By Dennis Long, 6 February, 2022 Forum watchOS and Apple Watch Apps Hi, I'm asking for a friend. Is there a way to get your heart rate using the Apple watch without touching the screen? If so how? Options Log in or register to post comments Comments My guess is no If you listen to the podcast done by anonamouse, you will be shown how to detect a heart rate. It would make sense as the watch is picking up a pulse from the wrist, then your finger. I'd search for the podcast and go from there. Only way I can think of is … Only way I can think of is Find a watch face with a big complication slot. Set heartrate as the big complication Enable autospeak on that complication by flicking down with one finger until VoiceOver announces Enable AutoSpeak. Double tap to activate. Go to settings / display and turn on Wake on wrist raise. Go to settings/Accessibility/VoiceOver and toggle on "speak on wrist raise." When watch detects that you raised your hand, it turns on the screen and speaks the time along with the complication you turned AutoSpeak off. The downsides are: Last time I tried speak on wrist raise, it had lots of false positives, and spoke too often. When you have your heartrate as a complication, the measuring isn't as often. Hth Re: Only way I can think of is You described an option that might work for some people. The problem with that approach for me is that I listen to podcasts through my iPhone using Apple Airpods with noise cancellation on. Thus, I can't hear any audio that comes out of the watch and none of the watch'es audio seems to be able to be routed to the phone while listening to a podcast on the phone. Would be nice if we could simply say "Siri, what is my heart rate?". After all, the phone is connected to the watch and ought to have that info. If I do that, however, the phone simply replies, "Sorry, I can't help you with that". Well, at least Siri was polite! Any suggestions or fixes from Apple would really be appreciated by many people on this list as far as I can tell. --Pete Didn’t Apple say this was coming in Watch OS 10 later this year? I’m pretty sure they said that in their keynote. Siri was going to be able to serve up health data you requested so hopefully you’ll get the feature you wanted in 10.1 or 10.2. It might even be in the 10.1 beta thats available now. Re: Later this year I did not see that post. That would be great if it comes true. Thanks. --Pete Peter I found an article about it but the website is a little messy with VO. It’s usable though so here’s the link. https://www.pocket-lint.com/how-to-use-siri-with-apple-health/ Looks like its only coming to series 9 and ultra 2 but the older watches will still do more than they do right now. Re: Peter Thanks for the article. Right now I only have the Watch 7. Hopefully they can bring some of these features to that version, although it looks like some additional hardware might be needed. We'll see. --Pete (fingers crossed) Re: Only Way I can Think Of Creative for sure. Unfortunately the Heart Rate complication just says "Heart Rate" and acts as a shortcut to the app. It does not show live data. At least not on my Ultra. Heart Rate Complication When I double tap or activate the Heart Rate complication on my Watch 7 it does display the current heart rate. One caveat though: If focus is on the heart rate number, it won't speak automatically as it updates. I have to flick to the BPM label and flick back again to hear a value. --Pete Seems to work fine on my ultra two I asked Siri and she replied: "measuring" Then she showed me what my heart rate is. Re: Seems to work fine on my Ultra 2 The problem is that I need the audio to come out of my phone since I am listening to a podcast with my Airpods. If the audio comes out of the watch, then I can't hear the watch with my Airpods in noise reduction mode while on the noisey treadmill. Would be great if Siri would respond with the heart rate through the phone. After all, the phone should know what the watch is doing, but somehow it won't report that. Thanks anyway. --Pete Any updates on this? Hi, Is there any progress on this? I'm wanting to monitor my heart rate during exercise like above, but still doesn't seem possible to do this in real time. Having to constantly tap or swipe in the heart app on the watch is a pain and asking Siri what my heart rate is just opens the heart app and doesn't actually read out the rate so kinda pointless. Happy to download another app if that works better, or indeed any solution at all! This may work A quick search turned this up: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/talking-heart-rate/id1341963673 Not tried it myself. Siri If you ask siri she will tell you. Only works on watch 9 and ultra 2. Use the Echo Heart Rate app I have tried the app mentioned in the previous note to this list and it didn't work well at all. Also, it was impossible to contact the developer. I also tried some other heart rate monitoring apps with little success. Then I came across the Echo Heart Rate Monitor app. There were some small issues with it, so I contacted the developer. The developer was very responsive to accessibility needs and added a few Siri shortcuts to make the app easier to use with Voiceover while exercising. He added commands to check your heart rate, heart rate zone, as well as command to start and stop a workout. Very well done. Now I use it all the time when exercising on my treadmill wearing my Apple Watch and using my Apple Airpod 2 Pro noise canceling earbuds. I'm a happy camper! I wrote up a post for Apple Vis on the app that can be found at: https://www.applevis.com/apps/watch/health-fitness/echo-watch-heart-rate-monitor The app can also be found on the App Store at: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/echo-watch-heart-rate-monitor/id1494679144 --Pete Effective workaround I've