Workout app huge disappointment

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Barbariska, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. Barbariska macrumors member


    Dec 28, 2007
    I've been using my watch since July, and was under impression that workout app is pretty reliable. Here is what happened today. I went to a pilates class, starts 12pm, started workout app "Other". I always do it. Average heartbeat 145, great! The class was 12-12:50; 1:15 I was back at work. I completely forgot to "end" the workout, so it's been running until 2:45pm. From 1:15 to 2:45 I was working at the desk, and when I looked at workout app it was showing me intense activity when I was sitting at the desk!! (see screen shots).
    I decided to do another test, and started another workout as "Other" at around 7:45 when I was home, sitting in my chair and watching tv - and again I see spike on the app and number of "Active" calories. What is it? How can I trust this app now? Thoughts?? Thanks


    Spike at 6pm exactly - when I was actually walking home, pretty briskly, no workout app running.
    Spike at 7:45 is when I was actually sitting in my chair - with "Other" running, shows more activity than at 6 when I was actually walking.

    And here is my "workout" at 7:45 - by sitting and watching tv:

    I also use "Outdoor Run" when I am running, so app knows that my heartbeat is way above 100 when I am working out, in case it can think that heartbeat in 70th is the workout for me.
  2. x-evil-x macrumors 601


    Jul 13, 2008
    a lot of the time i look at my watch and its showing heart rates in the 50's and 70's in the gym when its normally 100-160. who knows
  3. Armen macrumors 604


    Apr 30, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Wear the watch a little higher when you work out.
  4. rambo47 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 3, 2010
    Denville, NJ
    I have never found an accurate heart monitor other than the Polar chest strap. Microsoft Band, Jawbone Up24, Apple Watch - none are very accurate. I think it's simply a limit of the existing technology.
  5. masands macrumors regular

    Sep 17, 2010
    For me the Workout app has been really unreliable. I use it for running alongside Runkeeper on my iPhone 5. Sometimes the Workout app would just get stuck on walking pace and would record a distance of 2-3km when Runkeeper has recorded 8km.

    To test your theory, I selected Outdoor Walk instead of Outdoor Run and it did exactly what you said. It's only recorded 2km when I ran 7km.

    It's a rubbish Watch. Luckily I got it as gift but I'm thinking of selling it and pocketing the cash.
  6. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    My Apple Watch was worn high and low on my arm, tight and loose and I would still look at it during a run and it would indicate like 50bpm or worst nothing.:( Just did not cut it for me. Maybe for someone who has never used a dedicated fitness device it would make them happy but not someone who has.
  7. Barbariska thread starter macrumors member


    Dec 28, 2007
    What's interesting is that when I am running I, as well, turn on watch "Outdoor Run" and Runkeeper. In the beginning splits and distance would vary a lot between these two apps, but now after completing number of runs with both apps they are very close, that's why I was so disappointed yesterday in my watch. I will attach side by side pictures of watch and runkeeper.
  8. exxxviii macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2015
    So, what exactly is the problem?
    • Is it that the workout app seems to show activity when you are sedentary?
    • Is it that the workout app seems to over- or understate activity when you are active?
    • Is it that it is not accurately reporting heart rate?
  9. iPhysicist macrumors 65816


    Nov 9, 2009
    The "Other" workout calculates a preset minimal calories count for your age weight height even if you do nothing at all. This why it count a lot more active calories then you actually burned. That's all. That's why it is other. RTFM.
  10. Barbariska thread starter macrumors member


    Dec 28, 2007

    The first one
  11. Barbariska thread starter macrumors member


    Dec 28, 2007
    Thanks, then this is what it is. I guess it is unreliable and does not actually tells much so should not be used.
  12. nicho macrumors 68030

