Series 4 not detecting flights climbed properly.

purpleparrotuk

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 26, 2010
650
119
I have made sure all the options are correct according to the Apple discussions webpage to enable accuracy of flights climbed but it doesn’t work for me. I understand it counts around every 16 steps. I’ve just gone up and down the stairs in my house about 10 times and it has only come up as 1 flight.

Is everyone’s else’s watch accurate for flights?
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,280
4,259
Atlanta
It doesn't count steps. It uses a barometer to measure the difference in air pressure. Not published but probably about 8' to 10' (2.4M to 3M) of elevation change equals about one floor.

Have you tried restarting the watch?
 

purpleparrotuk

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 26, 2010
650
119
It doesn't count steps. It uses a barometer to measure the difference in air pressure. Not published but probably about 8' to 10' (2.4M to 3M) of elevation change equals about one floor.

Have you tried restarting the watch?
Hi. Yes restarted watch and phone. Hubbys watch is the same too so I guess it’s just unreliable.
 

Beards

macrumors 6502a
Mar 22, 2014
954
390
Derbyshire UK
Hi. Yes restarted watch and phone. Hubbys watch is the same too so I guess it’s just unreliable.
It’s not a case of it being unreliable, it’s just as Julienne states; no point counting steps when the software doesn’t support that feature. The reliability is formed on its interpretation of barometric air pressure. If it gets that wrong then yes it would be unreliable. One point of note though ~ Don’t run up and down stairs quickly as this doesn’t allow the barometric pressure to register a change.
 
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michaelb5000

macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2015
109
55
I track my flights of stairs and have a goal of averaging 25 flights per day since I got the s3 last fall. I have posted here on this question at times and have tried to figure it out, but have questions more than answers too.

It is definitely not just the barometric reading. There has to be use of the GPS and other sensors in the logic, and also smoothing. For your stairs inside, the likely explanation is that it is missing the top and the bottom of the stairs and as a result of smoothing and other error correction, you are not getting credit. So if you go up the stairs and then walk around the 2nd floor, and then go down the stairs and walk around the 1st floor, you are much more likely to get credit, because the other sensors will count your movement and position at the higher and lower pressure. In some way at least.

I have several apps to measure altitude and pressure. One simple one is called Up High. It just gives you a real time reading of the pressure and altitude. it bounces around by 1-3 feet just sitting still at a desk, and sometimes up to 5 feet. So there is a margin of error in the barometer that is a significant part of 1 flight of stairs. Another example of this is that there needs to be minimum number of stairs to ever count: I stay in a house that has 3 stairs in and out; I can go in and out of the house 30x in a day, but will end up with basically 0 flights for entire the day, so those short flights of stairs never amount to anything.

I really like and recommend the app WorkOutdoors. The developer posts here and has explained his app a lot. WorkOutdoors is the only I know that gives you the option for a real time reading of flights of stairs as you climb them. Outside, on a hill, I can watch it count both elevation and flights of stairs as I do them. But workoutdoors does use GPS (at least in part), and it will at times round off the top or bottom of the hills as part of its logic smoothing out changes in elevation. So that app shows that happening in real time as it happens. Workoutdoors does not appear to track stairs indoors very well or at all, but I should test that more (using GPS logic may prevent that).
 
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SedonaJoys

macrumors newbie
Mar 30, 2019
1
0
I have made sure all the options are correct according to the Apple discussions webpage to enable accuracy of flights climbed but it doesn’t work for me. I understand it counts around every 16 steps. I’ve just gone up and down the stairs in my house about 10 times and it has only come up as 1 flight.

Is everyone’s else’s watch accurate for flights?
[doublepost=1553992392][/doublepost]No, I’m having the same problem with my Series 4 iWatch. There are 14 steps with about a nine foot gain in our interior stairway, and I go up and down those stairs at least ten times a day, but the number of flights registered never exceeds 2 or 3 ~ so annoying.
 

Ledgem

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2008
1,871
709
Hawaii, USA
It is pressure; unless something changed with the Series 4, the remark about GPS isn't accurate. You can prove this to yourself the next time you're in an elevator: try walking around the elevator as it is going up or down, and you will see that the Watch increases the number of flights you've walked because it is detecting your walking motions and assumes stair-climbing because of changes in pressure.

I'd recommend doing this in an empty elevator, so people don't think you're crazy :p

If you're not getting flights counted with stairs in your home then the difference in elevation probably isn't great enough to trigger it.
 

lc96

macrumors newbie
Oct 29, 2011
16
3
[doublepost=1553992392][/doublepost]No, I’m having the same problem with my Series 4 iWatch. There are 14 steps with about a nine foot gain in our interior stairway, and I go up and down those stairs at least ten times a day, but the number of flights registered never exceeds 2 or 3 ~ so annoying.
I’m having the same problem with my Series 4, which I didn’t have with the 3. At least you get 2 or 3 flights, I get zero flights climbed. Watch was sent in for diagnostics and sent back with a little piece of paper that said it was working as expected. Why even have a “flights climbed” if it doesn’t work. We have a steep staircase with plenty of steps.
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,757
15,222
Jacksonville, Florida
I track my flights of stairs and have a goal of averaging 25 flights per day since I got the s3 last fall. I have posted here on this question at times and have tried to figure it out, but have questions more than answers too.

