Your old Apple Watch could soon get two MAJOR new features

Sleep tracking and blood oxygen levels not limited to upcoming Watch Series 6

Your old Apple Watch could soon get two major new features
(Image credit: Apple)

Owners of the Series 3, 4 and 5 of Apple Watch will get a couple of major new features later this year, thanks to Apple’s upcoming watchOS 7 software upgrade.

These two features are sleep tracking and blood oxygen monitoring, and while they are expected to appear on the new Watch Series 6 when it is revealed in September, older versions of Watch will get them too.

GSMArena reports how the features won’t come to the original Apple Watch, or the Series 1 and Series 2, which date from 2016. But all other models should get the green light.

It was previously found how the necessary hardware for blood oxygen monitoring already exists in the Apple Watch, but hasn’t yet been switched on by the wearable’s software. This is set to change with the release of watchOS 7, which is due to fall into developers’ hands in the summer, before arriving with consumers around September.

(Image credit: Apple)

As for sleep tracking, the Apple Watch has never offered this feature by default. Instead, a wide range of sleep-tracking apps are available from third-party app developers. Many of these work well, but mean your Watch needs to be sufficiently charged before you settle down for the night.

With Apple now set to release an app of its own, we hope the company has developed a way to track the wearer’s sleep right through the night, without destroying the Watch’s battery life.

We suspect that, while Apple’s app might be more energy efficient than others, it will still require Watch owners to charge the device during each day, if they want to track their sleep every night.

Apple’s watchOS 7 software is also expected to include improvements to Siri, a kids mode for restricting app usage while younger Watch wearers are at school, watch faces that can be shared with friends, and a redesigned workout app.

Apple usually announces the new Watch alongside the latest iPhone at a launch event in September. It isn't clear yet if the coronavirus pandemic will delay this launch, or force Apple to reveal its new products online-only, as it did with the recently revealed 2020 iPad Pro and MacBook Air.

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Alistair Charlton

Alistair is a freelance automotive and technology journalist. He has bylines on esteemed sites such as the BBC, Forbes, TechRadar, and of best of all, T3, where he covers topics ranging from classic cars and men's lifestyle, to smart home technology, phones, electric cars, autonomy, Swiss watches, and much more besides. He is an experienced journalist, writing news, features, interviews and product reviews. If that didn't make him busy enough, he is also the co-host of the AutoChat podcast.