Step Counter is Horrible

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by benchmarkman, Sep 13, 2015.

  1. benchmarkman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2015
    #1
    So today I go outside and cut my grass for 40 minutes and my steps increased by 80 steps. Somehow it knows I did a bunch of movement and exercise because those numbers increased fairly close to accurate. I'm sure at a minimum I took at least 1,000 steps in 40 minutes of grass cutting with a human powered push lawn mower (Not a gas mower a pure push mower). That's less than 10 % accurate. Please also do say calibrate it with the outdoor walk suggestion, I've done multiple calibrations and it has not gotten any better. I've also tried the unpair/re-pair and the recalibrate and the step count is still way too low.
     
  2. LIOC macrumors member

    LIOC

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    #2
    If you arms were stretched out pushing the mower there was not swinging movement for the watch to detect to count your steps.
     
  3. benchmarkman thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 12, 2015
    #3
    That sounds like how Steve Jobs would answer. The watch isn't inaccurate you're just walking wrong.
     
  4. LIOC macrumors member

    LIOC

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    #4
    How do you think it counts your steps? It's not attached to your feet/legs. So, without arm swing it would be wrong

    I'm not telling you that you are "walking wrong", I am telling you how all wrist mounted pedometers work.
     
  5. Newtons Apple macrumors G5

    Newtons Apple

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    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #5
    It is not the "swinging of the arms" that tells the watch you are walking, it is the actual steps it sense but mowing your lawn is really insulating your watch from this by holding on the handl of the mower.

    Like it of not these devices, and I have had many of them, they can be fooled. I get well over 400 steps mowing my lawn and I am on a riding mower! They can be fooled. Try just taking a walk with your phone and you will find it to be darn accurate. The watch is not smart enough to make allowances for your holding onto the mower.
     
  6. perkedel macrumors 6502a

    perkedel

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    Dec 30, 2014
    Location:
    California
    #6
    when riding a bike, it doesn't count my legs movement either. that's because my hand is stationary like yours on the damn lawn mower.
    you're doing it wrong. :rolleyes:
     
  7. benchmarkman thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 12, 2015
    #7
    Maybe the same way a pedometer does... Moto360 didn't seem to have that problem. This was just an extreme example. I can walk 20 minutes to work and I get 800 steps.
     
  8. doboy macrumors 68000

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    Jul 6, 2007
    #8
    Do you have your iPhone with you when you ride your bike? It may be the iPhone that's counting it.
     
  9. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #9
  10. benchmarkman thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 12, 2015
    #10
    I don't think walking for 40 minutes mow lawn and getting 80 steps is a "subjective" opinion. I also don't think walking 1.05 miles to work and getting 800 steps is subjective either. Those results are fact based and show the accuracy of the Apple Watch is very poor.
     
  11. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #11
    Again, arm swing is how the accelerometer measures steps. 1 complete arm swing equals 2 steps. This is physics and ALL pedometers work off movement. If you are not swinging (moving) your arm how do you expect the :apple:Watch to measure your steps?

    If you want the :apple:watch (or more precisely the Activity/Health apps) to accurately count steps when using a lawn mower then you would need to carry your iPhone in your pocket to measure steps.
     
  12. Bigdog9586 macrumors regular

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    Apr 15, 2015
    #12
    So how does the cycling work with no arm motion?
     
  13. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    May 20, 2015
    #13
    Outdoor uses GPS. I have no idea what it does for indoor. I haven't tried it yet.
     
  14. Bigdog9586 macrumors regular

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    Apr 15, 2015
    #14
    I was thinking why not use the outdoor cycling to mow lawn.
     
  15. benchmarkman thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 12, 2015
    #15
    I disagree with the arm swing. Another piece of evidence of why o say the step counter is horrible is because every morning I ride a stationary bike for 30 minutes and the Apple watch credits me with between 2900 - 3000 steps. There is no arm movement as I have my hands stationary on the handle bars during the whole working. The arm/hand usage is very similar to holding a lawn mower. It's crazy that in the case where I'm taking no steps I get around 3000 steps and in the case where I'm continually walking I get almost zero credit.
     
  16. matrix07, Sep 13, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015

    matrix07 macrumors 68040

    matrix07

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #16
    He's right though. If your arms not swing and you know you'll walking you should use Outdoor Walking in Workout app. It will use the GPS on your iPhone to check your movement, and it will also measure your heartbeat more frequently.

    This is in Apple support manual.
    "Make sure you earn Exercise credit during walks by allowing the arm with your Apple Watch to swing naturally. For example, while walking your pet, let the arm with your watch swing freely while the other holds the leash.
    If you need both hands while walking, for example to push a stroller, you can still earn Exercise credit by using the Workout app. The Activity app relies on arm motion and an accelerometer to track movement, whereas the Workout app uses a heart rate sensor and GPS.
    "
     
  17. clemsonryan macrumors newbie

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    Apr 14, 2015
    Location:
    Chelsea, AL
    #17
    My Apple Watch is very accurate when walking with my arms moving I have tested it against my old Fitbit Charge and both very close but when mountain biking I get over 20k steps when riding around 12 miles due to the vibration I'm guessing. When I mow I'm lucky to get any steps unless I have my phone in my pocket as well.
     
  18. friedmud macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #18
    Indoor simply uses your heart rate. It's pretty accurate for me too... usually reading within 20 calories of what my stationary bike says (which also measures my heart rate through the handles).
     
  19. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #19
    Are you using the cycling workout while riding your exercise bike? If so, ride without starting any workout and see if it still counts steps.
     
  20. Newtons Apple macrumors G5

    Newtons Apple

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    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #20
    Arm swing in not how the watch measures steps. It is the actua step, itself, that is measured by the watch. Try holding you arms against your body of putting your hands in your pocket and the watch will still count steps. The accelerometer actually feels each step.
     
  21. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    May 20, 2015
    #22
    Maybe you have a defective watch.
     
  22. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #23
    I found my AW's pedometer to be decent, compared to a fitbit and MS band, its pretty close, that is all three seem to record nearly the same amount of steps.
     
  23. LIOC macrumors member

    LIOC

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    #24
    This is in Apple support manual.
    "Make sure you earn Exercise credit during walks by allowing the arm with your Apple Watch to swing naturally. For example, while walking your pet, let the arm with your watch swing freely while the other holds the leash.
    If you need both hands while walking, for example to push a stroller, you can still earn Exercise credit by using the Workout app. The Activity app relies on arm motion and an accelerometer to track movement, whereas the Workout app uses a heart rate sensor and GPS.
    "
     
  24. Newtons Apple macrumors G5

    Newtons Apple

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    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #25
    Like I said before stick your hands in your pocket while you walk and you watch will not miss a step.
     

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