Sharing my first swimming experience with AW2

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by awputra, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. awputra macrumors member

    Sep 12, 2016
    hi guys!

    This is my first aw and the reason i bought aw2 because of its swimming proof. Today is the first time i swim wearing apple watch 2. I think its awesome and pretty accurate. It captured distances, laps and stroke accurately.

    Please share your experience swimming with apple watch and what do you think about it!


    Attached Files:

  2. matrix07 macrumors 601


    Jun 24, 2010
  3. sakumar macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2009
    Thanks for this info. I used it for a swim workout today as well. I only checked the Activity App, but not the Health App which you show above.

    It's weird that in the Activity App it shows type of stroke (freestyle, butterfly etc.) and number of laps but doesn't show number of strokes. In the Health app it shows number of strokes but not number of laps. I suppose number of laps can easily be calculated by dividing distance by size of pool though.

    Is there a way to see per-lap time?
  4. VSLRA, Sep 20, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016

    VSLRA macrumors member


    Apr 9, 2008
    Czech republic, Czech Budweis
    How does it calculate no. of laps? I'm let say occasional swimmer, therefore I really wonder, how it can know, that I finish lap by basic swimming turn under water.
  5. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I can not.
  6. The Game 161 macrumors P6

    The Game 161

    Dec 15, 2010
    Just recently joined a gym where i can get pool access so when my watch finally arrives will try and test it out fully. Looking forward to trying it
  7. exxxviii macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2015
    It figures out by arm motion that you did a turn at the end of a lap. This is some dark magic that I really love. I's accelerometer motion patterns can detect stroke type, rest time, count strokes, and detect turns at each end of the pool. The only thing it needs is pool length to calculate pace and distance.

    This really only works if you are swimming laps. If you are splashing around in a pool and occasionally go end-to-end, it will not have a clue what you are doing.
  8. erpetao macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2011
    Does it automatically detects pauses in the workout? (Resting on the wall) or do you need to pause it somehow (like you need to do with a Garmin).
  9. kitenski macrumors regular


    Jan 30, 2008
    Leeds, UK
  10. Bob190 macrumors 6502

    May 21, 2015
    No, you need to pause it by pressing the crown and side button at the same time.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 20, 2016 ---
    Yes, if you use an app called RunGap to import the data from Health .. at least it worked for the swims I tried. You don't get a lot of detail however.
  11. matrix07 macrumors 601


    Jun 24, 2010
    There's auto pause function but only works with running (for now).
  12. pesos macrumors 6502a


    Mar 30, 2006
    What about open water swimming where you're not doing laps? Can it combine gps with arm motion to give you some decent stats?
  13. exxxviii macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2015
    Yes. Again, this is dark magic that will increase your desire to swim more.
  14. profets macrumors 601

    Mar 18, 2009
    I did my first swim yesterday with the Series 2. Short 800m lane swim. Awesome how the health app shows number of strokes! Didn't know until I saw this thread. I had been swimming in the pool and open water with my original Apple Watch, so happy I can track these swims more accurately now.

    I've used older multisport watches for swimming, they basically showed total distance and average pace by knowing the pool length and estimating motion when you've reached the end of the lane and turning. With the Apple Watch it was pretty cool though, I was in a 25m pool and it was slowly increasing the distance metric on the face during the laps.
  15. gugy macrumors 68040


    Jan 31, 2005
    La Jolla, CA
    These are encouraging. Can't wait to get my AW and try at the pool.
  16. turtlebud macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2002
    Just got my AW2 today and did my normal swim with it. I have been using a Pebble Time with the app with pretty good results but I wanted to see what the AW2 had to offer.

    Currently, it does not detect pauses in the workout. Since this is the first time I've tried out the AW, I didn't know so I ended up swimming the whole time with no intervals or segments. I'm glad to hear that they do for the running app - it gives hope that this may be implemented eventually in the swimming app. The app on the pebble does automatic interval detection and I've come to really love that feature because I don't have to fumble around with my watch during my workout.

    Not exactly, but you can see your pace/100, if you go to your pace on the activity->workout screen and expand it, it will show you your pace each 100yd/m. [see attached]

    I agree. It would make a whole lot more sense if they combined the information (ex. strokes) all in one place instead of having one in the activity app and one in the health app. Seems odd.

    Some other observations/opinions:

    1. The type of data that is captured (or displayed) is not very granular. No per lap time or stroke count. The app gives both of these.
    2. I'm not sure how well the stroke detection works. Freestyle was fine in both detecting the stroke and the laps. However, when I swam 6 laps of Breastroke, it only registered 3 laps and I'm not sure it recognized the stroke because it doesn't show it anywhere in the workout.
    3. I like that it tracks calories burned - this is something that the pebble/ app doesn't provide.
    4. I like that it unifies all my activity (walking/swimming/etc.) data.
    5. You can't see the time/workout information while you are swimming and it only shows for a brief period when you stop. I occasionally used the pebble/ to look and see what lap I was on in case I lost track. That is not possible here. In addition, because of auto-interval detection, I could see how fast my last 100 was if I was swimming a set. You have to stop/start manually on the AW2 (mentioned above).

    Admittedly, I am biased because I have been using the pebble + for over a year now and it has been working pretty well. The main thing that it was lacking was stroke detection, but it wasn't a huge deal. does have an app for the apple watch but it is still under review. It will give you auto-interval detection and stroke detection, but I'm don't think it'll integrate into the activity app. Hopefully apple won't reject it. Until then I'm going to use the built in swim workout app and see if I can get it to work better.

