Expanded watchOS 4 Heart Rate Monitoring Features Not Available on Original Apple Watch

watchOS 4 introduces an expanded Heart Rate app that's able to track your current heart rate, your resting heart rate, average heart rate while walking, and your recovery rate after exercising, providing more information about your overall health. It's also able to send alerts if it detects a heart rate above 120 when you're not exercising.


These features are available on the new Apple Watch Series 3 models and the Apple Watch Series 2 and Series 1 models that were introduced in 2016, but some of the features are not available original Apple Watch models sold in 2015.

As Twitter users discovered after downloading watchOS 4 earlier this week, the original Apple Watch is only able to display current heart rate with a much simpler interface for the heart rate app, with no sign of resting heart rate or average walking heart rate. The app does offer the heart rate graph with a tap on the display, though.

Original Apple Watch image via @jgirl125a

It's not entirely clear why the original Apple Watch doesn't offer the full range of heart rate features, but it may be due to hardware limitations. The first Apple Watch offers an original S1 processor, which has since been significantly upgraded in Series 1, Series 2, and Series 3 updates, and its battery life is not as robust.

Apple discontinued the original Apple Watch in 2016 when the Series 2 was introduced, replacing it with the Series 1 Apple Watch. The Series 1 model is similar to the original Apple Watch, but features an upgraded S1P processor. The Series 2 Apple Watch uses an S2 processor, and the Series 3 Apple Watch uses an S3 processor.

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Top Rated Comments

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12 months ago
Ugh Apple, seriously? I’m an owner of the stainless steel 1st gen Apple Watch and I’m not looking for an upgrade yet since it’s in a pretty good condition. Why should my watch not get the watchOS 4 features if my watch’s hardware is practically identical to Apple Watch Series 1 except for the faster processor. Ridiculous!

I would rather have Apple remove other useless features like ToyStory Watch faces and let me use a feature that I was actually looking forward to.
Rating: 12 Votes
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12 months ago
“Oh no! Old hardware has limitations with new features!”

“Let’s blame Apple!”

Smh....
Rating: 12 Votes
Avatar
12 months ago

Ugh Apple, seriously? I’m an owner of the stainless steel 1st gen Apple Watch and I’m not looking for an upgrade yet since it’s in a pretty good condition. Why should my watch not get the watchOS 4 features if my watch’s hardware is practically identical to Apple Watch Series 1 except for the faster processor. Ridiculous!

I would rather have Apple remove other useless features like ToyStory Watch faces and let me use a feature that I was actually looking forward to.

A faster more efficient processor makes a huge difference. I wouldn’t call that “practically the same”.
Rating: 9 Votes
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12 months ago

It’s not where I’m getting at. It’s a very capable device which is why it annoys me that it gets undercut. There is no reason for them to do that except for forcing the customer to upgrade.

Wouldn't leaving it off of watchOS 4 entirely be an even better way to "force the customer to upgrade"?
Rating: 5 Votes
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12 months ago

Yeah, so click that UI element right there and you’ll get the expanded graph. I have an OG Watch and it shows the graph. The only thing missing is the resting heart rate.

Same thing here. I also have the original Apple Watch and it seems to show the graph. See below....

Rating: 4 Votes
Avatar
12 months ago

“Oh no! Old hardware has limitations with new features!”

“Let’s blame Apple!”

Smh....


And the hardware limitation is?

Happy to hear the reason . And we can debate that

Let's jump in and defend ....Smh ;)
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That’s the exact reason why. The processor bumb from Watch 0 to Series 1 was much bigger than Series 1 to 3 right now.


How does CPU affect HR? Let the iPhone do the number for series one, its connected all the time and u will need legacy data for calculations .

Or do you thin all the data is stored on the AW and it's constantly calculating your HR patterns ?
Rating: 4 Votes
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12 months ago

The original watches were left out be purpose Not by capability. If health would be a big Point for apple they would not have crippled the S0.


Agreed! It's just a calculation, nothing more. All the watches have the same sensor. CPU power is irrelevant because other fitness watches with 5% of the AW cpu power calculate resting HR.

I reported to Apple because it sucks, they even crippled the HR compared to WatchOS3.

See my thread: //forums.macrumors.com/threads/hr-resting-rate-series-0.2070136/#post-25084514
Rating: 3 Votes
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12 months ago
Yeah I bought what was it $1149 Stainless Black original watch. It is a bummer, but it works ok otherwise.

I don't think it's the end of the world, but first gen apple devices sure do get cut off sooner.
Rating: 3 Votes
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12 months ago

How about the two key safety features: 1. Arrhythmia and 2. Tachycardia monitoring?

We ordered the new watches but planned to use our gen 0 watches when sleeping for monitoring and alerting on these functions.

You can get the elevated heartrate when inactive alerts on s0, but the arrythmia monitoring is part of the US only Stanford study later this year. Pending results, slated for a future wOS release I presume.
Rating: 2 Votes
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12 months ago
The original is pretty weak compared to all the other models. Mine is still perfectly usable but I am definitely looking forward to the speed increase on the Series 3.

Love reading the whining comments. “I paid a bunch for a watch that currently has more functionality than when I first paid for it! Whaaaa.”

Still using my original and just like watchOS 2 and 3, 4 has been a solid improvement. I’m generally more excited about watchOS releases these days than iOS just because as a less mature platform there’s lots of room for change.
Rating: 2 Votes
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