The original Apple Watch misses out on watchOS 4 heart rate smarts

No resting heart rate for you
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Though one of the headline additions in Apple watchOS 4 is the improved heart rate features, original Apple Watch owners won't be able to try them out.

The new software, which landed on smartwatches on 19 September, includes updates to much of the workout and health-focused aspects of the device, with the heart rate receiving a makeover through resting, walking and recovery HR readouts. Even abnormal spikes in heart rate are now flagged by Apple's smartwatch.

Hands-on: Apple Watch Series 3 review

However, we now know that not all Apple Watches embracing watchOS 4 will receive the same treatment, with the original Apple Watch — launched back in 2015 — proving not powerful enough to host the new smarts. Those with a Series 1, Series 2 and Series 3 are all in the clear thanks to faster processors and larger battery.

Now, while this obviously a disappointment for those looking to engage in some more advanced heart rate datas from their ageing Apple Watch, it's another indication of Apple thinning its lineup. With the Series 3 now out in the wild, the Cupertino giant has already discontinued the Series 2, which itself formed part of the original device's replacement.

It all means that for new users attracted by the full power of watchOS 4, there's only two buying options remaining: the pricey Series 3 or the GPS and LTE-barren Series 1.

And although the metrics could potentially come to original devices further down the line, the fact Apple hasn't included it from the get-go is a pretty big hint that users will need to upgrade in order to access the new features.

Source: The Verge

The original Apple Watch misses out on watchOS 4 heart rate smarts

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Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

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