Inside watchOS 3: Customize your Apple Watch display on a workout-by-workout basis

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited June 2016
With the upcoming watchOS 3 update, tracked workouts with Apple Watch will not only display more information in the midst of an exercise, but the type of information shown can be completely customized by the user.




To customize the views, users must open the Apple Watch app on their connected iPhone running iOS 10. From there, choose "My Watch," then "Workout," and "Workout View."

There Apple presents a choice of "Single Metric," where just one workout stat is shown at a time, or "Multiple Metric," with a variety of readouts during an exercise.

Choosing the latter presents users with the full range of workouts that can be tracked by the native Workout app on Apple watch. Each of these can be individually customized to a user's liking.

For example, select "Outdoor Run," and users are presented with seven total possible metrics to be displayed on the Apple Watch screen. Up to five of them can be shown at once during a workout.

For an outdoor run, the full list of metrics are:

  • Active Calories
  • Average Pace
  • Current Pace
  • Distance
  • Duration
  • Heart Rate
  • Total Calories




Options are more limited for other types of workouts. For example, an elliptical workout gives options for duration, active calories, total calories and heart rate --?and these can be displayed in any order the user chooses, or not displayed at all.

The full list of exercises that can be tracked by Apple's native Workout app are:

  • Outdoor Walk
  • Outdoor Run
  • Outdoor Cycle
  • Indoor Walk
  • Indoor Run
  • Indoor Cycle
  • Elliptical
  • Rower
  • Stair Stepper
  • Other


Settings for the Workout app also include a "Power Saving Mode," where the heart rate sensor is disabled for running and walking workouts. Apple notes that this saves battery life, but does not make calorie burn calculations less accurate. Users can still rely on an external Bluetooth heart rate monitor with this mode disabled, if they so choose.

Finally, the Workout app also has an "Auto Pause" mode, during which workouts will automatically pause and resume when a user stops and starts moving during an outdoor or indoor running workout.

On the Apple Watch itself, the Workout app gains a new "Quick Start" option, which gives users the ability to repeat the same workout they previously completed.

And upon finishing an unlabeled "Other" workout, users are also given the option of naming it. Choosing this presents a range of sports, including archery, Australian-rules football, golf, pilates, skiing, strength training, and yoga.

watchOS 3 is a free update for all Apple Watch owners that will arrive this fall. It's currently available in beta for for developers to test.

For more, see AppleInsider's ongoing "Inside watchOS 3" series, parts of which are linked below:

Inside watchOS 3: Apple Watch gets more familiar with dedicated dock button

Inside watchOS 3: Apple Watch gets improved glance-ability with new complications, watch faces

Inside watchOS 3: Send text messages from Apple Watch by drawing one letter at a time

Inside watchOS 3: New 'Breathe' app for Apple Watch reminds you to relax, focus

Inside watchOS 3: Apple Watch adds new iOS-style swipe-up Control Center

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    So what exactly do these trackers do, other than heart rate and time? For instance, what does starting an Outdoor Bike run do, exactly?

    I assume they have to be started manually, and stopped. So is this just a glorified notepad with HRM recording if that's turned on?
  • Reply 2 of 8
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 750editor
    So what exactly do these trackers do, other than heart rate and time? For instance, what does starting an Outdoor Bike run do, exactly?

    I assume they have to be started manually, and stopped. So is this just a glorified notepad with HRM recording if that's turned on?
    Starting a workout tracks distance and pace (when applicable, depending on the type of workout), and estimates calories burned. You have to manually start and stop a workout.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    I hope that they also add a "trim" feature. I often forget to turn off workout tracking and think that it would be useful (and relatively simple to implement) to have a way to "trim back" the duration of the recorded workout to the actual workout length. Consistent with the new pause feature, more accuracy in recorded workouts would be nice and non-intrusive. I think that there would just be a scrub bar showing time and, underneath, some sort of activity graph to show effort (heartrate, pace, or whatever the applicable metric is for the activity) so one can more precisely match the actual end time and not pick up cool-downs or similar. For more detail on this idea, see: http://q10a1.blogspot.com/2015/09/watch-os-workout-app-idea.html
    razorpitnolamacguylito_lupena
  • Reply 4 of 8
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    So what exactly do these trackers do, other than heart rate and time? For instance, what does starting an Outdoor Bike run do, exactly?

    I assume they have to be started manually, and stopped. So is this just a glorified notepad with HRM recording if that's turned on?
    i love it when people who have never used a thing, criticize a thing. 

    and really, what are all computers but glorified notepads, right?
    repressthisbrucemclolliver
  • Reply 5 of 8
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    I hope that they also add a "trim" feature. I often forget to turn off workout tracking and think that it would be useful (and relatively simple to implement) to have a way to "trim back" the duration of the recorded workout to the actual workout length. 
    yup, this.
    lito_lupena
  • Reply 6 of 8
    As a trail runner I'm really enjoying the Apple Watch...My only wish is that I only want 3 things displayed in the largest font size possible...1) Distance, 2) Ave. Pace, and 3) HR.  I would like these set of numbers as large as possible using all the screen real estate so I can see them without glasses.

    I don't want to have to "swipe" thru items already displayed and cal's that I not interested in to get from Ave. Pace to HR while running on rocky, uneven terrain.

    Just a small quibble...but would be ever so helpful.


    Love the Apple Watch! :)

  • Reply 7 of 8
    rtdunhamrtdunham Posts: 428member
    in the new watchOS will Apple Watch stay on your  in the new watchOS will Apple Watch stay on in nightstand mode when plugged in?
  • Reply 8 of 8
    Is there a way to disable the 'quick start' options in the workout app? They are never what I want to do and force me to scroll down past them to get to the exercise that I want to do.

    If anything, Apple should put the exercises I frequently do at the top of the list, and everything else after that. 
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