Can someone explain a basic fitness question?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Clint1583, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. Clint1583 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    #1
    Sorry for this bonehead question but I was wondering if someone can explain or share a link that explains how the Apple Watch works with fitness apps? Does the watch need to be close to the iPhone during workouts?

    More importantly how about running? Does the watch have a GPS feature like a Garmin exercise watch without having to run with your phone?

    Thanks!
     
  2. exxxviii, Nov 10, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2015

    exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #2
    You do not need to have the watch near the phone for most fitness stuff. The watch uses your HR and stride calibration data for walks and runs. It uses HR for "other" workouts. It does need the phone nearby for cycling.

    They watch does not have GPS. Therefore, it cannot capture GPS data for precise distance and mapping like most Garmin exercise watches. (It does need the phone's GPS for some initial calibration to determine your stride length, but then it can be solo after that.)

    If you are using third party apps, like Runkeeper, Nike+, MapMyRun, etc., you do need to carry the phone with you to get good exercise data. For those, the watch remotely runs the app on the phone so that it is capturing the GPS data. Runkeeper will also run without the phone, and in that scenario it is like the watch's native workout app that uses stride data instead of GPS to determine distance.
     
  3. BarracksSi macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
  4. BarracksSi macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #4
    FWIW, my AW has taken over the job of "fitness watch" from my Garmin 410. Since picking up the Garmin back in 2011 or so, I learned that while gathering all the workout data was entertaining, I just didn't dig deeper into it -- or I kept changing my workout routines -- so it wasn't as useful to me as I told my wife it would be. Ahem. ;)

    I don't run regularly, maybe once or twice a week; I haven't ridden my bike since spring; I despise indoor cardio machines. GPS goes unused for most of the workouts I do, so I had the Garmin's GPS turned off most of the time to save its battery.

    I'm still fiddling around with other apps, looking for ones to track weights and reps, or to show me the next yoga pose. It's already been great to have workout apps and videos on my phone, so I want to figure out how much can be useful on the AW.
     
  5. Clint1583 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    #5
    Thanks! And with the watch using Heart Rate and Stride to measure distance how accurate is it? I'm sort of trying to talk myself into buying one but would like it to use it instead of my Garmin watch for daily runs.
     
  6. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #6
    Distance accuracy depends on the user. A few folks feel it is within 0.05 miles on a 5 mile run (1% accuracy). Others are seeing distances off by as much as 0.25 miles over a 5 mile run. Recently, mine was registering more than 10% too long. I am in the process of re-calibrating to see if it improves for me.

    Since you compared it to your Garmin... if you really like precision and Garmin's data presentation and analysis, you may not like the watch for running. The watch will not give you stats like cadence and elevation. And it does not give you any data at the split level (other than time and average pace). And, my Garmin 910XT is within 0.1% accurate, so I am not happy with even 1%-2% accuracy of the AW-- a tenth of a mile is a long way to be off when you are tired at the end of a 5 mile run.

    I wear my AW when I run, but only to fill the daily activity tracker data. I still wear my Garmin for capturing fitness data. It is far superior.
     
  7. BarracksSi macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #7
    Go ahead and buy an AW, then within the 14-day trial, double-wrist with your Garmin over several workouts and see how the two compare.

    I advise following Apple's method for calibrating the AW, too: carry your iPhone along for a few jogs so the Watch can piggyback off the iPhone's GPS data.

    Something else to think about: the AW can pair with Bluetooth-enabled HR straps. I haven't tried any yet, and my Garmin's strap is ANT+ anyway. Wahoo Fitness sells a few models through Apple's store, but I haven't looked too deeply into them.
     

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