Steps on iPhone 6 integration with steps on watch.

mrbg07546

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 4, 2015
16
6
i notice the steps on watch is usually lower than steps on phone, any idea why and how they integrate the data
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,135
3,822
Atlanta
As long as you are using your :apple:Watch it will be the source. If you don't have you :apple:Watch on then your iPhone will become the source.
 

Banich2

macrumors regular
Apr 21, 2015
169
19
San Francisco, California
As long as you are using your :apple:Watch it will be the source. If you don't have you :apple:Watch on then your iPhone will become the source.
It's kind of stupid. If I have on my Watch, it tracks my movement and then uploads it to the Health app and Activity app, and If I don't have my Watch on, the iPhone tracks the movement and uploads it to the health app. But the stupid part is that if you just have your iPhone and not your Watch, your steps logged don't count for your movement goal on the Activity app
 

mrbg07546

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 4, 2015
16
6
It's kind of stupid. If I have on my Watch, it tracks my movement and then uploads it to the Health app and Activity app, and If I don't have my Watch on, the iPhone tracks the movement and uploads it to the health app. But the stupid part is that if you just have your iPhone and not your Watch, your steps logged don't count for your movement goal on the Activity app
Watch OS2 resolve this
 

Heavenkiss

macrumors member
Jan 28, 2012
32
1
My steps looked to have increased since owning the apple watch - without an increase in activity. Anyway I can check that the watch and phone arn't causing double count steps?
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,135
3,822
Atlanta
My steps looked to have increased since owning the apple watch - without an increase in activity. Anyway I can check that the watch and phone arn't causing double count steps?
They are not. You steps increased for probably 2 reasons.

1) You wear your :apple:Watch continuously but you don't and didn't carry you iPhone 100% of the time.

2) The :apple:Watch is far more accurate at counting steps that the iPhone. It is easer to count each arm swing as 2 steps. The iPhone can be in so many position/orientations (even in just your front pockets) and taking all possible positions/movements into account and writing algorithms is not as accurate.
 
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amermoose

macrumors newbie
May 26, 2015
13
0
DC
They are not. You steps increased for probably 2 reasons.

1) You wear your :apple:Watch continuously but you don't and didn't carry you iPhone 100% of the time.

2) The :apple:Watch is far more accurate at counting steps that the iPhone. It is easer to count each arm swing as 2 steps. The iPhone can be in so many position/orientations (even in just your front pockets) and taking all possible positions/movements into account and writing algorithms is not as accurate.
How would this relate to a fitbit? You make good points about the iPhone.
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,135
3,822
Atlanta
How would this relate to a fitbit? You make good points about the iPhone.
Same, put it in your back pocket, shirt pocket or turn it upside down and the accuracy will go down. Lay it on the table (like an iPhone) and you get a NO count.:p
 

amermoose

macrumors newbie
May 26, 2015
13
0
DC
Same, put it in your back pocket, shirt pocket or turn it upside down and the accuracy will go down. Lay it on the table (like an iPhone) and you get a NO count.:p
But why is my step count higher with the apple watch, if I have both devices, and my fitbit is being used no differently than my apple watch?
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,135
3,822
Atlanta
But why is my step count higher with the apple watch, if I have both devices, and my fitbit is being used no differently than my apple watch?
Neither one is (or can be) 100% accurate.
How much higher, what is the difference (post yesterdays totals)?
Is your Fitbit a Flex or Charge (or wrist worn)?
 

Heavenkiss

macrumors member
Jan 28, 2012
32
1
Is the watch clever enough to count steps even if im carrying something e.g. a big box and my arm isn't swinging?
 

pooleman

Suspended
Jan 11, 2012
1,768
418
Eastern CT
As long as you are using your :apple:Watch it will be the source. If you don't have you :apple:Watch on then your iPhone will become the source.
This is actually false I believe. If you dig into the Health app you will see that the steps are recorded on both the Watch and the iPhone. There is a chart that will show you the recorded steps with either a Phone icon or a Watch icon next to it. I went to the Apple store this weekend to ask them if I am getting double credit for steps taken while my Watch is on and my iPhone is in my pocket.

It took 4 employees and the manager to decide "we don't know". they each had recommendations that I was able to refute and describe why it wouldn't work. Ultimately I decided to turn off activity tracking on the iPhone but leave it on on the Watch. I ran a few experiments and the Watch will still record steps taken and report the steps back to the Health app while the iPhone records nothing. I did this by turning off activity monitoring on the phone and putting the Watch in airplane mode. I went to the Health app and noted how many steps was taken to that point. I then went on a 30 minute walk and noted how many steps the Watch recorded and noted that the iPhone still recorded no new steps. When I took the Watch out of airplane mode it updated the Health app with the steps that it had recorded.

As a result of all this trouble shooting and what not the manager of the Apple store actually offered me a job.
 
