A couple months ago I finally decided to buy an Apple Watch. It was quite a tough decision because I actually like watches. I like wearing them, I like how they look, I like having different watches and deciding which one I want to wear today.
The Apple Watch is the absolute opposite of that: it’s supposed to be the only watch we wear. You can feel in several ways that it’s not designed to be left on the drawer to just wear something different that way. Once you get used to all the features it offers you, it becomes a bit weird to wear a “stupid” watch and trying to quick glance at today’s weather, pay something, or see my activity.
I don’t mind that I will lose all those features whenever I’m not wearing my Apple Watc (I mean, there’s nothing that can be done about it). But there is a detail that I really really found like total bullshit and annoyed me: not wearing the Apple Watch will totally stop activity tracking for that day. So at the end of the day the Fitness application will show an empty ring and I will have failed my objectives (no matter if I actually walked around the entire city that day).
Makes sense that the data collected won’t be as detailed if it doesn’t come from the watch: I won’t have heartrate and oxygen measurements and steps/calories/etc. won’t be as exact.
But turns out that the iPhone alone (which is something you’re forced to own if you want to use an Apple watch) does count steps with or without the watch. You can perfectly see how much you walked in the Apple Health app, and it even collects some extra data like step length, but Apple Fitness will not recognize such data and pretends you did nothing that day.
I was really mad of realising this after some days of using the Watch. The fitness app becomes almost useless for me with that limitation. I don’t want to think about when I weared my watch or not, and feels so unmotivating to find my rings empty after a good day of walking 20,000+ steps.
Luckyly, now I find out that this is something that iOS 16 fixes. Now the fitness app doesn’t actually require a watch at all, so in theory if I leave my watch at home tomorrow I should be able to fill my rings just fine. Not that I will thank Apple for implementing something that I think is absolutely essential, but at least I’m glad they realised about this issue and fixed it.
I haven’t had a chance to try this yet but will most certainly do so this week.