New workout app

Suggs68

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Does anyone know if the new workout app uses a constant GPS connection for runs? It used to do periodic checks with the GPS so was never accurate, but I'm hoping the combination of OS3 and the updated app means they made it more runner-friendly.
I have the series 2, but apparently it uses the phones GPS if you run with your phone, which I always do. The watch's GPS only kicks in if you run without your phone.
 

mfm77

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Wait - it uses the phone's GPS if you run with the phone? Even though the Watch has its own GPS chip? That's pretty absurd. I always run with my phone for music purposes and to take pics if I'm so inclined, but I wouldn't expect to need its GPS for the run since the Watch now has it.
 

Mac Guy

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Even though the Watch has its own GPS chip? That's pretty absurd.

Huh? Not at all. GPS uses a lot of battery. Why use up the Watch's much smaller battery when there's a nearby GPS with far greater resources. Even then it's hard on the phone's battery. That's why apps using Location Services need to be used judiciously. Not to mention the whole idea making the S2 with GPS in the first place is so you can run or otherwise use GPS without the phone.


The watch's GPS only kicks in if you run without your phone.

I wonder if the Watch would use it's own GPS if you turn off Location Services on the phone for your run, and if the Workout app would still work properly. You could try turning on Airplane mode to shut GPS down, but then the Workout app might not… work out.
 

Suggs68

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I'll do some testing this week, but I was on the phone with Apple tech support for a while yesterday and it took them a long time to figure out what was going on. No one knew anything about the watch's GPS usage, but they're confident it's using the phone's GPS when they're together.
 

mfm77

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Huh? Not at all. GPS uses a lot of battery. Why use up the Watch's much smaller battery when there's a nearby GPS with far greater resources. Even then it's hard on the phone's battery. That's why apps using Location Services need to be used judiciously. Not to mention the whole idea making the S2 with GPS in the first place is so you can run or otherwise use GPS without the phone.



I wonder if the Watch would use it's own GPS if you turn off Location Services on the phone for your run, and if the Workout app would still work properly. You could try turning on Airplane mode to shut GPS down, but then the Workout app might not… work out.

That's a good point about saving battery. I'm *thisclose* to selling my AW 1 to upgrade to Series 2, but since I run with my phone, I wonder if it's even worth the upgrade.
 

Suggs68

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Ok. I just ran a 1/2 marathon and used my Series 2 with the stock workout app and had my iPhone for music. The app was super accurate. Was within a couple of hundredths of a mile for most of the race and ended up off by about 1/10, but that's normal since I didn't run the tangents. Easily as accurate as my garmin. The customizability of the watch app, with multiple fields, was great. Very happy with It.

Since I'm pretty sure it used the phones GPS, I'll try a couple of runs this week without the phone to see how accurate the watch GPS is, but I've heard it's very accurate.
 

PatrickNSF

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Congrats on the 1/2 and great news on the Series 2! I just picked up the Series 2 (aluminum) yesterday and have put about 15 miles on it. So far, so good. The increased screen brightness and overall responsiveness are nice upgrades.

As for GPS, I always run with my phone for emergencies (and photos) but I bet if you turn off bluetooth the AW would have to rely on it's own GPS rather than the phone's. I have a long run tomorrow – 15 miles – so I probably won't experiment with that until a shorter run sometime next week.
 

Suggs68

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Patrick, what running app are you using? The stock exercise app or one of the 3rd parties? I've gone between Endomondo and Runkeeper in the past, but used the stock app today. The interface on the watch is very good now, easily on par with Endomondo and better than Runkeeper, but the phone app needs some added features to be attractive to serious rubber, like weekly/monthly summaries for training.
 

PatrickNSF

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I just used the Apple Workout app the last two days. My only beef with it now is the blue font they use for mileage. It's the one of the harder colors to see outside. The whites, yellows and greens are fine.

I've read that the iSmoothRun developer is going to work on a standalone app for AW. If that happens, I'll likely use that as then I can move my workouts to Garmin, Strava or whatever site I'm using at the moment.

I'll likely switch back and forth between the AW and my Garmin, but I'm optimistic about the AW for casual runs now.

As an aside, which AW did you buy? I picked up the Series 2 space gray aluminum, under the assumption that the glass retains the advantage for outside viewing over the sapphire that the prior generation did.
 

Suggs68

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I got the same one, aluminum 42mm gray as a replacement for my original AW which was the same one.

As soon as we have a real dedicated running app that uses the Watch GPS, like Nike or Runkeeper, I would see the series 2 being a garmin replacement. The GPS is apparently very accurate and it also uses GLONASS as well, so it has all the bells and whistles.
 

PatrickNSF

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I still probably switch back and forth between the Garmin and AW, but we'll see.

One note on iSmoothRun – used it for a walk yesterday just to play around and it still exhibits one annoying feature. When you raise your wrist to see your stats, it take some time even after the screen lights up to update your stats (mileage, pace, etc.). It was barely fine while walking and I would assume more bothersome while running.

I think the best option for running at the moment is the built-in Workout app.
 

Suggs68

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Yeah, iSmoothRun doesn't support background refresh yet, at least I don't think. Runkeeper does, and is stable, but I don't like the fact that you can't customize the watch screen with additional fields. Very bare bones.

I heard the upcoming Nike Run club app, when it comes out, will be very customizable as well as supporting OS3 and the Watch GPS. I'll be using the stock app until that comes out.
 

Suggs68

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I just did a 4 mile run without my phone to test the Series 2 GPS, and color me impressed. Very accurate, def as accurate as my Garmin. I also listened to music with Bluetooth headphones from the watch and used the HRM. The activity was a bit under 30 minutes, and the battery only went down about 10%.

The only thing I'm not crazy about is the phone's exercise app. Good stats on the run but no weekly/monthly stats, and the map of my run, which synced with the phone as soon as I got home, was accurate but didn't show the mile markers like other apps do. Hoping the 3rd party running apps will support the Series 2 GPS soon. Overall though, a very solid running watch.
 

SamNatale

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I just did a 4 mile run without my phone to test the Series 2 GPS, and color me impressed. Very accurate, def as accurate as my Garmin. I also listened to music with Bluetooth headphones from the watch and used the HRM. The activity was a bit under 30 minutes, and the battery only went down about 10%.

The only thing I'm not crazy about is the phone's exercise app. Good stats on the run but no weekly/monthly stats, and the map of my run, which synced with the phone as soon as I got home, was accurate but didn't show the mile markers like other apps do. Hoping the 3rd party running apps will support the Series 2 GPS soon. Overall though, a very solid running watch.

Impressive time! Got my Series 2 yesterday and can't wait to take it on a run sans phone. I had the Fitbit Surge and the GPS was very accurate. I seem to be having an issue getting music on to the watch, but I've read that it's a common problem.
 

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