Apple on Tuesday seeded the release candidate of an upcoming watchOS 7.4 update to developers for testing purposes, and in the process revealed that the Apple Watch ECG feature is coming to additional countries very soon.
Along with iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5, the official public version of watchOS 7.4 is set to be released next week, and Apple Watch users who install it in Australia and Vietnam can expect the built-in ECG function to come online as a result, as per the release notes.
ECG is considered a medical diagnostic, and so it requires approval from regulators in each country where Apple wants to make it made available, a requirement that has slowed the rollout of features.
According to regulatory documents, the Australian government approved ECG functionality on the Apple Watch in early March, giving Apple the all-clear to launch the feature for Apple Watch users in the country.
The ECG app, which is now available in 63 countries for Apple Watch Series 4, 5, and 6, allows users to directly measure electrical heart activity by simply placing their finger on the Digital Crown for 30 seconds.
Alongside iOS 14.5, watchOS 7.4 additionally introduces a new “Unlock with Apple Watch” feature that lets an iPhone with Face ID use an unlocked and authenticated Apple Watch as a secondary authentication measure when you’re wearing a mask, alleviating the need to enter a passcode to unlock the iPhone.
For those who use Apple Fitness+, the watchOS 7.4 update combined with iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 enables AirPlay 2 for Apple Fitness+, so workouts can be streamed to an AirPlay 2-enabled TV or set-top box.