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Apple Watch irregularly monitors your heart rate by choice

The Apple Watch, one of the most anticipated wearable gadgets of 2015, has gotten its first update a few weeks back, and with the update came some changes to the heart rate monitor that raised a lot of questions.

As 9to5Mac first noticed, ever since the update to the Watch OS, the Apple Watch's heart monitor, which is supposed to consistently record a user's heart rate every 10 minutes, began to track data at longer and more irregular intervals after receiving the update.

However, this is not a bug, as previously thought. Apple’s support page, made specifically for the heart rate function, says this was planned, and even gives an explanation.

“Apple Watch attempts to measure your heart rate every 10 minutes, but won't record it when you're in motion or your arm is moving,” it says on the support page.

Users can also still check their heart rates by manually checking its Heart Rate Glance feature, and the device will continue tracking heart rate during a workout.

The reason behind such a change is not known, but as cNet notices, this might be a way for Apple to increase the device’s battery life.

Another reason is the accuracy of the readings. All wristband readers fall behind an EKG machine when it comes to readings, cNet adds.

Having a tattoo can also affect the readings, Apple says: “Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can also impact heart rate sensor performance. The ink, pattern, and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings.”

Apple has yet to give further comment on the issue.