Apple Releases watchOS 5.3 With Walkie-Talkie Bug Fix, ECG Support for Canada and Singapore
Apple today released watchOS 5.3, the seventh update to the watchOS 5 operating system that runs on modern Apple Watch models. watchOS 5.3 comes more than a month after the launch of watchOS 5.2.1, a minor update that expanded ECG availability.
watchOS 5.3 can be downloaded for free through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General -> Software Update. To install the new software, the Apple Watch needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it needs to be placed on a charger, and it needs to be in range of the iPhone.
No new features were discovered in watchOS 5.3 during the beta testing process, but according to Apple's iOS 12.4 release notes, the new update, along with iOS 12.4, fixes a major bug in the Walkie-Talkie app that could allow it to be used to spy on people and it once again makes the Walkie-Talkie app accessible.
The watchOS 5.3 update also brings ECG support and irregular heart rhythm notifications to Apple Watch Series 4 owners in both Canada and Singapore. The ECG feature's launch in Canada comes a few months after Apple confirmed that it was working to bring ECG functionality to the Apple Watch in Canada "as quickly as possible."
Health Canada initially approved the ECG app and irregular heart rhythm notifications on Apple Watch Series 4 in May. ECG capabilities are now available in more than 25 countries, following the feature's rollout to many European countries earlier this year. A list of countries where ECG functionality is available can be found on Apple's Apple Watch feature availability website.
Apple's full watchOS 5.3 release notes:
This update includes new features, improvements and bug fixes and is recommended for all users:
- Provides important security updates including a fix for the Walkie-Talkie app
- ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4 now available in Canada and Singapore
- Irregular heart rhythm notifications now available in Canada and Singapore
watchOS 5.3 may be one of the final updates to the watchOS 5 operating system as Apple shifts its focus to watchOS 6, which is currently being beta tested ahead of a planned fall release.