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Apple Watch 8 report just shot down this big upgrade

Apple Watch activity rings
(Image credit: Future)

The Apple Watch 8 might not offer new health-tracking sensors compared to the Apple Watch 7, according to a new report. Skin temperature, blood pressure and blood glucose readers could instead be planned for later launches on Apple's smartwatch roadmap.

We haven't heard much about the Apple Watch 8 yet, but we believed since the Apple Watch released the fall prioritized design with larger Apple Watch 7 sizes, the 2022 model would see internal improvements. Specifically, we hoped the gap between Apple vs. Fitbit's fitness-tracking features would shrink with new health sensors for the Apple Watch 8.

But in Mark Gurman's latest installment of Power Up, a weekly newsletter which often includes Apple tips, Gurman said at least three previously-rumored Apple Watch sensors aren't ready to make the make best smartwatch even better.

"Body temperature was on this year’s roadmap, but chatter about it has slowed down recently," Gurman said. "Blood pressure is at least two to three years away, while I wouldn’t be surprised if glucose monitoring doesn’t land until later in the second half of the decade."

This likely means blood pressure and blood glucose monitoring could be off the table, at least for a few more years. While wrist-based blood pressure monitors already exist in select smartwatches (though none with FDA approval,) non-invasive blood glucose monitoring will probably be more complicated to roll out.

What's not as complicated is a skin-temperature sensor. Two of the best Fitbit trackers, the Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Charge 5, can read a user's skin temperature.

The Oura Ring Generation 3 also reads body temperature to gauge daily readiness and detect early signs of illness. So the technology is out there; Apple just might not be ready to adopt it for the Apple Watch 8.

It's also possible the company is successfully keeping its Apple Watch 8 plans under wraps, not letting slip the kinds of upgrades customers will be seeing in the fall. Apple does usually manage to keep some sense of surprise leading up to each Apple event, after all.

And while we certainly hope that's the case, we won't get our hopes up. Yes, if the Apple Watch 8 doesn't progress as one of the best fitness trackers, it could slip behind the competition in terms of sophistication and health-monitoring abilities. But as we learned leading up to the Apple Watch 7 announcement, it's smart to temper expectations set by rumors.

Here's what we do know about the Apple Watch 8 — there's no reason to believe it won't launch in fall 2022 like almost all the best Apple Watch models have before. It should maintain the broader display and thinner bezels introduced with the Apple Watch 7, plus ship with watchOS 9 software.

Kate Kozuch is a senior writer at Tom’s Guide covering wearables, TVs and everything smart-home related. When she’s not in cyborg mode, you can find her on an exercise bike or channeling her inner celebrity chef. She and her robot army will rule the world one day, but until then, reach her at kate.kozuch@futurenet.com.