Tips & Help for HeartWatch 3
NOTE: If you are reading this in the HeartWatch app and want to read these tips on a larger screen and use the app at the same time, you can press the share button on the bottom tool bar. If it appears hidden, then scroll up and it will re-appear.
This will let you AirDrop, message, email the link to one of your other devices.
Quick Start Guide
If you are new to Apple Watch or HeartWatch then you can read the Quick Start Guide here.
HeartWatch requires Watch OS 3. You can upgrade to this by going into the Apple "Watch" app your iPhone, pressing General and then Software Update.
Some people have reported that they aren't able to upgrade to Watch OS 3. If you find yourself to be in this situation, then:
If you do not have the App Install settings for Watch to automatically install all apps, then, once you have upgraded to Watch OS 3, you will then need to install the HeartWatch Watch app:
In some cases, the upgrade to iOS 10 may have not correctly updated your HealthKit permissions. To fix this, follow these steps in the exact order.
If the watch app is not functioning correctly, then this is normally due to a faulty installation process. To fix this:
This is normally due to HealthKit permissions. Heart Watch reads your heart rate data via your iPhone's Health Data Store. When you first launch the app it will ask for your permission. It's important that you provide your ok for all this information as it is required for all the required calculations. If you were accidentally a bit quick doing this and missed granting permissions, then you can do this at any time by going into iPhone Settings, Privacy, Health, selecting Heart Watch and turning the required permissions on.
If you are not seeing anything you have entered on the Watch, such as sleep or measurements then pay particular attention to the write permissions.
If you have disabled "Wrist Detection" in your Watch settings, General panel, or have set your watch to low power mode, this can result in your Apple Watch no longer taking automatic heart rate readings throughout the day.
Occasionally you will experience a minor delay while your Watch writes health data to your phone and the health store does its updates. These are generally minor. You can pull the Heart Watch summary screen down at any time to get the latest update.
If you are seeing your heart rate data in the HeartWatch iPhone app, but not seeing any data on your HeartWatch Watch app, then this is likely a HealthKit permission problem. To fix, follow these five steps.
1. Remove the Watch app from your Watch.
2. Reboot the Watch by simultaneously pressing the Crown & Side button until you see the Apple logo appear.
3. Reboot the iPhone by simultaneously pressing the home button and the sleep wake button until the Apple logo appears.
4. Once both devices are back to life, wait a few minutes until they are both happy and communicating.
5. Re-install the Watch app.
This should fix most cases of not seeing data on the Watch. If you are still having problems, please email us. There is a very good chance we can help you with your Watch problems and get everything working. Unfortunately if you decide to post your problem as a review on the App Store, there is no way we can help you as it is not possible for us to contact you by this means and this is really depressing as we want to help you.
When you are active, by default your Apple Watch will not take automatic heart rate readings. When exercising, you need to tell your Watch that you are doing a workout. This changes the heart rate monitoring mode to the high sampling rate.
The easiest way to do this is to start a workout directly in the HeartWatch app. You can also either use the inbuilt Apple Watch workout app or whatever your favourite workout is that writes workout data to the Apple Health database (HealthKit).
Always remember to end and save the workout. This will write the workout information to the Apple Health database and allow it to show in the HeartWatch iPhone & Watch apps.
Date of Birth is stored and maintained in the Apple Health app. This is an app that comes pre-installed on your iPhone and has a white icon with a red heart. To enter your data of birth:
Watch OS 3 is pretty new and though very reliable, sometimes it can slow down. A quick reboot will get everything performing well again. You can do this by pressing the crown and side button simultaneously until you see the Apple logo. This will take about a minute. After that everything will be super fast again.
This section explains some key concepts behind the design of HeartWatch and how heart rate data is represented.
Regular heart rate is a term used in Heart Watch to isolate the readings your watch takes in the background every two to ten minutes from those readings you take during a workout or those taken during sleep.
Workout readings are more likely performed under physical stress and an elevated heart rate. By isolating regular heart rate from workout heart rate, Heart Watch can present a more accurate picture of your day to day heart health.
It is generally understood that a regular resting heart rate is from 60-100 bpm though resting heart rates from 50-60 bpm are common amongst healthy individuals.
By default, HeartWatch uses the following colours and zones to present your regular heart rate data, both in heart badges and charts.
Keep in mind that this is not medical advice. If unsure of anything, always consult a medical professional.
