Apple Watch swim app works — but it will void your warranty

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Apple Watch swimming app
Shhh ... don't tell Apple.
Photo: Ted Bradley

The Apple Watch isn’t completely waterproof, so it makes sense that you won’t find a swimming option in the Workouts app. But that hasn’t stopped one development team from building their own way to track aquatic exercises on the wearable.

Active in Time has ported its own Pebble swimming app over to Apple’s smartwatch, and it tested its functionality (and the Apple Watch’s water resistance) with four lengths in an Olympic swimming pool. You can see the results in the video below.

The app tracks lengths, total distance, time, and heart rate all on one screen. The small problem with the Apple Watch port, however, is that because the smartwatch turns off to save energy, it doesn’t track these numbers on the fly. You have to wake it up after you’re done to pull together and examine all of the data. But then again, it’s not like you’re going to be checking your heart rate in the middle of your swim, so that may be a non-issue.

“If you’re gonna do this yourself, make sure that you know that it probably voids your warranty,” Active in Time director Daniel Morgan explains before the demonstration.

And he’s right, as Apple’s standard agreement does not apply to “damage caused by operating the Apple Product outside Apple’s published guidelines.” Taking an Apple Watch into a pool probably qualifies, as the company says in its fine print on its online storefront that “Apple Watch is splash and water resistant but not waterproof. You can, for example, wear and use Apple Watch during exercise, in the rain, and while washing your hands, but submerging Apple Watch is not recommended.”

Because of that second issue, Apple isn’t likely to approve this swimming app anytime soon, successful demonstration aside. The App Store Review Guidelines specifically forbid “Apps that encourage users to use an Apple Device in a way that may cause damage to the device,” so don’t expect to download this one anytime soon.

Still, with rumblings of the Apple Watch 2 already going around, we could hope that the next iteration of the hardware will be completely waterproof and can therefore support an even wider variety of fitness tracking.

If you want all of the details on Active in Time’s cool swimming app, go check out the blog post about its development.