This year's Apple Watch will be faster, smarter, and look better, too

And next year's will include new health sensors.

ROME, ITALY - MAY 27: A general view shows Apple Inc. iWatch during the official opening of the new ...
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The Apple Watch has seen significant software updates in the recent past, but the Watch’s hardware has, for the most part, stuck to a now-familiar formula. That might soon be changing if a new report from Bloomberg is to be believed.

Sources say the Apple Watch Series 7 will be a complete refresh of the company’s flagship wearable, with major processing upgrades and a new hardware design. And the following year’s model is expected to be even more powerful, with new health sensors for blood sugar and body temperature.

This new report isn’t the first time we’ve heard rumors that the next iteration of the Apple Watch will be a more significant update than what we’ve grown used to for new models. About a month ago, Apple analyst Jon Prosser spoke at length on the Genius Bar podcast about his expectations for a huge design update to this year’s Watch, including the adoption of a flat-edged housing.

The current Apple Watch design has been hugely successful for Apple, but, as always, Apple would be nothing if it didn’t keep pushing its innovations to their limits... and giving consumers new reasons to upgrade their devices.

The start of something new — If there’s any disappointing news in this Bloomberg report, it’s that this year’s Watch — the Series 7 — won’t include every upgrade Apple has in mind. A few of the fancy new sensors, for example, aren’t quite ready for production.

But the Series 7 is still shaping up to be an exciting release in its own regard. The Series 7 will include updated ultra-wideband technology, which should make it faster than ever with no direct iPhone connection required. Apple has also tested a thinner bezel for the watch with a clearer display, thanks to a new lamination technique.

Rugged and sensitive — Apple is also planning to launch an entirely new Watch model next year, according to today’s report. It’s meant to be more “rugged” than the flagship Watch, with a design meant for use in more extreme conditions. Some insiders have described this as either an “explorer” or “adventure” edition.

Apple had originally planned for this year’s Watch to include two new health sensors — one for blood glucose levels and one for body temperature — but neither is ready for use in the Series 7. The blood sugar monitor, in particular, seems to be presenting some issues for Apple; Bloomberg says it might not end up coming to market for a few more years.

As always, it’s possible any or all of Apple’s plans could change between now and the release of these devices. We’d welcome a few fresh Watch designs, though. It’s about time.