May. 2

Apple Watch–Fitness Focused

Yes, I am indeed working towards a fitness/sport-focused Apple Watch review. It’s still likely a few weeks away. In the mean-time, here’s a spot to see a few pics and ask questions. Also, see my Apple Watch YouTube videos here!


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May. 2

Apple Watch–Fitness Focused

Yes, I am indeed working towards a fitness/sport-focused Apple Watch review. It’s still likely a few weeks away. In the mean-time, here’s a spot to see a few pics and ask questions. Also, see my Apple Watch YouTube videos here!

May. 2

Apple Watch–Fitness Focused

Yes, I am indeed working towards a fitness/sport-focused Apple Watch review. It’s still likely a few weeks away. In the mean-time, here’s a spot to see a few pics and ask questions. Also, see my Apple Watch YouTube videos here!

May. 2

Apple Watch–Fitness Focused

Yes, I am indeed working towards a fitness/sport-focused Apple Watch review. It’s still likely a few weeks away. In the mean-time, here’s a spot to see a few pics and ask questions. Also, see my Apple Watch YouTube videos here!

May. 2

Apple Watch–Fitness Focused

Yes, I am indeed working towards a fitness/sport-focused Apple Watch review. It’s still likely a few weeks away. In the mean-time, here’s a spot to see a few pics and ask questions. Also, see my Apple Watch YouTube videos here!

May. 2

Apple Watch–Fitness Focused

Yes, I am indeed working towards a fitness/sport-focused Apple Watch review. It’s still likely a few weeks away. In the mean-time, here’s a spot to see a few pics and ask questions. Also, see my Apple Watch YouTube videos here!

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  1. Rick

    Will you compare the Apple watch to the Vivoactive? I would be interested in the differences and similarities. Thx

    PS – the Podcasts are great.

    • I’ll compare it in some contexts. In a lot of ways though, it’s going to come down to the individual apps you load on the Apple Watch.

    • Patrick

      Rick, I’ve been using the Apple Watch since Tuesday. I have a Garmin 620. In simplest terms, I view the Vivioactive as a running watch with smartwatch features, and the Apple Watch as a smartwatch with running features. The choice between the two is one of priorities.

      That being said, I always run with my iPhone, so the lack of Apple Watch GPS was a nonissue for me. The huge advantage for me is the built-in HRM. I only use my Garmin strap HRM when I begin a training program for a marathon, and then I quickly discard it within a couple of days. YMMV

    • Tom Hughes

      Patrick I’m considering an Apple Watch but I wanted to see how you early adopters like it. Overall, are you happy and does it meet your expectations? I have a Garmin FR620 that I love, so maybe in a couple years I’ll get the next iteration of the Watch unless Apple releases an update that makes it far and away the best Watch in the market

    • Will Sparks

      To that end, will your review have a discussion of specific apps? I’m most interested in the Strava app as I’m a roadie and not a triathlete. My friends who have watches already have complained that 3rd party apps so far aren’t great.

    • Yes, I’m picking a handful of fitness focused apps and detailing them within the review (started on Strava, but next is CycleMeter/RunMeter, and likely MapMyFitness). Each app will get a section with perhaps 3-5 paragraphs on my use in 1-2 workouts each. It’s the apps that’s pushing out my schedule a bit.

    • Patrick

      Delayed response here, Tom. Overall, I’m happy with the Apple Watch for general use, but am likely going back to my 620 for running. The built-in Workout app has gotten frustratingly inconsistent in terms of recording accurate mileage, and I’ve become a bit lazy at manually entering my run data into the Garmin website.

      I’ve tried some of the third party running apps, but the delay at getting info from the phone to the Watch is bothersome, and Nike+ specifically has been prone to crashing for me mid-run. Other downsides of the Watch for running are difficulty of using touchscreen while sweaty and visibility of screen in bright, midday sun.

