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This is how the Apple Watch needs to change in 2024

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 next to the original Apple Watch Ultra.
Apple Watch Ultra 2 (left) next to the Apple Watch Ultra Joe Maring / Digital Trends

2023 wasn’t a very exciting year for the Apple Watch. Sure, the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 have a new S9 processor that allows for localized Siri and the Double Tap gesture, but otherwise, not much has changed. There were no new sensors or improvements to battery life, and the Ultra 2 is virtually identical to the first Apple Watch Ultra.

With a new year approaching, I’m hoping to see more big updates for the Apple Watch, especially as we near the 10-year anniversary of when the first Apple Watch was announced. Here’s what I’d love to see from the Apple Watch in 2024.

Non-invasive blood glucose tracking

iPhone 15 Pro showing One Drop app and kit.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

This is probably a few years off, but I would love to see Apple integrate a form of non-invasive blood glucose monitoring into the Apple Watch. It’s a feature that I’ve been hoping to see for years, and I’d pay top dollar to have that in my next Apple Watch.

I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2018, and though my case is mild compared to other people, I decided to get a glucose monitor to keep tabs on my daily blood sugar levels. Though I’ve gotten used to pricking my finger with a lancet multiple times a day, it’s not my favorite thing to do in the world. And yes, I’m aware that there are continuous glucose monitors, but those can be expensive. The thought of also having to pierce my skin for a sensor that just stays there kind of freaks me out, too.

My iPhone and Apple Watch have been valuable tools in helping me manage my diabetes throughout the years. I dream of the Apple Watch being able to help monitor my blood glucose without having to stick any needles or sensors into my skin. While totally accurate readings may not be possible, it would still help, even if it’s primarily geared toward those who are still in the prediabetic stages.

Again, we probably won’t see this kind of technology in the Apple Watch, or any other smartwatch or health wearable, in the next few years. But Apple has been working on it, and I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Blood pressure monitoring

Taking a blood pressure measurement on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Surprisingly, the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 did not introduce any new health sensors. I hope that Apple has plans for some new health additions in the next Apple Watch, and I think blood pressure monitoring would be a good one to consider.

When we think of blood pressure, we think of those blood pressure cuffs that squeeze and compress our wrists and arms. How would that work with a smartwatch? Surprisingly, it’s already been done by Samsung with the Galaxy Watch 6 series, at least in the U.K. But it does require a traditional blood pressure cuff for calibration, so it’s more of a complement to what you already have rather than a full replacement.

I would love to see Apple do something similar with the Apple Watch, even if it requires a traditional cuff like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6. I don’t need to monitor my blood pressure as much as I need to check my blood glucose levels, but it’s still another addition I would like to have available.

Non-proprietary wireless charging

The Apple Watch Series 9 on charge.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Apple Watch, along with pretty much every other smartwatch, uses its own proprietary charger. In the case of the Apple Watch, it’s a magnetic charging puck. The more recent versions of the Apple Watch charging puck have been capable of quickly charging up the Apple Watch, and yeah, that’s great. But it’s still another cable that I need to bring along when traveling.

I’d like to see Apple make it possible to charge the Apple Watch via a regular wireless charging pad or even through reverse wireless charging from Android phones. Samsung’s Galaxy Watch can do this, so it’s a little ridiculous that the Apple Watch still needs a proprietary charger.

Or, hear me out: how about solar charging for the Apple Watch? This would also make the Apple Watch more sustainable and eco-friendly since you wouldn’t need to rely on any kind of charger besides the sun, which is natural. Some smartwatches already do this already, like the Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar and Casio GA-B2100. Plus, with the Apple Watch able to detect how much time you spend in daylight with watchOS 10, it’s a perfect opportunity for Apple to double down on these efforts.

The European Union legislation pushed Apple to finally get rid of Lightning and move to USB-C for the iPhone 15, so could the same happen with the Apple Watch? I sure hope so. Maybe not in 2024, but someday.

All-day body temperature sensing

The back of the Apple Watch SE 2 in its protective case.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Apple added a body temperature sensor starting with the Apple Watch Series 8, and it’s been included ever since. However, it’s only used to track nightly body temperature while you wear the Apple Watch to sleep, and it’s helpful for family planning with females.

I would like Apple to modify the body temperature sensor to track your body temperature throughout the day instead of just at night. As someone who doesn’t wear the Apple Watch Ultra to sleep (it’s too bulky for that), I haven’t been able to get any real use out of the body temperature sensor.

The temperature sensor would be much more useful if it could track it during the day. For example, if I was coming down with something while it was still daytime, the temperature sensor could indicate something was wrong. Limiting it to just nighttime while sleeping isn’t as useful for me, and I’m sure others think the same.

Longer battery life

Apple Watch Series 8 showing how much battery is remaining.
Apple Watch Series 8 Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Though the Apple Watch Ultra has impressed with longer battery life, the main Apple Watch Series has not really seen any improvements in battery life. We get the same typical 18 hours of battery, which is usually enough to get through a single day, though you’ll have to put it on the charger at some point.

Meanwhile, other fitness trackers and smartwatches, like the Garmin Vivoactive 5 and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, can last a few days on a single charge. I would love to see the regular Apple Watch last at least two full days before needing a charge and perhaps even bump up the battery life on the Ultra to make the differences more substantial.

It’s just a little disappointing that you can only get most of a day with the regular Apple Watch compared to the competition. Hopefully, Apple can squeeze in a bit of a bigger battery in there.

Time for change

The Apple Watch Ultra with the Apple Watch Series 8 and Watch SE 2.
(Left to right) Apple Watch SE 2, Apple Watch Series 8, and Apple Watch Ultra Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

These are just a few things I would love to see in the Apple Watch for 2024, though some likely won’t happen. I was slightly disappointed with the Series 9 and Ultra 2 this year, as they weren’t as game-changing as I hoped.

But next year will be 10 years since the Apple Watch was first announced — and it’s time for some big changes to come. After all, Apple did that with the iPhone X for the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, so 2024 should bring some big changes with the Apple Watch. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed, and you should be, too.

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Christine Romero-Chan
Christine Romero-Chan has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade. She graduated from California…
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