Can you display steps on watch face?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by RunnerGirl, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. RunnerGirl macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    #1
    I currently have a Garmin Vivoactive but I am thinking about switching to an Apple watch. Counting steps is a big deal to me and really a deal breaker on whatever watch I keep. The Garmin shows my steps on the watch face and this is one of the main reasons I like the watch.

    I've looked around but haven't found a clear cut answer. Can the Apple watch display steps on the watch face? I know there are pedometer apps out there that are supposedly better than the health app but wouldn't that require several steps to see the information? I want to be able to glance at my watch and see steps right away.

    Thanks!
     
  2. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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  3. matrix07 macrumors 68040

    matrix07

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  4. Laserducky macrumors regular

    Laserducky

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    Dec 29, 2013
    #4
    I don't believe its built in by default. You could see whether any 3rd party Apps support this or not.

    At most, the watch displays the numerical values corresponding to the 3 rings as a complication on the watch face

    Cheers !
     
  5. BlueMoon63 macrumors 68000

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    Mar 30, 2015
    #5
    The Pedometer app has a complication that has a ring that shows your progress and one touch brings up your steps and miles. You could see at a glance how far you are along your target. If the ring was half way and your goal was 10,000 steps you would know you are at approximately 5,000. Yet, just one touch brings up the steps and miles. I really like it as a complication.
     
  6. Armen macrumors 604

    Armen

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    #6
    there are a few 3rd party apps the can display foot steps.
     
  7. CobraPA macrumors 6502

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    Mar 12, 2011
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    Lansdale, PA, USA
    #7
    Natively, steps are on the health app. So if you have the activity rings as a complication, a tap and swipe up is the fastest way to see them. Other than that, you'll need a third party app. There are a couple available. Be aware that they are delayed by 10+ minutes due to limitations set by Apple, but for day to day use they are pretty good. I've attached a sample (of an unreleased app) with a step complication on the center bottom row.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. matrix07 macrumors 68040

    matrix07

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    #8
    That step count is so rad!
     
  9. CobraPA macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Coming to an App store near you... in a while... ;)
     
  10. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    Jan 6, 2005
    #10
    Do you have to have the specific number? The activity rings are a really good visual representation - much better than how it's done on my Garmin IMO.
     
  11. matrix07 macrumors 68040

    matrix07

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    #11
    Feel free to inform us when it's released.
     
  12. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

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    Jacksonville, Florida
    #12
    Yep, how hard would that have been to do. It amazes me how limited things are for the AW, sometimes. Seems this and some other data would have been easy to use in a complication.
     
  13. CobraPA macrumors 6502

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    #13
    That's a good question... I guess it depends on what the OP wants. The rings show 'move' which is a calorie estimate, and 'stand' which is something else.
     
  14. bripab007 macrumors 6502

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    #14
  15. jasie02 macrumors 6502a

    jasie02

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    #15
    Had been using stepcard for months. It only has small complication, not large 3 lines one.
    I use combination mode, 0.3 is 300 steps of day, and ring is percentage of goal set of day. Could also set as both steps or both percentage of goal.
    stepcard.jpg
     
  16. herious89 macrumors member

    herious89

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    Sep 25, 2015
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    Irvine
    #16
    +1 for stepcard, had it for awhile as complication but now I prefer having the activity rings for better view of my activities
     
  17. sean000, Feb 16, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016

    sean000 macrumors 6502a

    sean000

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    #17
    I agree with this. The activity rings are a nice visual indicator of how energetic or how sedentary you have been for the day. There are many days when walking about 5 miles (mostly to and from work) is the only sustained activity I get. The Exercise ring is an indicator of how much of my walking was vigorous enough to get my heart rate up. I can tap the Activity complication to see details, and then swipe up to see the number of steps taken and distance traveled. I wore my Apple Watch with my Fitbit One for 3 months and the steps were always really close, but your mileage may vary.

    How useful is the Stand ring? Well... it's useful to me, but maybe not as much so as the other rings. The harmful effects of long-term sitting, even for people who are otherwise quite active, have been getting more attention in recent years. I have a job that requires a lot of sitting. Even though I was getting a lot of exercise walking and bicycling, I started to have all kinds of sciatica problems as well as other leg and back pain. Long before I got the Apple Watch I started using iPhone reminders to get up every hour and walk a short distance before sitting back down. I feel like it made a big difference and my issues went away (don't know if the long stretches of sitting were the cause or not... just saying it felt good to get up and stretch...so maybe there is something to it).