It is definitely not just the barometric reading. There has to be use of the GPS and other sensors in the logic, and also smoothing. For your stairs inside, the likely explanation is that it is missing the top and the bottom of the stairs and as a result of smoothing and other error correction, you are not getting credit. So if you go up the stairs and then walk around the 2nd floor, and then go down the stairs and walk around the 1st floor, you are much more likely to get credit, because the other sensors will count your movement and position at the higher and lower pressure. In some way at least.

I have several apps to measure altitude and pressure. One simple one is called Up High. It just gives you a real time reading of the pressure and altitude. it bounces around by 1-3 feet just sitting still at a desk, and sometimes up to 5 feet. So there is a margin of error in the barometer that is a significant part of 1 flight of stairs. Another example of this is that there needs to be minimum number of stairs to ever count: I stay in a house that has 3 stairs in and out; I can go in and out of the house 30x in a day, but will end up with basically 0 flights for entire the day, so those short flights of stairs never amount to anything.

I really like and recommend the app WorkOutdoors. The developer posts here and has explained his app a lot. WorkOutdoors is the only I know that gives you the option for a real time reading of flights of stairs as you climb them. Outside, on a hill, I can watch it count both elevation and flights of stairs as I do them. But workoutdoors does use GPS (at least in part), and it will at times round off the top or bottom of the hills as part of its logic smoothing out changes in elevation. So that app shows that happening in real time as it happens. Workoutdoors does not appear to track stairs indoors very well or at all, but I should test that more (using GPS logic may prevent that).
Nope. It is just barometric pressure and activity or movement. The latter keeps you from getting flights climbed when on an elevator!

You people are expecting way more accuracy that what the watch offers. I have seen sensitivity change with a new watch, over the old or even a Watch update.

GPS is not involved when counting flights
 
Last edited:

NoBoMac

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 1, 2014
2,848
1,183
Will echo what others have said re: Watch is using barometric pressure to make a guesstimate. And not just Watch, iPhones have same issue.

For example, today's workout, my GPS tracker said did 341' elevation gain, Health App says did 6 flights of stairs. A really windy day workout, GPS said 197' feet, HA flights, 13. Do that same route on a calm day, HA might say 2-3 floors.

Hence, why I use a GPS tracker to get a better idea re: elevation gained. Can then always convert to flights, if so inclined (divide by 10 or 12 [12' seems to be average for distance between floors]).
 

lc96

macrumors newbie
Oct 29, 2011
16
3
Will echo what others have said re: Watch is using barometric pressure to make a guesstimate. And not just Watch, iPhones have same issue.

For example, today's workout, my GPS tracker said did 341' elevation gain, Health App says did 6 flights of stairs. A really windy day workout, GPS said 197' feet, HA flights, 13. Do that same route on a calm day, HA might say 2-3 floors.

Hence, why I use a GPS tracker to get a better idea re: elevation gained. Can then always convert to flights, if so inclined (divide by 10 or 12 [12' seems to be average for distance between floors]).
Ok, why the "flights climbed" in the activity app if it doesn't work, and isn't intended to work?

I won't even get started on my walking from counter, to stove, to sink to fridge, food prepping for 30 minutes and then being reminded it's time to stand.
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,757
15,222
Jacksonville, Florida
Ok, why the "flights climbed" in the activity app if it doesn't work, and isn't intended to work?

I won't even get started on my walking from counter, to stove, to sink to fridge, food prepping for 30 minutes and then being reminded it's time to stand.

Welcome to today smart watch technology.
 

ShannonMcElroy

macrumors newbie
Jul 6, 2019
1
0
I have a series 4 and it doesn’t track flights right at all. I get one or 2 a day and I climb more than that for sure. I have the watch as the primary device in the activity/flights on the health app. Twice a week I walk stairs at my gym for 30 minutes. There are 25 stairs and it’s easily 20 ft of elevation (health software says the measurement metric is: 10 feet of elevation or 16 steps for a flight) and I get ZERO credit for flights and that’s using “stairs/open goal” in the workout tracking app. I just wonder why make a measurement metric and not have it work at all. I am moving on actual stairs and changing elevation. I could understand it not registering a stairclimber machine. Either don’t measure it or have it work. It is very irritating as I would like to know if I’m completing more flights during my workout.
 

lc96

macrumors newbie
Oct 29, 2011
16
3
I have a series 4 and it doesn’t track flights right at all. I get one or 2 a day and I climb more than that for sure. I have the watch as the primary device in the activity/flights on the health app. Twice a week I walk stairs at my gym for 30 minutes. There are 25 stairs and it’s easily 20 ft of elevation (health software says the measurement metric is: 10 feet of elevation or 16 steps for a flight) and I get ZERO credit for flights and that’s using “stairs/open goal” in the workout tracking app. I just wonder why make a measurement metric and not have it work at all. I am moving on actual stairs and changing elevation. I could understand it not registering a stairclimber machine. Either don’t measure it or have it work. It is very irritating as I would like to know if I’m completing more flights during my workout.
Sounds familiar. I get credit for our stairs maybe once a week. Today's irritation is that I was in the kitchen, washing up, cleaning the coffee machine, etc. and got the message "time to stand."
 

chhhrrriiisss

macrumors 6502a
Mar 29, 2009
699
263
Connecticut
Yesterday I walked quite a bit to a fireworks show and my series 4 watch said that I climbed 56 flights of stairs. My friends with series 3 walks that were with me only had between 2-5 flights.
 
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