Apple Watch ECG already helped save a life in Germany

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Apple Watch ECG debuted in Germany last week.
Apple Watch ECG debuted in Germany last week.
Photo: Apple

The electrocardiogram (ECG) feature of the Apple Watch was only turned on last week in Europe there’s already a report of it discovering a serious heart condition in a German man.

This is exactly what it’s intended to do: find heart problems for which there are no obvious symptoms.

Apple Watch ECG finally makes it to the heart of Europe

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The ECG feature of the Apple Watch Series 4 isn’t just for Americans any more.
The ECG feature of the Apple Watch Series 4 isn’t just for Americans any more.
Photo: Apple

After debuting in the United States last fall, the Apple Watch Series 4 electrocardiogram (ECG) feature is available to Europeans, at last.

The ability to monitor the electrical activity of the wearer’s heart just debuted in 20 additional countries, and only requires upgrading to watchOS 5.2.

Apple Watch ECG already finding stealth heart problems

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Apple health care
Using the ECG on Apple Watch Series 4 is dead easy.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

Ed Dentel has become the poster child for the new ECG function of the Apple Watch. He installed the recent update that allowed this wearable to check the electrical activity of his heart and it immediately told him he had a problem.

At first he thought the new technology was faulty. Instead, the fault was his heart.

Ready, set, relax! Go deep with Apple Watch Breathe app [Cult of Mac Magazine No. 274]

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Cult of Mac Magazine No. 274
The serenely subtle Breath app has a surprisingly deep history.
Cover: Graham Bower/Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Take a deep breath and learn how to get the most out of your Apple Watch with a pair of handy how-tos. Every Apple Watch owner can take advantage of Apple’s stress-busting Breathe app. However, you’ll need a Series 4 (and this week’s watchOS update) to get in on the ECG action.

Get those how-tos and the week’s best Apple news and reviews — including an expose on Apple’s biologically bogus squid emoji — in your free issue of Cult of Mac Magazine. Download it now on iTunes. Or keep reading for the week’s best Apple news, reviews and how-tos. (Plus, enter to win a set of rugged iPhone XS Max cases.)

No, watchOS 5.1 doesn’t add ECG to Apple Watch Series 4

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Apple Watch ECG
Apple says the ECG app is still "coming later this year" to Apple Watch Series 4.
Photo: Apple

Apple just released watchOS 5.1, an update that brings new features to this wearable. But one of these is not the software needed for Apple Watch Series 4 users to take an electrocardiogram. Other sites are incorrectly reporting that the ECG app is part of this update.

No Apple Watch ECG app in watchOS 5.1 beta 3

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Apple Watch ECG
watchOS 5.1 shows no sign of getting the Apple Watch ECG application so many people are waiting for.
Photo: Apple

There’s bad news for Apple Watch Series 4 users: the third beta of watchOS 5.1 is out and it still lacks an ECG application. The hardware to take an electrocardiogram is built into Apple’s latest wearable but the software is still MIA.

There’s also a new beta of tvOS 12.1 today, along with iOS 12.1 beta 3. The latest macOS 10.14.1 pre-release version came out yesterday.

Series 4 makes me fall in love with Apple Watch all over again

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apple watch
Cupertino’s latest shiny wearable is really giving me the feels.
Photo: Apple

Can Apple Watch Series 4’s fall-detection feature tell when you have fallen in love? I hope so, because I’ve really fallen for it. Big-time. I haven’t felt this way about an Apple Watch since my first love, the original model, was announced back in 2014.

It’s not just the sleek new design. Nor the spacious new screen. It’s not even the breakthrough new health features. It’s when you combine them all together. It defies all logic and reason that Cupertino managed to cram so much awesomeness into such a tiny, beautiful package.

I can’t wait to strap an Apple Watch Series 4 onto my wrist next Friday and take it for a run. But until then, here are my first thoughts on this exciting new direction for Apple Watch.

Apple Watch’s new ECG reader is great, but don’t bet your life on it

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Apple Watch Series 4
Some things you should know about the FDA clearance of the new Apple Watch's EKG.
Photo: Apple

At yesterday’s iPhone and Apple Watch event, Apple revealed that it has received Food and Drug Administration clearance for the Apple Watch Series 4’s new electrocardiogram feature. In theory, this marks the ascension of the Apple Watch from a wellness health tracker to a full-fledged medical device.

But people shouldn’t be too quick to jump to conclusions about the Apple Watch’s FDA-approval stamp. Adam Masin, a litigator who deals with medical device manufacturers in product liability lawsuits, made a few crucial points on Twitter.