So what exactly can the Watch do in terms of fitness (cardio) without an iPhone?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by jonhoy, Apr 17, 2015.

  1. jonhoy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2015
    #1
    When I upgrade to the inevitable 6S Plus or 7 Plus I do not want to bring that thing on runs. For instance, I'll run for a distance and then walk for a distance, then run, walk, run walk, etc. Will the Watch be able to differentiate between walking and running?
     
  2. Mavik macrumors member

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    Apr 14, 2015
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    It can’t record mileage on its own because it needs the GPS in your iPhone, however it seems that the Watch can "learn" how you move :

    http://www.mensjournal.com/gear/electronics/my-week-with-the-apple-watch-20150408
     
  3. ACE83 macrumors member

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    Apr 8, 2015
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    #3
    After a few runs with your phone it can record mileage on its own, just not a map. Just like the iPhone (5S and above) can record mileage with the GPS off.

    It can also track walking and "other" workouts without the phone, like playing tennis or yoga.

    Tracking cycling requires your iPhone.

    You should be able to swap activities between running and walking without issue.
     
  4. gwynne macrumors 68000

    gwynne

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    Mar 11, 2010
    #4
    I've been assuming (note "assuming") that in the absence of GPS it acts like a Fitbit, tracking based on motion sensing. Hoping it does the same on a treadmill.
     
  5. jonhoy thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 11, 2015
    #5
    Hmm, I have an iPhone 5 right now so "teaching" the Watch wouldn't be a problem. Whether the Watch remembers what it learns when it switches to a new phone remains to be seen...

    I guess no one really knows what happens then.
     
  6. dandrewk macrumors 6502

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    Apr 20, 2010
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    San Rafael, California
    #6
    I know it records steps without the iPhone, but what about heart rate? Will it log bpm over time, if out walking/running, and then syncing to the phone when back in range?
     
  7. ACE83 macrumors member

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    Apr 8, 2015
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    Buffalo, NY
    #7
    Yes and yes. It will sync back to the activity app and health app on iPhone once back in range.
     
  8. caramellhoney macrumors 6502

    caramellhoney

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    Sep 18, 2014
    #8
    Im most interested in this aspect as well. I hope I'm not disappointed. Right now I'm using a fitbit one with my iphone. I'm not really sure how I feel about motion sensors you wear on your arm. I've always thought my fitbit one that I clip on my chest has been more accurate.
     
  9. zacheryjensen macrumors 6502a

    zacheryjensen

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    May 11, 2009
    #9
    This is why the watch alone won't give estimates at first. It calibrates with factual data from GPS from your first series of runs.

    That said, Apple Watch is really only going to be a middle of the road solution to fitness tracking. Way better than nothing, way better than a typical fitbit, but, nothing compared to a ForeRunner 220 or something for a runner. Personally, I'm excited for the fitness stuff in ancillary roles, but, my primary physical activity is cycling and no way is any phone, watch or similar multipurpose device going to replace my Garmin Edge 810 any time soon. Which is fine, I still have plenty of use for the watch on my rides anyway. Looking forward to it, in fact.
     
  10. applegeek97 macrumors 6502a

    applegeek97

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  11. extricated macrumors 6502

    extricated

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    #11
    Definitely hoping for that! Hope they will have the associated battery drain issues worked out by then.
     
  12. zacheryjensen macrumors 6502a

    zacheryjensen

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    May 11, 2009
    #12
    Not a chance.

    Gen 2 will be exactly like gen 1 but with as much as 50% improved battery life by way of a faster CPU, probably a focus on a new metal casing as well for the fashion element, and a lot of celebrating the continued compatibility with bands.

    Gen 2 will be all about reducing the adoption anxiety and not alienating Gen 1 customers in the process.

    But, to get better battery there will be other upgrades which will no doubt be touted independently. For example, having a faster CPU, but, continuing to throttle regular activity will increase battery life, but, there will still be the usual touting of doubling speed or whatnot. So it will seem like there's more to the upgrade than just battery life.

    When we can get through a day AND night and have some power to spare, then I would not be surprised to see GPS added, amongst other things. That's why I think it'll be a wait until gen 3 or later. And history has shown us that Apple is perfectly happy to leave out tech for the sake of basic battery life requirements. Don't believe me? Just look at LTE adoption. Battery life is the reason they didn't adopt it earlier on.

    That's where I'd put my chips on this bet, anyway.
     
  13. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #13
    While maybe not in your opinion, there is a chance.:D Even if Apple currently has no plans for GPS in Gen 2 that could change.;)

    Also I'm concerned as to what the Watch Workout App's post analyzation capabilities are. Where is the iPhone App to display your post workout info? Where are the after workout graphs displayed like HR, speed, laps, elevation, cadence and.....? How do you view post workout maps (outdoor running/walking/biking/...)? Can you export an industry standard GPS or TCX files of your workouts?

    None of this is obvios from the in store demo's or any reviews.
     
  14. tkermit macrumors 68030

    tkermit

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    Feb 20, 2004
    #14
    It's pretty obvious to me at least that the built-in Workout app isn't going to include any of that functionality...
     
  15. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #15
    Yes, I'm seeing that too but this is very BASIC fitness info. What is the point of recording your HR (or Maps or Cadence or...) if you can't go back and see what it was?
     
  16. docal97 macrumors 6502a

    docal97

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    Jun 28, 2006
    Location:
    Southampton
    #16
    I hope so, but i doubt it. GPS really uses a lot of battery, and i'm not sure if the watch will be able to handle this by Gen. 2. Probably similar to why we don't have FT on the watch either, which would seem like a natural fit. Battery life.

    I normally run with my 6+ which is very bulky to hold in your hand over a several mile run. I was hoping to do away with that when I got the watch, but I will still need to have both to take advantage of GPS data, witch the Nike Running app uses.
     
  17. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    Jan 6, 2005
    #17
    I don't think Apple is really intending on being the source of those analysis tools. The Health system seems to be intended primarily as a 'hub' where data is to be aggregated, then handed off to other apps for the analysis.

    I guess one question is whether they provide a way to export that data manually, or if they only allow it to interface directly with another program (you should be able to get the data from that program however).

    I too don't expect to see GPS in the watch itself for at least a couple of generations. The size and battery life constraints are too onerous right now - although for me personally, the lack of GPS is a deal-breaker as I'm not willing to carry my phone with me on every run.
     

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