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Apple Watch Series 3

Apple Watch Series 3: LTE Version Coming, Minimum Design Changes

That iThingy You're Wearing
August 15, 2017

Here’s the latest news on the upcoming Apple Watch Series 3 wearable device. 

Cupertino introduced the Apple Watch Series 2 in September 2016. Featuring an S2 processor, waterproofing up to 50 meters, and ceramic backing on all models, the current version has often been described as the one Apple should have released when the first Apple Watch went on sale in 2015.

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Things have mostly been quiet on the “Apple Watch Series 3” front this year with most of the attention having been centered on the “iPhone 8.”

On Aug. 4, we received strong indication the third Apple Watch would be available with cellular network connectivity for the first time. In other words, the first Apple Watch that doesn’t need an iPhone to operate.

As Bloomberg reported:

Currently, Apple requires its smartwatch to be connected wirelessly to an iPhone to stream music, download directions in maps, and send messages while on the go. Equipped with LTE chips, at least some new Apple Watch models, planned for release by the end of the year, will be able to conduct many tasks without an iPhone in range, the people said. For example, a user would be able to download new songs and use apps and leave their smartphone at home.

This rumor extended to CNBC a few days later with KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the same.

Elsewhere, the Apple Watch Series 3 rumors suggest Cupertino plans on sticking with a similar design for the next Apple Watch. Instead of using a touch-on-lens screen, however, the Series 3 could offer a glass-film touchscreen.

As Brent Dirks noted in February:

TPK Holdings has supplied the touchscreens for the watch since the device hit the market in 2015. Starting with Series 2, Apple moved to touch-on-lens technology. But because of poor yield rates, the company is apparently bowing out for the next watch model.

In its place, Apple will reportedly rely on a glass-film solution from either General Interface Solution or Biel Crystal Manufactory. There’s no word whether changing touchscreen technology will provide any noticeable benefits for users.

With no design changes, the Apple Watch Series 3 could focus on battery life and overall performance improvements. Once again Apple has turned to Quanta to get the job done. The Taiwan-based company was also responsible for the production of the first two Apple Watch generations.

A switch to a micro-LED display could also be in the offering. In May 2014, Apple acquired LuxVue Technology, which owned several patents on micro-LED technology.

MicroLED is a low-power display technology that features better color gamuts and brightness levels than LCD. It’s also more battery efficient because it doesn’t require a backlight, which could be great news for Apple Watch owners.

On March 23, Patently Apple uncovered two new patents that might shed some light on future Apple Watches.

This time Apple’s invention is focused on new Apple Watch smart bands for sports enthusiasts. In this round of smart bands we learn that there could be backlit indicators and icons representing activities in progress. The indicators on the band could represent Activity App progress, heart rate monitoring and offer other icons for  running, swimming and more to indicate that a particular activity is currently being tracked or is in progress.

Another recently uncovered patent suggests that future Apple Watches could automatically detect when you’re driving and only show important notifications on your screen during that time.

All about health: While the Apple Watch Series 2 has focused on fitness, the next-generation model could emphasize its use for heart monitoring. Numerous reports say some a glucose monitor could be arriving for the watch as early as this fall. However, instead of offering the monitor in the watch, it could ship with a special smart band.

If Apple can successfully market a smart band for diabetes, just think of the possibilities. Future bands could measure sobriety, caffeine usage, and more.

watchOS 4. Announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, watchOS 4 includes a number of new features, including three new watch faces (hi, Buzz), and a redesigned dock.

The update also includes redesigned music and workout apps and customized coaching.

Chinese-language Economic Daily News says Apple plans on releasing the next Apple Watch series in the third quarter of the year.

What do you hope to see on the next Apple Watch? Let us know in the comments below.