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 (Caution)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

bernoulli Avatar
12 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
12 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
12 months ago
Let's wait and WATCH... next week or next month
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nordique Avatar
12 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
12 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
12 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

Pro Display XDR Yella

Apple Working on External Display With Built-In A13 Chip

Friday July 23, 2021 9:37 am PDT by
Apple is developing an external display that includes an A13 chip with Neural Engine, according to a new rumor from 9to5Mac. The A13 chip with Neural Engine would presumably serve as an eGPU, though details are light at this time. Having a CPU/GPU built into the external display could help Macs deliver high-resolution graphics without using all the resources of the computer's internal chip....
maxresdefault

Apple Music to Livestream Premiere of Kanye West's New Album 'Donda' on Thursday

Wednesday July 21, 2021 1:49 am PDT by
Apple Music on Thursday will host a global livestream for the premiere of Kanye West's tenth studio album, titled "Donda." The sold-out event will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, and Apple Music's livestream will start at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The livestream was revealed in a Beats Studio Buds ad that aired during the NBA Finals. The ad features U.S. track...
airpods 3 gizmochina Feature

AirPods 3 Rumored to Launch Alongside iPhone 13 at Expected September Event

Friday July 23, 2021 12:54 am PDT by
The third-generation AirPods will likely launch at the same event revealing Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup, according to a report from DigiTimes, which makes the claim citing sources familiar with the matter. The report as a whole echoes previous reporting that production of the third-generation AirPods will kickstart in August, meaning a launch shortly after can be easily expected. DigiTi...
idos 2 app ios

Apple to Pull 'iDOS 2' DOS Emulator From App Store

Thursday July 22, 2021 3:22 pm PDT by
iDOS 2, an app designed to allow users to play classic DOS games, will soon be pulled from the App Store, the app's creator said today. According to iDOS developer Chaoji Li, he tried to submit an iDOS update with bug fixes to the App Store, but was told that the update was rejected because it violated the 2.5.2 App Store guideline that says apps cannot install or launch executable code.Durin...
iPad mini pro feature

Next iPad Mini Won't Feature Mini-LED Display, Claims Display Analyst

Friday July 23, 2021 8:07 am PDT by
Yesterday, DigiTimes claimed that the upcoming iPad mini will feature a mini-LED display, but now, display analyst Ross Young is going at odds with that report, claiming that while the updated iPad mini continues to be on track for a release this year, it won't feature a mini-LED display. Young says he "confirmed" with Radiant Opto-Electronics, who DigiTimes claims would provide Apple with...
AirPods Pro Beta Firmware

AirPods Pro Beta Firmware Now Available

Wednesday July 21, 2021 6:50 am PDT by
Upcoming AirPods Pro firmware updates are now available to Apple Developer Program members as beta versions. AirPods Pro firmware beta one features FaceTime Spatial Audio and Ambient Noise Reduction. Custom Transparency mode, including Conversation Boost, was initially expected to be included in the beta but appears to have been delayed for a later version. Apple made the announcement...
iPad mini pro feature

Next-Generation iPad Mini Will Reportedly Feature a Mini-LED Display

Thursday July 22, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple is widely rumored to be planning a new iPad mini with a significant redesign, including a larger 8.5-inch to 9-inch display with slimmer bezels, a Touch ID power button instead of a home button, a USB-C port instead of a Lightning connector, and more. According to a paywalled preview of a DigiTimes report today, the sixth-generation iPad mini will also feature a mini-LED display:BLU...
discount m1 macbook yellow

Deals: Shop Record Low Prices Across Apple's Full MacBook Pro and MacBook Air Lineup (Up to $499 Off)

Friday July 23, 2021 8:23 am PDT by
Apple's MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lineup is seeing all-time low discounts across the board today, including the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro, 2020 13-inch MacBook Air, and 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. 13-Inch M1...
ios wifi settings

Apple Confirms iOS 14.7 Fixes WiFi Bug and Many Other Vulnerabilities

Wednesday July 21, 2021 11:38 am PDT by
Following the release of iPadOS 14.7 this morning, Apple has shared details on the security updates that are included in iOS 14.7, iPadOS 14.7, macOS Big Sur 11.5, watchOS 7.6, and tvOS 14.7, all of which came out this week. Notably, Apple's documentation confirms that the iOS 14.7 and iPadOS 14.7 updates address a WiFi-related vulnerability that could impact iOS devices when joining a...
macOS Big Sur Feature Orange

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.5 With Podcast App Updates and Bug Fixes

Wednesday July 21, 2021 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.5, the fifth major update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November 2020. macOS Big Sur 11.5 comes two months after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.4. The new ‌‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌‌ 11.5 update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences. macOS Big Sur...