Apple Watch 7 will double down on fitness features, judging by Tim Cook's comments

Apple Watch 6
Apple Watch 6 (Image credit: TechRadar)

One of the biggest uses of smartwatches are their health, fitness and wellness features, with different watches boasting sensors and modes that keep you on top of your body. It sounds like the Apple Watch 7 will be no exception, and Tim Cook (also known as 'Tim Apple' by some) has teased the future wearable.

Tim Cook was recently on the Outside podcast and he spoke at length about fitness, both in terms of his personal attitude to it, and the way Apple tech engages with it.

When host Michael Roberts poked for some information on the Apple Watch 7, particularly asking about extra sensors on the watch, Cook stated 'We've got things going on in our labs that are mind blowing', later adding 'there's a ton of innovation left to go'.

Alone, those quotes don't really tell us anything about future generations of the Apple Watch - Cook is almost obliged to talk hyperbolically about Apple devices, so that alone says nothing. However the context of this discussion may give us some clues - as we stated, the whole interview was about health and wellness.

Apple Watch 5, health and wellness

An important quote from the interview is Cook stating "I really believe that, if you sort of zoom out to the future and you look back and you ask "What has Apple's greatest contribution been?" it will be in the health area, the wellness-and-health area." It gives the impression that upcoming Apple Watch models will go gung-ho into more fitness areas.

With Apple's Fitness Plus subscription service launching soon, and current smartwatches from Apple already touting some key fitness features, the wearables are already popular for wellness - but there's a lot more they could do.

Apple tends to lag behind its competition with wellness modes - sleep tracking and Sp02 monitoring were only added in the last year, and unlike on other smartwatches, there's no stress tracking and no body-battery charting.

In terms of fitness tracking modes, Apple also lags behind many rivals. Apple Watches chart 16 different types of exercise, which makes them good for casual exercises, but Wear OS watches, and rivals from various other companies, have over 100. These cover loads of niche activity modes, and chart loads of metrics, letting people experiment with activities they otherwise wouldn't try.

So, while Apple Watches can be quite good for wellness and fitness, there are definitely areas where they still lag behind rivals, and therefore places where they can improve. We're anticipating seeing what Apple is cooking up in its labs, but a reveal might be a way off, since the Apple Watch 7 will likely only debut in late 2021.

Via T3

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.