While the Apple Watch has yet to expand to more markets, Apple is already hard at work on a second-generation model. Reportedly due for release next year, the Apple Watch 2 should elevate your experience with a built-in FaceTime video camera for videoconferencing and improved Wi-Fi features for greater iPhone independence.
Interestingly enough, the device is said to retain the battery life of the original model, at lest according to sources familiar with Apple’s plans who spoke with 9to5Mac.
A video camera should be integrated into the top bezel, allowing for FaceTime video calls directly from your wrist. As for enhanced Wi-Fi features, the report doesn’t go into details beyond stating that the device will “have more functionality when used independently from an iPhone,” an initiative writer Mark Gurman says Apple calls internally “tether-less.”
“Tether-less” will be allegedly achieved by integrating “a more dynamic wireless chipset” into the device. Among other things, this new chipset is said to support a Find My Watch feature via Wi-Fi router triangulation.
It should be noted that the watchOS 2 software update and upcoming native apps will bring greater iPhone independence to the current-generation models: native apps will run directly on watch hardware, be permitted to tap into its sensors and communicate directly with known Wi-Fi hotspots using the new Tetherless Wi-Fi feature.
As for the Apple Watch 2 battery life, it should stay roughly the same, or be marginally better than the current-generation model.
The publication adds that Apple will expand the Apple Watch lineup beyond today’s Sport, Steel and Edition models with additional premium-priced SKUs said to “sit between the highest-end stainless steel Apple Watch and the entry-level 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition,” possibly using new materials like titanium, tungsten, palladium or platinum.
The Apple Watch 2 should be released some time in 2016.