The latest Apple Watch has an always-on display

The Apple Watch 7 isn’t expected to be a huge upgrade in terms of new features, but quality of life with the wearable could soon be massively improved if a supply chain report from Taiwanese site UDN is to be believed.

The upgrade to an S7 processor, the report claims, won’t just have the usual benefits in terms of speed and efficiency. It’s also much thinner, and that means Apple could have extra space to play with in the body of the wearable. 

This is thanks to a new doubled-sided System in Package (SiP) technology, the report claims, and adds that this could open the path to more sensors or a larger battery. Given a number of sources have indicated that features like the rumoured blood sugar tracking are unlikely to arrive this year, it seems likely that the Apple Watch will instead address its main Achilles’ Heel: stamina.

While the Apple Watch has always been there or thereabouts on our list of the best smartwatches you can buy, its main weakness has been the same since it was first released in 2015: it needs daily charging with a promised all-day battery life and nothing more. 

Yes, there have been efficiency improvements over the years, but Apple has chosen to absorb the gains in new features like a larger screen and always-on display rather than improve the 18-hour lifespan that’s been a constant since the Apple Watch Series 1. That’s not great when wearables from the likes of Huawei and Fitbit can go for a week or more without a charge.

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There’s also reason to believe that Apple now sees improved battery life as a priority. Last year the company introduced sleep tracking to the Apple Watch via the WatchOS 7 beta software, and while Apple has never told people to take off their watch at night, this is the first time it has actively incentivised leaving it on. For most people, their time asleep was the perfect moment to charge up the watch given it served no purpose when notifications would be unwelcome anyway.

Without nightly charging, the Apple Watch currently needs a daytime topup, which disrupts a user’s flow in a very un-Apple way. With that in mind, and without the promise of extra space hogging extra sensors this time around, making a longer battery life the headline upgrade this year makes a whole lot of sense. 

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