Can you believe that the Apple Watch is already three years old? Although it didn't really light the world on fire when it debuted, it had the shot in the arm it needed with the updated features and revamped interfaces of Series 2 and 3.
Judging by its sales figures and the public's general acceptance, the Apple Watch is now the top smartwatch out there. Finally, Apple's bold vision for wearables and mobile computing is taking off.
And why not? The Apple Watch is the truly perfect complement to an iPhone.
But where is Apple taking its wearable in the near future? With the unveiling of watchOS 5 during this year's WWDC, should we expect hardware upgrades and the inevitable Apple Watch Series 4 this year?
Here's our Apple Watch wishlist for 2018:
There are credible reports that the Apple Watch Series 4 will have smaller bezels and a 15 percent larger display.
This makes a lot of sense since Apple's future design direction seems to point to edge-to-edge displays ala iPhone X.
MicroLED = better battery
Another report stated that Apple will be producing its own MicroLED screens. MicroLED screens are slimmer and brighter but a lot more power efficient than OLED screens.
This display technology is perfect for wearables, so if it ever makes it to the next Apple Watch, it will mean longer battery life.
In line with the changes to the home button of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8, we might see the same haptic-based solid state button on the next Apple Watch.
So instead of a clickable physical button, the side button of the Series 4 watches may mimic the Taptic Engine based virtual buttons of other Apple products.
One feature that the Apple Watch still lacks when compared to other fitness trackers (like the Fitbit) is sleep tracking.
Apple could easily integrate this with the Apple Watch but what's obviously holding it back is the Apple Watch's battery that still requires nightly charging.
If Apple can figure out a way to stretch the Apple's watch battery life to a few days (maybe with MicroLEDs and bigger batteries?) then sleep tracking is something that can make it to the next Apple Watch.
More health sensors
We keep hearing about Apple's work with advanced health monitoring sensors. And 2018 might be the year we're finally going to see them on the Apple Watch.
The company is really serious about incorporating new medical innovations on the Apple Watch. Sensors that can measure a person's vitals like blood glucose and heart rate can dramatically change how people use wearables.
Are we going to see the rumored advanced EKG heart monitor and a non-invasive blood sugar sensor on the next Apple Watch? We certainly hope so.
Third-party watch faces
Starting with watchOS 5, Apple will finally consent to third-party app support for Siri watch faces. Will this pave the way for third-party Apple Watch faces and an Apple Watch Face store too?
I mean, the current Apple Watch faces are fine, with more of them being added with every update, but third-party watch faces will open the floodgates for endless customization and personalization. Frankly, I can't wait.
Apple Watch Series 4 Release
For the past two years, new versions of the Apple Watch always graced the iPhone launch event in September.
If Apple is going to sell the Apple Watch Series 4 this year, it's likely that they'll unveil it alongside the new iPhones again.
Older versions of the Apple Watch got some price cuts along the way as the newer versions were released. We're expecting that Apple will stick with this plan.
The Series 4 will most likely cost the same as what the Series 3 is now (at least $329). Cellular connected models will be more expensive, of course.
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