Heart rate image
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Keeping track of your heart rate is one of the best reasons to own a smartwatch. However, Google Fit is getting a new feature that will let you check your heart rate on iPhone without a smartwatch (it was already available on Android).

While not as quick and efficient as using a smartwatch or fitness tracker, Google Fit is an excellent alternative if you’re willing to wait around a bit to get your results. You can check your heart and respiratory rate using your iPhone’s camera and Google Fit.

If you want to try getting your heart rate, you need to use the Google Fit app and lightly place your finger on your phone’s camera to get a reading of your heart rate. The app will take about 30 seconds to monitor the “subtle changes in the color of your fingers” to estimate the rate at which your blood is pumping.

It’s not as helpful as a watch or fitness wearable, which monitors your heart rate at all times and can alert you if something is off. It’s still beneficial if you feel like something is off and you want to check.

To check your respiratory rate, you’ll use the front-facing camera. The app will ask you to sit still for 30 seconds while it monitors your subtle chest movements to determine how many breaths per minute you take, which can be a valuable bit of health information.

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The feature rolled out for Android early in 2021, but now iPhone users can get in on the health-tracking fun with the latest update to Google Fit.

As is always the case with these sorts of medical readings, Google says, “these results are not intended for medical purposes and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or medical condition.”

RELATED: What Health Conditions Can an Apple Watch Detect?

Profile Photo for Dave LeClair Dave LeClair
Dave LeClair is the News Editor for How-To Geek. He started writing about technology more than 10 years ago. He's written articles for publications like MakeUseOf, Android Authority, Digital Trends, and plenty of others. He's also appeared in and edited videos for various YouTube channels around the web.
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