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Apple Watch 2: features, rumours & updates

Apple Watch Display

Rumour has it that the Apple Watch 2 is set to drop alongside the iPhone 7 in September, so we’re having a look at what else might be on the cards for the second generation smartwatch.

At June’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced new software for its watches – watchOS 3. This update promises to make first generation Apple Watches up to seven times faster at opening apps and includes several new, fun features. When this news was announced, many speculated whether a second generation watch would drop at the same time as the software’s release and as that date grows closer, there have been more rumours to fuel the fire. Currently, the expected release date for both is September.

watchOS 3: Features

So, what can we expect to see from the watchOS 3 update?

Smarter, more functional faces

A nice change for those who like to personalise their tech is the fact that a new line of watch faces will be included in the update, including Minnie Mouse and Activity themes. The Control Centre has also had makeover, and will be accessible by simply swiping up on the watch face. This will make it easier to toggle a few popular functions, like switching on Airplane Mode or pinging your phone.

Docking and accessing apps

The dock is already a big feature on other Apple products and now it is sure to become a mainstay on the watch, too. It aids navigation, offers quick access to favourite apps and is reachable via the Apple Watch’s side button. Even better, the new Instant Apps feature is set to making opening and closing apps much faster. Apps will also update in the background so that when they’re clicked, they’re ready to go.

Fitness and stress busters

To help combat stress and increase wellbeing, watchOS 3 features a new Breathe app, which guides users through a short breathing session and display heart rate afterwards. Activity and Workout apps will also have a refresh, allowing users to share and compete with their contacts. The updated OS will offer two wheelchair-specific workouts, too.

Mac unlock

The Apple Watch is also set to become even more of a companion to your other Mac products, with an update that will allow it to unlock a computer, set up a two-step authorisation system for payments and help to display information.

Apple Watch

Apple Watch 2: Rumours

It’s also expected that the Apple Watch 2 will feature a GPS and a barometer, which will allow the watch to pinpoint the user’s location – particularly useful for fitness tracking. There have also been a number of tech insiders wondering whether the next Apple Watch will include a front facing camera, allowing an easy way to take selfies and the introduction of FaceTime chats.

The watch may also come with a wireless chipset that makes it possible for the watch to run independently and no longer rely on tethering to an iPhone as heavily as it currently does. Battery life is always a hot topic when it comes to portable tech and there are many rumours that the Apple Watch 2 will have more battery efficient processors.

The big question, as always, is around the Apple Watch 2 price. Some researchers thought the second generation might be released at a lower price point, but several expensive new bits of hardware suggest this might not be the case. Happily, it looks like there won’t be too long to wait until the new Apple Watch is revealed – keep your eyes peeled and check Tesco Mobile’s Hub throughout September for more.