Apple Watch has been a vital part of the Apple ecosystem for a while, and now new details have emerged about the features which sound like it may be nearing release. According to a report by 9to5Mac, Apple is working on numerous applications and utilities for its customers. Details have surfaced about one of the potentially key features of the next Apple Watch, “Sleep tracking”. Sleep tracking has been a significant missing ingredient on the Apple Watch, one that its competitors have had for years.
The new feature would work on the next Apple Watch. The new device could be unveiled at Apple’s iPhone event next week or at a later event this fall. It’s unclear whether existing devices will also support the new feature.
Apple calls it “Time in bed tracking” though it appears to function like other sleep trackers, monitoring the quality of your sleep using your Apple Watch’s accelerometer, microphone, and heart rate sensor. Sleep data would be available in the Health app and in a new Sleep app on the Apple Watch.
You don’t need any extra hardware to enable sleep tracking, an Apple Watch strapped on your wrist is enough. Apple also plans to take advantage of the heart-rate sensor. Interestingly, the company could also leverage the microphone to listen for noises. When it comes to battery life, Apple could send you a notification to remind you to charge your Apple Watch before going to bed.
In another instance regarding a potential new feature of Apple Watch, a MacRumors report suggests a new app “Schooltime” designed for students. The feature is said to help students focus during school hours. This will be done by blocking access to apps and notifications on the device says MacRumors. However, for safety reasons, emergency calls and alerts will not be blocked.
The users can set when Schooltime is enabled in the Apple Watch app on iPhone manually. Even though the new feature is being aimed for students, it in its true essence is a Do-Not-Disturb feature that could be used in other situations in case a user doesn’t want to receive notifications on the Apple Watch for a certain part of the day
In addition to such leaks and rumours, the United States Patent and Trademark Office just granted a patent to Apple for Apple Watch smart bands. The patent is for a biometric sensor integrated into a band that could give you a new way to unlock your Watch or paired iPhone instead of using a passcode or Face ID. The patent covers a thermal sensor that could use skin texture and wrist hair patterns to authenticate your identity.
While bands with the features detailed in the filings might never reach retail shelves, they give an interesting look at what Apple may have in store.
Most of Apple’s product lines are severely overdue for a refresh. The above-mentioned report of probable features and apps in the upcoming Apple Watch suggests that Apple, which has recently come under public scrutiny for its stagnancy, has finally decided to make amends and focus more on innovation, which was the hallmark of Steve jobs era.