In the Heart Watch info menu, you can customise which colours are associated with your heart's beats per minute (BPM) reading during presentation of regular heart rate readings. For example, if you are a highly trained athlete, your resting heart rate may be lower than 50 and you may choose to alter the colour band values.
Studies have shown that your waking heart rate is an important measure of your basic fitness level and a strong predictor of your cardiovascular health.
A normal adult range is from 60 to 80 beats per minute. Athletes can have a range between 35 to 50 beats per minute. Generally speaking, the better shape you are in, the fewer beats per minute.
Having a high waking heart rate can be an indication of poor cardiovascular health and can indicate things such as hardening of the arteries and restrictions in the diameter of your blood vessels. If your waking heart rate is over 80bpm, then you should consult your medical practitioner.
For athletes, monitoring the variance in waking heart rate can be useful in monitoring overtraining.
There are two ways to capture your waking heart rate, depending on whether you use HeartWatch's sleep tracking feature or not.
If Using Sleep Tracking
If using sleep tracking in the Watch app, there is a handy Take Pulse option when you finish sleeping. Using this will ensure the most accurate way of tracking your waking pulse.
If Not Using Sleep Tracking
Whilst still in bed, put your Apple Watch on to your wrist & enter its PIN. This will trigger an immediate heart rate reading in the background on your Apple Watch. However, reaching across and moving around might cause your heart rate to elevate slightly. The way around this is to open the HeartWatch watch app, choose the Pulse option and touch the gauge. This will let you capture five live readings and then buzz you when it finishes.
By default, if you do not use sleep tracking, HeartWatch will use the first reading after 4AM that it finds. You are able to customise this in the settings menu (the red cog in the top right corner of the iPhone app) by changing the hour to something more appropriate for you.
If you do not want to see the Waking Section then you can also stop it from being displayed by turning off the switch under the Show Waking Section? heading within the settings menu.
When you start and end a workout on your Apple Watch, Heart Watch will use this information to isolate and present this heart rate information in a separate section. Each workout will appear with its own badge and all workouts for a day consolidated under a zonal summary.
Ideally you should start the workout using the HeartWatch watch app as this will also show you which zones you are in.
For workouts, the zones are based on percentage of max heartbeat which is very popular with “zonal” style training.
Percentages are used to give a common reference over different ages & levels of fitness and to allow individual adjustment based on training level.
By default, HeartWatch uses the following zones:
Anything below 50% of your max heart rate will show in the default resting colours. Something to look out for is if you are also seeing light or dark brown readings and experiencing light headedness during your workout. Rapid fluctuations from red to brown are of particular concern. This may indicate an underlying heart problem that you should discuss with your medical practitioner.
As with any exercise, be sensible. Unless you are an elite athlete, or experienced trainer, it is likely sensible to stay yellow or lower as you build your fitness and adapt to training loads.
In the HeartWatch settings menu (the red cog in the top right corner of the iPhone app), you can customise how the various heart rate zones are presented in the workout section. Each colour can be associated with a percentage of your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate itself may also be changed, by default, it is based on your age.
The sleep section relies on you capturing both heart rate & when you started and finished sleeping.
This is made somewhat easier in HeartWatch 3 as there is a sleep tracking option built into the Watch app.
However, you don't have to use this. If you have a favourite iPhone app (or even another Watch app) that you use for sleep tracking/alarm that writes sleep data into HealthKit, you can still use this. You do however have to wear your Watch whilst sleeping otherwise you won't be tracking your sleeping heart rate nor your restless energy.
If you are using our automatic sleep tracking app AutoSleep then you can learn how this works on the AutoSleep Tips page by clicking here.
If you are using HeartWatch's inbuilt sleep tracking feature using the Watch app, then the following information explains what it all means.
Your Apple Watch captures your active energy and basal energy whenever you are wearing it. This includes while you are asleep. This is, like heart rate data, written to the Health database on your iPhone. The HeartWatch app reads your sleep start and finish, the basal energy you used and any active energy. It uses an algorithm to compare the active energy to the basal energy and determines how restless you were during your sleep. This is then graphed over your heart rate in a top down format (where the top y axis = 0). It also uses a z axis by plotting activity that has occurred in overlapping times to form a deeper green which indicates greater intensity of movement. In practice, any waking events can be seen as bars that have descended the red line.
This restlessness data is then used along with how long you have slept to determine to what extent you've "recharged your batteries".
