This rumored Apple Watch Series 6 feature could literally save your life

Apple Watch Heart Beat
Apple Watch Heart Beat (Image credit: Rene Ritchie/iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple Watch Series 6 might be getting another lifesaving feature.
  • Code snippets in iOS 14 suggest blood oxygen monitoring is coming.
  • It isn't clear whether the feature will be available on older watches.

Apple Watch Series 6 might be set to get a big new health feature, according to a new report. Blood oxygen level monitoring could be coming to Apple Watch if code snippets found in iOS 14 by 9to5Mac are any indication.

Apple has been rumored to have plans to add blood oxygen level monitoring before, but this is the closest we've come to proof that it's actively being worked on.

Apple Watch Sensors

Apple Watch Sensors (Image credit: iMore)

Keeping tabs on the amount of oxygen in our blood can be important, with levels of between 95% and 100% deemed to be acceptable. Anything below that can cause impaired judgment and a general feeling of being unwell, while anything below 80% can be a real issue. If the issue is prolonged there's a risk of heart attack and worse.

While 9to5Mac has spotted something in iOS 14 that suggests blood oxygen monitoring is coming, it isn't clear yet whether it will be possible using the existing Apple Watch suite of sensors. If it isn't, the feature will be exclusive to Apple Watch Series 6 which is likely to be announced in September.

With Fitbit and other fitness bands already offering blood oxygen level monitoring, it's a big miss for Apple. It's surely a matter of when, rather than if, Apple will add it to Apple Watch.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.