2023 wasn’t a very exciting year for the Apple Watch. Sure, the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 have a new S9 processor that allows for localized Siri and double tap gestures, but otherwise, not much has changed. There were no new sensors or battery life improvements, and the Ultra 2 is virtually identical to the first Apple Watch Ultra.
With the new year approaching, I’m hoping to see more big updates to the Apple Watch, especially as we approach the 10th anniversary of the announcement of the first Apple Watch. Here’s what I’d like to see from the Apple Watch in 2024.
Non-invasive blood glucose tracking
It’s probably a few years away, but I’d love to see Apple integrate a form of non-invasive blood glucose monitoring into the Apple Watch. This is a feature I’ve been hoping to see for years, and I’d pay top dollar to get it in my next Apple Watch.
I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2018, and although my case was mild compared to other people, I decided to get a glucose monitor to keep track of my daily blood sugar levels. Although I’ve gotten used to having a lancet pricked in my finger several times a day, it’s not my favorite thing in the world. And yes, I know there are continuous glucose monitors available, but they can be expensive. The idea of having a hole drilled into my skin for a sensor that stays in place scares me too.
My iPhone and Apple Watch have been valuable tools in helping me manage my diabetes over the years. My dream is that the Apple Watch could help me monitor my blood sugar without putting any needles or sensors in my skin. Although completely accurate readings may not be possible, it will still help, even if it is mainly for people who are still in the prediabetic stages.
Then again, we probably won’t see this kind of technology in the Apple Watch, or any other smartwatch or health wearable device, in the next few years. But Apple is working on it, and I hope so.
blood pressure monitoring
Surprisingly, no new health sensors were introduced in the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2. I hope Apple has some new health additions planned for the next Apple Watch, and I think blood pressure monitoring would be nice to consider.
When we think of blood pressure, we think of those blood pressure cuffs that tighten and compress our wrists and arms. How will it work with smartwatches? Surprisingly, this has already been done by Samsung with the Galaxy Watch 6 series, at least in the UK, but it requires a traditional blood pressure cuff for calibration, so it’s a replacement rather than a full replacement. Complements what already exists.
I’d love to see Apple do something similar with the Apple Watch, even if it requires a traditional cuff like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6. I don’t need to monitor my blood pressure as much as I need to check my blood sugar levels. But this is still one more extra thing I would like to provide.
Non-Proprietary Wireless Charging
The Apple Watch, like almost every other smartwatch, uses its own proprietary charger. In the case of the Apple Watch, it’s a magnetic charging puck. The latest versions of the Apple Watch charging puck are capable of charging the Apple Watch quickly, and yes, that’s great. But that’s still another cable I have to bring along when I travel.
I’d like to see Apple make it possible to charge the Apple Watch via a regular wireless charging pad or even via reverse wireless charging from an Android phone. Samsung’s Galaxy Watch can do this, so it’s a bit ridiculous that the Apple Watch still requires a proprietary charger.
Or, hear me out: How about solar charging for the Apple Watch? This will also make the Apple Watch more sustainable and eco-friendly as you will not need to rely on any type of charger other than the sun, which is natural. Some smartwatches already do this, like the Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar and the Casio GA-B2100. Plus, with the Apple Watch being able to detect how much time you spend in daylight with watchOS 10, it’s a perfect opportunity for Apple to double down on these efforts.
EU legislation prompted Apple to finally get rid of Lightning and move to USB-C for the iPhone 15, so could the same happen with the Apple Watch? I sure hope so. Maybe not in 2024, but someday.
body temperature sensing throughout the day
Apple added a body temperature sensor starting with the Apple Watch Series 8, and it has been included ever since. However, it is only used to track body temperature at night when you wear the Apple Watch to sleep, and it is helpful for family planning with women.
I would like Apple to modify the body temperature sensor to track your body temperature throughout the day instead of just at night. As someone who doesn’t wear an Apple Watch Ultra to sleep (it’s too heavy for that), I haven’t been able to find any real use for the body temperature sensor.
The temperature sensor would be more useful if it could track it during the day. For example, if I were coming down with something during the day, the temperature sensor might indicate that something is wrong. Limiting it to just night at bedtime isn’t that helpful to me, and I’m sure other people feel the same way.
long battery life
Although the Apple Watch Ultra has impressed with longer battery life, the main Apple Watch series hasn’t really seen any improvements in battery life. We get the same general 18-hour battery, which is generally enough for a day, although you’ll need to put it on a charger at some point.
Meanwhile, other fitness trackers and smartwatches, like the Garmin Vivoactive 5 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, can last a few days on a single charge. I’d love to see the regular Apple Watch go at least two full days before needing a charge, and maybe even extend the battery life of the Ultra to make the difference more significant.
It’s a bit disappointing that you can only spend most of the day with the regular Apple Watch compared to its competitors. It is expected that Apple can put a slightly bigger battery in it.
it’s time for change
These are some things I would love to see in the Apple Watch for 2024, even though some are unlikely to happen. I was a little disappointed with the Series 9 and Ultra 2 this year, as they weren’t as game-changing as I expected.
But next year will mark 10 years since the Apple Watch was first announced — and it’s time for some big changes. After all, Apple did this for the iPhone’s 10th anniversary with the iPhone I’ll keep my fingers crossed, and so should you.