By default, this works based on an average of 8 hours quality sleep. If you feel that you require more or less hours of sleep per night, then you can change this in the info section.
The trailing week recharge battery symbol is based on the weighted average of up to your last seven days' sleep.
This a fairly non-scientific analysis of your sleep but does provide a handy indicator as to whether you are starting to incur a sleep deficit. You'll likely notice anything below 90% and especially feel the effects of anything below 80%.
Future updates of the app may include automatic sleep recording and a deeper analysis of sleep zones. We'd love to hear your feedback.
Basal energy expenditure (BEE), also known as basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the amount of energy needed to carry out fundamental metabolic functions, such as breathing, ion transport, normal turnover of enzymes and other body components, etc.
So while sleeping (and also throughout the day), there is a base (basal) rate of energy that you burn while doing absolutely nothing.
The Apple Watch records this whenever you are wearing it.
Now, active energy is any energy you burn over and above that required as basal energy. This is due to needing to fuel physical movement.
Again, your Apple Watch also captures this.
For restlessness calculations, HeartWatch identifies the basal energy requirement that your body had while asleep. It then looks at active energy expended during this time and uses an algorithm to identify the intensity of this activity versus baseline.
The simple percentage you see is, the active energy you have burned over and above your basal energy requirements which provides a nice way of seeing how restless you were.
The green energy graph you see overlaid over the sleeping heart rate is where and when this occurred, the strength and intensity.
The energy graph has a reverse y axis, where the top = 0 and the bottom is maximal. It also has a pseudo z axis by overlaying entries that overlap each other to cause a brighter shade of green
HeartWatch has five HeartWatch "Faces", Pulse, Regular, Workout, Sleep and Speak.
In HeartWatch 3.1 we have re-engineered the Watch app for better performance. Instead of loading all HeartWatch faces when you select one from the menu, it only loads one at a time. This speeds things up by reducing how much memory is used and also lets you choose your default HeartWatch face when launching from the complication.
To choose the HeartWatch face, you now simply turn the crown. This displays the new Crown Navigator and lets you quickly select which face you want to use. You'll feel a bump as each icon is highlighted. Once you've made your selection, stay in that position for at least 0.5s and the new face will be set.
To get back to the main menu, turn the crown downwards until there are no highlighted icons.
You can also swipe from the centre of a HeartWatch face. Swipe your finger to the right to get back to the menu and up or down to cycle through the faces.
If you keep HeartWatch in your dock, then pressing the side button provides a very handy means to check your latest heart rate. It will update directly in the dock. Tapping the face will let you take a live pulse reading.
In HeartWatch 3, Active Workout mode has been replaced by the ability to start and end workouts directly in the HeartWatch watch app.
To start a workout, simply press Start and then choose the workout type from the list. It will start immediately.
To end a workout that is running, you swipe the watch face from the centre in an upwards motion. This will present a menu that allows you to save, discard or resume your workout.
The five coloured zones represent percentages of your maximal heart rate. They are explained in detail here. Whenever you display the Workout face for a day where you have not previously done a workout, it will cycle through the zones and explain them to you. You can still start a workout while this is happening.
You can press the "Cals/kJ" button to cycle between widgets for calories (or kilojoules depending on our settings), steps, distance, average speed and laps.
Laps are a measurement that HeartWatch uses to track and measure your daily distance. By default they are that of a standard 400m athletic track, but you can change these in settings.
You can either tap the gauge or press the Duration button. This will switch modes from the activity widget to the dual timer mode. To switch back, just tap again.
There are two timers. These will each remember the last setting that you gave them. If you change the time on them for any reason, then the new value will become the default for that timer.
The app will gently tap you whenever you change heart rate zones. If you have volume turned on, you will also hear a distinct tone for up and for down. If you reach the extreme zone, which is 90% of your maximal heart, then you will feel a much more prominent haptic, or if sound is on, an alert sound.
If your Watch has failed to take a heart rate reading for more than 30 seconds, you will a timer that displays how long it was since the watch took your heart rate measurement.
In HeartWatch 3, the complication and alerts are now updated directly on the Watch.
Whenever you are not working out or sleeping, the complication will update roughly every ten minutes to show your latest heart rate. An arrow is displayed next to the heart rate to indicate if it has gone up or down since the previous reading. To ensure the best frequency of update, you should also keep the HeartWatch app in your Watch OS 3 dock.
