Apple Watch Series 5: What to expect

Apple's next smartwatch is expected to appear alongside the new iPhones, and there have been plenty of rumours surrounding it.

Here's everything we've heard so far about the Apple Watch Series 5, coupled with what we want and expect to see.


What will the next Apple Watch be called?


- Probably Apple Watch Series 5


Unlike the iPhone, Apple didn't mess around with the Watch naming structure. Since the original was followed by the Apple Watch Series 1, the company has followed with sequential numbers every year.


It is therefore highly likely we can expect the 2019 model of the company's smartwatch to be called the Apple Watch Series 5, succeeding 2018's Apple Watch Series 4.


You never know though, maybe it will be called Apple Watch X, but we doubt it.


Apple Watch Series 5 release date


- 10 September 2019


Apple has announced its next event will take place on 10 September and the Apple Watch Series 5 is expected to be part of the new product line up.


Typically, the new iPhones will be available to pre-order on the Friday after the event - which would be 13 September - followed by an on-sale date of the Friday after - 20 September. It is not yet clear if the Apple Watch will follow the same release structure though.


What we want and expect to see on the next Apple Watch


- Focus on fitness - more advanced features

- Improved battery life

- Always On Display

- Smart straps

- Sleep tracking


The Apple Watch Series 4 made some big design changes in terms of display. The general style and shape remains the same as the original Watch, but the Series 4 offers a lot more screen in similar footprints.


We're therefore not expecting huge design changes for the Apple Watch Series 5. Instead, we expect 2019 to be more of an "S" year for the Watch, allowing the iPhone to snap up the limelight. The Apple Watch has had the same form factor since it was first introduced so we would be surprised to see this change, especially this year, but hey, you never know.


What we do expect however, is more health and fitness features, perhaps taking on the likes of Garmin with more running functions like cadence tracking for example. Garmin also do a great job of enabling users to share their runs or activity so we wouldn't be surprised to see Apple take a leaf out of this book. See what Apple has announced for watchOS 6 already below.


We'd like to see battery improvements to match other smartwatches in the market, like the Samsung Galaxy Watch and we'd also like to see an Always On Display for the Series 5, as well as roaming capabilities and sleep tracking capabilities. It would also be great to see the Apple Watch unlock more. Rather than just being able to unlock your Mac, perhaps it could act as your office key card too, for example.


Other possibilities could include things like smart straps, third party support for watch faces, a camera and Face ID, though we suspect the latter two are wishful thinking rather than plausible additions, mainly due to lack of space for the sensors.


What's new in watchOS 6?


- Coming to Apple Watch Series 1 or later

- Has its own App Store

- Plus women's health features


The next-generation Apple Watch software was announced in June 2019 and it has a few tricks up its sleeve which will come to Apple Watch Series 5. There's an App Store, a step towards Apple Watch not being so reliant on your iPhone.


There are new watch faces, as you'd expect - a new gradient face, digital face and more, while you can also get Apple Watch to alert you at the top of the hour. A new Noise app alerts you if the decibel level is too high around you - it's designed for those regularly in noisy environments where there is potential for gradual hearing loss after long-term exposure.


Then there's a cycle tracking feature that will enable female watch wearers to track menstrual cycles. You can also get predictions about fertile times. This will be available in the Health App in iOS, too, so you won't necessarily need an Apple Watch.


Finally new Apple Watch apps for voice memos, calculator and audiobooks are also due - and the calculator will be able to split-the-bill and work out tips.


Apple Watch Series 5 rumours: What's happened?


Here are all the rumours and news so far, surrounding the Apple Watch Series 5.


3 September 2019: Apple Watch sleep tracking could arrive next week with watchOS 6

Sources have told 9to5Mac that Apple is working on sleep tracking for the Apple Watch and it might not need new hardware - suggesting it could arrive with watchOS 6.


The report from 9to5Mac says the Apple Watch will monitor the quality of sleep by using the sensors within the Apple Watch to track the user's movement, heart rate and noise, delivering the data into the Apple Health app, as well as a new Sleep app for the Watch.


29 August 2019: Apple will unveil the next iPhone at 10 September event

Apple sent out invites for its next event, which will take place on 10 September 2019 at Apple Park in Cupertino. The next iPhones are expected at the event, along with the new Apple Watch but nothing is confirmed as yet.


22 August 2019: Apple iPhone 11 'Pro', Watch Series 5 and AirPods 3 details revealed in new report

A report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has revealed a number of details regarding Apple's upcoming devices, including what is expected for the next Watch.


According to the report, the next Apple Watch won't change much in terms of design, with a focus on the watchOS 6 software instead. It does mention the new case finishes that have been previously suggested in rumours though.


21 August 2019: New Apple filings reveal dozens of unreleased iPhones and Apple Watches

Apple filed several unreleased products with the Eurasian Economic Commission, including four new Apple Watches and and dozen iPhones.


The filings don't give much away but they could support the rumour of titanium and ceramic models in both 40mm and 44mm size options, or they could refer to different models entirely.


19 August 2019: Apple Watch Series 5 could come in titanium and ceramic models

Some leaked WatchOS 6 assets indicate we could see the return of the ceramic casing, as well as a new titanium casing for the Apple Watch Series 5.


The assets were discovered by iHelpBR and they show the animation that appears when you first set up an Apple Watch. Titanium and ceramic casing are both mentioned for the 40mm and 44mm options. Of course it could be new material options for the Series 4, but we're betting on them coming to the Series 5 model.


5 August 2019: Apple Watch could use in-display fingerprint sensor

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has claimed Apple will introduce an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor into the 2021 iPhone, but he also said the technology could be used in a new Apple Watch too.


Currently, the Apple Watch has no biometric security but an in-display fingerprint sensor would allow it to offer some, without changing the design.


3 June 2019: WatchOS 6 confirmed

Apple announced the new version of its watch software that will come to the Apple Watch Series 5 when it's launched - see above.


3 April 2019: OLED screens ordered for Series 5

Reuters reported that Apple has asked Japan Display to supply new OLED screens, which are presumed to be for the next generation of Apple Watch. No further details were provided though.


26 February 2019: Apple testing sleep tracking for Watch

Bloomberg reported that Apple was testing sleep tracking technology for its Apple Watch, though it's not expected to arrive until 2020.


16 January 2019: Three big health features rumoured

The Fast Company reported that Apple has hired numerous clinicians and engineers to work on health features for the Apple Watch, which are said to include blood pressure, blood glucose or diabetes management and sleep tracking or science.


8 May 2018: Patent for round Apple Watch approved

A patent for circular screen technology was approved, after being originally filed in January 2016. The filing mentioned wrist wear, leading some to assume a circular Apple Watch was coming.