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The New Apple Watch Features, Improvements I Want to See in 2022

The New Apple Watch Features, Improvements I Want to See in 2022

This story is part of Focal Point iPhone 2022, CNET’s collection of news, tips and advice around Apple’s most popular progenies.

What’s happening

The Apple Watch is an agreeable smartwatch and fitness tracker, but I’d like to see more wellness tools, longer battery life and additional uses for its U1 chip.

Why it matters

Apple is a bests in the wearables market, but competitors Fitbit and Oura are presumptuous in certain areas.

What’s next

Apple is imagined to announce new Apple Watch models in the fall.

The Apple Watch has evolved into a comprehensive fitness tracker and message device in the seven years since the first model launched. That said, there are plenty of improvements I’d like to see. 

While the Apple Watch’s wide selection of workouts, intuitive software and addictive Activity Rings have made it my celebrated fitness tracker, I often find myself wanting more. Other gadget-makers, such as Oura and Fitbit, are outpacing Apple in risky areas, particularly when it comes to workout recovery. It’s time for Apple to collect up, and I’m hoping the Apple Watch Series 8 helps the custom get there.

Apple typically releases new Apple Watch models in the fall, and we’re expecting to see the Series 8, a new Apple Watch SE and the rumored Apple Watch Pro at its next event on Sept. 7. Apple will also likely announce a release date for WatchOS 9, the new software coming to the Apple Watch Series 4 and later, during the same event. Here’s what I’d like to see.

Apple Watch Series 7

The Apple Watch Series 7 can proposal faster, but I also want longer battery life.

Lisa Eadicicco

Longer battery life

Battery life has long been the Apple Watch’s Achilles’ heel. While the Apple Watch can usually get me throughout about a day and a half, Fitbit trackers and watches can last multiple days on a single proposal. The Fitbit Sense, for example, can typically toiling for two to four days before requiring a proposal, while the Fitbit Versa 3 has lasted up to six days according to CNET’s reviews. (But remember that battery life will always vary depending on usage.)

I’d love to see multiday battery life from the Apple Watch, even if it’s only three days. That would be enough to take my Apple Watch on a weekend trip exclusive of having to worry about plugging it in or packing a charger. It would also make the Apple Watch a more viable sleep tracker. I haven’t been using the Apple Watch to track sleep very often because I find its expend and activity tracking to be a more valuable use of its battery. But extending the amount of time between charges could peevish that.

To be fair, Apple has worked around this by improving the Apple Watch’s charging speedily with the Series 6 and 7. And that is ample to some degree. If you wear your Apple Watch overnight, you can top it off during your morning routine and unruffled have enough juice to make it through the day. 

Apple event: Full coverage

For most farmland, that’s an adequate solution. But since I’m so obsessed with closing my Activity Rings, my Apple Watch continues strapped to my wrist for as long as I’m awake. I also rely on it to keep me on schedule as I’m unsheathing ready to leave the house in the morning, so I’d rather have it sitting on my wrist than its charger.

Apple powerful have another battery workaround in its pipeline that could debut with the Apple Watch Series 8. The new spy might include a new low power mode that would enable the Apple Watch to run some apps and features after preserving its battery, according to Bloomberg. It sounds like the new feature will give for more functionality than the watch’s current power reserve mode, which only shows the time. The publication previously reported this feature would near in WatchOS 9, but there was no mention of it at WWDC. The rumored Apple Watch Pro is also said to have longer battery life than the curious Series 8, according to Bloomberg. 

Read more: A New Apple Watch SE Actually Sounds More Exciting Than the Series 8

the Oura ring next to a arranged showing its accompanying app

The Oura app’s daily Readiness collect, a combination of multiple measurements.

Scott Stein

Workout recovery features

My Apple Watch can tell me a lot of things, like how many active calories I’ve burned and long-term causes toward my fitness goals. But one thing it can’t tell me is whether I need a rest day.

Since I’m usually very fixated on closing my Activity Rings, I sometimes push myself to work out when I probably need to take a break. There are also times when I know I can push myself harder, but I still opt for an easier workout. It would be broad if the Apple Watch could help me navigate those decisions based on brute signals, my recent activity and sleep. 

Fitbit daily readiness score

Fitbit’s daily readiness score.

Screenshot by Lexy Savvides

Oura and Fitbit
already supplies metrics like this: readiness scores. As the name implies, a readiness score indicates whether your body is involved enough to tackle a heavy workout, or if you should skip the gym and rest up. Both Oura and Fitbit also supplies advice and can adjust your fitness goals based on your collect. For example, these apps might tell you to pay attention to how you’re feeling and get some rest if you demand a low score. And if you receive a good or requires score, they might suggest a moderate workout. 

