Apple Watch Series 3 Rumor Rollup: New display, more energy & watchOS beta 3.2

Issues at Apple Watch manufacturer could spell a display change for smart watch

Apple Watch Series 3 Rumor Rollup: New display, more energy & watchOS beta 3.2

iPhone 8 rumormongers don't get to have all the fun: Speculation has started to swirl about the Apple Watch Series 3, expected to arrive around the same time as the 10th anniversary Apple smartphone in the fall.

The next Apple smart watch, which competes with products from LG, Samsung and others, is expected to boast performance and battery life improvements. The Series 2 watch came with improved performance, a brighter display, better water resistance, a built-in GPS and more. (Apple Watches start in under-$300 range and rise in price into the thousands, depending on model, and are available from Apple as well as retail partners like Best Buy and Walmart.)

On Display

The hottest rumor this week is that Apple will ditch the glass display panels found in its current smartwatch models, including the Series 2 devices revealed last fall, in favor of touch sensitive glass-film. Asia's DigiTimes is the original source of this news, and other Apple watchers have followed up with their takes.

The possible changes to the watch appear to result in part from manufacturing challenges at an Apple supplier called TPK Holding. "The difficulty in raising yield rates for [touch on lens] panels comes from the curved surface of Apple Watch screens that complicate the manufacturing for touch sensors, the sources said, adding the low yield rates resulted in losses for the company in 2016," according to DigiTimes.

So whether the display change is just a supplier issue, or one that will have ramifications for customers, is unclear.

Charging ahead

One rumor that's clearly about customer benefit focuses on the possibility that future Apple Watch models will charge up when you twist the digital crown currently used to navigate the device. Or as one headline put it: "Apple Watch 3 battery life will last forever thaks to this innovative new feature."

Tech Radar cites Apple's "Connector-free magnetic charger/winder" patent filing for an energy-producing crown that takes its cues from traditional wind-up watches. Apple says its watches now are designed for 18 hours of battery life, though performance varies based on how you use the watch.

New Apple Watch software

Finally, this is no rumor. Apple did this week release its watchOS 3.2 beta software to developers. 

As MacRumors reports, Version 3.2 includes Theater Mode, which lets you quickly turn off the sound and nix the ability for the watch to light up if you're at a place like a movie theater.

Apple also is bringing SiriKit to the Apple Watch, enabling users to ask Siri to do things like send messages or make a call. SiriKit came to iOS devices like iPhones and iPads via iOS 10.

MORE: 12 lesser-known Apple Watch tips and tricks you should know

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