Heart rate monitoring on iphone

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by randyj, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. randyj macrumors regular


    Aug 23, 2004
    Does anyone know if there is any apps that can display the heart rate on your phone using real time data from your watch?

    All the apps I can find display stats on your watch.

    I would like to be able to see this data for the following situations:
    1. When riding out doors (i have a iPhone mount on my bike)
    2. When riding on an exercise bike at the gym
    3. When running on a treadmill at the gym

    At the moment if I want to check heart rate data I have to hold my watch up when riding/running. That is a pain and potentially a lot more dangerous than just glancing down to an iPhone to see the data.
  2. bjet767 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2010

    We covered this subject a bit in other threads, but currently developers can not access the "health" functions real time from the watch. Maybe in the future. Additionally Apple restricts the screen of the watch to what amounts to quick glances by the wearer. The reasoning behind this is to keep battery life as long as possible. If the screen were to stay on for extended period the battery would die rather quickly.

    The real problem is the Apple watch doesn't really keep a real time measurement of you HR. What is does is use a visual sensing of you pulse and then processes that info. It is slower than using a dedicated monitor like the chest straps most athletes use today.

    If you want real time HR data get a BT HR monitoring chest strap with the accompanying app to work out with. Wahoo, Polar, and Garmin a three who make such a device and have apps to go along with them.
  3. OTACORB macrumors 65816


    Jun 21, 2009
    Central, Louisiana
    Actually it uses blood flow not pulse. Thought I guess you could say it is looking at the pulsing blood flow! :)

    How Apple Watch measures your heart rate.
    The heart rate sensor in Apple Watch uses what is known as photoplethysmography. This technology, while difficult to pronounce, is based on a very simple fact: Blood is red because it reflects red light and absorbs green light. Apple Watch uses green LED lights paired with light‑sensitive photodiodes to detect the amount of blood flowing through your wrist at any given moment. When your heart beats, the blood flow in your wrist — and the green light absorption — is greater. Between beats, it’s less. By flashing its LED lights hundreds of times per second, Apple Watch can calculate the number of times the heart beats each minute — your heart rate. In addition, the heart rate sensor is designed to compensate for low signal levels by increasing both LED brightness and sampling rate.

    I really wish the iPhone allowed for more access to the health app because some folks would like to just be able to use the phone and not bother with the watch. Though it would require the use of a heart monitoring strap.
  4. Julien, Feb 12, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016

    Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    This has been available since September (wOS 2.0 and up). It is just buggy and not many apps support it. Runtastic does but not sure if it displays real time on the iPhone. I could test it tomorrow for the OP.



    EDIT: A little more digging and found out that a limitation (or oversight) in the current (wOS2) API that won't transfer the HR info to the iPhone's 3ed party app until their :apple:Watch app has stopped recording. Seems other info like accelerometer/gyroscope can be transferred while using though. So it's not be possible to do that the OP wants, at least until wOS3.
  5. bjet767 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2010
    "API that won't transfer the HR info to the iPhone's 3ed party app until their :apple:Watch app has stopped recording."

    Yep that's what I said, not "real time."

    I'm a developer, own and wear my AW, and was really disappointed when I experienced what Apple has decided their watch would (not) do. It's just not a serious training tool for athletes.

    However the AW is a good tool for those people who are seriously interested in improving their daily health through exercise and movement. It can provide metrics which encourages goal setting people who want to keep track of their progress and meet personal health goals. But, if one wants to train for a competitive event there are better combinations of sensors (i.e. chest strap) and apps for the iPhone and AW that use them.
  6. randyj thread starter macrumors regular


    Aug 23, 2004
    Thanks for the reply guys.
    Ok it seems for now it is not supported by the OS and APIs.

    As for having the screen on the watch on, I wouldn't need that. I would just hope to use the watch to pick up heart rate in the back ground with the screen off while exercising and then have that info passed to the iPhone so it can be displayed in real time.
    I think it could be a useful feature if Apple and a few Devs can get it working!

    (and also saves having to buy an additional bluetooth heart rate monitor especially as the watch can read the heart rate already)

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