Many users reported that: ”Apple Watch can show incorrect altitude readings”

Foreign media pointed out that under irregular weather conditions, the Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE can offer incorrect altitude readings. To provide real-time altitude statistics, the Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE use a new generation of always-on altimeters. Apple said its modified altimeter is capable of cross-referencing information from GPS and surrounding Wi-Fi networks with an error of 1 foot or less to detect the slightest difference in altitude above the ground.

The altitude readings obtained by a significant number of Apple Watch users are, however, very error-prone in Germany. Many users indicated that their altitude was estimated to be 200 to 300 meters too high, even though the affected systems operated normally in the past.

The Apple Germany Help Forum users found that the low air pressure span caused the Apple Watch altimeter to provide incorrect altitude readings. Although the effect of barometric pressure changes on the barometric altimeter is natural, this issue can generally be solved by regularly recalibrating the barometric pressure at the current sea level.

However, since the time period for the automated recalibration of the Apple Watch is presently unclear, Apple does not permit users to manually trigger the altimeter to recalibrate.

When monitoring exercises such as hiking, affected users can still get accurate details since the height relative to the starting point is registered by Apple Watch. It is not clear, however, why some Apple Watches do not use GPS information to link position with barometric pressure measurements. In this way, when there is a weather front that has a major effect on air pressure, the Apple Watch will recognize and then warn the altimeter to recalibrate.

Some users indicated that they already got disproportionately inaccurate readings, whilst others felt that resetting their Apple Watch and iPhone in the factory was the only way to cause the altimeter to recalibrate.