Improved Exercise ring accuracy with Fitness Tracking on iPhone turned off

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by bgrace, Feb 13, 2017.

  1. bgrace macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    #1
    I have noticed that when I take my Apple Watch off and walk around with my iPhone in my pocket, the Activity app will sometimes give me exercise credit based on the steps/motion recorded solely by my iPhone. I have confirmed this by looking at the data within the Health app and seeing entries for exercise credit at time(s) that I was not wearing my watch. Also, sometimes when I rest my iPhone on the passenger seat while driving, bumpy roads will cause the iPhone to record steps and sometimes that coverts to exercise credit in the Activity app. On most days that I don't exercise, the Apple Watch has been giving me between 10-13 minutes of exercise credit (green ring in Activity app) based on normal movement/non-exercise activity. This morning I turned off fitness tracking on the iPhone (Settings > Privacy > Motion & Fitness) and have noticed that the exercise tracking on the Apple Watch is much more accurate. Today with fitness tracking on my iPhone turned off (thus making Apple Watch the only fitness tracking source), I was only given 1 minute of exercise credit - about right. Is there any downside to having fitness tracking on iPhone turned off if I'm always wearing my Apple Watch anyway?
     
  2. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    Ventura County
    #2
    An iPhone is not capable of recording exercise minutes or calories, only steps/distance. You can verify this by going to health app -> sources -> iPhone. You will see Distance, Flights Climbed, Steps, Height and Weight. But not activity calories, resting calories, heart rate, exercise minutes, stand hours or workouts. Its probably just a fluke that you had "earned" the credit, but it had not synced to your phone yet and that is when you noticed it.

    So you know, exercise counts as 60 seconds of sustained 3.3mph movement (equivalent to a brisk walk). Walking around the house, doing chores, or even driving through windy roads has the ability to give you exercise credit, as long as the watch thinks you are moving at 3.3mph for an entire minute. I use to work at a restaurant and folding napkins gave me massive amount of exercise minutes (had to take the watch off to prevent cheating my goals).

    Turning fitness tracking off on your phone shouldn't effect much, provided you are always wearing your watch, except for flights climbed. The watch does not track how many flights you have climbed, only the phone does.
     
  3. bgrace thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    #3
    It may seem like a fluke, but I have had fitness tracking on my iPhone turned off for the past three days and the exercise tracking has been far more accurate. Previously I was getting about 10 erroneous exercise minutes; now with iPhone fitness tracking turned off, that is down to 1-2 exercise minutes. I know the iPhone does not record exercise minutes, but it does record steps/distance and maybe that plays a role - even if not by design - in awarding exercise minutes in conjunction with Apple Watch.
     
  4. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    Ventura County
    #4
    It's gotta be just a fluke. Even if fitness tracking is on, it will only default to one source. Either the watch or phone. Not both. So as long as the Watch is on and tracking steps, the data your phone is saving doesn't come into play unless you make the phone your primary source for steps/distances. But then it won't match your activity/watch app anymore.
     
  5. bgrace thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    #5
    Totally get what you're saying. But I have had fitness tracking on iPhone turned off for the past week and the difference in exercise minutes is significant. Only variable that has changed is fitness tracking on iPhone. Very strange.
     
  6. Julien, Feb 19, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017

    Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #6
    As already stated the iPhone sends NO sensor/fitness information to the Activity App. The Activity App is an :apple:Watch App only (no :apple:Watch, no Activity App will install). The iPhone ONLY feeds its sensor/fitness information to the Health App and any 3ed party apps you have installed/allowed to read.

    If still in doubt you can do a simple test to prove it. Turn off (or don't wear) your :apple:Watch for a couple of days but carry you iPhone. Then report back how well your iPhone filled out the Rings (not the Health app, but the Activity app).:D
     

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