      If I was primarily interested in a watch for running, I would look elsewhere. Or, at least, see how third party software progresses once Apple allows native apps.

  2. Eric

    Vivoactive vs pebble time vs Apple watch vs Sony smartwatch 3 – the fitness side of next gen smartwatches.

    Thats the “dream” headline on DC Rainmaker site. Just do it!

    • Tom

      I agree! I frequently read this site and now tried to find information about ANY smartwatch, and found this future-maybe article about Apple Watch. I would love to have the usual solid DC-rainmaker’s hands-on advice on some of the smartwatch contenders. At least the ones with HRM and/or GPS support.

  3. Ampestijn

    stand up and move a little for one minute? stand? a little? one?
    apple does have big expectations of it’s users.

  4. My Garmin FR220 was stolen. Replace it like in kind, or consider the Apple watch?

    • It would depend on how much you wanted to carry a phone with you, since the Apple Watch lacks GPS internally.

    • I always take my phone with me on runs for emergencies. But one reason I have a Garmin instead of using the Strava for iPhone app is that my phone battery is low after a day of work, and an after work run would drain it dangerously close to empty. So I will probably just get another FR220, thanks for the heads up about the lack of GPS!

    • Peteo

      Any reason you don’t charge your phone at work? Also how long are your runs? An hour will probably take 30% off the iPhone battery. So far for me the heart rate monitor on the watch has been spot on. The convenience of also being able to change music on the wrist and get important alerts is great. Also since I wear my watch all day it’s recording data I normally don’t get. This all goes into the Heath kit app which can share and combine with tons of other apps.
      Over all pretty happy with the watch. I’m not an endurance athlete. I hike, bike, kayak (amazing kayak with the watch yesterday. Could see where I was on a topo map) running has been sidelined though do to some issues with my ankles..

    • ^^^ Various meetings, some all day, in buildings with bad reception. Yes, 30% in an hour is about right, which is too much if the phone battery is low after all day use. If the Apple watch had an internal GPS, I would have considered it.

    • Marco

      I have been using Apple Watch with the iPhone while training on a few 1/2 Marathons and on the other wrist I used my Garmin 610.
      I see the Apple Watch is way off, about 10% short of the real distance, but the funny thing is that I if I use the AW with a third party app, like Motion-X, the distance matches the Gatmin 610, at the most 50 meters off on a 21.1km run, which is absolutely acceptable. While the 2km off on the native Workout app of the AW are not acceptable. IMHO.

    • In those cases, that’s because the Apple Watch app is actually using GPS from the app, thus, GPS from current generation phones is in most situations quite good. In other words, it’s not the Apple Watch at all, but just your phone.

    • Marco

      I agree 100% with you, but I don’t understand why, if using the native Workout app of the AW, I don’t get the running distance as much precisely as using the third party app. (Motion-X in this case)
      I though that AW would have been always using the iPhone’s GPS to measure the Workouts and only if the iPhone wasn’t available the accelerometer would have been used to substitute the GPS, and of course the reading would have been way off, especially on a trail with up hills and downhills. It doesn’t make any sense that within Workout app the GPS is used for the bike and not for the running. But I’m not sure if this is a bug of the software of my unit or it it applies to all the AW

    • Ahh, gotchya. Sorry, misunderstood you there on what you were using where.

      Yeah, that’s odd. That said, there’s a long history of different apps doing different stuff to increase (or decrease) accuracy of GPS data collected from the phone. Two apps can take the same signal and after filtering get dramatically different results. Kinda funny.

    • Sandie Tallant

      I have use bot my Garmin 620 and apple watch for the past 2 runs and when I use run keeper on my apple watch I notice I have trouble pausing it if I have been sweating so I hZve to take it off and wipe it down to get it to pause or resume. I will definitely be using my Garmin 620 for runs!

      Hope this helped

  5. Jeffrey Sloan

    Not waterproof and no swimming app. Both are big negatives and first cannot be fixed with software.

