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eothain79

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 28, 2013
2
0
Hello !
I would lime to know if the total daily count of the steps in the health app is the sum of the ones registered on the watch and on the phone or not. Because it happens that i walk with the phone in my pocket and i don't want a double count.

Thanks!
 

scirica

macrumors 68020
May 13, 2008
2,070
3
Dallas, TX
I'd also be interested in a comprehensive description of step tracking between the iPhone and Apple Watch. Also when a third party app such as MyFitnessPal or other is involved.
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,757
15,254
Jacksonville, Florida
Excellent question!

All I know is it does not double up. I suspect the iPhone does it all and dictates what the watch is to show in the fitness app as they always agree. I just left my phone on my desk and walked about 40-50 steps around the office and my phone had not recorded a single step. The watch must take over when the phone is left behind and you are in exercise mode, I would think.

Where are the experts?
 

nicho

macrumors 601
Feb 15, 2008
4,222
3,211
it depends what settings you have made in the health app. one or the other will take priority (in the order listed from top to bottom under sources) and then the other will be basically ignored, unless the other one hasn't registered any count in a certain amount of time (i'm not sure what that time is though). i find it better to have the iphone take priority because it'll be more accurate if i'm carrying bags etc. or pushing a stroller, when the watch might not register any steps at all. the watch takes over when i don't carry my phone around the house.
 
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kmj2318

macrumors 68000
Aug 22, 2007
1,669
712
Naples, FL
Before I got my watch I would regularly get over 10,000. Now I'm getting about 2,000 even though I still carry my phone everywhere. Luckily I pay more attention to the Activity instead of steps, or I'd be really annoyed.
 

Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
14,126
10,115
Before I got my watch I would regularly get over 10,000. Now I'm getting about 2,000 even though I still carry my phone everywhere. Luckily I pay more attention to the Activity instead of steps, or I'd be really annoyed.
Do you not move your arms when you walk??

The iPhone will not track steps if it's connected to the watch, the watch takes over. If you take off your watch it, your phone will start tracking again.
 
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nicho

macrumors 601
Feb 15, 2008
4,222
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Do you not move your arms when you walk??

The iPhone will not track steps if it's connected to the watch, the watch takes over. If you take off your watch it, your phone will start tracking again.

wrong. it continues tracking.

but if your watch is set as a higher priority on the list than the phone, if the watch records 5 steps and the phone records 1000 in a 15 minute period, you're only going to see 5 steps added to the health app graph. you also won't see steps from the phone shown at all on the activity app, it only shows the count from the watch.

certain third party apps on iphone e.g. withings can tap into the steps from the phone. this will usually be a different number for me than either the watch or the aggregated total in health. but i find its an easy way of checking what the total steps recorded by my phone for the day is.
 

Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
14,126
10,115
wrong. it continues tracking.

but if your watch is set as a higher priority on the list than the phone, if the watch records 5 steps and the phone records 1000 in a 15 minute period, you're only going to see 5 steps added to the health app graph. you also won't see steps from the phone shown at all on the activity app, it only shows the count from the watch.

certain third party apps on iphone e.g. withings can tap into the steps from the phone. this will usually be a different number for me than either the watch or the aggregated total in health. but i find its an easy way of checking what the total steps recorded by my phone for the day is.

Nvm found it. But according to each source, steps are almost identical for both the phone and the watch. There is no doubling up, but they are still exactly the same. So regardless of what device I pick as priority, I get the same exact result.
 
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Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,757
15,254
Jacksonville, Florida
Do you not move your arms when you walk??

The iPhone will not track steps if it's connected to the watch, the watch takes over. If you take off your watch it, your phone will start tracking again.

The above is simply not true. I can leave my phone on my desk and take a 10 minute walk and it added zero steps to my walk. It is the phone that is tracking my steps. Might be a setting or something but my phone is what my health app sees when I walk and need steps counted.

The steps are accurate and close to my fit-bit carried in my pocket but now retired.
 
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bmodi

macrumors member
Mar 8, 2015
66
29
Germany
i do not know how it works in detail. However i can compare it to the Jawbone Up Move i had before the Apple Watch. The steps are more or less the same on a daily basis and therefore also the average on a monthly basis.

The only thing i can say is, that it works absolutely fine and correct.
 

pooleman

Suspended
Jan 11, 2012
1,769
425
Eastern CT
Hello !
I would lime to know if the total daily count of the steps in the health app is the sum of the ones registered on the watch and on the phone or not. Because it happens that i walk with the phone in my pocket and i don't want a double count.

Thanks!
I went to the Apple store weeks ago and asked this question. The Health app records steps taken on both the Watch and the iPhone. No Apple store employee could answer with any certainty how the Health app records the info. My concern was that I was getting double credit for steps taken, meaning that a single step taken was getting recorded by both the Watch and the iPhone. To make it simpler I set it up so that only the Watch was recording steps and reporting it to the Health app. My iPhone now does not record steps taken. And since my Watch is always on during the day and my iPhone is sometimes left at my desk or in the car I know that my steps taken are as accurate as possible.
 

acctman

macrumors 65816
Oct 26, 2012
1,330
876
Georgia
Hello !
I would lime to know if the total daily count of the steps in the health app is the sum of the ones registered on the watch and on the phone or not. Because it happens that i walk with the phone in my pocket and i don't want a double count.

