Apple has revealed that infrequent heart rate readings obtained by the Apple Watch are a deliberate design feature.
Initially, the Apple Watch recorded your heart rate every ten minutes. However, some users have noticed that the wearable no longer does so on such a regular basis.
Is this a bug? A hardware fault, perhaps? Not according to Apple.
Over on the updated Apple Watch support page, Apple has confirmed that it has altered the way the Apple Watch took these readings with the recent release of Watch OS 1.0.1.
It turns out that “Apple 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.”
Slightly oddly, Apple hasn’t explained why it has made this change to the Apple Watch’s behaviour. There’s no mention of the change in the Watch OS 1.0.1 changelog either, hence the initial confusion.
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There’s a chance that that Apple wanted to increase the accuracy of these heart rate readings, which would have been affected by a person’s movement. Of course, many have complained that there was no such inaccuracy when recording heart rates consistently, regardless of wrist movement.
Another possibility is 9to5Mac‘s suggestion that Apple was trying to extend the Watch’s battery life with this change, but again many would deny seeing any great difference in battery life since the update.