Industry analysts suggest that the Cupertino-based tech firm will reveal a new Apple Watch with touch-sensitive solid-state buttons.
Consumers can reportedly expect the new model to launch this fall.
Rumored Changes For The Next Smartwatch Model
Sources claim that Apple will not make any drastic changes to the wearable's design. This means that the upcoming model will still follow the same shape and button placement as the current one, although there will be a couple of tweaks.
Instead of mechanical buttons used by all of the Apple Watch models so far, the new device will come with digital buttons, just like the ones on the iPhone 7 and later models. A company insider confirms that the digital crown will still mechanically rotate for navigation. However, both the rotating crown and the side button will no longer register a physical click.
The new Apple Watch will vibrate slightly to let owners know if the buttons registered the input. It looks like the Taptic Engine will be in play to give users the same haptic effect found on other Apple products.
Familiar Technology And Its Advantages
Most people consider the haptic feedback that will come with the new Apple Watch as a logical move for the company. Other products developed by Apple such as the new MacBooks and some of its later iPod control wheels abandoned physical buttons in favor of solid-state components.
Experts point out that the application of non-moving parts to the wearable will allows engineers to improve its ingress protection. Just like the iPhone 7, which earned an IP67 rating thanks to the removal of its physical home button, the upcoming device will presumably flaunt improved water and dust protection than its predecessor.
Aside from improved ingress protection, non-moving digital components occupy smaller spaces, which suggest that the new smartwatch could hold a bigger battery.
More Functions On The Way And Streamlined Design
The insider likewise teases that the Apple Watch's switch to digital buttons will open up more opportunities to add more features to the wearable. As of now, the only biometric sensor available on the device is the optical heart rate sensor on the bottom side of the frame. Designers can integrate more sensors on top of the digital buttons.
On the other hand, speculation suggests that a future design of the wearable will no longer come with any buttons. Users can map certain functions and navigation on any of the available sides of its frame. It looks like Apple's removal of the headphone jack and physical home button might be a preview of future products that rely on touch, gestures, and maybe even more.