How (and when) to use Apple Watch ECG feature

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

watchOS 5.1.2 launched to the public this morning and finally activated the ECG feature on Apple Watch Series 4.

For now, the ECG app can only be used in the US and US territories, but it gives wearers the ability to take an electrocardiogram to see whether your heart rhythm shows signs of atrial fibrillation. Using the ECG only takes about 30 seconds and it could save your life.

Here’s how to master the ECG:

Boosting users’ health is ‘Apple’s largest contribution to mankind,’ Tim Cook says

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Apple Watch ECG
The ECG could save your life.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s Electrocardiogram (ECG) feature on the Apple Watch Series 4 is finally launching to the public today and according to Tim Cook, it could be one of the most important things his company ever does.

Tim Cook and Apple COO Jeff Williams are putting on a full-court media press today doing interviews with TIME and CBS This Morning. With hundreds of millions of iPhones in pockets around the world and watches on tens of millions of wrists, Apple says it has a responsibility to empower people with more information about their health.

How Apple Watch Series 4 will raise the bar for wearables [UPDATED]

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Apple Watch Series 4
Somehow, this official photo of Apple Watch Series 4 leaked out early.
Photo: 9to5Mac

Apple’s biggest keynote of the year is just days away and while the iPhone XS will be the main attraction of the event, Apple Watch Series 4 could steal the show with a bevy of new features.

Rumors about the Apple Watch Series 4 have been heating up leading up to next week’s event. Leaked images of the new wearable have already surfaced online, but there’s still a bit of mystery surrounding the new gadget.

Here’s everything we know about Apple Watch Series 4:

Apple Watch heart rate monitor is a beat ahead of the competition

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Update your fancy wrist computer to the latest watchOS.
Apple Watch blasts your wrist with green light to read your pulse.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Fitness fanatics that want a good heart rate reading from their wrist better get an Apple Watch.

A new study of the four most popular wearables on the market found Apple Watch to be the most accurate smart watch for tracking heart rate. And it wasn’t even close.

Former Apple Watch architect reveals heart-rate sensor design process

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Apple Watch sensors
Getting accurate heart rate sensors here wasn't easy.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Apple Watch is known for having one of the best heart-rate sensors among smart watches, but according to former Apple platform architect Bob Messerschmidt, getting a super accurate reading wasn’t an easy task.

Messerschmidt joined Apple in 2010 after Steve Jobs acquired his company and set him to work on the Apple Watch team. In a new interview that reveals some of the design process that went into Apple Watch, Messerschmidt says he originally wanted to put the heart rate sensor in the Apple Watch bands.

Get your workout fix in 7 minutes on your Apple TV

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Get your heart rate pumping in seven minutes.
Get your heart rate pumping in seven minutes.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

The holy grail of the home workout is something that you can get set up for quickly and easily, doesn’t require a lot of gear, and will only take as short a time as possible.

Wahoo Fitness thinks they have this down. The developer of the Wahoo 7 Minute Workout app has brought its science-based, high-intensity interval workout to your big screen via the Apple TV app store, so you can get your workout on quickly and easily.

The Apple announcements that really got our hearts pumping

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If you look closely you can actually pinpoint the exact moment the Apple Watch heart rate monitor stops working.
You can actually pinpoint the second when Apple announced a stylus.
Photo: The Simpsons, Twentieth Century Fox

We’ve seen Wednesday’s Apple keynote dissected every which way, but how about analyzing the moments where viewers’ heart rates jumped at the latest news from the Good Ship Cupertino?

That’s what the developers and beta testers of heart-monitoring Apple Watch app Cardiogram did, as they set their devices to workout mode for the anticipated event to find out what really tugged at their heart strings.

The results are … interesting.

Get ready to run: The first of Wahoo’s next-gen Bluetooth heart-rate sensors is here

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wahoo-tickr-run

Wahoo’s first heart-rate sensor was of the pedestrian ANT+ variety, and connected to the iPhone through a 30-pin ANT+ dongle. Around a year later, the Atlanta-based outfit introduced the first heart-rate sensor that connected to a smartphone through Bluetooth; specifically and only to the iPhone 4s, since that was the only phone at the time with Bluetooth 4.0 under the hood.

Wahoo upped the ante again in January at CES, when they revealed a radical departure from traditional heart-rate based fitness tracking: Their new highly sophisticated, three-model TICKR sensor squad, combined with an all-new app that turns conventional fitness-tracking on its head. Now the first of the TICKR trio, the TICKR Run, is hitting the street.