    I usually have the Activity Rings set as a complication to remind me throughout the day that I need to get up every hour, go for walks when I can, take the stairs, etc. Even if I log plenty of exercise and steps before I even get to work in the morning, it's still good to have the reminder to get up and move around so the rest of my day doesn't undo the exercise I got in the morning.

    Of course there is a nice simplicity in setting a step goal and watching your step count, especially since you know exactly what to do to reach it. I check my steps frequently... maybe it's because that was the primary indicator when I wore a Fitbit, so it helps me compare the last seven months to the previous year and a half I was a Fitbit owner. As others have mentioned you can get third party app with a steps complication that you can display on a watch face, but I don't know how well any of those work. I'm sure there are some threads about this.

    The Apple Watch is not the top of the pile as a Fitness Tracker, but it works fine for my very basic needs in this area. If you want the Apple Watch for all of the other smartwatch features that it excels at, you might find you are willing to compromise on some things. I think it will improve over time as a fitness tracker, and if you are on the fence you might want to consider waiting to see what (if any) advances March will bring.

    Sean
     
  18. kcellup macrumors regular

    kcellup

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    Sep 19, 2015
    #18
    Want some testers?? I volunteer as tribute!!
     
  19. CobraPA macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Sure, I'll be posting something when I get an approved test version.
     
  20. RunnerGirl thread starter macrumors member

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    May 3, 2010
    #20
    Seeing the number is pretty important but maybe not life and death. I am doing a 1,000 mile challenge for the year so I have to meet a certain amount of steps each day, more or less if I work out.

    I appreciate all the replies. I ordered an AW and it should arrive Thursday. I think I need to play with it, do some of the things you all suggested, and then see what I can live with.

    I volunteer as a tester too!
     
  21. sean000 macrumors 6502a

    sean000

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    Bellingham, WA
    #21
    You can track distance as well as steps. For better accuracy open the workout app and follow the directions to calibrate the watch. This will use the iPhone's GPS figure out an average stride length and distance covered.

    Whether you are counting steps or miles, I think what you may find frustrating is the inability to easily export data. Apple Health is a hot mess, but it does provide all the information you could ever want if you spend some time poking around the strangely un-Apple-like interface. There is so much data and you can view averages/trends for days, weeks, months and years. Unfortunately you can't easily pick a date range and see total numbers for that range. You can allow other apps to read the data, so it is possible to use a free app like QS Access to export your steps and your running/walking distance to Excel where you can easily pinpoint the day when you hit 1,000 miles. In between exports you can use the Health dashboard to keep an eye on your daily averages, and of course check your steps for the day from the Activity app. Yes that is three apps: Activity, Workout and Health :confused: Believe it or not it does start to make sense and it is plenty of information... I just hope Apple improves on making it easier to do things like set short-term and long-term goals. Of course there are apps for that. You can use other apps to track steps and/or distance and set goals. I think that's what Apple is getting at... Health is just a massive database that other apps can write to and read from as you grant them permission.

    Sean
     
  22. RunnerGirl thread starter macrumors member

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    May 3, 2010
    #22
    Thanks sean000. In the grand scheme of things I really am looking for mileage instead of steps.

    I am old school and I write everything down in a running diary. On the days I work out I write down my exact work out and miles and then just miles on days I just run or walk. I usually write it down every day or every other day and then total it up each week. So really I don't care about using an app to track it long term. I just need to be able to see a few days back in case I forget to write it down. From what you described, I should be able to do that without much effort.
     
  23. sean000 macrumors 6502a

    sean000

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    Bellingham, WA
    #23
    You can look at the steps and distance traveled for any day using the Activity app on the iPhone, so you should be good there!
     
  24. jasie02, Feb 19, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016

    jasie02 macrumors 6502a

    jasie02

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2014
    #24
    For distant tracking start/stop/monitor from AW, try MotionX.
    Not only it has all the info you will ever need, distant, elevation, accent/decent, .... on AW, also it could save every track, and Airdrop from iPhone to Mac, if you have Mac, and use Garmin basecamp (best Mac map tracking app) to show each and every track.

    I track every single hike, store them in Garmin, and if I missed starting point or stopping point correctly on the hike, I could use Garmin basecamp easily modify track to show correct hike route.
    You could use for any movement, and save every movement if you like.

    No more write down of anything, and start/stop/monitor/save-track on AW.
     
  25. michaelb5000 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    #25
    I think both Pedometer + and Stepcard can display the numeric steps in a large complications. I don't use it generally, but Ped+ shows the number for me for the day. The complication showing the step count won't update continuously, but updates enough for my purposes. Generally I open the app to look at the actual count, since I use the small complication. If you run Pedometer by hitting "start walk" it seems to update pretty much in real time during that walk.
     

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