Apple has taken the wraps off its next-generation smartwatch, Apple Watch Series 7. This new smartwatch represents the biggest shake-up of the design since the Apple Watch range launched back in April 2015. Apple has extended the curved screen so that it bleeds over the edge of the case – maximising the amount of display on your wrist, without substantially increasing the size of the enclosure, compared to the previous generation.
As before, Apple Watch will be available in two different sizes for smaller and larger wrists. Apple is also keeping the aluminium and stainless steel models, with new colours available in each of these materials. Nike and Hermès editions of the Apple Watch Series 7 will be available this autumn too.
Aside from the glossy new colour options, including the return of Midnight Blue and Products (RED), the biggest change to the new wearable is the expansive new screen. The Cupertino-based company has taken the opportunity to expand the screen size of both variants of the Apple Watch Series 7. The last time that Apple thinned the borders around the touchscreen to increase the amount of screen real estate was with the arrival of the Apple Watch Series 4 in September 2018.
Compared to the Apple Watch Series 3, Apple says the Series 7 has 50 percent more screen. And it’s 70 percent brighter, so it should be easier to check your workouts, incoming text messages, and more when outside in bright sunlight. The larger touchscreen can fit 50 percent more text compared to last year’s Series 6, Apple says. Unsurprisingly, Apple has added a number of new watch face designs to take advantage of the extra real estate on the Apple Watch Series 7.
While all current Apple Watch models will be able to update to watchOS 8.0, things will look a little different on Apple Watch Series 7. Apple says that it has reworked all of the buttons and user interface elements to make use of the larger screen. For example, when replying to a text message on an Apple Watch Series 7, you’ll be able to access to a full QWERTY keyboard on-screen. Apple says Series 7 will require less scrolling when reading, something that should comer in handy when you’re using turn-by-turn directions.
Charging has also been given a boost with the new model. A new USB-C charging cable supplied with the Apple Watch Series 7 will recharge a depleted watch to 80 percent in 45 minutes. Eight minutes of charge will add enough battery to endure eight hours of sleep tracking with the built-in Sleep app, Apple says.
Despite the dramatically bigger screens, Apple Watch Series 7 will remain compatible with the same straps used on earlier models. For anyone who has invested heavily in a variety of bands for their wearable over the years – Apple sells everything from sport-focused loops, to leather straps held together with magnets, and stainless steel link bracelets for £349 – they will be reassured to know that all of these will still work with the latest watch.
Apple Watch Series 7 will ship with watchOS 8.0 preinstalled, although the new operating system will be available to older smartwatch models. WatchOS 8 will release soon to Apple Watch Series 3, Series 4, Series 5, Watch SE, and Series 6. However, due to the older hardware inside the Series 3, it won’t receive a number of the flashier new features. Its smaller screen size also means it can’t support a number of watch face designs.
watchOS 8 includes a new design that uses the depth-map data from Portrait Mode photos captured on iPhone to place elements of the watch face behind the subject of the photo. So, you can have an image of your partner, with their face in the foreground, and a blurred background with the date and time behind their head.
AI-generated albums of friends, family, and certain events will be generated within the Photos app on Apple Watch. These collections can be shared with a few taps via iMessage and other messaging platforms supported by watchOS.
Elsewhere, the popular Breathe app has been reimagined, expanded and renamed Mindfulness. There is also a dedicated tai chi mode in the Workout app too.