general. I did high elevation mountaineering (15,000ft+) and even the ones we used were hard to get good readings with. I also don't think that it is fully the equipment, when I go into the doctors office they sometimes have to try multiple times to get a good reading with their equipment.

All I know is that I don't want to hear about Blood Pressure potential - that won't happen for years.

Someone could have said that about a lot of things before someone in the tech industry surprised them. What would people have said about the progression of smartphones before the iPhone was released? I am not saying that we will see the dramatic event of Blood Pressure or Glucose monitoring from Apple. The are likely saving that next huge wow moment for something else....but it could happen! :p
 

jz0309

Contributor
Sep 25, 2018
4,530
12,869
Temecula, CA
rumors, rumors, rumors - we do not KNOW anything about the AW8.

Re this: Blood glucose monitoring has been a feature that Apple has been working on for years, based on rumors, but it is a serious health feature that would likely require regulation.
please do your homework, if it indeed is non-invasive CGM, then Type 1 diabetics RELY on accurate measurement, their lives depend on it, and as such, it will 100% sure REQUIRE FDA approval and make the AW a medical device ...
 

jz0309

Contributor
Sep 25, 2018
4,530
12,869
Temecula, CA

Will Tisdale 🎗

macrumors regular
Dec 16, 2019
146
332
Selby, UK
I think that is the nature of blood oxygen sensors in general.


Well, a blood oxygen sensor relies on being able see through the skin. Various things can disrupt it. Poor circulation will make readings difficult too.

A pulse oximeter should work within a few seconds normally if your peripheral circulation is good. The Apple Watch implementation takes longer because it’s on the wrist rather than the finger and likely takes longer to get a stable measurement.
 

fwmireault

macrumors demi-god
Jul 4, 2019
662
2,384
Montreal, Canada
rumors, rumors, rumors - we do not KNOW anything about the AW8.

Re this: Blood glucose monitoring has been a feature that Apple has been working on for years, based on rumors, but it is a serious health feature that would likely require regulation.
please do your homework, if it indeed is non-invasive CGM, then Type 1 diabetics RELY on accurate measurement, their lives depend on it, and as such, it will 100% sure REQUIRE FDA approval and make the AW a medical device ...
Exactly. Even if the technology is there (which I doubt), all the approvals and legal requirements will take a long time, as the reliability of the feature has to be decent
 

fuchsdh

macrumors 68000
Jun 19, 2014
1,765
1,147
The flat design is awful and has always been awful. Please, no.

As for additional health sensors - sure, if they work right. The blood ox on my series 6 is so all over the place as to be useless.
The flat design has the same benefits as the flat-edged phones—you maximize screen real estate for body size. Given that the Apple Watches have been drifting upwards in case size over the generations (sad for people who prefer smaller watches like me) that would enable a large display in a smaller size.

That said, the curves certainly are the look of the Apple Watch, and from the standpoint of something you've strapped to your wrist rounding everything certainly seems like it would be more comfortable.

I don't really feel like the rumors this year make it more likely next year will get a redesign; it's not like Apple had another design ready to go and cut it, this stuff is planned far out and it doesn't seem to make sense to me anyone with a reputable line on info would be so off-base.
 
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Well, a blood oxygen sensor relies on being able see through the skin. Various things can disrupt it. Poor circulation will make readings difficult too.

A pulse oximeter should work within a few seconds normally if your peripheral circulation is good. The Apple Watch implementation takes longer because it’s on the wrist rather than the finger and likely takes longer to get a stable measurement.

So cold hands at altitude.....when you need it....might cause it to not work good? :D
 

chanerz

macrumors 68000
Jul 7, 2010
1,586
834
Apple will have the series 7 in stock next year and will discontinue it when the series 8 comes out haha.
 
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