Apple Watch Series 6 Rumors: Blood Oxygen Tracking, Performance Improvements, Faster WiFi and More

Alongside new iPhones each year, Apple unveils an updated version of the Apple Watch, introducing new features and improving on existing functionality. We're expecting the sixth-generation Apple Watch in 2020, and we could perhaps see some useful new health tracking functionality.


The most notable new feature we could see in Apple Watch Series 6 models is blood oxygen monitoring, which would allow the Apple Watch to detect and monitor the oxygen levels in the blood. Normal blood oxygen is between 95 and 100 percent, and when blood oxygen levels drop, it can be indicative of a health problem that needs immediate medical attention.

Code in iOS 14 suggests that Apple will provide notifications when blood oxygen levels drop below a healthy threshold, allowing Apple Watch owners to get quick help when affected by a respiratory or cardiac problem. Blood oxygen monitoring would be a useful feature amid the ongoing pandemic, as the virus can cause oxygen levels to drop, and people experiencing reduced oxygen intake need emergency help.

Apple Watch Blood Oxygen
We're expecting some new hardware in the ‌Apple Watch Series 6‌, including a new system-on-a-chip for performance improvements. There may be an improvement in water resistance and improved wireless transmission for faster WiFi and cellular speeds.

We've seen a battery allegedly for the Apple Watch that features a capacity of 303.8mAh, which is not too far off from the 296mAh battery in the Series 5 models, so we're not expecting significant gains in battery life other than what comes through software improvements.

There have been some murky rumors about mental health capabilities that would let the ‌Apple Watch Series 6‌ detect panic attacks or high levels of stress and provide breathing exercises to calm people down.

If this feature exists, it could rely on heart rate data or it could take into account blood oxygen levels as well as breathing rate to make determinations about stress levels.

New Apple Watch models have always released alongside iPhones in the past, but the 2020 launch dates are unclear given the iPhone delays. Leaker Jon Prosser, who has something of a mixed track record, believes Apple will introduce the Apple Watch via press release next week, well ahead of when new iPhones launch.

Since Apple has never decoupled Apple Watch launches from ‌iPhone‌ launches, it's not clear if this information is accurate, but we don't have long to wait to find out. If an Apple Watch launch doesn't happen next week, Japanese site Mac Otakara believes the Series 6 will be unveiled at an October event alongside the iPhone 12 models.

Apple in late August registered eight new Apple Watch models with the Eurasian Economic Commission, a filing that's required ahead of any new product release. Oftentimes these filings herald an upcoming product launch, so there are definitely new models on the horizon.

For more on what to expect from the ‌Apple Watch Series 6‌, make sure to check out our roundup.

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

Top Rated Comments

bernoulli Avatar
8 months ago

O2 saturation would come in handy to roughly gauge fitness and lung performance over extended exercising. It would be a nice, good-to-know, feature.
As an anaesthesiologist, I would have to disagree with that statement. Oxygen saturation does not gauge fitness or lung performance. Well, not in the way you are thinking. If your oxygen saturation is below 95% regardless of any setting may indicate there could potentially be pathological VQ mismatch.

To gauge performance then you would be looking at more like vo2 max which could actually be estimated using the heart rate ratio without any need of pulse oximetry;
VO2 max ~ hr max/hr rest x 15.3 mls/kg/min
There are also other ways of estimating VO2 max.

Other things one could look at are things like aerobic or anaerobic threshold.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jav6454 Avatar
8 months ago
O2 saturation would come in handy to roughly gauge fitness and lung performance over extended exercising. It would be a nice, good-to-know, feature.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
im2fast4u Avatar
8 months ago
Let's wait and WATCH... next week or next month
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nordique Avatar
8 months ago
An absolutely game changing feature would be non invasive glucose monitoring

Relatively speaking, oxygen monitoring is a useless feature. It’s like a nice add on, but nothing integral

I’d say the hand washing and breathing features have more practical and functional use than the oxygen sat.


Are you a med student, RN, MD, or PA?
MD.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jlocker Avatar
8 months ago
Can not believe that my Apple Watch version 1 is still running from the original launch of the watches. I think it is time to upgrade :)
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple_Robert Avatar
8 months ago

An absolutely game changing feature would be non invasive glucose monitoring

Relatively speaking, oxygen monitoring is a useless feature. It’s like a nice add on, but nothing integral

I’d say the hand washing and breathing features have more practical and functional use than the oxygen sat.



