canyonblue737

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Jan 10, 2005
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I had an AW series 0 for a brief 4 months, all on watchOS 1.0 and sold it. Now this Christmas my wife is getting a series 3 and I'll be using a series 3 come new years. I have a few questions...

1. Back on watchOS 1 a problem was if you weren't wearing your AW but you DID carry your iPhone (which counts steps) or wore another brand device that synced with Apple Health (like a Garmin watch) you would get a nice cumulative total of steps and data in Apple Health (which is smart enough to blend multiple devices in priority order, and doesn't double count) BUT the Apple Watch would never get wind of that cumulative total and so your steps shown on the watch would be low and your activity rings wouldn't fill. Basically if you didn't do it while wearing the watch the watch wouldn't count it. I HAVE SEEN MIXED MESSAGES that either in watchOS 2 or 3 this was corrected and now the Apple Watch always displays the synced totals from Apple Health and also uses them for activity ring credit. Is this true? A perfect example of a use case for this is lets say I choose to take the watch off to mow the lawn (don't want to get it scratched and count can be inaccurate without arm swing) BUT I put my iPhone in my pocket which counts my steps.

2. I never used many 3rd party apps and certainly no 3rd party fitness apps in watchOS 1.0 because they weren't even native and had no access to such fundamental APIs as the heart rate monitor. I know all that has been fixed. My question is if I do lets say a running workout in a 3rd party app I know the data wouldn't display as a run in the Apple Workout app but will the steps / time etc. at least count towards my activity rings and be synced to Apple Health? I believe they do now but I'm just looking for confirmation.

BONUS QUESTION...

3. I was surprised to see none other than DCRainmaker (THE source for reviews on electronic fitness gadgets) https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2017/11/apple-watch-series3-cellular-fitness-sport-review.html has said that even though Series 2 & 3 now has internal GPS/GLOSNASS the watch will still NOT use the internal GPS if you are carrying an iPhone with you on the run that is synced via Bluetooth. I'm sorta stunned because back in my days with the Series 0 (with no GPS) I found the track using my iPhone's GPS left something to be desired which I chalked up to being tucked away in my belt. I assumed leveraging the internal GPS antenna in the watch the tracks would be more accurate and detailed but if I need to leave my iPhone behind or turn off the sync with my Apple Watch to force it to use GPS thats a bummer. Is this true?? Is there a setting to tell it to use the internal GPS? How has your experience been of watch accuracy on outdoor runs?

Thanks!
 

ftaok

macrumors 603
Jan 23, 2002
6,269
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East Coast
BONUS QUESTION...

3. I was surprised to see none other than DCRainmaker (THE source for reviews on electronic fitness gadgets) https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2017/11/apple-watch-series3-cellular-fitness-sport-review.html has said that even though Series 2 & 3 now has internal GPS/GLOSNASS the watch will still NOT use the internal GPS if you are carrying an iPhone with you on the run that is synced via Bluetooth. I'm sorta stunned because back in my days with the Series 0 (with no GPS) I found the track using my iPhone's GPS left something to be desired which I chalked up to being tucked away in my belt. I assumed leveraging the internal GPS antenna in the watch the tracks would be more accurate and detailed but if I need to leave my iPhone behind or turn off the sync with my Apple Watch to force it to use GPS thats a bummer. Is this true?? Is there a setting to tell it to use the internal GPS? How has your experience been of watch accuracy on outdoor runs?

Thanks!
it depends on the app. If you’re using the Apple workout app, it’ll use the iPhone’s GPS if it’s connected with the aw. Other apps behave differently. NRC (aka Nike run club) will use the gps of the device that is used to start the run. I use a app called iSmoothRun and you can select either gps.
 
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cheap_steak

macrumors newbie
Nov 1, 2017
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it depends on the app. If you’re using the Apple workout app, it’ll use the iPhone’s GPS if it’s connected with the aw. Other apps behave differently. NRC (aka Nike run club) will use the gps of the device that is used to start the run. I use a app called iSmoothRun and you can select either gps.