Every time the complication updates, the HeartWatch app will check every new heart rate update since the last time it checked. Depending on your settings in the HeartWatch iPhone app, it will alert you if your heart rate was above or below your specific values. By default this is 50bpm and 100bpm for regular heart rate. When using a workout managed by a Watch app other than HeartWatch, there is a third setting which allows you to set a different value for high alerts when working out. All of these values can be changed in the HeartWatch iPhone app by pressing the settings cog in the top right, then notifications.
One of the easiest ways to check your latest heart rate is to keep the HeartWatch app in your Watch OS 3 dock. So, if you set your HeartWatch "face" to Pulse and then exit the app, whenever you go into the dock, it will refresh in the background and show your latest reading as well as when it was. You may also optionally decide to keep the Regular face, which instead of showing your latest pulse, will show your heart rate badge for the day, which includes average, minimum and maximum. The average is displayed using the coloured HeartWatch badge system which shows you how much time has been spent in each zone.
You can measure your pulse at any time by selecting the Pulse face and touching the gauge. This will display a confirmation to prevent false touches. You can avoid the confirmation by pressing the "when" section at the bottom of the face.
This will then take 5 live readings and will tap you when it has finished. Note that this will still continue even when the watch face has dimmed. The reason for this is so that you do not need to stay looking at the watch face, and, can instead, lie down with your eyes closed to get a true resting pulse.
Though you can use any app that writes sleep data (along with heart rate) to the Apple Health database to track sleep, HeartWatch has a useful built in sleep tracker.
If you want everything to be completely automatic, we also offer a companion app called AutoSleep which tracks your sleep without you having to do anything at all. You can read more about that here.
When you display the Sleep face, if you have captured sleep on your watch for the previous night, it will show a gauge and heart rate sliding indicator.
The gauge displays your sleep recharge estimate as a percentage. If you have opened the iPhone app for that day, it will also show your trailing seven days sleep recharge estimate as a notch on the gauge.
Your sleeping heart rate is also displayed. The sliding scale is used to indicate how much it has changed since the previous sleep. If it moves into the red or green zones of the scale, then this indicates a significant change, either up or down respectively. A large increase often indicates a poorer night's sleep or a negative change in your physical state.
When you go sleep, press the Start button. This will immediately begin tracking sleep. You can now exit the app and go to sleep.
This will also disable high and low alerts and change the complication to display the time that you have been asleep.
You are also able to optionally edit the start time of your sleep by touching the hour or minute and turning the crown. The blue timer below will recalculate the sleep duration.
When you wake, press the Stop button. This will then display the Finish panel on your Watch. You are also able to edit the finish time. Touch the hour or minute and turn the crown. This will recalculate the sleep time and display it in the blue timer below. When finished, press Done and this will save your sleep data.
The Watch app will then perform some calculations and update the gauge and heart rate for your sleep.
For convenience, the Start button will now display Take Pulse for a period of one minute, as a shortcut to the Pulse face, so that you can capture your waking heart rate. TO get an accurate waking pulse, you should remain in bed, close your eyes and relax while the pulse face takes its five measurements. Once finished, it will tap you.
If the duration of your sleep is less than five minutes, then the sleep session will not be saved. If you want to cancel a sleep recording then you can adjust the end time until the blue duration timer shows less than five minutes. Then press done.
If you wake during the night and decide that you want to do something else for a couple of hours, then you can end the current sleep session. Should you then decide that you want to go back to sleep after a short break then, you can start another sleep session. The recharge gauge and heart rate will take this into account and consolidate the readings.
These monitors record samples at one reading per second and measure your heart's electrical activity rather than measuring the result optically per your Apple Watch's inbuilt sensor. When your workout isn't rhythmic like walking and running, such as weights workouts or is very high intensity, the optical sensor will sometimes skip recording heart rate readings when it doesn't have complete confidence in the result. In these sort of cases, external monitors are not affected, and will continue to deliver constant readings.
There's a one time setup, then it is all automatic.
Firstly, in HeartWatch iPhone app:
Note: You can also set this to 1 minute samples. This is useful if you want to wear the external monitor for all day use or very long periods of exercise.
To connect the external monitor to your Apple Watch:
* If it doesn't appear, just exit the settings and go back in. It usually shows up the next time.
Now, in the future whenever you click the press studs into the chest strep your Apple Watch will use the external monitor in place of the inbuilt optical sensor.
The built in HeartWatch workout face will now update the workout gauge at one second intervals when the external HR monitor is connected.