Workout selling me short on GPS.

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by thedoc46, May 15, 2019.

  1. thedoc46 macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2015
    Apple Watch 4 / Watch OS 5.2 / Paired to an iPhone XS iOS 12.2

    Anyway every morning i get up and do a cycle. Boring ol' me same route every day more or less the same pace. I have a bike computer which is calibrated by the wheel diameter. I basically do the same 10.40 miles every morning. I throw on my airpods, some Spotify, reset my bike computer, start a cycle workout and go at it.

    Except, my workout is cheating me and sometimes its a lot. Like today, the speed and distance wasn't showing and at the end of my 10.40 mile cycle, it showed only 7.48miles, which of course reduces the speed by a substantial amount. Pretty much making the workout app useless to me.

    Weird thing is i had an original launch day Apple Watch, which started selling me short, but i though ok it doesn't have its own GPS, so i'll let it off, but then when i got my new Apple Watch 4 when they came out, it was working great. Giving me more or less the same as my bike computer. I thought it had finally was not cheating me anymore. But it just seems to be getting worse and worse now.

    I really shouldn't care. I'm not exactly getting any faster with age. Its just that where i work, actually collects our data and gives us financial incentives like gift cards and so on, for being active. So its probably costing me $100 here and there.

    I've hard reset the watch, always closed down any background apps on the phone and watch, restarted the iPhone even though that shouldn't have anything to do with it given the watch has its own gps.. But its just so hit and miss, more miss recently.

    I can't imagine it being a hardware issue. But then again, anything is possible. Am i the only one who has this issue. I know some runners and cyclists take their exercise a lot more seriously than i do, and this must annoy the heck out of them... Unless i am an isolated case ?

    Any advice ?
  2. DukeSilver79 macrumors member


    Sep 13, 2018
    That's interesting. Mine usually seems a bit generous.
  3. Significant1 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2014
    Apple use some intelligent distance Computation based on more sensors. I am not sure anybody but Apple knows in details how it works. Workoutdoor app can disable this and use gps distance. But when looking the exercise in activity, Apple may still use their own intelligent distance, since it differs from what workoutdoor says. E.g yesterday I Went for a 9.2km walk (with intelligent distance disabled) according to workoutdoor, but activity says it was 9.82km.
  4. rgyiv macrumors regular


    Jan 30, 2018
    Not sure if this applies, you might check:
    Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services and turned on "Motion Calibration & Distance"

    and while you're there in Location Services, ensure Apple Watch Workout is set to While Using
  5. thedoc46 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2015
    Thanks, all the settings are as should be. I've reset the phone and watch. The thing i'm noticing is when i go into activity, and see the completed activity, where it shows you the map on the route you've completed, its scattered with grey dots here and there, instead of being a stead green/yellow/orange line, showing how fast you were going. Basically showing me that the watch is losing its GPS calibration and just making it up. Problem for my particular workout is i'm going up and down the same roads, so if i was just going in a straight line i'd probably be ok, but if it looses the gps while i'm going up the same road, and doesn't re-connect until i'm going down the same road, then it thinks he's gone no-where, and that's where i believe the problem is.

    Kinda annoying. Wondering if i should go to the Apple store or just wait and hope for an update that'll fix this.
  6. jz0309 macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2018
    Temecula, CA
    go to the health app, find "cycling distance" (it's in my favorites, can't remember exactly where it is but probably under "health data") and select "show all data", for me it shows 10-12 entries per minute, and it shows the watch on every entry for device it got the data from ... check that data
  7. jhfenton, May 21, 2019 at 10:02 AM
    Last edited: May 22, 2019 at 6:02 AM

    jhfenton macrumors 6502a


    Dec 11, 2012
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I'd update my Watch to 5.2.1 and my phone to 12.3. If the problem persists, I'd take it to an Apple Store and show them the data.

    I've personally never had any GPS issues with the Apple Watch. If anything, it overestimates straight-line distance by about 1%.

Share This Page

6 May 15, 2019