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Tattoogate Is Real: Apple Says Tattoos Can Confuse Apple Watch

In an update to its Apple Watch support document, Apple acknowledges that some tattoos can affect the performance of its new wearable.

Posted on May 1, 2015, at 3:11 p.m. ET

Reddit user guine55fan / Via i.imgur.com

Apple has finally responded to complaints that tattoos can affect the functionality of its new Apple Watch. Late Wednesday, the company quietly updated a support document to note that users with wrist tattoos may have trouble getting reliable heart rate readings from the device.

Reports of tattoos interfering with the Apple Watch's heart rate sensors surfaced earlier this week on Reddit and were subsequently confirmed by iMore and Reuters.

Apple/ Wayback Machine

Apple has issued no official comment on the issue, though comparisons of its current Apple watch support document and an archived version show the addition of a paragraph warning users that tattoos could hamper the Watch's performance.

"Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can also impact heart rate sensor performance," the updated version reads. "The ink, pattern, and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings."

Some tattooed Apple Watch owners have also reported problems with the device's "Wrist Detection" feature. Apple's update only notes issues with its heart sensor.

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