We’re still a few months away from the launch of the Apple Watch Series 8, but we’re already hearing plenty of details about Apple’s next-generation wrist-worn device.
This guide aggregates everything we know about the Apple Watch Series 8 so far based on rumors. Note that it’s still early in the product cycle, so these features have yet to be confirmed, and Apple’s plans could change.
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.
Rumors now suggest that the higher-end version of the Apple Watch Series 8 could feature a similar sort of design with a flat display, but the device is not expected to get flat edges. Leaker ShrimpApplePro recently said that „there is a flat front glass display“ being developed for the Apple Watch and there’s a „high chance“ that it’s destined for the Apple Watch Series 8.
The standard Apple Watch Series 8 models are expected to feature the same design as the Apple Watch Series 7 with no updates to the chassis.
One Apple Watch Series 8 model coming in 2022 will feature a five percent larger display, according to display analyst Ross Young. The Apple Watch is said to have a display size of 1.99 inches diagonally, which would be slightly larger than the 1.901-inch diagonal size of the 45mm Apple Watch Series 7.
According to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, the larger Apple Watch will be the „rugged“ model that’s in the works.
Rugged „Pro“ Apple Watch
Apple is working on an „extreme sports“ version of the Apple Watch that will feature a larger screen and a metal casing that’s better able to stand up to abuse.
Aimed at athletes, hikers, and others who experience more extreme conditions when wearing their Apple Watches, the new device will be Apple’s biggest to date. The display will measure in at almost two inches diagonally, which is larger than the 1.9-inch diagonal screen size of the current Apple Watch Series 7 and the planned Apple Watch Series 8.
It will have approximately 7 percent more screen area than the 45mm Apple Watch Series 7, and a display resolution of 410 x 502 pixels. Gurman speculates that Apple may use the extra display area to provide more fitness metrics on the Apple Watch face at one time. Apple is expected to make the new Apple Watch out of titanium, which means that it could replace or become the Apple Watch Edition that currently exists.
There is no word on what Apple will call this new watch, but it will include improved impact resistance and protection thanks to the new titanium alloy. It will include a more shatter-resistant screen and it’s also going to have a larger battery to accommodate longer workout times. The higher-end rugged version of the Apple Watch could be priced at around $900, making it more expensive than the current Apple Watch models.
Because of its high price tag, Apple is expecting to ship just one million units of the larger Apple Watch Series 8 model.
The Apple Watch Series 8 will feature an S8 chip that will have the same specifications as the S7, which means no major improvements to speed or efficiency. Apple’s 2023 Apple Watch models will instead get an all-new processor.
The upcoming Apple Watch may feature an updated low power mode that would allow more functions to work while battery life is being preserved.
Possible 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.
Women’s health features, sleep updates, new fitness options, and medication management are all features that are set to launch prior to blood pressure and glucose monitoring, features not expected until 2025 or later.
A body temperature sensor could be added to the Apple Watch as soon as 2022, the temperature sensor would initially be used for fertility planning. In future versions of the Apple Watch, it could be used to determine if a user has a higher than normal body temperature, but it is unlikely to show an actual measurement.
Apple initially intended to put temperature monitoring in the Series 7, but was unable to get it to work accurately enough. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that if Apple has improved its algorithm enough, the series 8 could include the body temperature monitoring feature.
Skin temperature can vary based on the environment, and because a smart watch is unable to monitor core body temperature, it is difficult to get an accurate reading without the proper algorithm.
Apple in August was granted a patent for a „high-accuracy“ temperature sensor that would be used in the Apple Watch, and the patent may provide some insight into the temperature sensing capabilities of the Series 8.
The system uses a temperature sensor and a differential temperature probe, calculating the difference between the two ends of the probe. One end touches the surface measured, while the other is connected to a sensor. Apple’s patent describes a probe that is located on the „back crystal of a smart watch“ and says the system offers „high-precision“ and „high-accuracy.“
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, so it’s not clear if this feature will make it to launch.
Car Crash Detection
Apple is developing 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.
Atrial Fibrillation Improvements
In watchOS 9, Apple is expanding atrial fibrillation detection to calculate „burden,“ or how often a person is in a state of atrial fibrillation across a certain period of time.
Activity Tracking Update
According to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, the Apple Watch Series 8 will include „major updates“ to activity tracking. There is no word on what specifically might change.
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 Series 8 (2022)
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