Mac Power Users 467: Fitness Apps & Tech


The Move ring will count time under two conditions:

  • Your heart rate is above a certain threshold even if you did not start a workout
  • You started a workout and your heart rate is above a certain threshold.

I have found that for things like leisurely walks, when I start a walking workout, I normally don’t get a 1:1 reporting because a leisurely walk rarely gets my heart rate high enough to count towards exercise. I may do a 30 minute walking activity, but only get credit for about 15 minutes.

On the flip-side I sometimes get a fair bit of Exercise minutes even when I’m not recording an activity because my heart rate was high enough.

The rationale is, I gather, that just simply turning on an Activity isn’t enough, you actually have to move vigorously enough to elevate your heart rate sufficiently for it to count as exercise, which makes sense.


Thanks for the explanation. Maybe my heart rate is too low. Should I try amphetamines?


This is a really good explanation and ties into @MacSparky’s comment regarding his switch to Apple Watch from another fitness tracker…basically, the way I interpreted the statement: the Apple Watch made him work out harder since the Move ring didn’t just credit all movement.

I find the way Apple does that math does, indeed, make me push myself harder during workouts if I really want to crush those rings. :slight_smile:


I’d recommend a moderately faster pace as first step. Then amphetamines.


Amphetamines, roller coasters, horror movies and doing your taxes.


Roller coasters I’d give a whirl but Ferris wheels are out, hate them.

I’m going to give recalibration a try. In>Privacy there’s a button Reset Fitness Calibration Data. Scroll to the bottom. I’ll see if that helps.

I’m fairly fit (‘for a man your age’) and exercise every day, snow and polar vortex notwithstanding. Jog (5km), walk with a friend (6km), bike (20km) but not all three every day. You’d think the workout app could figure it all out.


Nice episode, tracking fitness and watching the graphs go in, (hopefully), the right direction is fun.

Does Fitbit now share data with Apple Health? Last I checked, (about a year ago), they didn’t provide any data at all to Apple Health, that was one of the reasons I went with a Garmin tracker.

Also, how did we get through a 1:37 podcast and 45 forum posts about tech & fitness without Garmin coming up? I feel like they’re kind of the king of digital fitness - and I’m sure @ismh’s biking buddies are rocking something from the Edge lineup! Last year, just before WWDC, they released the Vivosmart 4 fitness tracker, which has a blood oxygen saturation meter built in. My understanding is they are trying to detect sleep apnea by watching for drops in blood oxygen during the night. I remember watching the WWDC keynote hoping that the Apple Watch would add a blood oxygen detector too, and was disappointed when it was a sort-of ECG for the USA, (even though that’s really cool).


The app I just started using for tracking my runs is It does look really weird (apparently this is already a lot better than a while ago), but in terms of what it’s tracking and how configurable it is, it’s unbelievable. It integrates with many platforms to automatically upload your data (including dropbox).

Next to that it solved something I haven’t found in any other app: running Watch only and still getting heart rate zone warnings.


I have the Apple Watch S4. Isn’t it suppose to detect when you start and stop a workout? If so, how long does it take to detect and respond? I’ve not seen mine detect automatically but I only give it 30 sec or less because I don’t want to “lose” time on my workouts.


It takes longer than that. I’ve got a 10 minute walk to work and I’m generally more than halfway there before the watch usually asks if I’m doing a walking workout.


Reset Fitness Calibration Data (>Privacy) yesterday did the trick.

This morning cleaning house gave me credit for walking 4km and 1 minute of exercise.

This afternoon an Outdoor Walk workout gave me credit for 6km and 60 minutes of exercise.


I thought the same (I have a Fenix 5) but then looked at marketshare and thought that may have been the reason - 8% of market.
I’ve tried the S4 (twice) and always game back to the Garmin as it provides what I need. I think it looks better as a watch (totally personal preference) and it gives me all the alerts I need - including elevated HR. I don’t want to be able to reply to texts from the watch as convenient as that is.
Having seen a few people with Fitbits and having walking/step challenges with them I saw they could shake their wrist and get steps credit! Not sure of that has been fixed but because of that (massively small) sample size I’ve always thought of them as a less serious device. I need a device that is accurate and that I can trust. Couldn’t trust a Fitbit after that.

Anyway, back to the discussion! :smiley:


Does it then retroactively count the entire 10 minutes?


Yes. It’ll start the workout with a number of minutes on the timer that roughly correspond to how long I’ve been walking (though I haven’t done any detailed checking to see how accurate it is).


My S3 noticed I was walking the other day, for the first time. I started the outdoor walk, as it suggested. At the end, when I was driving, it noticed I wasn’t walking and asked about ending the workout (which I had forgotten about). In the end, it gave me credit for the full distance, even though the map of the walk only started when I “started the workout.”


Having seen a few people with Fitbits and having walking/step challenges with them I saw they could shake their wrist and get steps credit!

Well, my a Vivosmart 3 gives me credit for steps when I grind my coffee by hand, and gives me stair-climbing credit whenever it feels a draft, (I think). I’ve been debating moving up to one of the full watches in the Garmin lineup, but we’ll see what happens.

then looked at marketshare and thought that may have been the reason - 8% of market.

Is that smartwatch only? Are there other categories they might be counted as, such as “running watch” or “fitness tracker”? My guess would be that most Garmin products are classified as fitness or navigation devices for historical reasons.


Awkward! :wink:

That is smartwatch marketshare, yes. There probably are other categories I just looked for the most general. Garmin offers a lot in this space esp. at the Fenix level.

But as this is a Mac UG not really on topic. I just thought the same as you.

The other reason I stayed with the Garmin was a guy was espousing the benefits of the AW by using 3 fitness apps, which I found counterintuitive. But each to their own.



Off topic question, what hand coffee grinder do you use?


Porlex Tall: (Ask at your favourite local 3rd-wave café).


I just got a Hand Ground which I like but was just curious.