Apple Watch Series 8: the 5 things I need to see to make me upgrade

The Apple Watch Series 7 is a great smartwatch, but there's still plenty of room for improvement in the Series 8

Apple Watch Series 7
(Image credit: Apple)

The Apple Watch has been around long enough that some things are easy to predict: the next one will launch in the Autumn, it'll cost the same as the outgoing model, there will be some new straps and Tim Cook will say "incredible" a lot.

And, with the redesign of the Apple Watch Series 7, it's unlikely that we'll see any big changes to the look of the Apple Watch Series 8 – although a new, rugged version for sporting types is expected this year. But that doesn't mean the Apple Watch Series 7 can't be improved upon. Here's what I'd like to see this year.

1. Flatter, not fatter

The Apple Watch Series 7 is still a bit hefty, and I'm constantly rattling mine off walls and other objects when I'm doing things like trying to get the dog's harness attached. The tougher glass of the Series 7 helps prevent the many cracks and scrapes my previous Apple watches ended up with, but it's still a big target. A slimmer body would be tricky – could the Digital Crown be smaller without being too fiddly? – but it'd be less of a disaster magnet too. However, it might prevent Apple from delivering the second thing on my list, which is...

2. Better battery life

I'm really disappointed by the battery life in my Series 7: I don't use it particularly often and no more than my Series 6, but I rarely make it to the end of the day without being asked to recharge the Watch before bed. Maybe it's a software issue but I'm not getting anything close to the claimed 18 hours, even on days when I barely look at it.

One rumour/wish list I've seen suggests that the Apple Watch could get a microLED display. The tech isn't affordable for bigger devices yet but Apple really pushes the display technology it puts into the Apple Watch, so it's likely to get microLED before the iPhone does. That would solve two problems by delivering reduced power drain and reduced display thickness too.

3. Bring the gold one back!

I really loved the gold aluminium Apple Watch, but Apple canned it in favour of Starlight – a colour that can't make up its mind whether it's pale gold or yellowy silver and decides not to be either. It's rather beige, and it looks a bit crap on a gold Milanese Loop band.

4. More sensors

We've been hearing about blood glucose, temperature, blood pressure and even alcohol sensors in the Apple Watch Series 8 for some time now, although other reports suggest they're not going to make it in time. I've gone all-in on health tracking lately and blood pressure in particular is something I'm keen to stay on top of; and I have friends with diabetes who would love a less painful way to track their blood glucose levels. So we're all hoping the reports of delays in sensor integration turn out to be incorrect.

5. Touch ID

This is something we hoped to see in the Series 7. If Apple can get a Touch ID sensor in the tiny sleep button of my iPad Air, surely it can do the same on the Apple Watch: having a passcode is all well and good but why have multiple screen taps when a single Touch ID tap could do the same thing with much stronger security? 

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).