I'm not totally sure that the watch uses the GPS from the phone when you have it with you. I always have my phone with me running use Runtastic to track. I have been running the same routes for a few years and confirmed the distances with Google Maps. However, the first several runs of between 4 and 5 miles with my AW3 (non-LTE) and iPhone 7, the watch's workout app was consistently long by between 15% and 20%. Example: Runtastic=4.26, watch=5.12 miles.

I'll have to check out iSmoothRun and see if I can get the numbers closer together.
 

ftaok

macrumors 603
Jan 23, 2002
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I'm not totally sure that the watch uses the GPS from the phone when you have it with you. I always have my phone with me running use Runtastic to track. I have been running the same routes for a few years and confirmed the distances with Google Maps. However, the first several runs of between 4 and 5 miles with my AW3 (non-LTE) and iPhone 7, the watch's workout app was consistently long by between 15% and 20%. Example: Runtastic=4.26, watch=5.12 miles.

I'll have to check out iSmoothRun and see if I can get the numbers closer together.
I had that happen to me. Watch was consistently 15% more miles than my iPhone was on established routes. 2 mile runs became 2.3 miles.

I fixed it, either by making sure the motion tracking setting was correct or by re-pairing my AW to my iPhone.

There's a few places in settings that need to be set properly.

The easy one is Settings/Privacy/Motion & Fitness - make sure you have fitness tracking on and any app you want to use with GPS.

The next location is in Settings/Privacy/Location Services. Make sure every app you want to use is set properly.

Also, go down to the bottom and into System Services. Make sure Motion Calibration & Distance is turned on.

If these settings don't work, you might need to re-pair, which is a bit of a pain.
 

Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,735
9,331
Ventura County
I had an AW series 0 for a brief 4 months, all on watchOS 1.0 and sold it. Now this Christmas my wife is getting a series 3 and I'll be using a series 3 come new years. I have a few questions...

1. Back on watchOS 1 a problem was if you weren't wearing your AW but you DID carry your iPhone (which counts steps) or wore another brand device that synced with Apple Health (like a Garmin watch) you would get a nice cumulative total of steps and data in Apple Health (which is smart enough to blend multiple devices in priority order, and doesn't double count) BUT the Apple Watch would never get wind of that cumulative total and so your steps shown on the watch would be low and your activity rings wouldn't fill. Basically if you didn't do it while wearing the watch the watch wouldn't count it. I HAVE SEEN MIXED MESSAGES that either in watchOS 2 or 3 this was corrected and now the Apple Watch always displays the synced totals from Apple Health and also uses them for activity ring credit. Is this true? A perfect example of a use case for this is lets say I choose to take the watch off to mow the lawn (don't want to get it scratched and count can be inaccurate without arm swing) BUT I put my iPhone in my pocket which counts my steps.



Thanks!

No, iPhone counting steps does not contribute to your activity rings on your watch. iPhone is not nearly as accurate and does not have a heart rate monitor (calories) and the accelerator is not calibrated for distance/steps/pace (exercise minutes).

Additionally, iPhone steps do not count in health app in addition to watch steps. Its only one or the other, and you have to pick which is displayed in the health app. By default, its the watch. So any iPhone steps/distance will not show up in health automatically.
 
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canyonblue737

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No, iPhone counting steps does not contribute to your activity rings on your watch. iPhone is not nearly as accurate and does not have a heart rate monitor (calories) and the accelerator is not calibrated for distance/steps/pace (exercise minutes).

Additionally, iPhone steps do not count in health app in addition to watch steps. Its only one or the other, and you have to pick which is displayed in the health app. By default, its the watch. So any iPhone steps/distance will not show up in health automatically.

That's not true...

Apple Health blends data based on time and the priority order it sets (you can change that order in the Apple Health app). Basically for example I can have my Apple Watch set as priority #1 (which makes sense for its accuracy like you mentioned) and iPhone as #2... if BOTH devices report steps in the same period of time the Apple Health app ignores the iPhone and uses the Apple Watch data. However if you take off the Apple Watch and the iPhone records steps during the same time Apple Watch has none the Apple Health app WILL USE THE STEPS. If I leave the Apple Watch charging for example and throw my iPhone in my pocket then later put the Apple Watch on my Apple Health app will reflect ALL the steps I took that day and not be missing any. The questions I had is does this combined total then get sent back to the Apple Watch so when I view step totals on the watch and my activity rings is correct and total and it appears the answer is NO, the Apple Watch just shows what IT recorded. So basically if I want to see my REAL total (assuming I didn't wear the Apple Watch all day) I need to view Apple Health.
 

Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,735
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Ventura County
That's not true...

Apple Health blends data based on time and the priority order it sets (you can change that order in the Apple Health app). Basically for example I can have my Apple Watch set as priority #1 (which makes sense for its accuracy like you mentioned) and iPhone as #2... if BOTH devices report steps in the same period of time the Apple Health app ignores the iPhone and uses the Apple Watch data. However if you take off the Apple Watch and the iPhone records steps during the same time Apple Watch has none the Apple Health app WILL USE THE STEPS. If I leave the Apple Watch charging for example and throw my iPhone in my pocket then later put the Apple Watch on my Apple Health app will reflect ALL the steps I took that day and not be missing any. The questions I had is does this combined total then get sent back to the Apple Watch so when I view step totals on the watch and my activity rings is correct and total and it appears the answer is NO, the Apple Watch just shows what IT recorded. So basically if I want to see my REAL total (assuming I didn't wear the Apple Watch all day) I need to view Apple Health.

You misunderstood what I am saying.

The health App will ONLY report what you set as the default. You select the default under Health App - Health Data - Steps - Sources. You click edit and drag to the top the one you want to be the default.

Yes, my phone is calculating steps when I am not wearing my watch, BUT the health app will ONLY show the steps that my watch has recorded by default. Your watch will always be defaulted. Whether you are wearing the watch or not. If you want to see your phone steps by default, you must change your phone to default source.

But regardless, this will not change your activity rings/steps on your watch.

Here is what I am talking about.

With Apple Watch as default source: 1598 Steps (Matches activity app and my watch).

IMG_0341.PNG IMG_0342.PNG

With iPhone as default source: 1005 Steps
IMG_0343.PNG IMG_0344.PNG

As I mentioned above, it will record steps on phone AND watch, but only one or the other will be shown in the health app. You must choose. It defaults to watch. It will never combine the two.
 

ftaok

macrumors 603
Jan 23, 2002
6,269
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East Coast
As I mentioned above, it will record steps on phone AND watch, but only one or the other will be shown in the health app. You must choose. It defaults to watch. It will never combine the two.
I believe you're mistaken. The way I've seen it work is that the Primary Device will post its steps to Health app when multiple devices are actively recording steps. But when secondary devices are recording and the primary device is not worn, then the secondary device will update the steps in the Health app.

I've seen this happen on my watch where I've taken a walk without my watch, but carrying my phone. My overall steps for the day will be more than what my AW recorded because Health app adds in the step from the iPhone, for just that duration.

I'll see if I can recreate it and post back if I'm successful.
 
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Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,735
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Ventura County
I believe you're mistaken. The way I've seen it work is that the Primary Device will post its steps to Health app when multiple devices are actively recording steps. But when secondary devices are recording and the primary device is not worn, then the secondary device will update the steps in the Health app.

I've seen this happen on my watch where I've taken a walk without my watch, but carrying my phone. My overall steps for the day will be more than what my AW recorded because Health app adds in the step from the iPhone, for just that duration.

I'll see if I can recreate it and post back if I'm successful.
I understand what you are saying, but just look at my four screenshots. That alone is proof enough. When my phone is set as default, only my phone steps show up. When my watch is set to default, only my watch steps show up. I can post this for every single day for the last 500 days. I've had my watch since April 2015, and it has always acted this way.
 

canyonblue737

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 10, 2005
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You misunderstood what I am saying.

The health App will ONLY report what you set as the default. You select the default under Health App - Health Data - Steps - Sources. You click edit and drag to the top the one you want to be the default.

Yes, my phone is calculating steps when I am not wearing my watch, BUT the health app will ONLY show the steps that my watch has recorded by default. Your watch will always be defaulted. Whether you are wearing the watch or not. If you want to see your phone steps by default, you must change your phone to default source.

But regardless, this will not change your activity rings/steps on your watch.

Here is what I am talking about.

With Apple Watch as default source: 1598 Steps (Matches activity app and my watch).

