Apple has yet to unveil its upcoming Series 6 smartwatch, but it'll be going head-to-head against Samsung's improved Galaxy Watch 3 which is going to be kitted out with a slew of health and fitness features, and will be compatible with both Android and iOS.
While Apple's WWDC keynote delved into watchOS 7, there were still rumours abounding about additional functionality that wasn't covered in the keynote that will no doubt be announced when the Apple Watch Series 6 is unveiled; but there's one feature that's almost certainly on the way that will be a massive boon, and take the Galaxy Watch 3 to task.
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First reported back in March, blood oxygen level monitoring was touted as a potentially life-saving feature that could alert the wearer if their blood oxygen levels fall dangerously low. If it dips too low, (known as hypoxemia) a person can experience headaches and shortness of breath.
The healthy region is between 95 - 100%, but if it's as low as even 80%, there's a risk of reduced heart and brain functionality as not enough oxygen is making its way around the body. This is also useful to warn wearers of an impending panic attack.
Now we have further evidence that blood oxygen level monitoring will roll out with the Apple Watch 6 thanks to DigiTimes' sources (via MacRumours). According to insiders, Apple Watch 6 development has been "smooth" - which means we may not see the same delay for the device that the iPhone 12 will be subjected to. On the topic of the new fitness functionality, the outlet reports:
"Apple Watch 6 will feature biosensors that can monitor sleeping conditions, detect blood oxygen and measure pulse rates, heartbeats and atrial fibrillation, and will also incorporate MEMS-based accelerometer and gyroscope, all allowing the new device to continue to lead in measurement precision among wearable devices..."
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At first, we didn't know if this feature would be restricted by hardware and only be the purview of the Apple Watch Series 6, but the Apple Watch 3, 4, and Series 5 will all be able to support blood oxygen level monitoring along with sleep tracking when it's 'turned on' by watchOS 7. The smartwatch is also expected to have additional updates for yoga aficionados according to recently discovered patents.
We were expecting to see the watch showcased alongside the iPhone 12, but given the delay, we're still waiting for Apple to confirm if its September event is going ahead as planned, or if the entire thing is being pushed back to October along with the smartphone's launch. We'll keep you posted!