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Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,135
3,822
Atlanta
This is actually false I believe. If you dig into the Health app you will see that the steps are recorded on both the Watch and the iPhone. There is a chart that will show you the recorded steps with either a Phone icon or a Watch icon next to it. I went to the Apple store this weekend to ask them if I am getting double credit for steps taken while my Watch is on and my iPhone is in my pocket.

It took 4 employees and the manager to decide "we don't know". they each had recommendations that I was able to refute and describe why it wouldn't work. Ultimately I decided to turn off activity tracking on the iPhone but leave it on on the Watch. I ran a few experiments and the Watch will still record steps taken and report the steps back to the Health app while the iPhone records nothing. I did this by turning off activity monitoring on the phone and putting the Watch in airplane mode. I went to the Health app and noted how many steps was taken to that point. I then went on a 30 minute walk and noted how many steps the Watch recorded and noted that the iPhone still recorded no new steps. When I took the Watch out of airplane mode it updated the Health app with the steps that it had recorded.

As a result of all this trouble shooting and what not the manager of the Apple store actually offered me a job.
A record of all the devices recordings of steps (iPhone, :apple:Watch and any other you may have) is in Health under Show All Data. However if both devices count at the same time only the higher listed data source (under Share Data) will add to the total shown in the graph. Default is :apple:Watch first, iPhone second, and any other devices you might have would be below.

The total shown in the graph is an accurate (as accurate as can be) representation of your total daily step count and its not overestimated or miscalculated by having multiple devices as a source (Shared Data).
 

pooleman

Suspended
Jan 11, 2012
1,768
418
Eastern CT
A record of all the devices recordings of steps (iPhone, :apple:Watch and any other you may have) is in Health under Show All Data. However if both devices count at the same time only the higher listed data source (under Share Data) will add to the total shown in the graph. Default is :apple:Watch first, iPhone second, and any other devices you might have would be below.

The total shown in the graph is an accurate (as accurate as can be) representation of your total daily step count and its not overestimated or miscalculated by having multiple devices as a source (Shared Data).
Because the people at Apple couldn't say with full assurance how it worked I opted to just have the Watch do all the recording since it is always on me anyways. Sometimes I have to go into secure areas for work and I am not allowed to take my iPhone in there. So it makes the most sense to just use the Watch for recording.
 

pooleman

Suspended
Jan 11, 2012
1,768
418
Eastern CT
Contrary to what the above poster said you arm swing has nothing to do with steps take. You can put your hands in your pocket and the watch will still count steps as you take them.
I never claimed anything about arm swing. I claimed that no one at my local Apple Store could could definitively tell me that I wasn't getting double credit for steps when both the Watch and iPhone were used for step tracking.

As a result I turned off activity tracking on the iPhone.
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,764
14,917
Jacksonville, Florida
I never claimed anything about arm swing. I claimed that no one at my local Apple Store could could definitively tell me that I wasn't getting double credit for steps when both the Watch and iPhone were used for step tracking.

As a result I turned off activity tracking on the iPhone.
The "above" was not referring to you, look higher!;)
 

papbot

macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2015
510
134
Roger that. Sorry dog.
The Activity app on the phone shows the watch data. The steps recorded there match the steps listed in the Health app which lists data from both sources. So on mine at least there doesn't seem to be any double counts. I'm not sure how the total that appears is differentiated but it doesn't look to be added together.
 

papbot

macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2015
510
134
A record of all the devices recordings of steps (iPhone, :apple:Watch and any other you may have) is in Health under Show All Data. However if both devices count at the same time only the higher listed data source (under Share Data) will add to the total shown in the graph. Default is :apple:Watch first, iPhone second, and any other devices you might have would be below.

The total shown in the graph is an accurate (as accurate as can be) representation of your total daily step count and its not overestimated or miscalculated by having multiple devices as a source (Shared Data).
 

papbot

macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2015
510
134
That indeed does seem to be the way it works. You can change the order of the listed devices so that the first listed is the phone or some other device, but the default, at least on mine, is the watch first so that's where the total comes from and there is no double counting even though you can view individual data records from the separate devices. Seems to work as it's supposed to.
 

papbot

macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2015
510
134
A record of all the devices recordings of steps (iPhone, :apple:Watch and any other you may have) is in Health under Show All Data. However if both devices count at the same time only the higher listed data source (under Share Data) will add to the total shown in the graph. Default is :apple:Watch first, iPhone second, and any other devices you might have would be below.

The total shown in the graph is an accurate (as accurate as can be) representation of your total daily step count and its not overestimated or miscalculated by having multiple devices as a source (Shared Data).
#22
That indeed does seem to be the way it works. You can change the order of the listed devices so that the first listed is the phone or some other device, but the default, at least on mine, is the watch first so that's where the total comes from and there is no double counting even though you can view individual data records from the separate devices. Seems to work as it's supposed to.