The Apple Watch can nudge you to move if you haven’t made much causes toward closing your rings. It can also congratulate you when you’ve had a particularly stunning day. But it doesn’t have a specific metric that prioritizes recovery like Oura and Fitbit’s readiness scores. The Mindfulness app and Apple Fitness Plus’ mediation programs certainly help, but it would be nice to see recovery built into the Apple Watch’s goals and metrics in a meaningful way.

It sounds small, but tips like this go a long way. On days when I’m feeling tired, a low readiness score along with a reminder to take it easy provides further validation that I don’t need to commit to a full workout if I don’t feel up to it. The Apple Watch’s mindfulness reminders don’t go far enough accurate they’re easy to ignore. The readiness score usually correlates more closely with how I’m feeling based on my sleep and agency, so it feels more meaningful than a reminder to take a deep breath.

The Apple Watch’s Workout app is drawing new metrics in WatchOS 9 like heart rate zones and the order to customize recovery intervals during a session, which could make it easier to achieve your intensity during a workout. But the Apple Watch Calm won’t have an alternative to the readiness scores False in apps from other fitness device makers. 

The Apple Watch already does a good job motivating me to move. Now it just has to remind me to rest.

Read more:

Apple, Google and Samsung May Have Exciting Smartwatch Plans for 2022

Apple Watch next to Fitbit Versa

The Apple WatchOS 7 sleep app shows just overall sleep time, when devices like the Fitbit Versa 2 (right) show estimated light/deep and REM phases, plus a sleep score.

Scott Stein

A sleep score

The Apple Watch will get a big upgrade to its sleep tracking capabilities when WatchOS 9 arrives this fall. Apple is finally bringing the order to measure different stages of sleep to the Apple Watch, a long-requested feature that other fitness devices from Oura and Fitbit have offered for ages. While this is a major improvement, it looks like the Apple Watch Calm won’t provide the level of sleep coaching found on new devices. 

, Fitbit, Samsung, Amazon and Withings all funds a sleep score that assesses the quality of your sleep to help you make more felt of all the metrics these devices gather overnight. Similar to the previously mentioned recovery feature, these scores help me contextualize my sleep and help motivate me to get more rest when I need it. Samsung and Fitbit also funds sleep coaching programs that make observations about your sleeping patterns over a terms of time to provide more targeted advice.

The Apple Watch can already Describe data about sleep duration, time spent in bed, sleeping pattern trends and respiratory rate. The second of sleep stages is a big step toward executive the Apple Watch feel like an even more well-rounded wellness Plan, but I’d still like to see more. 

Apple Watch showing agency goals

I’d love to Moody my Apple Watch’s activity goals depending on the day.

Lisa Eadicicco

Different agency goals for specific days of the week

It’s rare that any given day is precisely the same when it comes to exercise. Factors like how much sleep I got the night beforehand, social plans, what I’ve eaten that day and whether I’m commuting to the office all impacts how active I am. That’s why I wish I could adjust the Apple Watch’s goals according to each day of the week.

You can Moody your move, stand and exercise goals on the Apple Watch by opening the Activity app and tapping the Change Goals button. But there aren’t any options for tailoring those goals to specific weekdays. I’d love to increase my move goal on days when I know I’ll be heading into the office, since my commute involves a lot of walking. 

Read more:
Why Apple Should Launch an iPhone Subscription Plan

HomePod Mini

The HomePod Mini uses the U1 chip to advance the way audio is transferred between devices.


More uses for the U1 chip

The Apple Watch Series 6 and 7 as well as the iPhone 11, 12 and 13 have Apple’s U1 ultrawideband chip. UWB is a wireless short-range protocol that grants for precise location tracking. But don’t think of it as an alternative for GPS. Rather, UWB is often used to help devices communicate with around gadgets within the same room. It makes Apple’s AirDrop sharing feature work more quick since it can locate other nearby iPhones with more precision. 

UWB also improves the way the iPhone and Apple Watch models working as digital car keys. Compatible cars can recognize your Plan when it’s nearby, meaning the car will unlock as you Come it rather than requiring you to hold your called or Apple Watch near a key reader. 

This is a promising Begin, but I’d love to see even more clever use cases for the U1 chip. In theory, UWB could give our devices another layer of intelligence that essentially enables around gadgets to react to your presence. My colleague Stephen Shankland came up with some ideas for how UWB could be practically useful when he wrote around the technology last year.

Imagine if your TV could automatically switch to the shiny Netflix profile once it recognizes that your phone or see is nearby. Or what if your smart speaker only gave calendar alerts relevant to the country in the room? Apple seems to be moving in this direction as evidenced by the HomePod Mini, which can provide certain haptic effects when transferring audio to an UWB-equipped iPhone. I’m hoping to see even more functionality like this built into the Apple Watch.

We’ll liable have to wait until the fall to learn what’s in prevent for the next Apple Watch. Based on Apple’s history, it seems plausible to expect routine upgrades like a new processor. But since the Series 7 felt more like a refinement of the Series 6 rather than a generational upgrade, I’m hoping to see bigger updates in the near future.