New Report Tempers iWatch Expectations, Device May Have 'Simpler' Technological Capabilities

Apple's much-rumored iWatch has been depicted as a standalone device able to function as a typical smart watch and monitor everything from glucose to blood pressure, but a new report from Brian Dolan of MobiHealthNews (via NetworkWorld) suggests that the iWatch's actual functionality may be somewhat more simple, with Apple aiming to make the health-tracking experience more accessible to everyone.

In a report that covers existing rumors and predictions for Apple's iWatch, Dolan aggregates known information and adds a few tidbits from his own sources, which he says "have limited but direct knowledge of Apple's plans for the iWatch and Healthbook."

While rumors have indicated the iWatch may be a standalone device able to function without an iPhone, that may not be the case. Poised as a peripheral device, the iWatch may require connectivity to a smartphone for its full functionality.

iwatch-concept-nike

iWatch concept by Todd Hamilton

Throughout 2013, Apple made a number of health and sensor related hires for its iWatch, indicating the device could potentially track a wide range of health-related functions with advanced sensors, including glucose sensing and hydration levels.

Actual iWatch functionality may be somewhat more simple, however, as many of the hires are said to be focusing on making basic health-tracking functions more effective. Some of the hires' more exotic expertise, in fields like blood and glucose monitoring, may not make it into the iWatch.

A source tells us that the team Apple has assembled is intended to ensure that the health sensing capabilities of the device are efficacious. Some fitness tracking devices available today primarily give users feedback in the form of an arbitrary points system — like Nike Fuel. Apple will likely not do this, but instead focus on real metrics like calories. Having a team with such advanced pedigrees will help ensure Apple's device is accurate. Don't expect glucose sensing though.

Today's report confirms the existence of the Healthbook concept that was detailed in late January, but could not verify the app's rumored name. The app is said to serve as a repository for all health and fitness information and could integrate not only with the iWatch, but other health-tracking apps and devices on the market. It focuses on simple concepts like exercise, diet, sleep, stress, and medication adherence.

Apple's overall focus with the iWatch is said to be on the experience rather than the technology. With the iWatch and its accompanying health-related app, Apple aims to make health tracking "a mass market behavior" by increasing its mass market appeal and moving the concept beyond something that interests just "data-obsessed" people.

The report speculates that Apple's recent FDA meeting may have been about keeping the iWatch unregulated, which would inherently limit its ability to collect and analyze medical data and prevent it from collecting data from regulated medical devices, again pointing to a somewhat more simple device than previous rumors have suggested.

Information on the iWatch remains sketchy, but we may begin to get a clearer picture as we creep nearer to a release date. It is unknown when Apple plans to launch the iWatch, but in the fall alongside iOS 8 is a strong possibility.

Though Brian Dolan does not have an established track record for reporting rumors, he was the first to report on Apple's hiring of former Masimo Chief Medical Officer Michael O'Reilly.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

D.T. Avatar
98 months ago
Simpler capabilities ... as in it only tells time.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
markfc Avatar
98 months ago
Come on, this is apple. iWatch 1 will just about tell the time. V2 will give us time zones and colours, V3 will bring an adjustable wriststrap while V4 will bring a camera...
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BJMRamage Avatar
98 months ago
a watch, a health meter, a song player....iBand
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
newyorksole Avatar
98 months ago
Why would anyone be surprised if it had "basic" functionality anyway? Apple's devices never really do anything "over the top". It's always practical, fluid and "cool".
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
taptic Avatar
98 months ago
Are you trying to tell me it won't let me time-travel?! :eek:
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lapidus Avatar
98 months ago
No way it wil work without an iPhone. That thing will be one big battery and the brain will be inside the iPhone.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Flat 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature

Unreleased Apple Macs and Apple Watches Listed in Eurasian Database Ahead of Fall Product Launches

Monday August 2, 2021 9:34 am PDT by
Apple is preparing for a slew of fall product launches according to new filings that showed up today in the Eurasian Economic Commission database. There are listings for new Mac and Apple Watch models, all of which have previously unknown model identifiers that indicate that they're upcoming devices. There are six new Apple Watch identifiers, including A2473, A2474, A2475, A2476, A2477, and...
ifixit iphone12 mini

