After months of leaks and industry whispers, today is the day Apple is expected to unveil the Watch Series 8.
For the first time ever, though, an updated iteration of its standard smartwatch won't be the only thing Apple has up its sleeve, with an Apple Watch Pro strongly tipped in the build-up.
We've been keeping tabs on the most reliable reports and rumors, so here are five things we could see announced as part of Apple's 2022 smartwatch lineup.
Will Apple release new smartwatches today?
While Apple never confirms a specific device is coming until the event, for obvious reasons, the company has always tacked its smartwatch unveiling onto its annual iPhone event. Therefore, it's very likely.
The naming convention suggests it'll be the Apple Watch Series 8, but it's not entirely out of the question that a surprise could be in store.
As we'll detail below, we could also see a new Apple Watch Pro and Apple Watch SE 2, as well.
Rumor 1: Apple Watch Pro model
Rumor of a more rugged Apple Watch model actually emerged before the launch of the Series 7 in 2021. As we know now, they never came to fruition, but it now seems very likely Apple will unveil its first-ever Pro model as part of the Series 8 announcement.
Currently, it's being touted as the 'Apple Watch Pro', though it's equally possible it'll actually be called the 'Apple Watch Series 8 Pro'.
We've seen plenty of industry tipsters, including Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, state that a Watch Pro is still on the cards for the 'Far Out' event on 7 September. Recently, we've also seen Watch Pro renders (as shown above) and leaked case accessories emerge.
So, what will be different about this Apple Watch? From what we've seen, the Pro is tipped to be more outdoor-focused, increasing scratch resistance, adding an extra button and featuring a flatter display. It's also possible Apple will ramp up the water rating beyond the WR50.
There's also new talk of a big increase in the battery life, which could reach multiple days for the first time.
Wareable rumor rating: This rumor has really taken a life of its own – and we think a beefier, more expensive Apple Watch Pro is very likely to make an appearance.
Rumor 2: Taking your temperature
Another rumor that emerged pre-Apple Watch Series 7 launch, again from Mark Gurman, claimed that a body temperature sensor was meant to be included in last year's Watch.
Gurman then said it would feature in a Watch in 2022.
The Bloomberg reporter also doubled down on that in April 2022, revealing that the sensor would primarily be used for fertility tracking and would not be extended to offer body temperature readings.
We've started to see body and skin temperature sensors appear in a range of wearables, including the Fitbit Sense, the Oura Ring 3 and the Whoop 4.0.
It's also appeared in watches from Huawei, Mobvoi and Amazfit, too.
A reliable temperature sensor can offer insights into colds or illnesses, and can be a game changer for understanding menstrual cycles and fertility tracking. The latter would be a brilliant addition to the Apple Watch – and it doesn't feel too far-fetched.
We've seen in the past that Apple will hold back on features until it feels the sensor can be used reliably. The most recent comments by Gurman suggest that might be the case here, but it also feels like a natural evolution that could benefit a large section of the Apple Watch user base.
We'd love to see this metric given the Apple treatment, given how poorly temperature tracking has been implemented on rivals.
Wareable rumor rating: It feels like a no-brainer to us. The only question is which Apple Watch model will receive the feature, or, indeed, whether both the Series 8 and Pro edition will.
Rumor 3: Glucose tracking and blood pressure
If Apple manages to pull this one off, it would herald a pretty major breakthrough for a smartwatch for both health monitoring and fitness reasons.
In late 2021, there was chatter via a report on DigiTimes that Apple had started testing non-invasive blood glucose tracking for use on future Watch models.
That report suggests tech outfits Ennostar and Taiwan Asia Semiconductor are developing the technology to enable those non-invasive tracking capabilities, which revolves around infrared sensors that will apparently use "wavelengths above 1,000 nm" and a photodiode to interpret blood glucose levels.
Since then, Mark Gurman at Bloomberg has poured water on any hopes for these features to land on Series 8 – and probably Series 9, as well.
According to his sources, we'll be waiting until 2024 for blood pressure sensing (Series 10) – and there's no ETA at all for blood glucose.
We know that Apple has been filing glucose patents for a while now, and has also been linked to Rockley Photonics, a sensor company, that's developed a reference platform that it says is capable of non-invasively tracking 'glucose trends' with similar sensor technology.
Again, testing doesn't necessarily mean it's going to make the Watch cut, but, if it does, it would be huge.
Wareable rumor rating: It feels too early for glucose tracking to land – even if it is in testing - but blood pressure could be far more realistic.
Rumor 4: Car crash detection
According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is seeking to offer more ways its Watch could prove valuable in a potentially life-threatening scenario.
A report by Rolfe Winkler in late 2021 suggests that the publication has seen documents and spoken to people familiar with a car crash detection feature that seems to be an evolution of its existing fall detection feature, which will be rolled out for iPhones and the Apple Watch.
Apparently, the feature would use the accelerometer motion sensor already baked into the Watch to measure a sudden spike in G-Force.
Apple has already been testing the feature, collecting data shared anonymously and it has already detected more than 10 million suspected vehicle impacts.
It's said to have made use of 911 call data tied to incidents to improve the algorithm and accuracy of the feature to make sure it reliably identifies when a crash takes place.
The report also suggests that Apple could choose not to release it, and we're sure that with a feature that could prove a life-saving one, it will want to make sure there's no margin for error in how it works on its Watches.
Wareable rumor rating: Apple's been busy on its Fall Detection tech, so this does seem likely.
Rumor 5: Enhanced Afib
We had improvements to Afib detection pegged for launch on the Series 8 – but they have already landed as part of watchOS 9. That means that the feature, which will automatically search for Afib events, will also land on older Apple Watch models, too.
In his April 2022 report, Mark Gurman alleges the Series 8 will “calculate what is known as 'burden,' or how often a person is in a state of atrial fibrillation across a certain period.”
We know that's the case – but it's designed for diagnosed sufferers to track Afib events – rather than help people discover the condition or prompt people to get checked out by a doctor.
That's at odds with the continuous ECG technology that Fitbit has released.
So we could see an expansion of this idea with the Series 8 – and we think that screening for Afib among suffers feels like the natural destination for the Apple Watch.
Wareable rumor rating: We think some expansion of health features is likely.
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