MD.
I appreciate you taking the time to inform us on the merits (or rather lack thereof) that many of us have misconstrued. I hope you will continue to do so as time permits.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

siir apple event april 20

Siri Reveals Apple Event Planned for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 12:04 am PDT by
Siri has apparently prematurely revealed that Apple plans to hold an event on Tuesday, April 20, where the company is expected to reveal brand new iPad Pro models and possibly its long-awaited AirTags trackers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Upon being asked "When is the next Apple Event," Siri is currently responding with, "The special event is on Tuesday, April...
apple event spring loaded

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Officially Announced for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Following an overnight leak by Siri, Apple today officially announced that it will be holding a special "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with all of Apple's 2020 events, the April 2021 event will be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to attend in...
apple event hashflag

Twitter Hashflag for April 20 Apple Event Goes Live

Tuesday April 13, 2021 2:21 pm PDT by
Following the overnight Siri leak and subsequent announcement that Apple will hold a media event on Tuesday, April 20, a new Twitter hashflag has appeared to help provide visibility for the event on the platform. For the last several recent events, Apple has utilized hashflags, which are little icons next to hashtags on Twitter, as a way to market its events. The company first started the...
iphone12cameras

Kuo: 2022 iPhones to Feature 48-Megapixel Camera, 8K Video, and 6.1 and 6.7" Sizes With No 5.4" Mini Option

Tuesday April 13, 2021 10:45 pm PDT by
The upcoming 2022 iPhone lineup will feature two 6.1-inch devices and two 6.7-inch devices, with no mini-sized 5.4-inch iPhone, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note to investors that was seen by MacRumors. Two of the iPhones will be high-end models and two of the iPhones will be lower-end models, similar to the current iPhone 12 lineup. Apple introduced the 5.4-inch...
macos catalina serial number

Apple Preparing Rollout of New Randomized Product Serial Numbers Ahead of 'Spring Loaded' Event

Wednesday April 14, 2021 2:08 am PDT by
Apple is advising its authorized premium resellers and dealers to prepare for new products with 10 and 12 digital serial numbers, days ahead of when it's expected to reveal a slew of new products. MacRumors previously reported that Apple plans to switch to randomized serial numbers for future products starting in early 2021. The company now seems to be preparing for that roll-out, telling...
duanrui iphone13 notch samples

More Leaked iPhone 13 Samples Show Smaller Notch, Repositioned Earpiece and Front Camera

Wednesday April 14, 2021 1:06 am PDT by
Leaker known as "DuanRui" has today shared an image of two iPhone 13 "film samples," which show the same rumored smaller notch design coming to the iPhone 13 series that we've seen from other sources. In past tweets, DuanRui has accurately leaked the correct names of the iPhone 12 models and an iPad Air 4 manual revealing its new design, so there's good reason to think this leak is credible, ...
Google maps feaure green

Google Maps App for iOS Finally Updated After Four Months

Monday April 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Following the completed rollout of App Privacy labels for its App Store apps, Google today updated the Google Maps app for the first time in four months. Apple in December began requiring all new app submissions and app updates to include App Privacy labels, detailing the data that is collected by the app so consumers know what they're sharing. Google didn't begin implementing App Privacy ...
iPad Pro Mini LED

Mini-LED iPad Pro Expected at Apple Event on April 20 as Production Ramps Up

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:53 am PDT by
Apple today announced that it will be hosting a virtual event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time, and one of the new products expected to be unveiled at the event is a new iPad Pro with a Mini-LED display. In a brief snippet shared with paid subscribers, Taiwanese supply chain news website DigiTimes today reported that Apple supplier Ennostar has substantially improved its yield...
apple event particularly innovative article

Gurman: Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Won't Feature Anything 'Particularly Innovative'

Thursday April 15, 2021 1:30 am PDT by
Bloomberg's highly-respected Mark Gurman says that he expects nothing "particularly innovative" or "extraordinary" to launch at Apple's "Spring Loaded" event next week, Tuesday, April 20. Gurman made the remarks during an interview for Bloomberg Technology, in which he reaffirmed that Apple will launch a new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with the higher-end model featuring a brand new...
spotify car thing 1

Spotify Announces the 'Car Thing' as its First Hardware Device

Tuesday April 13, 2021 7:03 am PDT by
Spotify has today announced its first hardware device, the "Car Thing," which is an in-car dash-mounted music and podcast player (via TechCrunch). Spotify is looking to provide a product for customers who want a "more seamless" and personalized in-car listening experience, especially in the large number of cars that do not support modern in-car infotainment systems. The Car Thing is aimed ...