Apple Watch 2 details leak: FaceTime camera and more planned

apple watch compare
Credit: Rob Schultz

Much like the iPhone, the Apple Watch is an iterative product, which is to say that Apple will undoubtedly add a slew of new and compelling features in future releases. So, much in the same way that we might laugh at how limited the original iPhone's feature set was, so too will we wonder how we ever managed to survive with a first-gen Apple Watch.

Looking ahead to the Apple Watch 2, Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac recently published an in-depth look at a number of features Apple is hoping to add to its next-gen wearable. Suffice it to say, the Apple Watch 2 is already looking like it will be a substantial improvement over its predecessor.

First off, the next-gen Apple Watch may prove to be even more futuristic, what with the addition of a FaceTime camera that will enable users to video chat right from their wrists.

Second, Apple is reportedly hard at work ensuring that future Apple Watch models will retain even more functionality in situations when an iPhone isn't around. 

"In order to make the next-generation Apple Watch more capable without a connected iPhone," Gurman writes, "Apple intends to integrate a new and more dynamic wireless chipset into the wearable. Although the Apple Watch 2 will likely continue to require an iPhone for heavy data transfers, including software upgrades and the synchronization of media files, basic communication tasks could be handled without iPhone assistance."

This is encouraging news as it addresses one of the more common complaints about the Apple Watch, namely that it works great, but without a paired iPhone, its utility plummets drastically.

On the battery life front, don't expect to see any huge leaps forward. Apple market studies have reportedly found that battery life for most individuals is sufficient and that most users have no problem charging their watch overnight. Indeed, though the notion of charging one's watch rubbed some people the wrong way initially, it's funny how quickly early adapters grow accustomed to new behaviors. We also saw this back when the iPhone first launched amidst a sea of basic feature phones that didn't necessarily require frequent charging.

As for a release date, it's likely that the Apple Watch 2 will launch sometime in 2016 with even more watch band options. One of the more interesting points relayed by Gurman is that Apple is "looking at ways to attract customers at price points between $1,000 and $10,000."

Again, the Apple Watch is a platform that Apple will continue to invest in for years down the line. What may today seem like a product that's not necessarily for everyone may very well turn into a game changer sooner than you might think.

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