(Credit: Apple)

With its latest Apple Watch Series 4, Apple is putting the focus squarely on your health. The upcoming Apple Watch Series 4 with WatchOS 5 will come with a new collection of heart-monitoring tools that, according to Apple COO Jeff Williams, will make Apple's smart watch "a guardian for your health."

At the Apple Steve Jobs Theatre on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino this morning, the company showed off the newest generation of its smart watch and how it will monitor your health.

Apple Watch focus on your heart

Apple's smart watch already helps you stay connected with others and live an active life, but the new generation of the Apple Watch will put health monitoring at the core of the wearable device.

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For example, the Apple Watch already monitors your heart in the background and will notify you if it detects an elevated heart rate, which may be an early sign of heart trouble.

With the new 4 Series, the watch will detect if your heart rate falls below a specified threshold and will intermittently analyse your heart's rhythm and alert you of an irregular heart rate, which may signal atrial fibrillation or AFib.

The watch will also let you take your own electrocardiogram, or ECG, by using the new watch's ECG app and a heart sensor on the crown and sensor on the watch back.

All heart data collected by the built-in heart sensors is stored in the watch's Health app, and you can share the data with your physician via a PDF.

The watch can also detect if you fall, using the device's built-in accelerometer and gyroscope, and send you an alert. If you don't dismiss the alert, the watch will notify emergency services.

Fitness-tracking improvements

The new watch can do a better job of automatically detecting your workouts, including yoga and hiking. And battery life with GPS enabled is extended to six hours to cover longer endurance activities.

The Series 4 devices will also do a better job of tracking indoor and outdoor running and provide more information about mile pace.

Apple Watch Series 4

On the hardware side, the Apple Watch Series 4 offers a larger display that goes right to the edge of the watch, providing a 30 percent larger screen in a watch size not much larger than the Series 3. The Series 4 comes with a new digital crown that offers haptic feedback, and Apple moved the mic to the other side of the watch from the speaker to reduce echo and make phone calls clearer.

Apple also redesigned the user interface in WatchOS 5 and new complications. The UI also offers more customization to create a personalized look for your watch face.

The new Series 4 Apple Watches with GPS will start at $399 -- ones with a cellular connection and GPS begin at $499. The year-old Series 3 watches are now $279. The Series 4 come in two sizes: 40mm and 44mm. And Series 3 bands will work with the new Series 4.

You can begin ordering the new watches Friday, September 14, and they'll begin shipping a week later on September 21.

On the software side, WatchOS 5 will be available next Monday, September 17.

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(Credit: Apple)


  1. Apple has designed its new Series 4 Apple Watches to serve as a guardian for your health.
  2. The new watches will capture a broader collection of data about your heart health that you can choose to share with your doctor.

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Clifford is a Senior Editor for CNET's He spent a handful of years at Peachpit Press, editing books on everything from the first iPhone to Python. He also worked at a handful of now-dead computer magazines, including MacWEEK and MacUser. Unrelated, he sits next to fellow editor Josh Rotter and roots for the A's.