Just about every smartwatch on the market has physical buttons, but Apple would like to try something different in the near future.
The Apple Watch will reportedly get solid-state buttons that respond to touch, according to Fast Company. So far, Apple’s smartwatches have shipped with two buttons. The crown is for scrolling as well as going home while the other button makes a selection.
It would be similar to the home button on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 7. Apple uses haptic feedback to similar to the feeling of actually pressing a button. The MacBook and MacBook Pro also gained similar functionality for their Force Touch trackpads in 2015.
By switching over to solid-state buttons, the Apple Watch would become more water-resistant. The product could gain a larger battery, too, because touch-sensitive input requires less space.
Apple is likely to announce the Apple Watch Series 4 this fall alongside new iPhone models, but the solid-state buttons may be held off until 2019. The technology might not be ready for this year. If that’s the case, the Apple Watch Series 4 would be an incremental upgrade. The smartwatch for next year, though, would be the one to keep an eye on.