Apple Watch model for extreme sports reportedly in development

Apple Watch model for extreme sports reportedly in development

The Apple Watch is already one of the best wearable devices available today, with an array of health sensors, excellent performance (thanks to Apple’s newer chipsets), and deep integration with the Apple ecosystem. An updated line of watches is almost certainly coming this year, but according to rumors, Apple is planning another lineup for extreme sports.

Bloomberg reports that this year’s Apple Watch refresh, likely called the Apple Watch Series 7, will have a faster processor and updated screen. New ultra-wideband functionality is also planned, giving it the same precise location functionality as Apple AirTags when being located with a U1-compatible device (like the iPhone 11/12). However, the new watches likely won’t have blood glucose monitoring, which Apple has been developing. Bloomberg claims that functionality likely won’t be ready for several more years.

The more interesting news is that Apple is working on an extreme sports model of the Apple Watch, believed to have a launch date in 2022. This model would more directly compete with products like the Garmin Instinct and Casio G-Shock watches, both of which have rugged designs that are less likely to break from falls and scrapes. It’s not clear yet what would make this model unique — people familiar with Apple’s plans say anything could change. Longer battery life would be a bonus to entice athletes who are planning to go on long hikes.

Apple is also working on new software features for the Apple Watch series, some of which are live in this month’s watchOS 8 Beta. The new update has a new Portrait watch face, enhanced messaging, improvements to the Breathe app, AssistiveTouch (for interaction with single-arm and hand gestures), multiple timers, always-on mode for more apps, a locator app for AirTags, and more. The stable release later this year will likely bring more features.

Featured image: Watch Series 6, via Ben Sin for XDA

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Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. He's also the host of the Tech Tales podcast, which explores the history of the technology industry. Follow him on Twitter at @corbindavenport.