Apple Watch 8 tipped for skin temperature sensor — how it could help you

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The Apple Watch 8 will allegedly skip blood pressure or blood glucose level sensors, dismissing some rumors regarding Apple's upcoming smartwatch. According to a new report, both tools are still several years away, with the blood pressure sensor currently planned for 2024 (though subject to further delay.)

The good news is that the Apple Watch 8 could get a new skin temperature sensor. Here's what you need to know. 

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said "people with knowledge of the matter," don't anticipate blood pressure monitoring will be available "until 2024 at the earliest." Even then, the feature may be pushed to 2025 due to challenges with accuracy. 

When it does debut, blood pressure monitoring on Apple Watch might not look as we expected. As of Gurman's latest intel, Apple Watch users won't be able to receive systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings, meaning they would still need to see a doctor or use a dedicated at-home blood pressure monitor to see their numbers. The Apple Watch will only be able to detect signs of hypertension or high-blood pressure, and suggest further medical attention if needed. 

Apple Watch 8 body temperature sensor

This isn't the first time Gurman reported blood pressure monitoring won't be ready for the Apple Watch 8. But at that time the Apple tipster also said a skin temperature reader didn't seem likely for the next-gen smartwatch, either. Now, Apple "is planning to add a body-temperature sensor to the watch as early as this year," according to Gurman. 

At first the skin temperature reader will reportedly inform fertility or other anticipated women's health features. Future Apple Watch models could eventually warn of high body temperatures, which may indicate illness or advise recovery. (Earlier this year, I wrote why a recovery tool is one feature the Apple Watch is really missing.)

As for blood glucose level sensors, Gurman's sources did not provide a possible release window of what would be a game-changing tool for Apple Watch users with diabetes. We could sooner see "improved support for third-party glucose meters," or more ways for those with diabetes to collect and view their blood glucose levels through the Health app. 

Of course, if the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 beats the Apple Watch to a non-invasive blood glucose reader, it could vie for best smartwatch of the year. Especially since the next Galaxy Watch is also tipped to get skin temperature reading and could move closer to FDA approval for its existing blood pressure sensor.

So what will we see on the Apple Watch 8? Gurman said "new women’s health, sleep, fitness and medication management features," are all possible for the upcoming Apple smartwatch via the Health and Workout apps. But more specifically, watchOS 9 could grow the Apple Watch's atrial fibrillation feature with a new metric called "burden" that could help users better understand AFib trends. 

The Apple Watch 8 could also be joined by a mid-range Apple Watch SE 2 and a rugged Apple Watch designed for extreme sports.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.