    Feb 15, 2008
    you're disappointed that... you gave it incorrect information and it did what you asked it to - estimate the calories burned in an activity it isn't really set up for (ie, other)?
  13. exxxviii, Nov 13, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015

    exxxviii macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2015
    I would not worry about it then. That scenario outside the bounds of normal use, and I do not think you can extrapolate that behavior to judge the watch's reliability in a normal workout use case. The watch assumes that when you put it in a workout mode, that you are working out. So, it is probably looking for every available movement and HR cue that would indicate activity. Since you are sedentary, its analysis probably goes a little sideways. If its readings look normal to you in normal use, then you are probably good to go.
    I think you may be jumping to the wrong conclusion here too. For starters, I am not sure it is accurate that Workout Other solely calculates calories based on personal information. I believe that the manual states that it also uses HR and movement (if you are outside). There are many anecdotal posts in this forum of people using Workout Other and getting results they expected during an actual workout.
  14. sean000 macrumors 68000


    Jul 16, 2015
    Bellingham, WA
    I use Workout to track walks, hikes and bike rides and it seems to work reliably for me every time. On a more brisk walk it will log more exercise minutes and calories than if I am walking at a leisurely pace. My only complaint is what you mentioned: If you forget to end the workout and you sit at your desk it will keep tracking and averaging everything out. Even if you discard the data it logs a lot of stuff to Health that makes it look like you did more than you actually did. It would be ideal if the app would notify you with a reminder of "Are you still working out? Your steps and/or pule rate have dropped." Of course another way to avoid this problem is to set a timed workout instead of an open workout.
  15. nicho macrumors 68030

    Feb 15, 2008
    Not really - the timed workout taps you to tell you it's complete but keeps running nevertheless, you'd still face the same problem.

    I do like this idea; perhaps a TiVo style "edit workout" (on the phone?) to cut out periods it thinks you were less active, say because you were stood waiting at a crossing for two minutes but otherwise going full tilt.
  16. DJTaurus macrumors 65816


    Jan 31, 2012
    When you do your crossfit and trx session what do u choose?....other?
  17. SHNXX macrumors 68000

    Oct 2, 2013
    Honestly it's not too bad, is it?
    Are we really naive enough to believe that apple or anyone has an algorithm to measure our metabolism based on such little information (heart rate, movement, height, age, etc)?
    Obviously, we're just looking for a number that correlates well enough to approximate how many calories we're burning.
  18. Vader2 macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2013
    So far I think the workout app is the best one. I have tried RuntStic and Nike. Both show promise, but are just too quirky and u reliable.
  19. Mad Mac Maniac macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

    Oct 4, 2007
    A little bit of here and a little bit of there.
    As people are stating the "other" workout is designed to give you credit for (at a minimum) a brisk walk (if it identifies a more intense workout it will still give you credit for that). I believe this is done because some workouts, such as weightlifting, yoga, etc, don't have a significant amount of movement and may not even elevate your heart very much, but it still wants to give you credit for a workout.
  20. BlueMoon63 macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2015
    Agreed. I use other workout for weight lifting and swimming just because of no other choice really. I get the credit I deserve at some level and I don't mind. It's not like Fitbit or up can do a better job.

    I don't mind the workout app. It's better than most but it is also version 1. Apple hired a lot of fitness experts in the past year or so and my hope is they deliver some great updates.
  21. Johnno87 macrumors member

    May 29, 2015
    If only the workout app on the watch would use the GPS of your iPhone. Everything would be good. The problem is all running apps are buggy or do not integrate with the rings. And the workout app is off on distance because of no use of GPS.
  22. BarracksSi Suspended


    Jul 14, 2015
    It uses the phone's GPS.

    At least, it's supposed to.
  23. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    Only for calibration and not for mapping.
  24. barjam macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2010
    You can sync the polar chest strap directly to the watch no phone requires. Handy.
  25. barjam macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2010
    If you bring your phone it uses gps. If I run with my phone on my precisely measured 2.0 mile run it registers 2.0 miles every time. When I leave the phone at home it measures 2.1 to 2.25.

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28 November 12, 2015