Frequently Asked Questions
WatchOS 10 GPS Issue during open water swim
It has come to our attention that the Apple Watch Ultra has demonstrated severely degraded GPS performance after updating to WatchOS 10. We have filed a bug report with ID FB13192409
In the meantime, the following solution may correct the issue.
Uninstall the Open Water Swim iOS app (this automatically uninstalls the watch app)
Find and perform iPhone > Settings > General Transfer or Reset > Reset > Reset location & privacy
Reboot both devices (iPhone and watch)
Reinstall the Open Water Swim iOS app from the app strore.
If your watch is displaying poor results after updating to WatchOS 10, and after performing the steps above update, please contact support so that you can send us corroborating material which we can forward to apple.
WatchOS 9 Track
WatchOS 10 Track
Above images show two swimmers who swam together, one with watchos 9 and one with watchos 10 both on the Apple Watch Ultra. As you can see, the watch demonstrates significantly worse tracking. After analyzing the data from these and many other swims, we have found that the GPS does not report data correctly, with GPS points declaring invalid positions AND invalid accuracy. We are actively working to get this problem resolved with Apple.
Hey, something isn't quite right about my last swim.
Occasionally, the app gets excited and tries to load the swim before all the data is transferred over. So you might see a zero distance, or the map is missing. The first step is to reload the data for that swim, as in the first video below.
The next step is to reload swim data by pulling down the main screen, as in the second video. If that doesn't work, then you may want to try advanced support options below.
How does Open Water Swim track my Swim?
Open water swim uses GPS to track your swim location and distance. It uses Apple Watch sensors to track your heart rate and swim strokes. It relies on Apple's Calorie estimations for calories burned.
How come the track isn't exactly right
To track your swim properly, it is important to have your wrist at the surface or above the water for some period of each stroke. This isn't an issue if you swim in free-style (front crawl) stroke, since your watch will surface each stroke. However if you use breast stroke, it's possible that your wrist remains submerged for a significant portion of your swim. If that's the case, make sure you lift your wrist to the surface of the water when you move your hands forward during the stroke. Or you can occasionally raise your wrist above the water in any fashion that suits you. The Apple Watch Ultra has dual frequency GPS and in our testing, it has had much better GPS tracking, and therefore, much better accuracy.
How come my heart rate tracking isn't very good
Heart rate tracking depends on several factors, but the one that you can adjust is the fit of your Apple Watch: too tight or too loose and you won't have succesful readings. As you swim, you can view your heart rate graph starting in v1.6 so you know how good your heart rate tracking is. If it's not going well, try adjusting the fit of your watch by loosening or tightening it. And remember, water will "tighten" some bands, so make sure the fit is adjusted while the band is wet (in the water). And cold water will restrict the flow of blood to the skin of your wrist, so your readings will likely be worse in cold water. Check out the video below for more tips on getting a better heart rate reading.
Hey, I don't see the water temperature when I swim
First of all, temperature reading only works on the Apple Watch Ultra. That’s because that’s the only watch with a temperature sensor.
And then second, if you DO have an ultra, then what is likely happening is that you are not triggering the sensor. To trigger the sensor, you do need to get the watch a little deeper in the water, something over 3 feet usually does the trick. If you love having the temp (and I know I do), then after your start your swim, and at any point you want a temperature reading, go ahead and do a little dive under the water. Once you hit the right depth, you’ll see the temperature appear on the top right of the watch.
If you can't get something to work properly, whatever it may be, then this is the section for you. Try each of these steps and then check if your problem is resolved after each step. Do not proceed to the next step unless the previous step DID NOT SOLVE YOUR PROBLEM. Some of the steps may cause you to lose data. If that's the case, that will be listed as a possible side effect.
- Restart devices
These steps should not cause data loss.
Restart your Apple Watch by following these directions provided by Apple
Restart your iPhone by following these directions provided by Apple
- Reset the sync between your Apple Watch and iPhone
Open the "Watch" app on your iPhone.
Next, from the "My Watch" tab, select the "General" option.
From here, swipe down to the bottom of the page and tap on the "Reset" option.
In the new menu, tap on the "Reset Sync Data" button.
- Unpair and reset the Apple Watch
Although this should not result in data loss, you will have to set up your watch again.
Once you have reset the watch, you can set it up again
- Un-install and re-install Open Water Swim
Most of your swim data is stored in Apple Health. You will lose any location edits you have made, and any custom locations you have created. When the data is read by Open Water Swim, locations will attempt to be created automatically.
Tap and hold the Open Water Swim app.
When the icons begin vibrating, you will see an X over open Water Swim (and other apps). Tap the X button and confirm delete.
Find Open Water Swim on the app store and re-install the app from the App Store
Install and open the app.