Apple Watch gets new biking features, including fall detection

The Apple Watch will soon get help if you take a tumble on your bike during a workout.

Jessica Rendall Wellness Writer
Jessica is a writer on the Wellness team with a focus on health news. Before CNET, she worked in local journalism covering public health issues, business and music.
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Jessica Rendall
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At Tuesday's Apple event, the tech company revealed updates to its Apple Watch and added fall detection for bike riding.

The update is part of WatchOS 8, which Apple says will also help your watch automatically pause when you stop cycling, and then resume when you start again, which will "more accurately reflect time spent moving versus stationary, like waiting at a stoplight." 

Watch this: Apple Watch Series 7: Here is what's new

WatchOS 8 will also be more compatible with e-bikes, and it comes with an improved algorithm for tracking calories. The algorithm, Apple says, will more accurately track a workout by determining whether someone is using a pedal-assist feature on a bike or only using their leg power.

Read more: Apple Fitness Plus is coming to 15 new countries with new types of workouts, and introduces group workouts

The emphasis on catching spills by cyclists adds to the existing fall-detection feature of Apple Watch that's been around for a while. If the Apple Watch doesn't detect movement for about a minute, the watch will send an alert and call emergency services if you don't respond. This feature will be available on September 20, as part of Watch OS 8.

The updates to the device's health features come the same day Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 7, which has a larger, brighter always-on Retina display. It's also more durable than previous models and has a waterproof rating of WR50, which means it should be OK to wear in the shower or while swimming.