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Report says Apple Watch 2 will include one of the most sought-after missing features

Published Jun 28th, 2016 3:30PM EDT
Apple Watch 2 Features
Image: LWYang

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The current Apple Watch may not have hit the market with the resounding bang that many of us expected, but it’s still far too soon to call Apple’s wearable a flop. After all, it’s worth noting that the Apple Watch during its first year of availability actually sold better than both the iPhone and the iPod.

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That aside, there’s a whole lot to get excited about with respect to future versions of the Apple Watch. For starters, watchOS 3 looks incredible and finally delivers a range of fixes to a number of problems that seemingly made the first incarnation of the Apple Watch seem like a beta product. Not only is performance on watchOS 3 blazing fast, but the entire UI has been completely overhauled, leaving us with a much more intuitive and user-friendly interface. This is critical because even ardent fans of the original Apple Watch couldn’t ignore the somewhat clunky and convoluted implementation of watchOS 1 and 2.

So that’s all well and good from a software perspective, but an impending hardware update — rumored to take place in September — is seemingly poised to take the Apple Watch from a niche product into the mainstream in an emphatic way.

Will the Apple Watch 2 sport faster hardware? No doubt. Will the Apple Watch 2 have improved battery life? It’s a safe bet. And to top it all off, now comes word via 9to5Mac that the second-gen version of Apple’s wearable will feature GPS functionality.

Citing a source purporting to be familiar with Apple’s plans, the Apple Watch 2 will include a GPS chip. If true, such a feature would instantly make the Apple Watch a legit fitness tracker. The Apple Watch does a few things well from a fitness perspective, but its lack of GPS makes it a less than ideal device even for casual runners.

The Apple Watch 2 is said to include GPS for accurate workout logging without the need to carry an iPhone, and the Workout app reportedly will gain the ability to track swimming – suggesting a higher level of waterproofing in the next Apple Watch.

Notably, John Gruber during a recent episode of The Talk Show podcast relayed a blurb he heard from Apple during WWDC, namely that fitness tracking is far and away the function people primarily use the Apple Watch for. That being the case, it would make perfect sense for Apple to hone in on fitness-oriented features for the second iteration of the device.

One other rumor we’ve seen make its way through the rumor mill suggests that the Apple Watch 2 may include a front-facing FaceTime camera.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.