  6. jd67

    It looks like you have a lot to catch up on in the next few weeks, but are you working on a full Polar V650 review now that power meter support has been delivered?

    • Indeed, I was just about to e-mail them and ask them to send over a pair of their pedals. But, upon reflection, I might just use it with the 4iiii Precision on the BLE side (or, the PowerTap) that way I can continue testing other stuff…

  7. Scott

    Please try out Endomondo on the apple watch. I always run with my phone in a SPI belt so having the phone isn’t a problem and have always liked Endomondo. Just returned my Fenix 3 because totally unhappy with the accuracy. Not sure what to do now.

    • Yup, I’ve been slowly working through different apps. I’m seeing some caveats to using 3rd party apps, just as there are caveats to using 1st party apps. Oddly enough, it’s all silly easy stuff Apple could solve (either directly or by unlocking access).

  8. Chris

    Is there a third party app that will display heart rate on the watch if I have a Bluetooth HR strap paired with the phone? Ideally with speed distance HR and time on the same screen at the same time.

  9. Anders

    I can’t find any reviews of Android Wear watches on your site. I’m thinking of buying a Sony Smartwatch 3 to use when running. It can play music via Bluetooth and has built in GPS, so you don’t need a phone with you. Have you looked at that, or any other Android Wear watch? You’re probably the reviewer I trust the most with these things, so I’m looking forward to a review of it from a fitness point of view.

    • Jose I

      I have the Sony Smarthwatch 3. It is excellent, however, managing standalone music storage n Android wear is torture.

      If you want to play music without the phone, you have load it onto Google music play first, then load from Google via the the phone to the watch. If you have too many songs, you have to tag only the songs you want sent watch. It take hours with small libraries. I have a large library – it has take days, with frequent crashes.

      If you have a Sony Phone, I understand that there is a simpler path using the Walkman App.

      Using Android Wear is confusing in general and feels rushed, unpolished and incomplete.

    • Tom

      Add me to the waiting list of this review. And I agree to “You’re probably the reviewer I trust the most with these things…”

      My wish list for the perfect running gadget looks like this:
      Built-in GPS, support for HRM (or built-in), music app with local storage, wireless sync with PC/phone. And of course small enough to wear on the wrist, weather-proof and a battery that lasts for a full day of running. Simply put: the best from a Garmin watch combined with a smartphone, without having to bring the phone on the runs. Yet haven’t found that gadget…

  10. raven

    The third party apps for Apple Watch are not going to be great right now, as currently developers do not have access to the same APIs that Apple does. All apps have to “talk back” to a corresponding app on the iPhone. For fitness apps, this is even worse as Apple has not given access to the optical HRM sensor yet. This will get better eventually, perhaps as soon as later this year, depending on what Apple announces at their Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) later this year.

    Apple’s own initial efforts on the fitness side are promising but need improvement for people used to Garmin devices. On the hardware side, it’s a bit better than I thought. After a few runs, sweat doesn’t kill the device, and people elsewhere have tested the water resistance claims and found them better than what Apple suggests. A groups immersed it in water and even swam with it and it still worked later. I for one am still taking it off before a shower though. My other hardware concern was battery life, but even with approx one hour workout sessions each day I am ending my day at about 45%-55% which is great.

    The lack of GPS is bad, of course; however, Apple claims that after a few runs the watch will e calibrated to your stride and you can run without an iPhone and get fairly accurate distance data. That would be great for me if true, as I run a lot of indoor track. Furthermore, right now Apple’s software doesn’t do anything when using the iPhone GPS other than give data. After a run, there’s no way to review a map of your run; all you get is overall distance.

    Heart rate data is similar. The Activity app only shows average heart rate for the run; the Health app will show many, many data points if you drill into it but it’s pretty useless for most people I think. During a run, both heart rate and pace usually seem off to me; I’m guessing it lags a bit and holding it up to check data screws up the accelerometers in the watch for pace as well. You can connect a bluetooth HRM strap (which slightly defeats the point to me of having optical HRM in the watch in the first place) but I do not think you can connect a bluetooth footpad at this time?

