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Apple Tweaks Heart Rate Monitoring in New Apple Watch OS

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Apple released their first update to its Apple Watch operating system almost two weeks ago. Watch OS 1.0.1 included support for new emoji characters, as well as improved workout measurements, improved performance across many native apps, and additional language support. One change that not everyone is happy about, however, is a tweak in the heart rate monitoring function.

In Watch OS 1.0, heart rate was checked and recorded every ten minutes, regardless of activity level. After installing the update, many users noticed that their heart rate was being recorded more infrequently than it previously had. Originally assumed to be a bug in the OS, it turns out that the seemingly sporadic heart rate monitoring was intentionally implemented in the Watch OS 1.0.1.


According to the updated Apple Watch support page, the Watch “attempts to measure your heart rate every 10 minutes, but won’t record it when you’re in motion or your arm is moving.” For Apple Watch users who are more active throughout the day, this may result in infrequent heart rate checks. Apple has yet to officially address the reason for this change, but it was likely made in an effort to increase the accuracy of the readings the Watch does take.

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How does this affect Apple Watch users? For many users who have a bit more sedentary lifestyle, it likely won’t affect functionality at all. Users who are constantly on the move may notice that although their heart rate doesn’t record as often, it should do so more accurately. It’s important to note that the change shouldn’t affect fitness junkies – the Workout app will still continuously monitor the user’s heart rate while in the middle of an active workout.

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