View attachment 740805 View attachment 740806

With iPhone as default source: 1005 Steps
View attachment 740807 View attachment 740808

As I mentioned above, it will record steps on phone AND watch, but only one or the other will be shown in the health app. You must choose. It defaults to watch. It will never combine the two.

You are wrong. 150% for sure. That step graph in your post is showing the steps for ALL THOSE DEVICES COMBINED (as long as they don’t overlap the same period of TIME). The order of your devices doesn’t determine what is shown (they all get shown) it determines what data to exclude if multiple sets of data are recorded during the same period of time. THIS BEVAVIOR is awesome because it means I can put my iPhone in my suit coat at a fancy dinner where I wear an Omega watch and still get my total steps for the day including what earlier I got on my Apple Watch. Other companies (Fitbit and Garmin) do the same but they also sync the totals shown on the devices while it appears Apple only combines the totals on the iPhone app.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204351
 

Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,735
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Ventura County
You are wrong. 150% for sure. That step graph in your post is showing the steps for ALL THOSE DEVICES COMBINED (as long as they don’t overlap the same period of TIME). The order of your devices doesn’t determine what is shown (they all get shown) it determines what data to exclude if multiple sets of data are recorded during the same period of time. THIS BEVAVIOR is awesome because it means I can put my iPhone in my suit coat at a fancy dinner where I wear an Omega watch and still get my total steps for the day including what earlier I got on my Apple Watch. Other companies (Fitbit and Garmin) do the same but they also sync the totals shown on the devices while it appears Apple only combines the totals on the iPhone app.
Alright, there is literally not point in trying to help you. It is VERY CLEAR that when I changed the default source, the steps changed. Seriously, just look at the screenshots.

Funny that someone that does NOT have an Apple Watch is saying I'm wrong, in which I've had mine for over 2.5 years and Apple had a support article explaining exactly what I am trying to tell you.
 

canyonblue737

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 10, 2005
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Alright, there is literally not point in trying to help you. It is VERY CLEAR that when I changed the default source, the steps changed. Seriously, just look at the screenshots.

Funny that someone that does NOT have an Apple Watch is saying I'm wrong, in which I've had mine for over 2.5 years and Apple had a support article explaining exactly what I am trying to tell you.

Of course the total changed. The iPhone had overlapping periods with your watch and the app excluded the watch during any overlapping periods when you place the iPhone to the top. Your iPhone likely recorded less steps during overlapping times and so the totals went down.

Put your watch at the top. If you the. sync your watch, check totals in Apple Health then leave your watch on the dresser for a hour while leaving your iPhone in your pocket for an hour while walking when you check Apple Health your steps will have gone UP.
[doublepost=1512678811][/doublepost]
Of course the total changed. The iPhone had overlapping periods with your watch and the app excluded the watch during any overlapping periods when you place the iPhone to the top. Your iPhone likely recorded less steps during overlapping times and so the totals went down.

Put your watch at the top. If you the. sync your watch, check totals in Apple Health then leave your watch on the dresser for a hour while leaving your iPhone in your pocket for an hour while walking when you check Apple Health your steps will have gone UP.

PS: I had a SS Series 0 and even then Apple Health was doing this. It’s done this for the last year also with my Garmin Fenix 5S because the Garmin app is a Health Kit data source too. I don’t wear my Garmin while mowing and so I use the lower priority iPhone and yup, it combines totals.
 

Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,735
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Ventura County
Of course the total changed. The iPhone had overlapping periods with your watch and the app excluded the watch durin

Put your watch at the top. If you the. sync your watch, check totals in Apple Health then leave your watch on the dresser for a hour while leaving your iPhone in your pocket for an hour while walking when you check Apple Health your steps will have gone UP.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. If I put my watch at the TOP and take my watch off, and not wear it the entire day, the steps WILL NOT go up. I've done that a dozens of times in the last 3 years because I cannot wear my watch while testing at school or working. I have to put my iPhone at the top to see those steps.

I will go for a walk right now around my block without my watch to prove it. I have a starting screenshot for both watch at the top and phone at the top.