discovered a workaround that works perfectly for me since I was also in search of a solution to this issue :) I utilize the GentlerStreak app on both my iPhone and Apple Watch. With a subscription, you can mirror the active workout session from the watch app to GentlerStreak on the iPhone, allowing you to view live data on your phone instead of the watch while exercising. With this, you can see the heart rate update continuously on the iPhone, and I simply set VoiceOver to monitor the heart rate value on the iPhone, so VO announces any changes in heart rate constantly. Additionally, it's a bonus for me that I can connect my AirPods to the iPhone rather than the Apple Watch, avoiding the poor and buggy connection that often disconnects on the watch. This also means I can listen to music or podcasts from my iPhone while VoiceOver reads out my pulse in real-time. This solution has been incredibly effective for me so far, and it works excellently until Apple decides to add a feature that allows for direct heart rate announcements from the Apple Watch during workouts. As mentioned, this mirroring of the active workout session from the Apple Watch to the iPhone function requires an active subscription to GentlerStreak. But personally, I find the app so valuable that I already had a subscription. So discovering this feature was a real bonus for me :) Thanks Hi, thanks for the replies, a couple of these options sound interesting. One question for Cliff. How do you set your iPhone to monitor the heart rate value? In the past I've set hotspots on my Mac to monitor certain areas of the screen for changes and updates, but wasn't aware this was possible on IOS. If you can tell me how to do that it would be fab. Monitoring objects on iOS Absolutely, I’m happy to explain! This feature has prooven to be surprisingly handy for me in many apps. However, it might not be assigned to a default VoiceOver gesture—you’ll need to customize it yourself through Settings > Accessibility > VoiceOver > Commands > Gestures. Keep in mind that my phone is set to Norwegian, so I’m estimating what the menu names might be in English. :) Within that menu, you can choose the gesture to use for the monitoring feature. I have mine set to a triple two-finger tap. The same gesture can also be used to stop the monitoring of the object currently in focus by VoiceOver. And I believe you can monitor multiple objects simultaneously in the same screen view, too. For instance, if I’m out for a walk with my guide dog and want real-time information on both heart rate and average speed, I can seamlessly do so in the GentlerStreak app by using this method. However, the screen needs to remain unlocked for this to work, which could be the only downside during a walk. It can be slightly tricky to have the device in a pocket with an unlocked screen without inadvertently activating VoiceOver to read other content, but it typically works out quite well. 👍🏻 Monitoring heart rate without touching watch The Echo Heart Rate Monitor app (which I described above) can definitely be used to monitor one's heart rate with the phone locked and while listening to a podcast while wearing Airpods. This is exactly how I use the app. Here is what I do: 1. I am wearing my Apple Airpods connected to my iPhone via blue tooth and listening to a podcast. I am also wearing my Apple Watch. 2. I open the Echo app and either hit the "Start" button on the iphone to start my workout or say to Siri "start Echo". 3. I then ask Siri to start a timer for the length of time that I want to work out. 4. I then lock my iPhone and put it safely on a shelf somewhere in the room. I hop on my treadmill or exercise bike to start my workout. 5. I start my workout while listening to a podcast and wearing my watch. 6. during the workout I can monitor my progress using one of the Siri commands: a. "Echo Heart Rate" - This will have Voiceover speak my current heart rate. b. "Echo Heart Rate Zone" - This will have Siri announce my heart rate zone. The Echo heart Rate app has various zone models from which to choose. c. "How much time is left on my timer" - This will have Siri announce how much time I have left on my workout. d. "Stop Echo" - This will stop my workout on the Echo app. e. "Start Echo" - This will start another workout on the Echo app. During my workout I am still listening to my podcast and can use the Siri commands to announce my current heart rate at any time in my workout. I was grateful to the developer to add the Siri shortcuts to the app so that I didn't have to touch the phone or watch while exercising (since I am usually holding onto my treadmill). It is also nice to be able to listen to podcast or other audio media through my Airpods while exercising and giving such Siri commands through the Airpods. The developer has indicated that he intends to add a setting in the app that will also have the app automatically announce one's heart rate at specified time intervals if desired. After testing other apps, I am very happy with this app, have talked to the developer, and applaude them for being receptive to accessibility concerns. Also, the app is free to use for 20 minutes if you want to test it. If you want the full features it is a one time purchase price with no subscription. I highly recommend this app. If you want to hear an interview with the developer, go to: www.EyesOnSuccess.net and use the search field to find the podcast episode: 2403 Echo Heart Rate App for iOS (Jan. 17, 2024) Putting "2403" into the search field will find it. Hope that helps. --Pete Great stufff Thanks both for your informative and detailed responses, I'll check out both apps over the weekend and play around with the shorcuts and commands you've mentioned. Never knew about the monitoring Voiceover function, so excited to try that out in other scenarios too. Thanks again.