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Apple Watch Series 5 Rumored To Feature Sleep Tracking

Apple’s tracking capabilities in the Apple Watch have improved hugely over the years but there’s one area where the company has lagged behind the competition: sleep tracking.

Where many Fitbit trackers and smartwatches from companies like Samsung and Withings monitor your movements when you’re in bed, Apple Watch doesn’t.

A new report by Mark Gurman at Bloomberg suggests that this is going to change with a future Apple Watch, perhaps the Apple Watch Series 5 which is expected to arrive this fall, but possibly not until 2020 with the arrival of the next version.

I’ll be honest, I have been hoping such a feature would come sooner and I have asked Apple about this. Repeatedly.

After all, the company bought the Finnish company Beddit, which makes sleep tracking devices, in May 2017 but has yet to incorporate sleep features almost two years later.

So the thought that it might not be until 2020 is a bit of a wait. Take heart, then, that the Bloomberg report says the company plans to add it “by 2020”, so the next Apple Watch might feature it either from launch or added as a software update at some point during its lifespan.

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It may have been held up in the past partly because the Apple Watch’s battery life, though easily more than a day, more or less requires nightly charges. This means it’s not on users’ wrists while they slumber so it can’t monitor movements and deduce sleep quality as bed-worn trackers do. That said, recharge time is fast so it’s not impossible to recharge your Watch in around an hour after you get up, say, if you’ve been wearing it all night.

If Apple can either increase the life between charges or, more importantly, make it a faster-charge, then sleep tracking becomes more likely. Or, perhaps sleep tracking can run in a low-power mode so that the morning charge is not significantly increased.

According to Bloomberg, Apple has begun secret testing of sleep functionality in Cupertino. If testing has begun, it suggests to me that some time this year is a possibility.

There are many benefits to sleep tracking. We can’t function without sleep of enough quality, let along quantity. If you wake up groggy after a full-length sleep may be down to too little deep sleep or no REM sleep, for instance. Sleep tracking can reveal this with granular detail. Not to mention showing how long before you went to sleep, how many times you woke in the night and more.

Apple could make sleep tracking look better than anyone, especially if, say, it created a new ring set-up to complement the current exercise app on the Watch.

It’s possible we won’t see the results of this sleep tracking until the fall or even later, but it’s pretty cool to think it’s on its way.

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