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Maybe a GA use for the Apple Watch yet...

The repair site has taken apart the Apple Watch and reported that its heart rate monitor system is more advanced than most, offering potential functions that Apple is not currently promoting.
“Apple’s heart rate monitor is actually a plethysmograph,” it said.
“It looks and acts like a pulse oximeter, but Apple isn’t claiming it can measure your blood oxygen level. Why? Beats us.

EGBP, United Kingdom

Speaking of which, is anyone here using a wrist worn pulse oximeter? I think Philips makes one.

I have a wrist worn pulse oximeter (where the sensor is on one of your finger tips. However, I never use it as the sensor is sitting in the way. I have it with me in by bag as a backup to a “normal” pulse oximeter that I do not wear but use regularly during flight while up there to then put away for easy grasp.

EDLE, Netherlands

I was referring to those without external sensor.

I received an Apple Watch for Christmas, and honestly didn’t see much use for it, so I started to program an App. My initial idea was to see if I could turn it into an oximeter, or at the very least an altitude warning tool, but (for understandable battery preservation issues) Apple puts severe limits on the amount of monitoring that can be done in the background. I’m still working on it, but in the mean time I’ve changed tack and turned the app into an aviation weather tool. It’s now available (for free) on the App store . This is a watch only app, effectively, so please don’t waste your time downloading it if you don’t have one! There are a couple of altitude functions as well (a QNH estimator which becomes a delta-P if the app detects pressurised flight). You can change the airports you want to monitor etc. directly on the app. There is also a complication, allowing you to see the first airport directly on the watch face, but it’s only for the latest watch model. It will work away from your phone if you have a wifi or cellular connection.

I find it quite useful to have all this info available at a glance, but this may very well reflect only my personal needs!

Last Edited by denopa at 07 Feb 12:25

Got it. Installed it :-)

EDLE, Netherlands

That is impressive. I will try it out. Thanks.

Thanks to all who installed it (given this is the only place I’ve “advertised”, I assume everyone heard about it here). As luck would have it, the server I’ve been getting the raw data from went MIA for 24 hours, but seems back online (and it’s not because of the people using the app ;-)). Apologies for that, even if it seems ok now, I will try to find a back up. Please PM me if you find bugs or errors or things that could be useful. I’m a beginner with apps so please don’t expect too much.

Last Edited by denopa at 10 Feb 21:20


If it’s not too much trouble, I’d like some feedback on a specific point: did you find it easy to understand how to change the airports, and to change them?

Thanks in advance.

P.s.: I’ve added complications for other watch faces.


(Non iWatch people should probably be told that Complications is Apple’s terrible word for configuration, not bad UI design!)

EGKB Biggin Hill
17 Posts
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