Want to Use the ECG Feature on Apple Watch in Canada and Outside the US? It’s Hardware Limited [u]

Apple has just released watchOS 5.1.2, which brings the ECG app for Apple Watch Series 4 users in the United States.

For Canadians, we don’t have the app locally yet, but many were wondering if it was possible to access the ECG feature with the ‘Apple News’ region workaround. 9to5Mac previously stated the region workaround would work, but that has turned out to be incorrect, as the ECG app has now been discovered to be limited based on Series 4 models purchased in the USA.

According to developer Guilherme Rambo, Apple limited the ECG app feature to Apple Watch Series 4 models purchased in the United States. Even if you try the region trick workaround or try using a VPN, it won’t work, as Apple is limiting the ECG app by device identifier.

Rambo says the limitation also comes down to iPhone models as well, as they need to have been purchased in the USA as well.

In a nutshell, three requirements are needed to use the ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4:

  • iPhone running the public release of iOS 12.1.1 (not developer or public beta builds)
  • Apple Watch Series 4 running public release of watchOS 5.1.2
  • Apple Watch Series 4 purchased in the USA

So if you were thinking of using the ECG app feature in Canada, you’re out of luck (for now).

As for when Canada will get the ECG app? According to Bloomberg back in September, they reported: “Apple, meanwhile, says it plans to work hard with other regulators, including Health Canada, to bring its wrist-worn ECG to worldwide markets.”

Update: story updated with additional reporting to clarify background on origins of the region trick workaround, which does not work in this ECG app case.

Update 2: story updated to note only your Apple Watch needs to be purchased in the USA (not iPhone as well), for the ECG app to work.