Biggest hint yet an Apple Watch Sleep app is happening

Apple Watch 5 review
(Image credit: TechRadar)

Apple Watches might get a new Sleep app with smart alarm functionality, according to an alleged screenshot released early that was noticed by a MacRumors reader. 

The screenshot shows what looks like the existing Alarms app but with this added language - “Set your bedtime and wake up in the Sleep app” - suggesting there will be a new app for users to start their day with. According to the tipster Daniel Marcinkowsi (tweet below), the screenshot was posted in the App Store preview for the Alarms app, likely by mistake as the feature hasn’t been announced (the preview has been reverted to the old app’s look).

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Conceivably, this could work just like the Bedtime tab in the Clock app for iPhone/iOS, allowing users to set a planned bedtime and wakeup for the week along with basic sleep tracking. 

It’s better than nothing, but it might not be the advanced sleep tracking that the best smartwatches and the best fitness bands provide - and not the sleep monitoring that’s rumored to be coming to Apple Watches in the future.

Apple Watch sleep tracking: coming in 2020?

This alleged screenshot is the first we’ve heard of a Sleep app, which clearly didn’t arrive in the recently-released watchOS 6. Nor did the brand-new Apple Watch 5 come with sleep tracking, which was heavily rumored to come in the new smartwatch – and bitterly missed. Yes, you can download third-party sleep-tracking solutions, but it’s not the same.

Especially since we started hearing Apple would work to add sleep tracking to a future version of its smartwatch in a Bloomberg report back in February 2019. Heck, we’ve been waiting for established sleep tracking across Apple’s devicescape since the company acquired Beddit back in 2017 – but we’re still waiting.

It’s possible that the Sleep app ends up being the rumored sleep tracking (with more functionality, hopefully), though we’d settle for a teaser before the real thing comes down the line.

David Lumb

David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.