The Apple Watch 8 feature I was most excited about might not work at launch

Apple Watch 7 in orange and blue color schemes
The Apple Watch 7 (Image credit: Apple)

Apple is expected to announce the next device in its Apple Watch lineup in September, but its rumored body temperature sensor might not work at launch.

The Apple Watch 8 has long been believed to include a way to monitor the wearer’s skin temperature. This tool would provide numerous benefits including being able to better track sleep cycles, possibly indicate if you have a fever, and even detect if you’re ovulating.

However, a new report from MacRumors indicates that fever detection might not be ready when the Apple Watch 8 launches.

This is a huge shame if it turns out to be the case. Sleep monitoring and family tracking tools are awesome but the possibility to pick up the potential signs of fever would be a game changer in our more health-conscious world. As someone who still takes a Covid-19 test before traveling or visiting elderly relatives this feature would give me even more peace of mind when I go out and see people. 

If my Apple Watch thinks I might have a fever I make an informed decision on if I should go out or hang back and avoid passing on a bug, be it Covid or something else that could make my friends and family sick.

This disappointment follows similar news about the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 having a new infrared temperature sensor that it isn’t using properly yet. Much like the Apple Watch 8’s rumored sensor, the Galaxy Watch 5 would use skin temperature monitoring to track a wearer’s sleep more accurately.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is facing similar temperature sensing troubles to the Apple Watch 8. (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Despite Samsung talking about the feature plenty of times leading up to the Galaxy Watch 5’s launch it’s currently not active – but it will be available "in the near future," whenever that is.

As for Apple, it’s unclear if the fever detection tool can be added to the Watch 8 via a firmware update post-launch or if it’s a hardware issue that won’t be changed until the Apple Watch 9 inevitably rolls around. We’ll have to wait and see what Apple announces in September.

And it sounds like Apple might have quite a bit to show off with not only a regular Apple Watch but a new Apple Watch SE 2 expected alongside an all-new Apple Watch 8 Rugged Edition

Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.