The Native Fitness app is WAY off

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Shpoonie, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. Shpoonie macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2012
    Just went for my 2nd run with the watch (Apple Sport White 38mm) and turned on both the native running / fitness app and Map My Run. I wanted to measure my heart rate, distance, pace, and all the other essential variables of a run... What I found was that the watch is WAY off in distance... About a half mile to be exact.

    Take a look at the screenshots below. The first is the native app, the second is Map My Run, the third is the distance measuring tool in Google Maps.

    The other thing that really bothered me, and maybe I just haven't found it, but the watch / health app does not give the summary / details for the specific run (watch or iphone). It groups all your activity into one day, and displays a very vague graph... No data such as pace, time of the run, avg speed, avg heart rate, etc.

    Native App:


    Map My Run:


    Google Maps:


  2. nfl46 macrumors 604

    Oct 5, 2008
    Surprisingly, I've seen the opposite. There are threads on reddit that confirms that the fitness app is pretty accurate.
  3. NAYo2002 macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2011
    Apparently the watch doesn't use the GPS for distance if you are using a phone app that uses the GPS. The distance you are getting is based on step count alone which your strides haven't been calibrated yet.

    Try the run again without map my run or any other GPS based tracking app also running on the phone, it should be more accurate.
  4. Aeons macrumors member

    Sep 12, 2014
    distance was measured as before using the iPhone GPS and just relays the info to the watch. so i wonder if its just the way it calculates the distances e.g. doesn't take into consideration hills etc.
  5. chabig macrumors 603

    Sep 6, 2002
  6. rosshm16, Apr 26, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015

    rosshm16 macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2015
    I've done two runs with mine (Sport, 38 mm), both with just the Watch (no iPhone present):

    (1) Watch said 3.66 mi, (which uses Google Maps data I think) said 3.79 mi

    (2) Watch said 7.34 mi, treadmill said 7.63 mi

    So the watch disagreed by under 4% in both cases, and who knows how accurate the map and treadmill are =)
  7. NEvolution macrumors regular

    May 2, 2010
    Hong Kong
    Same. Saw this as a reference. Haven't personally tested it before though.

  8. khn macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2015
    I think you'll be able to find avg pace, total time, total distance, avg heart rate, total calories, and percent completion in the activity app on iPhone. Select a particular day, scroll down, and you'll see all your logged workouts for that day.
  9. matrix07 macrumors 601


    Jun 24, 2010
    Interesting. I'd think OP got off result because the Watch didn't pair with iPhone GPS but looks like that's not the case. hmm...
  10. shandyman Suspended

    Apr 24, 2010
    Dublin, Ireland
    From what I understand, it takes a few days for the Watch to calibrate to you, in regards to pace, etc, and that it relies on the iPhone in that period. If you're running a health app on the iPhone that uses GPS at the same time, will that not have a knock on effect on the Watch's results, or vice versa?
  11. Dannyggggg macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2015
    same thing happened to me twice now. my pace was way off. had my iphone with me though. the distance was wrong by .5 km .. :confused:
  12. ACE83 macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2015
    Buffalo, NY

    It seems like if you have a separate app that is constantly using the GPS on your phone the watch won't be able to simultaneously access the signal.

    Try again using just the workout app and brining your phone with you.
  13. Dannyggggg macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2015
    I've actually just used the Workout app. Nothing besides that. Still didn't work like I would have hoped.

  14. almonde macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2006
    Houston, TX
    Same experience for me, ran this morning with my wife, her Garmin Forerunner clocked the run at 4.5 miles at an a second or 2 above 8 minute mile pace. This is a route we do often, so we know the distance is good and the pace she was seeing in real time during the run made sense. Moving from the high 7 minute mile pace to the mid 8's depending on if we were pushing it or easing off.

    The apple watch clocked the distance at 4.24 miles, which is bad enough, but the pace it displayed during the work out was so off as to be garbage. It was often reading 10 minute+ per mile pace. I had my iPhone 6 in a flip belt, it wasn't running any other apps, so the watch should be using the GPS.

    I don't know what Apple's pace algorithm is, i.e. pace over the last mile, or moving 2 minute window etc. But whatever it is right now, it useless as a training tool, you can't run intervals etc when its not even within 1 minute per mile accuracy.

    I know its not Apple's usual way of doing things but the app needs a GPS status icon, or location accuracy flag. Otherwise you just have to trust its using the best available data.

    On a positive the HR monitor was consistent and accurate throughout.

    Its frustrating as my expectations for the watch were generally low and its surpassed that, I've been enjoying it. However the one part that I hoped Apple would nail, since they've been marketing that part so aggressively, was the fitness part, and its on that part they seem to have come up very short.
  15. Shpoonie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2012
    Sounds good, will try just the native app tomorrow and will report back. I would think that the GPS would only help the watch in accuracy, but if it needs to be "trained", I understand.

    That said, anyone able to figure out how to show the run data on the app? Assuming they left that feature out? Seems like a pretty important feature to have on the fly if you ask me. Especially for a sports watch.


    Agreed 100%. As a "sports watch" that was supposed to dominate the market, it should be able to do these functions without a learning curve and pretty seamlessly. In addition, even if it doesn't use GPS and is connected to the phone during the run (I too carry my IP6+ in a Flipbelt), the GPS should only assist the app to be more accurate. Not throw it off.
  16. southflguy macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2012
    I suddenly feel very lazy after seeing this map.

  17. Andy in Embsay macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2015
    I did a run yesterday with Strava running on the phone (so theoretically the watch wasn't getting GPS) - the watch measured .4miles under the real distance. It was the first time using the workout app, so if it was trying to measure based on the accelerometer alone I'm not surprised it was wrong. I wanted to use Strava as there's no way of exporting exercise data from the Apple app.

    Then today I used the watch's app for the second part of my bike ride with my Garmin Edge also running - presumably because there was nothing running on the phone the watch could get the GPS track, and it was right on the nose - same as the Garmin.
  18. shambles247 macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2012
    Basingstoke, England
    Mine isn't even working. It keeps auto pausing during a workout. In contact with Apple support. Think it's going to be a new watch for me.
  19. cruzmisl macrumors regular

    Nov 10, 2012
    I did a 2.73 mile run today and it matched the GPS app on my iPhone.
  20. Shpoonie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2012
    Very interesting. I will run tomorrow without MMR on the phone.

    The interesting thing is that my first run, I didn't use the native app - just the APPLE WATCH mapmyrun app (nothing working on the phone). The distance was right on point.
  21. craigo14 macrumors member

    Oct 2, 2014
  22. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    The fitness tracker supposedly gets better with time as it "learns" your stride.
  23. Alith macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2008
    London, UK.
    The guided tour has a load of info on configuring the Workout app and it mentions the GPS and phone use too.

    My issue with Workout was that it was fiddly switching back and forth between the music controls and the workout app. You have to quit out to the home screen and into the other app. With Nike Running you just swipe left from the running metrics to see the music controls and swipe back again.
  24. CooKieMoNs7eR macrumors 68000


    Nov 18, 2009
    I'm planning to use the watch for gym/exercise when I get it, hopefully they fix these issues because other watches that are half the price do a better job in the exercise field.
  25. Shpoonie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2012
    Where is that Activity app? Can't find it anywhere in the app store or my iPhone...

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