Gray dots on map after run with iPhone

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by TRICKorDEVICE, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. TRICKorDEVICE macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2014
    Hi all, during my last two runs, WITH my iPhone, I noticed that the pace of my run seems slower than it should be and I've had to go farther than normal to achieve the same distance. When looking at the map in the Activity app. I've noticed that there were times that the route that I was on shows gray dots as opposed to green, yellow, or red.
    What do these gray dots mean?
    Most of my runs before this on the new operating systems do not have these gray dots. Do I have an issue here?
  2. anthonymoody macrumors 68020


    Aug 8, 2002
    Too lazy to find it right now but 7-10 pages back there is a long thread from the time of the early watchOS 3 betas. The first 3 (or 4?) releases could track routes using the original AW, but *without* the iPhone. Apple removed the functionality in the 4th or 5th beta.

    Once the AW and the iPhone were back in BT range, the route map would appear in the workout in the Activity app, just like it does now (when you have your iPhone with you, or if you have the AWS2). The route in the map in those early betas contained a series of gray dots. People surmised that it was using wifi triangulation (combined with the various motion sensors) to get an approximate route, with each dot representing a hit on a wifi hot spot.

    My guess was always that this was essentially a back up, so that if the GPS in the iPhone (or AWS2) wasn't working or receiving for whatever reason, you'd still get a route mapped. And/or it was a way to further verify the GPS reading.

    From what you're saying, I wonder if somehow the GPS in your phone wasn't receiving well (or was inadvertently off?) and the wifi triangulation came through?
  3. TRICKorDEVICE thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2014

    This all makes sense. I'm going for another run today, hopefully the GPS will work better.
  4. goat5570 macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2008
    I noticed the same thing on a run last night. A gray dot, followed by no color for a while, then color again after a short distance. My guess was the GPS signal was lost during those short segments. I had my phone with me too.

    I tracked the same run with ismoothrun and it did not have the gray dots or any loss of GPS data. I assume both were using the same GPS info from the phone. Would have expected both to have the drops, unless I'm wrong in assuming that GPS drops in the Apple workout app was the issue.

    Maybe if the workout app displayed more data after the run (separate graph or map for pace, HR, ect) we could figure it out.
  5. TRICKorDEVICE thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2014

    Thanks for the info. My run today had a very brief portion with gray dots. And the distance and pace seemed much more accurate. How would we know if we have a GPS issue?
  6. goat5570 macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2008
    We wouldn't. At least not while running. That's another feature that should be added, as most other running watches let you know the GPS status. There is nothing on the workout app while running to indicate GPS. Maybe once other apps start to use the watch GPS they will include this.

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