From a health perspective, what can the Apple Watch do on its own?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by brig2221, Apr 5, 2015.

  1. brig2221 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I realize the Apple watch is dependent on the iPhone for a lot of its functionality. That said, I don't plan on hauling my iPhone around with me on runs or when I go to the gym. From a health perspective, will I lose functionality, or will it be good to go stand alone?
     
  2. dannyyankou macrumors 603

    dannyyankou

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    #2
    I'm guessing it'll still track steps and elevation. I'm sure it'll do other stuff too, but I think those things are for certain.
     
  3. sterl320 macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I think the only function you won't be able to use without the phone is the GPS, meaning everything else should be fine.
     
  4. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040

    Lloydbm41

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    #4
    Steps, distance (generic based on average step length), it can store your workout data (heartrate, calories burned and workout intensity based on the accelerometer/heartrate data) and sync it to the Health app when you get back from your run, walk, cycle or trip to the gym and sync it to your iPhone. It can not track where you go or exact distance without the iPhone tethered though.
     
  5. Multiverse223 macrumors regular

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    Mar 16, 2015
    #5
    Steps, distance, pace, heartrate, calories burned. It can't track elevation without the phone as it doesn't have a barometer I don't think.
     
  6. Patriot24 macrumors 68030

    Patriot24

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    #6
    They certainly convert the number of step/strides to distance for times when you are not teathered to your iPhone (as all fitness trackers do). Otherwise running on a treadmill would yield interesting results.

    "You ran for a really long time in place! We award you no points for distance!"

    :cool:
     
  7. Cashmonee macrumors 6502a

    Cashmonee

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    #7
    The question is if any of that will be accurate. Generally speaking, without a footpod or GPS, the steps, distance, and pace will probably not be all that close. Wrist based HRM are mixed at best, making heart rate and calories inaccurate. Though this is easily fixed, presumably, with a Bluetooth chest strap.

    The Apple Watch, in its current form, does not make a very good fitness device, unless you are only casually interested in the data. If you want actionable data though, I would probably look elsewhere until more capabilities are introduced through better sensor compatibility, or third party apps.
     
  8. Multiverse223 macrumors regular

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    #8
    A lot of the things I mentioned become more accurate as it analyzes you with your iPhone. As far as calories burned accuracy...that has not and will not ever be very accurate for anyone. The only way to accurately track caloric expenditure is in a well controlled lab. Fitness tracks are all cool and convienent data, they aren't more than motovational, in that you may strive to do better or correct something you think may be different to become better. The real stuff will come when other biometrics are being tracked, that's when you'll really get good information.
     
  9. sterl320 macrumors 6502

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    #9
    like what?
     
  10. Cashmonee macrumors 6502a

    Cashmonee

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    #10
    Correct, but the OP specifically said without an iPhone. With the iPhone, the :apple:Watch gets much better at fitness. For many (most?), running, cycling, hiking, swimming, etc with an active (as in, in use) phone is a nonstarter.

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    Huh?
     
  11. Multiverse223 macrumors regular

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    #11
    No no, I mean it gets better by using the iPhone so that it is better and more accurate when the iPhone isnt with it. For example it uses the iPhone to get an accurate estimate of stride so when you are without your iPhone the watch can more accurately calculate distance, etc
     
  12. matrix07 macrumors 68040

    matrix07

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    #12
    For runs, you should first run with the Watch *and* the phone for a few times at least, to let it learn your stride and pacing so it can be more accurate.
     
  13. Cashmonee macrumors 6502a

    Cashmonee

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    #13
    Ah, I see. I was unaware Apple were doing that. In my experience, promises like those rarely materialize, but maybe this device will be different. I would not count on accurate stats from the :apple:Watch, especially at the beginning, without the aid of the iPhone's GPS and better sensors.
     
  14. brig2221 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    I just find it very hard to believe that Apple would "expect" anyone to carry around an iPhone with them when they bought a "Sports Watch". I suppose I wouldn't mind hauling around an iPhone every now and then to better zero in on data, but if the inference is the watch is more or less useless and inaccurate without the phone, what is the use?

    I wouldn't make that statement if they didn't literally name one of their lines a "Sports Watch", but given they did, I'm asking the question.
     
  15. Multiverse223 macrumors regular

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    #15
    Seriously? Read posts in this thread. Specifically mine.
     
  16. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #16

    ....and they didn't literally mean air with the MacBook Air. :D Sport is just a nomenclature that has a nice ring to it.;)
     
  17. brig2221 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    I read your post and understand that taking your iPhone can help better calibrate (for lack of a better term) the accurateness of your results. That said, I have no idea how much it will work or how often you will need to do it for it to work. I imagine as you run longer distances or get in better shape, your stride and pace may change considerably. Just seems like there are a lot of variables there without answers as far as how much it helps, and how often you need to do it to really zero things in. Very disappointing from my perspective, but I understand not everyone feels that way, yourself being one such example.

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    Literally was a poor choice of words on my part I suppose. That said, I hope you would agree that choosing "Sport" was a little more than nomenclature, and was meant to label the watch as a "Sport" watch :D
     
  18. Multiverse223 macrumors regular

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    #18
    I don't think you have to keep calibrating it again and again. I don't think stride changes much at all, and I don't think they'd be calibrating pace because it can change so much. If they get an accurate estimate of stride then that's all you really need. For example you take your iPhone with you several times for runs and using its GPS along with both of their step tracking it will get an accurate average stride by knowing that you just took a step and it was X distance. Take enough steps while running (which would be a lot) and it will get a highly accurate average of your stride, which the watch learns. So the next time you take your watch out for a run without your phone, the watch knows your stride distance and knows how many steps you're taking, ergo it can get a rather accurate estimate of your distance, and pace.
     
  19. Cashmonee macrumors 6502a

    Cashmonee

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    May 27, 2006
    #19
    Put it this way, good GPS watches have a hard time and differ on things like instant pace, I cannot imagine the :apple:Watch performing well at this task without the iPhone (or some GPS) present. Different terrain, fitness that day, etc all will contribute to things being just different enough to throw off the motion metrics. Just look at wildly different step estimates can be for given devices. In other words, it's Apple marketing speak until they can prove accuracy and reliability. Something reviews will surely flesh out.

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    I think this approach may work ok for a single route. Change the route or even worse, the characteristics of the route or run, and it will not be accurate. For example a low intensity run vs high. Long route vs short. Different terrain.
     

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