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Apple releases watchOS 7.2 with better ECG and Apple Fitness+

Apple released watchOS 7.2 to the public

Apple has released watchOS 7.2 to the public with an improved ECG function and support for Apple Fitness+.

Apple Watch software updates are usually coupled with changes to the iPhone or a new software feature. In this update, Apple improves the ECG function, adds the VO2 measurement, and brings Apple Fitness+ to the masses.

The update can be applied by opening the Watch app on the paired iPhone, followed by tapping My Watch, then General, then Software Update, then Install. Once downloaded, the app may request the passcode, with the installation taking place while the Apple Watch is on charge.

Alternately, the update can be performed directly on the Apple Watch by entering the Settings app, tapping General, then Software Update, then Install. Users with automatic updates will receive the update once it has downloaded and installed during the next available charging period.

Apple lists an update to the API for HealthKit that attaches to the ECG function. There are no details about what the update provides, but it will likely improve the ECG accuracy, potentially at higher heart rates.

This is the first known change to the algorithms used by ECG since its release with the Apple Watch Series 4.

Coupled with iOS 14.3, users can now see their Cardio Fitness measurement, which is captured by the Apple Watch's VO2 data. With this information, users can determine if they are receiving enough oxygen while working out.

This data can be found in the Health app, and is only recorded during workout sessions.

With the release, Apple Fitness+ is available for all users, and this update makes the Apple Watch able to access the service. Users who start a workout on their iPad, iPhone, or Apple TV will be prompted to begin on the Apple Watch.

You must have an Apple Watch to use Apple Fitness+, and the data obtained from the Watch is displayed on the device being used for the workout.

Apple's release notes include all changes made with the watchOS 7.2 update:

WatchOS 7.2 includes new features and improvements, including Apple Fitness+, a personalized fitness experience powered by Apple Watch. Additional features include new low cardio fitness notifications and support for braille displays. This update also contains performance improvements.

Apple Fitness+

  • A new fitness experience powered by Apple Watch with studio-style workouts available on your iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV
  • Video workouts added each week in ten popular workout types: High Intensity Interval Training, Indoor Cycling, Yoga, Core, Strength, Dance, Rowing, Treadmill Walking, Treadmill Running, and Mindful Cooldown
  • Fitness+ subscription available in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and United States

This update also includes the following features and improvements:

  • Option to be notified when your cardio fitness is at a low level
  • Ability to review your cardio fitness level based on your age and sex in the Health app on iPhone
  • Atrial Fibrillation classification at heart rates above 100BPM now offered in the ECG app in most regions where the app is available
  • Support for the ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4 or later in Taiwan
  • Support for braille displays with VoiceOver
  • Support for Family Setup in Bahrain, Canada, Norway, and Spain (Cellular models of Apple Watch Series 4 or later and Apple Watch SE)

Apple originally released watchOS 7 with new watch faces, a built in sleep tracker, and a handwashing timer. Updates since have included bug fixes and compatibility for the Apple Watch Series 6.