This new setting reduces the amount of battery burned by heart rate tracking. However, if you are the person that performs long workouts, you’ll still experience massive power drains, because during Workout tracking, the pulse is monitored continuously. Considering that intensive sweating leads to inaccurate measurements, it’s common sense to deactivate heartbeat tracking, ahead of long training sessions. It will spare you from inconclusive readings and also significantly increase battery life.
Disable Heart Rate Tracking For Workouts
Make sure that the Watch and its paired iOS companion are in range. Grab the iPhone and open the Apple Watch app. Navigate to My Watch and scroll for Workout. Tap the knob next to Power Saving Mode and the heart rate sensor is disabled while using the wrist gadget to track your exercise sessions. The downside of deactivating this feature is that calorie burning estimations, might also lose accuracy, because the wearable uses the intensity level of your training, to count calories. The positive is increased battery life, of course!
Tip: Don’t confuse Power Saving Mode with Power Reserve!
Disable Apple Watch Heartbeat Function Completely
Power Saving Mode tweaks the heart rate sensor availability only for the Workout app. If you aim to disable heart rate tracking full time, you have to play with another setting. From the same Apple Watch app, on the paired iPhone, go to My Watch -> Privacy -> Motion & Fitness. Tap the knob next to Heart Rate and shutdown heart beat tracking all over Watch OS. The function will only resume if you repeat the process and tap to activate Heart Rate.
Important: This setting also deactivates your possibility of manually measuring your pulse via the Heartbeat glance. Practically, the heart rate sensors are completely shutdown until you undo the tweak!
Fact: Do note that with Watch OS 1.0.1 automatic heart rate measurements are occurring up to 10 times a day for an active individual, because the wrist-worn device only tracks if your arm in not moving, when the upcoming measurement is due. That’s almost 10 times less frequent compared to the initial setting.
Conclusion: The heart rate sensor is an essential part of your Watch’s fitness tracking. Excepting long workouts, when battery life might become a problem, we don’t see a reason for completely disabling this feature.