Wearables may be the taking the tech world by storm, but many feel they lack that certain “must-have” quality that justifies dropping a few hundred bucks on one in addition to owning a phone.
That may change with the Apple Watch 2. The venerable Wall Street Journal is reporting the next-gen Apple Watch will feature cellular-network connectivity, meaning you can make and receive calls, send iMessages and do a whole lot more without the need for a nearby iPhone.
The Journal cites “people familiar with the matter,” and usually doesn’t run with something unless it’s passed muster.
Such a connection would allow the rumored Apple Watch follow-up to function more freely without the iPhone. While it would likely mean paying for an extra data plan, it would give the Watch some much-needed independence.
Going it alone
Apple recently mandated that all Apple Watch apps must work natively, without a link to an iPhone. This new requirement along with rumored changes to the hardware indicate the Cupertino firm is set on making the Apple Watch a standalone device (bringing it up to speed with competitors like Samsung and LG, by the way).
It’s important to note that, currently, if your iPhone is off, your Apple Watch can make and receive calls if you’ve enabled Wi-Fi calling and you’re in range of a network your iPhone has connected to before.
The Journal’s sources also say the Apple Watch 2 will sport a faster processor, allowing tasks to be performed at a faster clip than the current generation.
Will greater autonomy and faster performance turn the Apple Watch into a must-have device? Much still depends on other factors – such as price – but these improvements certainly won’t hurt.
We may learn more about the next-gen Apple Watch during June’s WWDC, or later this year when Apple unveils the iPhone 7. Stay tuned.