An Apple Watch survives four laps in an Olympic pool, and tracks its wearer’s workout

If you own an Apple Watch, you might have noticed that there is no swimming option in the workouts app. That’s because the watch is only splash- and water-resistant. In other words, you can wash your hands or take a jog in the rain with it on, but no jumping in the pool. As it turns out, though, the Apple Watch appears to do just fine in a pool, even an Olympic pool.

The developers of a popular swimming app for the Pebble smartwatch, Active in Time, tested a port on the Apple Watch in an Olympic Pool with favorable results. It not only survived four laps (200 meters) with no hitches, it kept track of lengths, total distance, time, and heart rate. The only issue is that the watch automatically turns off to save energy so it can’t provide instant information, but it does cumulatively track data which can be viewed once the display is turned on.

Now don’t run to the App Store to download the app just yet. It’s unlikely Apple will approve such an app as the company isn’t about to give you permission to take the Apple Watch for a dip. This is more of a proof of concept.

Assuming the next Apple Watch is fully waterproof, though, there is a lot of potential here. You could set a desired program level workout and the watch could tell you to speed up or slow down through haptic feedback. It could even communicate directly with coaches and download training plans via Wi-Fi.

Currently, there are no consumer-level swim tracking devices that can track one’s heart rate in a pool, so this could be a game changer in that respect.

Please note that we don’t recommend leaving your Apple Watch on the next time you go swimming since it would most likely void your warranty, but you can at least have the peace of mind that your very expensive watch will be okay if someone pushes you in.


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