Yesterday marked one full year since the release of the Apple Watch, and in case you haven't noticed, there isn't a proper follow-up device just yet. Bit of a change from Apple's typically reliable annual release schedule, no?
Maybe that's because Apple isn't just preparing a modest revision to the Apple Watch - maybe the second model will do a lot more to advance the wearable experience for Apple fans. According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple may do that by adding in standalone cellular connectivity.
Currently, like most smartwatches, the Apple Watch must be paired to an iPhone to pull notifications and utilise its network connection. It's part of the reason why the Apple Watch can feel slow when using apps and services, even after last year's watchOS 2 upgrade that allowed apps to run directly from the Watch itself.
But if the next Apple Watch can carry its own connection, then you won't have to worry about having your iPhone in range, or having to deal with the delay of device-to-device communication. The report also says the second Watch will be faster, but that's certainly no surprise.
Granted, there's also a matter of cost when it comes to having a connection on your smartwatch, but carriers tend to treat them as add-on devices, charging a smaller fee to tap into the same plan as your phone. And it would surely be an optional feature; we suspect you'll be able to just use your phone connection with the Watch 2 as you can now.
Rumours suggest the Apple Watch 2 will release later this year alongside the iPhone 7, and a recent Apple patent application showcased modular smart bands that could add optional functionality to a smartwatch - another possible highlight of a next-gen Apple Watch.
[Source: The Wall Street Journal]