Will Apple watch function like fitness tracker ?

anonymous4a

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Aug 6, 2012
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Will Apple watch have the same functionality as fitness trackers ? Jawbone or Fitbit ? Can the Apple watch do everything that the fitness trackers do ?
 

maflynn

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It will have a heart monitor and pedometer like fitbit, but it won't have a GPS like some of those items (like Fitbit Surge or the Garmin watches).
 

anonymous4a

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Aug 6, 2012
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so only difference is that Apple watch won't have a gps tracker ? The Apple watch does everything else a fitness tracker does ?
 

Cashmonee

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May 27, 2006
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so only difference is that Apple watch won't have a gps tracker ? The Apple watch does everything else a fitness tracker does ?
Yes, if by fitness tracker you mean track movement, mainly steps and sleep. It will likely do those well since they aren't hard to do, though sleep tracking may be difficult due to battery life. The watch will also track workouts, though how well it does that remains to be seen. I would say you bank on fitbit one level of tracking, but whether it can do Surge, Polar, Garmin, Ambit type workout tracking, we won't know until we see it in action. Third party apps will obviously help, but I don't know that the hardware is up for it.
 

anonymous4a

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Aug 6, 2012
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so really no point getting a fitness tracker once all the smart watches come out ..
 

Cashmonee

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May 27, 2006
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so really no point getting a fitness tracker once all the smart watches come out ..
Sure there is. Perhaps you just want to track fitness and nothing else, then a $99 Fitbit with long battery is better than a smartwatch. Or perhaps you only are interested in minimal smartwatch capability, but want to track a little more, then something like a Vivosmart is very nice. Maybe you are wanting to track runs/swims/cycling/hiking etc and aren't super interested in apps or only interested in minimal smartwatch capabilities, but want something that really nails the workout/fitness aspect with weeks of battery, then something like a Forerunner 220/620/920 or Ambit or fenix would be the best choice.

At this juncture, smart watches are not mature enough to displace other purpose built devices. That may come as it did with smartphones, but I think it will take longer because the watches have higher hurdles, and more of them, to jump.
 

BD1

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Jun 27, 2007
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Depends on what you need. For example:

Apple is vague about whether it can continuously monitor your heartbeat, or if it only does so while you've told it you're in a workout.
Under Heart Rate Sensor on the apple site it say "The custom heart rate sensor in Apple Watch detects your heart rate during workouts. When you’re not in a workout, Apple Watch uses an accelerometer, along with the GPS and Wi‑Fi in your iPhone, to measure all kinds of physical movement, from simply standing up to running to catch the bus."

So it looks like it will only monitor HR during a workout. I also thought I read somewhere on battery life rumors that the watch would only run about 4 hours in workout mode so the HR sensor must take a lot of battery power.

That said, I am still primarily interested the the apple watch for it's fitness functions. I tried the new fitbit charge HR but the HR accuracy was terrible during workouts. So I returned it. Hopefully the apple watch HR will be accurate.
 

Cashmonee

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May 27, 2006
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Under Heart Rate Sensor on the apple site it say "The custom heart rate sensor in Apple Watch detects your heart rate during workouts. When you’re not in a workout, Apple Watch uses an accelerometer, along with the GPS and Wi‑Fi in your iPhone, to measure all kinds of physical movement, from simply standing up to running to catch the bus."

So it looks like it will only monitor HR during a workout. I also thought I read somewhere on battery life rumors that the watch would only run about 4 hours in workout mode so the HR sensor must take a lot of battery power.

That said, I am still primarily interested the the apple watch for it's fitness functions. I tried the new fitbit charge HR but the HR accuracy was terrible during workouts. So I returned it. Hopefully the apple watch HR will be accurate.
A heart rate sensor should not take much battery power, though being optical may be different. Also, it is optical, so it probably won't be any more accurate than any other wrist worn heart rate sensor, no matter Apple's marketing spin.
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
That said, I am still primarily interested the the apple watch for it's fitness functions. I tried the new fitbit charge HR but the HR accuracy was terrible during workouts. So I returned it. Hopefully the apple watch HR will be accurate.
Apparently wrist based optical sensors are really bad at elevated heart rates:

Fitness Bands With Heart-Rate Tracking Are Missing a Beat - WSJ

Do wristband heart trackers actually work? - CNET

(The last one is interesting because I learned that while wrist based readings can be very unreliable, fingertip ones are accurate... as demonstrated by the Galaxy S5's dedicated fingertip heartrate sensor keeping nearly perfect track with the EKG.)

Rumors say that Apple wanted to use an EKG method, but they couldn't get a reliable electrical connection due to band looseness and wrist hair.