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Using the Apple Watch with Zwift

Apple Watch support as a heart rate monitor is now in beta! While there may be some bugs, you can try it out now. Pairing works like it would for a normal Bluetooth HRM with just a few extra steps.

1. Download Zwift Companion app to the Apple Watch

First, you'll need to download either the Zwift app or Zwift Companion app to your Apple Watch. Follow the instructions on Apple's website for installing the appropriate app (see below) to your watch.

Note: the Apple Watch is not directly compatible with iPad.

ZMLandZwift.png

PC, Mac, tvOS: Make sure the (blue) Zwift Companion app shows up as one of your Apple Watch apps

The first time you launch the Zwift Companion app, you will see prompts to allow access to Health Permissions. This is required to use the Apple Watch app. You can also turn this on via Settings.

HealthPermissions.png       HealthAccess.png

 

2. Pairing the Watch App with Zwift

Once you've installed the app on your watch, pairing the Apple Watch largely follows the same steps as pairing any other Bluetooth device depending on which platform you're using for the Zwift game and how you're connecting.

If you are using Zwift on your iPhone, you can pair your Apple Watch directly to the iPhone. However, if you're using Zwift on a PC, Mac, AppleTV or iPad, you will need to use the Zwift Companion app in order to pair your Apple Watch to Zwift. 

Pairing via Native BLE (iPhone)

  1. Turn on your iPhone's Bluetooth setting via your iOS Settings screen.
  2. Launch the Zwift game on your iPhone.
  3. Log in.
  4. Skip the pairing screen for the heart rate monitor (you can pair your other sensors normally if you'd like) and join the world.
  5. While in game, tap the Menu button in the lower-left, and tap the Pairing icon in the lower-right.
  6. Open the Zwift app on your Apple Watch. It will say Zwift in the top-right and unpaired at the bottom of the Watch screen.
  7. It will say Zwift in the top-right and unpaired at the bottom of the Watch screen.
  8. Search under the Heart Rate menu on the pairing screen in game.
  9. The Apple Watch will show up under the Heart Rate menu on the pairing screen in game.

 

Image_uploaded_from_iOS__1_.jpg     Image_uploaded_from_iOS__3_.jpg     Image_uploaded_from_iOS__2_.jpg

Zwift Apple Watch app unpaired. | Watch visible in Heart Rate pairing screen. | Apple Watch changes after it's selected.

 

Pairing via Zwift Companion app BLE (PC/Mac/Apple TV/iPad)

  1. Turn on your iPhone's Bluetooth setting via your Settings screen.
  2. Open the Zwift Companion app on your mobile device. Make sure your mobile device is on the same WiFi network as the computer you're using.
  3. Launch the Zwift game on your computer.
  4. Log in.
  5. Skip the pairing option for heart rate monitor (you can pair your other sensors, if you want).
  6. On the Drop In screen, select whichever ride option you plan on doing (Select Workout, Ride with a Friend, Group Ride, or Just Ride), and confirm your selection to join the game world.
  7. While in game, tap the Menu button in the lower-left, and tap the Pairing icon in the lower-right.
  8. Open the Zwift app on your Apple Watch. It will say Zwift in the top-right and unpaired at the bottom of the Watch screen (see screenshots above).
  9. Search under the Heart Rate menu on the pairing screen in game.
  10. The Apple Watch will show up under the Heart Rate menu on the pairing screen in game.

 

Apple Watch and Zwift Best Practices

While the Apple Watch should work if connected as mentioned above, there are some settings you can enable/disable to help reduce potential issues.

  1. Turn on "Do Not Disturb" in workouts: We've seen that notifications can cause the Apple Watch pairing to break. You can turn on Do Not Disturb via your iPhone and the Apple Watch app settings under General: Workout: Do Not Disturb 
  2. Turn off "Workout Power Saving Mode": While saving battery can be a good thing, we've found this can cause issues with keeping a steady connection. On your iPhone, open the Apple Watch app, and go to My Watch: Workout: Power Saving Mode.
  3. Turn on Apple Watch: Privacy: Heart Rate and Fitness Tracking: These settings relate to Apple Health and being able to display your heart rate in-game.
  4. Set Wake Screen to "Within 1 hour of last use": This should prevent the app from closing during your ride. Go to My Watch: General: Wake Screen.

 

Apple Watch and Apple Health

In order for your Zwift activity to show up in Apple Health, you will need to have all permissions for Zwift turned on. These are under Apple Health > Sources. Make sure that all options are turned on for both the Zwift and Zwift Companion apps.

 You need to use your Apple Watch as a heart rate monitor for the data to show up.

In Apple Health, "Cycling Distance" will come up as "Workouts" due to limitations on what we can write to the Apple Health app.

 

Troubleshooting FAQ

Q: My Watch isn't showing up under the Heart Rate menu.

A: Double-check to make sure you followed the above steps exactly. If you still can't connect, see our article on troubleshooting Bluetooth pairing issues.

Q: My watch shows up as paired, but has a "0" for heart rate.

A: Zwift doesn't have permission to the Apple Health app's data. Enable all permissions to solve the problem.
 

Q: My Watch unpaired from the game and won't pair again.

A: This is a known issue. 

Q: I received a notification on my watch and it disconnected my Watch.

A: This is a known issue.

 

Q: My watch keeps disconnecting from Zwift!

A: While the Apple Watch is great for casually checking your heart rate, Zwift pushes its hardware limits, and we've found that it's not suited for continually displaying heartrate. It may drop out from time to time, but following the best practices listed above can help reduce these.

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