Phone at Top Before Walk / Watch at Top Before Walk
IMG_0347.PNG IMG_0348.PNG

Phone at top after walk / Watch at top after walk
IMG_0351.PNG IMG_0352.PNG

Wasn't a long walk, only up and down my street. But it nonetheless proves my point. You ONLY see phone steps if you have phone at the top of the list. (On a side note, my walk was definitely more than 90~ steps, so something might be wrong with my iPhone step counting. But thats not at issue here.)


Cry wrong all you want, but that alone is proof. Don't believe it or like it? I cant help you there. I was more than nice by trying to respond to your question and all you have done is said I'm wrong. Have a good day, no sense in wasting more time here. It will just be an argument.
 
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ftaok

macrumors 603
Jan 23, 2002
6,269
1,304
East Coast
This is how my set-up behaves. I have my AW at the top of the list and the iPhone is second.

1.png 2.png 3.png

Right now, the Health app is showing 3,825 steps. My AW recorded 3,804 and my iPhone has recorded 2,116.

So the Health app has used 21 steps from the iPhone total for whatever reason. In the past, when I don't wear my watch but do have the iPhone in my pocket (admittedly a rare occurance), the steps that I generate get posted to Health app, but doesn't show up on the AW Ring app.

My experience would tell me that if I were to take my watch off (perhaps I need to disconnect it) and walk 2,000 steps, I would end up with Health saying 5,825, the AW showing 3,804 and the iPhone showing 4,116.

But that's just my experience.


EDIT - I took off my watch and walked around the office a bit. Here's the results.

1.png 2.png 3.png

The Health app used around 100 steps I took while having the iPhone in my pocket. I put the AW in airplane mode and left it on my desk. You can see the difference between the Health app and the AW is now at 115 where it was 21.
 
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canyonblue737

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 10, 2005
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I’m not angry I just want the accurate answer. You are taking offense that I don’t agree with your belief, and I’m sorry that is the case. The behavior of my Apple Health app does not match yours and there are oddities with the screen shots you posted included in one showing your iPhone 8 as top in priority (not what is shown but PRIORITY which alone indicates combining) and the next where you switched it showing your watch as top in priority followed by numerous other Apple watches and your iPhone 8 nowhere to be seen in the list. Why not put the iPhone 2nd?

I have MANY DAYS where my top device (Garmin) records NO data because I’m not wearing it yet my Apple Health app shows my iPhone step data on that day, despite being listed 2nd, because Apple Health reverts to its order PRIORITY system and takes the iPhone data in abscence of the Garmin data. I don’t need to reorder or reset anything in the menus it just works, apparently differently than yours.

Please don’t be mad, let’s all seek to learn something here, hopefully someone else can chime in.
[doublepost=1512681517][/doublepost]
This is how my set-up behaves. I have my AW at the top of the list and the iPhone is second.

View attachment 740820 View attachment 740821 View attachment 740822

Right now, the Health app is showing 3,825 steps. My AW recorded 3,804 and my iPhone has recorded 2,116.

So the Health app has used 21 steps from the iPhone total for whatever reason. In the past, when I don't wear my watch but do have the iPhone in my pocket (admittedly a rare occurance), the steps that I generate get posted to Health app, but doesn't show up on the AW Ring app.

My experience would tell me that if I were to take my watch off (perhaps I need to disconnect it) and walk 2,000 steps, I would end up with Health saying 5,825, the AW showing 3,804 and the iPhone showing 4,116.

But that's just my experience.
your experience matches mine, thanks.
 
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Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,735
9,331
Ventura County
May I ask how many watches you have? Do you actually use all of them? -- I realize it's off topic but I'm genuinely curious :).
I have two, my S0 and S3. The reason why there are so many names is because when you restore or pair a new watch, even if it was an old one, it creates a separate source for it. So for me to be able to keep track of which one was paired, I started numbering them. So if I ever have to repair my Nike S3, it will be Nike 2 and so on.
 
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BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
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the Alpha Quadrant
I have two, my S0 and S3. The reason why there are so many names is because when you restore or pair a new watch, even if it was an old one, it creates a separate source for it. So for me to be able to keep track of which one was paired, I started numbering them. So if I ever have to repair my Nike S3, it will be Nike 2 and so on.

Sweet - thanks for the info - will remember that when I get a new watch someday. Very cool!
 
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