Apple to Make Space for Larger Batteries in iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks By Adopting Slimmer Peripheral Chips

Monday August 2, 2021 2:12 am PDT by
For future iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks, Apple plans to use smaller internal components in an effort to increase the size of the device's battery, according to DigiTimes. Image Credit: iFixit Specifically, Apple plans to "significantly increase the adoption" of IPDs or integrated passive devices for the peripheral chips in its products. These news chips will be slimmer in size and allow for...
Apple Watch 7 Unreleased Feature

Apple Watch Series 7 to Focus on One Major Upgrade

Wednesday August 4, 2021 2:12 am PDT by
The upcoming Apple Watch Series 7 will focus on one important feature in an attempt to tempt existing Apple Watch users that have an older device to upgrade, according to recent reports. Apple may skip adding new health sensors to this year's Apple Watch Series 7 in favor of improving the device's battery life. The company is said to be adopting new double-sided System in Package (SiP)...
magic keyboard touch id

Apple Makes Magic Keyboard With Touch ID Available for Separate Purchase

Tuesday August 3, 2021 5:22 am PDT by
Apple has made the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, which previously was only available with the purchase of the new 24-inch iMac, available for purchase individually for $149. Apple also retails the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID and a numeric keypad for $179. A standard Magic Keyboard without Touch ID or a numeric keypad is available for $99, and a new Magic Trackpad for $129. One major...
iPhone 13 Wi Fi 6E feature update

Wi-Fi 6E Explained: What It Could Mean for iPhone 13 and Beyond

Monday August 2, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 is widely expected to come with Wi-Fi 6E capabilities, and while it may seem rather nuanced to the average consumer, with only improved speeds and being "up to date" in the realm of Wi-Fi technology, it's actually a fairly significant improvement, laying the groundwork for much of what we know the future holds. To truly understand Wi-Fi 6E, MacRumors sat down for an exclusive...
applestoredown

Apple's Online Store Temporarily Down [Update: Back Up]

Tuesday August 3, 2021 4:01 pm PDT by
Apple's online Apple Store is down at the current time, and attempting to access it to make a purchase gives the standard "Be Right Back" message. Given that it's a Tuesday night/afternoon in the United States and we're not expecting any new products this week, it's likely that this is a temporary maintenance outage that is not related to a new product release. The Apple Store app is also...
themorningshowcarrell

Apple Decided Not to Buy Reese Witherspoon's 'Hello Sunshine' Media Company

Monday August 2, 2021 2:02 pm PDT by
Reese Witherspoon's media company "Hello Sunshine" recently courted various buyers, and while Apple was one of parties interested in buying Hello Sunshine, the Cupertino company did not end up going through with the purchase. Hello Sunshine was valued at around $900 million thanks to its involvement in popular series like The Morning Show," "Big Little Lies," and "Little Fires Everywhere,"...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Apple Brings China's Luxshare Precision into iPhone 13 Supply Chain to Meet Production Targets

Wednesday August 4, 2021 12:19 am PDT by
Apple is tapping more Chinese suppliers as it seeks to meet ambitious targets for iPhone 13 production, according to a new report by Nikkei Asia. Apple is set to produce between 90 million and 95 million iPhones through January, according to a previous Nikkei report, and China's Luxshare Precision Industry has won 3% of orders away from Taiwanese rivals Foxconn and Pegatron. Luxshare will...
mac pro new graphics

Apple Introduces New High-End Graphics Options for Mac Pro

Tuesday August 3, 2021 7:34 am PDT by
Apple today began offering new high-end graphics upgrade options for both the tower and rack versions of the Mac Pro desktop computer. This comes on the same day that Apple started selling the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID on a standalone basis. As noted by CNN Underscored's Jake Krol, the Mac Pro can now be configured with new AMD Radeon Pro W6800X, W6800X Duo, or W6900X graphics when...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...