    DFFA8853-BD85-4795-A201-A2B5C340FE10.png 5541AA6A-2EBC-4E0C-92F2-64DBAA1A17DF.png
  17. angeloc macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2016

    original Apple watch shows active calories, total calories and ave heart rate in Workout/Others when swimming, if you use the same option in Series 2, does it have the similar number? this will be a nice test that can help many decide if they have to upgrade to Series 2,


  18. ApplePhy macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2013
    Just received my series 2 SS today, and I haven't had a chance to use it for my swim routine. I had a couple of questions maybe you can answer:

    1) can the activity app differentiate and display the different stroke types during a workout? For example, if one swims 50% freestyle, 25% breast stroke and 25% backstroke, then will it display the stroke type and the number of laps/yards swum for each stoke type? From what I can tell, it seems like the app only lists the dominant stroke used, and not each individual stroke

    3). How accurate was the average heart rate data?

    2) im assuming you don't need your iPhone nearby when pool swimming?

    Really excited to try out the series 2 for swimming. This is the main reason for my upgrade from series 1. I was getting tired of having to switch my  watch with my MOOV fitness tracker whenever I went for a swim.

    From what I can tell, the activity app isn't as sophisticated as the other options when it comes to swimming, but I believe this is just the beginning as the app will get better. In addition, I'm hoping there will be 3rd party apps for swimming as well.

    My MOOV can display each stroke type, with how many yards swum specific to each stroke type, as well as the time for each individual lap. There are also times for flips, average pace per lap, fastest 100 yards/meters, calories burned, and even comparisons to Olympic and world records for comparisons.

    I've been really happy with my MOOV thus far, as I find it one of the better (for under $100) swimming trackers out there.
    But I wanted to simplify the number of activity trackers I had to carry with me. Also---my MOOV didn't have a heart rate sensor, and so I couldn't track average heart rate during my workout.
  19. profets macrumors 601

    Mar 18, 2009
    HR data has been very similar, but active calorie count has been higher on the Series 2, by about 50% for me (this is based on 2 pool swims of the same duration compared to similar durations on the original watch).
    --- Post Merged, Sep 21, 2016 ---
    No clue the answer to #1, but that's a very interesting question. I usually only swim with front crawl and it gets registered as freestyle.

    HR seems quite accurate, though it seemed to already work fine with the original watch. You could always test it with the original if you want to get an idea of HR.

    And no, don't need the iPhone nearby when pool swimming.

    Here's an example of the data you get logged in the Activity and Health apps from a swim workout. Maybe not as much info as you were hoping for, but with OS 3 it could be possible for a developer to make a dedicated swimming app with even more features.


  20. exxxviii macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2015
    I am curious how it compares to other swim tracker devices you have used. This is tricky, because calorie burn in a pool depends on a ton of factors that a watch may not be able to measure, but still. For example, my Garmin 910XT gave me about 23 total calories per 100 yards and 12.5 total calories per minute. My 735XT gives me about 20 calories per 100 yards and 10 calories per minute. Neither seem to take intensity into account, because the metrics are the same whether I am swimming slow and steady or doing pretty intense intervals. What are the total calorie metrics that the AW is reporting in a swim for you?
  21. profets macrumors 601

    Mar 18, 2009
    Agreed - I've thought about this as well. I can't imagine it's a perfect science. In the screenshot I put above, for that 800m swim as an example, active calories were 236 and total calories 271.

    I used to swim with a TomTom watch a few years back, and even a 910XT 2-3 years back (I borrowed to test for a while). I don't think I have any data to compare from those, but I'm going to take a look.
  22. turtlebud macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2002
    1) In my experience so far, not sure if it differentiates (I think it probably can since it can identify freestyle), but it did not display a secondary stroke for me. I swam predominantly free (44/50 laps) and did not see breast show up anywhere.

    2) can't speak much to the accuracy of heart rate data as I didn't confirm manually by taking pulse to see how close it was and this is my first HR monitoring wearable.

    3) correct, didn't need the iphone nearby for this to work. just toggle to the workout menu, select pool workout, set goals (optional), and start workout. it did take me a little while to figure out that you need to swipe left to get to the menu to end the workout. also, I think if you double tap or hard press it creates a segment/interval (though I'd really like for it to auto-detect when you are resting).

    In regards to the level of detail displayed/stored from the AW2, I'm hoping that apple builds and expands this as it is lacking relative to other options out there. I'm also hoping that the app gets approved soon so I can give that a run. In case you haven't seen it, here is the type of data that it captured swimming with a pebble time.

    Screen Shot 2016-09-21 at 9.59.41 AM.jpg
  23. exxxviii macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2015
    The presentation is excellent. It is pretty much exactly what I look at after every swim workout for every interval, and sometimes down to length when I am curious how I trended within an interval:
    • Interval time
    • Interval distance
    • Pace /100
    • Strokes
    • Stroke Rate
    • SWOLF
  24. blinkered macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2016
    Just to add...

    So far I've only completed two 1600m indoor swims, but have been very impressed with the lap tracking, heart rate monitoring and stroke recognition.

    I didn't realise you could press both buttons simultaneously to pause/resume the workout, which is great to hear, because it is tricky to unlock and then pause with wet fingers. Was also unaware of the double tap to create an interval, but this seems to only work when unlocked, which is disappointing.

    It is sometimes hard to see the metrics on the watch whilst swimming, particularly when using the multi-metric view. Haven't tried single-metric view but will next time. It'd be great to have the watch automatically turn on the display and vibrate more often than at the half way point...would love to see an update at quarter way through. The raising of the wrist whilst swimming to activate the display and then trying to get a good glance at the metrics takes some getting used to.

    Would like to see peak heart rate, SWOLF, and pace per lap added to the Activity app on iOS.

    First open water swim with the watch on Saturday, so will report back!
  25. tivoboy macrumors 68040

    May 15, 2005
    I have no idea how they can honestly say that they can calculate AVG HEART RATE of this type of activity...

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