Apple Watch Sporadic Heart Rate Measurement A Feature Not A Bug
However, Apple has confirmed that this change in automatic heart beat tracking is actually a new feature and not a Watch OS error. The Cupertino-based developers have intentionally tweaked heart rate monitoring in order to obtain more efficient readings. They’ve coded the wrist gadget to continue to track your heartbeat every 10 minutes, however the reading is skipped if your hand is moving, when a measurement is due.
Apple Watch Battery Saving Not The Goal
This leads to fewer but yet more efficient pulse readings, especially if you’re an active individual. Battery saving wasn’t the goal according to Apple, as most of us thought when we noticed the lower number of measurements during a day. You should know that your smartwatch uses LED lights to detect heart beats, thus burning additional power in the process. Common sense lets us conclude that fewer readings mean extended battery life. Yes, you have high chances of experiencing a longer autonomy with Watch OS 1.0.1, but this gain is only a side effect of the heart rate measurement accuracy changes.
Why Are Apple Watch Pulse Measurements More Accurate Now?
Apple has concluded, as many of us did, that heart pulse tracking does sometimes provide errors, if the process is ongoing, while the hand is moving. “How are Workouts accurately tracked in this case?”, you might ask. Well, we have to remember that Apple recommends you to fasten the Watch’s band during exercising, to increase the precision of its heart rate sensors.
With this new Watch OS 1.0.1 condition, that allows heart beat tracking to unfold only when your arm is standing still, potential erroneous measurement are eliminated, because readings won’t take place if the watch changes its position on your wrist, while walking for example.
Error readings provided either too low or too high figures, which would strangely tweak the Heart Rate graph, in the Health app, on your iPhone.
Watch OS 1.0 vs Watch OS 1.0.1 Heart Rate Measurements
Below, you can check a comparison of my smartwatch’s pulse readings before and after the first operating system update. Watch OS 1.0.1 was released on May 19. I checked the Health app data and counted 67 heart rate readings on May 15, for example, while there are only 9 recorded measurements on May 29. I selected this dates, because I remember for sure that I haven’t used manual glance measurements on those days. That’s between 8 – 10 times less readings with the new move tracking condition in place!
Fact: You’re still able to measure your heart beats whenever you wish, by using the Heartbeat glance on your Apple Watch. Swipe up from Watch Face and navigate to the widget in question. Pulse reading starts automatically and you’re also prompted with the result of the last reading!