Technically how is ECG blocked by country?

ISKOTB

macrumors 6502a
Aug 6, 2011
626
92
FL
Ideas when I was trying to get my AW to do ECG before but it didn't work for me because I realized after it isn't the US AW....
under settings, check if your AW/iPhone regions are both set to the US? I guess restart them both.

backup your iPhone and unpair your watch, rest them both to factory and reconnect them back again and see if your ECG will work?



Tried it on iOS 13.1...didn't work.

I think what's happening, is that once you pass the initial setup from the health app, you're good to go. Since mine is a new Series 5, I set the Watch as new. I have the ECG app on my Watch, but I can't use it because the Health app is blocking me.
 
Last edited:

patent10021

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Apr 23, 2004
2,982
422
It's been noted and proven by many users. If you buy an AW in an ECG approved country, ECG will work anywhere in the world. This is FACT.

ECG is blocked by the serial number probably deep in the OS probably Secure Enclave + config file created upon activation.

Unfortunately, even a Jailbreak is probably not going to be able to change this since the SEP is not accessible even by God.

Have any of you changed the region + Apple ID on a blocked AW? For example UAE/Japanese AW. Still didn't work right? This is because the block is set by the serial number.
 

ISKOTB

macrumors 6502a
Aug 6, 2011
626
92
FL
referring to Xeyad hardware, he already has a US/AW. For what I know "my wife US/AW" is reading ECG just fine in the same country!?


It's been noted and proven by many users. If you buy an AW in an ECG approved country, ECG will work anywhere in the world. This is FACT.

ECG is blocked by the serial number probably deep in the OS probably Secure Enclave + config file created upon activation.

Unfortunately, even a Jailbreak is probably not going to be able to change this since the SEP is not accessible even by God.

Have any of you changed the region + Apple ID on a blocked AW? For example UAE/Japanese AW. Still didn't work right? This is because the block is set by the serial number.
 

Strangedream

macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2019
551
403
Singapore
Ok just a quick update, I removed my iOS beta profile from both my iPad and iPhone, updated iOS to 13.1 on my phone and now the EKG app is working fine!
 

Xeyad

macrumors 6502
Nov 19, 2012
339
288
referring to Xeyad hardware, he already has a US/AW. For what I know "my wife US/AW" is reading ECG just fine in the same country!?
This is all with Series 4 Watches. It seems to me for Series 5 with iOS 13, it's blocked. I tried everything, and it simply doesn't work.
 

Azathoth123

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2018
715
465
Fountain City
Here’s what I’ve gathered by browsing related threads here on MacRumors.

- the Watch has to be from a supported country to enable ECG. This is done by the Watch’s serial number.
- the Watch has to be paired to a phone in a supported country, this is done by region.
- if you pair a supported Watch to a phone in a supported region, ECG will work anywhere, but if you unpair the Watch in an unsupported region, the ECG function will not be reinstalled when you re-pair it.

I’m open to correction and hope that this helps.
 
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steve23094

macrumors 68030
Apr 23, 2013
2,656
1,412
At the very least it’s geo fenced by your cellular network connection. I activated the ECG in the UK (where it’s supported), but not the notification section.

Now I have left the U.K. and am in a country that doesn’t support it I can’t activate it. Deactivating cellular informs you that it has to be switched on. I’m guessing if I ever have the factory reset my Watch then I’ll lose the ECG functionality too.
 

Itada

macrumors member
Sep 22, 2019
51
68
The region info for the Watch is in its full model number (not serial number), which is hardcoded at the factory based on what model it is and what country it will be sold in. You can see the region identifier in the full model number as the one or two characters before the / in the number.

To find the full model number, use the iPhone Watch app -> General -> About -> Model. For example, a model number of something like xxxxJ/A would mean the watch is a Japanese model (the J before the /). The letters are the same as are used in the iPhone model numbers: https://www.theiphonewiki.com/wiki/Model_Regions

watchOS/iOS then allows ECG activation based on:

1. the Watch's region identifier being one of the regions where ECG is enabled
2. the Watch being currently paired with an iPhone that is connected to a cell tower that reports it is in one of the regions where ECG is now enabled

So... if you buy a Japanese watch (where ECG isn't currently supported), you won't be able to take it to a country where it is supported (e.g. USA) and activate it, because the Watch knows its from Japan and watchOS/iOS knows Japan isn't one of the supported countries yet.

On the other hand, if you were to buy a UK watch (where ECG is currently supported), you could then take it to any other country where ECG is currently supported (e.g. USA) and enabled it there - the iPhone simply has to be connected to a cell tower from a supported region.

If you buy a Watch from a supported country (like Canada) but you don't activate it while there and then you go back to your home country where you don't currently have support (e.g. Australia), there is a way to trick watchOS/iOS into activating it by using an edited iPhone backup - here's an English translated version of the post from the original Taiwanese user who figured this out: https://www.reddit.com/r/AppleWatch/comments/dhsbft
(also interestingly, someone proved the must-be-connected-to-cell-tower theory by building a fake AT&T cell phone tower in a Taiwanese cell modem lab and using it to activate a USA Watch: https://www.reddit.com/r/AppleWatch/comments/dfihbp )

But the main rule is that the Watch must be purchased from a region where Apple has enabled ECG support, and that region is hardcoded in the Watch and can't be changed. Theoretically a future jailbreak could allow activation regardless of region identifier, but such a thing doesn't exist right now.
- - Post merged: - -

... wow that automatic link page embedding function of the forum is really annoying.
 

nalk7

macrumors regular
Jul 11, 2008
186
11
If you want to get technical, when you’re setting up your watch it uses your gps to determine if you’re in a approved country. The phone creates a plist file in the OS library. The actual file is “com.apple.private.health.heart-rhythm.plist” you can find it under HomeDomain/Library/Preferences. You can modify this file and enable ecg on any S4/S5 through a phone backup and re pair your watch.

There’s a guide somewhere that teaches you how to do it, I could look it up if you’re interested.
 

Itada

macrumors member
Sep 22, 2019
51
68
If you want to get technical, when you’re setting up your watch it uses your gps to determine if you’re in a approved country.
Guessing you didn't read the post right above yours...

It does not use GPS, it uses the MCC (country code) of the cell phone tower that the iPhone is connected to, as researched and confirmed by reddit/u/hirakujira, twitter@HuangIYang and reddit/u/x43x61x6919d.

Also, my post includes a link to the guide to activating an EER Watch outside an EER.
 

nalk7

macrumors regular
Jul 11, 2008
186
11
Guessing you didn't read the post right above yours...

It does not use GPS, it uses the MCC (country code) of the cell phone tower that the iPhone is connected to, as researched and confirmed by reddit/u/hirakujira, twitter@HuangIYang and reddit/u/x43x61x6919d.

Also, my post includes a link to the guide to activating an EER Watch outside an EER.
My bad I understood it worked that way but always glad to be corrected.
 

UsefulStuff

macrumors newbie
Jan 21, 2020
6
0
There is a new way to enable the ECG in any country and its very easy
here is the link and you can do it very easy