A new version of the Apple Watch is big news. And if speculation is to be believed, a new improved edition of Apple's hugely successful hyper-connected smartwatch is due later in the year, possibly in September. Question is, what can Cupertino's finest boffins add to the already impressive current Apple Watch, the Series 7? And is it worth waiting for? Read on to learn what we know so far about the Apple Watch Series 8
First things first. It seems likely - always remembering that Apple pride themselves on surprises - that the latest Apple Watch will simply be called the Series 8, no more no less. The first Apple Watch was simply known as that - or Series 0 to the real aficionados - while the most affordable version, introduced as part of the Series 6 range, is known as the SE. Otherwise, the various iterations are known simply by the word Series and the appropriate number. So Series 8 it is. Almost certainly.
And so to the rumours and speculation. Prime among them, as reported by Bloomberg News, is that with the Series 8, Apple is considering adding a rugged option. This might be called "Explorer" or even "Sport", depending on which reports you believe. Either way, a rugged Apple Watch would have greater impact resistance and a rubberised casing. It would be aimed at, among others, extreme athletes. Casio's long-running series of G-Shock watches, regarded as just about indestructible, is the obvious comparison.
Next up: improved health features. Apple has reportedly filed patents related to blood sugar levels. The idea is that the Series 8 would be able to measure your blood sugar non-invasively using, according to DigiTimes, infrared sensors and other technology still under development. This would be a boon to, in particular, anyone with diabetes. It's reported this feature may be beyond the Series 8, but as we’ve said Apple does have a way with the unexpected. Blood pressure monitoring is considered more likely.
Other speculation is more about the size of the Series 8 and the various aesthetic options. Could Apple introduce more and still bolder colours? Might there be a third size on offer, in addition to the two currently marketed? Longer battery life is an easier one to predict, much along the lines of the improvements in the most recent generations of the iPhone, with battery life often seen as an Apple weakness.
And so to our final question: is the Series 8 worth waiting for? The answer depends on how much of an Apple fan you are and how much you're attracted by the notional new features. Pricing seems unlikely to change much - but remember that with many Apple launches, previous models are available for a short time at a discount, which in the premium world of Apple is a rarity. Latest version to flaunt or older one that's good for your wallet? Choices, choices.