Quicktake: What should consumers expect from Apple Watch Series 6?

The tech giant will unveil its new model in September

The Apple Watch outsold the entire Swiss watchmaking industry last year. AFP
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To attract health-conscious people, Apple will add a new feature to monitor blood oxygen levels and an upgraded electrocardiography (ECG) app into its Watch Series 6.

The US technology company, which accounted for nearly half of all smartwatches sold last year, typically unveils new phones and smartwatches in September every year. It is expected to launch Watch Series 6 this year, assuming the disruption to supply chains and trade from the coronavirus blows over by then.

The National explores what to expect from the Watch Series 6.

Keep tab on blood oxygen levels

Apple will be the first smartwatch manufacturer to develop an application to almost accurately measure the blood oxygen saturation levels. A notification will be sent to the user when the watch detects low levels or when it falls below a certain limit.

Google-owned Fitbit, one of Apple's main competitors in the wearable sector, is offering a similar feature but cannot easurethe exact oxygen saturation level.

“Seeing big changes [in readings] is a clue that you may be experiencing breathing disturbances during sleep,” said Fitbit.

Enhanced ECG functionality

Apple first integrated an ECG app into its Watch Series 4 that was launched in September 2018.

However, Series 4 and 5 currently offer inconclusive ECG readings with heart rates that hit between 100 beats per minute to 120bpm.

"A future update, either in software or hardware, will remove that limitation with an upgraded version of the ECG app," reported 9to5Mac, a website dedicated to Apple news.

Better sleep tracking

In 2017, Apple acquired Beddit - a Finnish manufacturer of sleep-tracking devices that work with apps for Apple's iOS. This year, a new sleep app will finally go live with the Watch Series 6.

It will come with an embedded sleep tracking feature that will use the collected information to give users recommendations about how to improve their sleep patterns, quality and duration.

Apple is also expected to strengthen its battery life and offer speed-charging to allow users to wear their watch for longer periods and, especially at night, to monitor sleep and set new goals for rest.

Adding more parental controls

With Watch Series 6, the company is working to manage Apple watches for kids using a parent's iPhone, according to 9to5Mac.

Currently, one iPhone can activate and sync with different Apple Watches, but only one smartwatch can be used at a time. However, the company is developing a feature which will enable parents to activate and manage a watch for a child without needing a second iPhone.

Apple Watch Series 6 will also allow parents additional controls, such as monitoring contacts, music and manage which apps can be accessed during certain hours like school time.

Outselling entire Swiss watch industry in 2019

Apple shipped 30.7 million smartwatches worldwide in 2019, growing a healthy 36 per cent annually from 22.5 million in 2018. It was almost 10 million more than all other Swiss brands, according to market researcher Strategy Analytics based in Boston.