In addition to fixing performance issues and a number of problems related to the accuracy of fitness tracking, the first software update for the Apple Watch seem to have introduced an unintended bug.
The affected owners have flocked to Apple Support Communities and MacRumors’ forums to report that the device is now capturing their heart rate readings less frequently than before after updating to Watch OS 1.0.1.
Apple says the device’s heart rate sensor should capture heart rates every ten minutes throughout the day — even more frequently during workouts — but there are now noticeably larger gaps of time between data, some as long as an hour or more.
I was able to confirm this myself.
As evidenced by the screenshot above, I fired up the iOS 8 Health app on my iPhone, tapped the heart rate panel on the dashboard and then tapped Show All Data to browse the recorded heart rate readings. Or, you can go to the Health app’s Data tab and then navigate to Vitals > Heart Rate > Show All Data.
As you can see for yourself, my Apple Watch has been taking heart rate readings far less frequently than before, in most cases every hour or so, and in some instances even longer.
Checking our the heart rate Glance on my Apple Watch has confirmed my suspicion that the device’s heart rate monitor captures data less consistently than before.
Worse, I’ve noticed that the device wouldn’t increase the frequency of hear rate readouts when I’m far more active during cycling, running and other workouts.
It’s important to note that this shouldn’t pose a major problem for most Apple Watch owners. However, folks who rely on the Apple Watch as their all-round fitness tracker should be concerned about this behavior as it leads to far more sporadic heart rate readings than expected.
We’ve reached out to Apple and will report if we hear back from them.
To check out if you have the latest version of the Apple Watch operating system, fire up the Apple Watch companion app on your iPhone and navigate to General > About. Under the Version section, you should see “1.0.1” if you’re running Watch OS 1.0.1.
How’s your heart rate monitor behaving after updating to Watch OS 1.0.1?