Thanks!
Go to Activity on your Watch or Phone swipe up ... the answer to your question will be right there with the Total Steps
 

nicho

macrumors 601
Feb 15, 2008
4,222
3,211
The above is simply not true. I can leave my phone on my desk and take a 10 minute walk and it added zero steps to my walk. It is the phone that is tracking my steps. Might be a setting or something but my phone is what my health app sees when I walk and need steps counted.

The steps are accurate and close to my fit-bit carried in my pocket but now retired.

it is a setting. under steps, check "share data" and see what data sources are listed. the highest one will take priority, as i said before. if you take one step with your phone and 100 with your apple watch, but the phone takes priority it will ignore everything recorded by the watch within a certain (or uncertain, maybe 15 minutes or so??) time period.

I went to the Apple store weeks ago and asked this question. The Health app records steps taken on both the Watch and the iPhone. No Apple store employee could answer with any certainty how the Health app records the info. My concern was that I was getting double credit for steps taken, meaning that a single step taken was getting recorded by both the Watch and the iPhone. To make it simpler I set it up so that only the Watch was recording steps and reporting it to the Health app. My iPhone now does not record steps taken. And since my Watch is always on during the day and my iPhone is sometimes left at my desk or in the car I know that my steps taken are as accurate as possible.

what about when you're carrying bags? or do you ever push a stroller? the apple watch will be wildly inaccurate in those situations, or any where your arms are restricted. the phone would be much more accurate in some situations.
 

nicho

macrumors 601
Feb 15, 2008
4,222
3,211
Go to Activity on your Watch or Phone swipe up ... the answer to your question will be right there with the Total Steps

there's a couple more stages - after checking what the watch says, you also need to go into the health app on the phone and see what today's step count is.

if you then want to be super sure, you can download an app that can read your phone's step count (for example, the withings health mate app) and see what the step count it gives you is.

the step count in the health app should be somewhere between the two - it could be higher if you've had periods without the watch and also without the phone through the day.
 

pooleman

Suspended
Jan 11, 2012
1,769
425
Eastern CT
it is a setting. under steps, check "share data" and see what data sources are listed. the highest one will take priority, as i said before. if you take one step with your phone and 100 with your apple watch, but the phone takes priority it will ignore everything recorded by the watch within a certain (or uncertain, maybe 15 minutes or so??) time period.



what about when you're carrying bags? or do you ever push a stroller? the apple watch will be wildly inaccurate in those situations, or any where your arms are restricted. the phone would be much more accurate in some situations.
I understand. I noticed this when on a hike recently and I had my hands placed on my backpack strap. The Watch seemed to be stop recording the tracking at that time. but overall I think this is the best way. You can't have everything. I would rather have an under reported activity than an over reported activity.
 

nj1266

macrumors 6502a
Jan 15, 2012
632
137
Long Beach, CA
it is a setting. under steps, check "share data" and see what data sources are listed. the highest one will take priority, as i said before. if you take one step with your phone and 100 with your apple watch, but the phone takes priority it will ignore everything recorded by the watch within a certain (or uncertain, maybe 15 minutes or so??) time period.



what about when you're carrying bags? or do you ever push a stroller? the apple watch will be wildly inaccurate in those situations, or any where your arms are restricted. the phone would be much more accurate in some situations.

This is the same feature of the Withings Activite. You must keep your arms moving when you walk. One time I took a walk and was reading on my phone with the watch on my wrist. The watch did not record any steps, but the iPhone did. I think the iPhone monitors step via GPS but the Wthings monitors steps by accelerometer. From what you are saying the same thing applies to the AW.
 

Bigdog9586

macrumors 6502
Apr 15, 2015
338
112
Do you not move your arms when you walk??

The iPhone will not track steps if it's connected to the watch, the watch takes over. If you take off your watch it, your phone will start tracking again.
I have Fitbit on my iPhone 6 and no Fitbit. Fitbit uses the phone for steps which are always different. Like now Fitbit says 2949 and health says 3839. Which would be closer?
 

Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
14,126
10,115
I have Fitbit on my iPhone 6 and no Fitbit. Fitbit uses the phone for steps which are always different. Like now Fitbit says 2949 and health says 3839. Which would be closer?
I would say Fitbit because the iPhone might pick up other movement and count it as steps.
 

Bigdog9586

macrumors 6502
Apr 15, 2015
338
112
I would say Fitbit because the iPhone might pick up other movement and count it as steps.
I should have said I have the Fitbit app but NO FITBIT. The Fitbit app just reads the iPhone. Now health works with the watch so I wonder which is right or the closest.
 

Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
14,126
10,115
I should have said I have the Fitbit app but NO FITBIT. The Fitbit app just reads the iPhone. Now health works with the watch so I wonder which is right or the closest.

My bad. Read that wrong. Anything reading the phone's step counter vs. something on your wrist will be less accurate. Unless of course you don't move your arm as you walk. The phone picks up my real racing as steps. Not entirely sure why.

On days that I'm active, the watch and phone are in sync with each other. But the days that I'm lounging and on my phone most of the day, that is when the phone tells me I have done more than I actually have.
 
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