FaceTime video camera among features planned for Apple Watch 2

Apple WatchThe Apple Watch has barely begun to land in Apple Stores that rumours of the features Apple plans on adding for the next generation Apple Watch are gathering steam. According to 9to5Mac sources, the Apple Watch 2 will launch in 2016 with some new features.

Perhaps the most interesting new feature could be the addition of a video camera into the top bezel to enable FaceTime calls directly on the Apple Watch. The upcoming WatchOS 2.0 update will already give users some FaceTime controls. Bringing full FaceTime functionality to the Apple Watch later on would certainly be a logical next step. The report does warn that the feature could slip to a later generation watch if it decides to give precedence to other features or runs into component supply issues.

Apple is also looking to give the Apple Watch more autonomy by reducing its dependence on a tethered iPhone. It wants to improve Wi-Fi capabilities to better handle text messaging, emailing and some lighter data updates (like weather conditions). It would remain dependent on a tethered iPhone for more data-intensive tasks like software updates and data syncs. It could also be used to enable a Find My Watch feature similar to the one to find your phone using Wi-Fi triangulation technology rather than GPS.

A greater selection of Apple Watches could also be in the cards. Apple is said to be looking at improving selection in the US$1,000 to US$10,000 range. The new models would effectively slot in between the most expensive Apple Watch and the most inexpensive Apple Watch Edition. It’s not clear whether Apple will introduce new materials or simply broaden options with existing ones.

Yellow gold Apple Watch Edition

When it comes to battery life, Apple has found via market research that nightly Apple Watch charging does not appear to be an issue for most current customers. It found that average conumers finish the day with up to 40% of battery life remaining. As a result, further battery optimization may give way to other features as long as it can match current battery life expectations.

Supporting earlier rumours, the report adds that Apple will likely wait until 2016 to release the Apple Watch 2. It will release the OS Watch 2.0 update this fall for current owners to improve the functionality of the current model with new software features.

Source : 9to5Mac