    I suspect using third party apps will be the way to go assuming they get full API access this year, as I think they will iterate faster on software than Apple will on improving it’s Workout and Activity apps.

    • amy!

      Raven hits all of the things that bothered me about my one-week test drive with it. I had to return mine because I got the Watch and not the Sport Watch and the heavier Watch was giving me RSI pain in my wrist and arm after a couple days of use. Not good.

      I was really frustrated with the lack of details in the HRM data. No chart, no time in zones, etc. I wore it at the same time as my FitBit Charge HR and I found that the heart rate data on both was similar (based on my glancing at the Apple Watch when I was out running and comparing to my FitBit later on). And my FitBit wrist HRM was close enough to my Garmin chest strap HRM that I ditched the chest strap.

      I really did like that I could glance at the watch and see my HR or how far I’d gone without having to turn the screen on (MAJOR problem with the FitBit that is okay while running but deadly while biking). But all the data isn’t on the same screen. I was hoping that I could use MapMyRun on the watch instead but as said above, they don’t get the heart rate data yet and so their app is less useful than the Apple one so far.

  11. I have tested running 2-3 times with the Apple Watch and am not too impressed with the watch for this purpose. Could be that it will improve as new versions of the Apps are rolled out. Here are my key takeaways:
    – heart rate for Strava did not record, seems only to record if you use the built in activity app
    – I had to navigate to the status screen every time I wanted to view performance – typically not something you want to do while running (should be instant-on on the screen/dashboard you want)
    – No configuration options for the Dashboard to alter the view

    Jens C /

  12. Bryan

    I too am not inpressed yet with my apple sport watch for running tracking. I paused it in the middle of the run at our turnaround to tie my shoe, and it wouldn’t let me resume the timing for the run until I cleared (dismissed) a text that had come in while running. I don’t run with my phone too often, so the distance tracking is a bit off. Can’t compete with my garmin FR620 when that is going off satellites. Just to compare, FR620 said 4 miles after a run and Apple Sport said 4.55 miles.
    Am still looking forward to your review. I wish Training Peaks had an app for the apple sport. I decided to go with them instead of Strava.

  13. Tom

    Once it gets integrated GPS in rev 2 or 3, I can see most people better off with an Apple Watch Sport rather than a Garmin. Other than for swimming, I foresee the Apple Watch and fitness apps being better at everything than a dedicated GPS watch.

  14. Turns out the Apple Watch is a lot more waterproof than expected: link to

    Whether that translates to being able to constantly use it for swimming is another matter, and would represent a risk for your warranty I guess, but still, that is an interesting video and offers serious promise, at least for the next gen (no probably this one)

  15. Jose I

    No GPS is a deal breaker for me. If I have to carry my phone on my runs and rides, I’ll ditch the watch and use a chest strap. If the Appel Watch had GPS, I’d would have bought it day one.

    Here’s what I don’t understand about the whole smart fitness watch market:
    Why doesn’t anyone take the feature set of the Motoactv and make it water proof with a better battery?

    The MotoActv was an amazing product – better than any of the watches I’ve tried since. It had two flaws: battery life and water resistance. Both are easy to fix. It had all the features we want and no fat. It had Ant+, bluetooth & WiF. It was Android so it could run almost any fitness app. To update it, add in expandable memory and onboard HR. Keep it Full Android and not the nightmarish Android Wear.

    Give us an easy way to manage music and boom – instant category killer.

    Why are the Garmins and other trying so hard to reinvent the wheel?

    • Jonstoops

      NAILED IT. I totally agree. I used my Motoactv till it literally fell apart. After reading all kinds of tech info I was able to root it, expand the battery life, and get it to export workouts to Runkeeper automatically via wifi. Since I want a watch I can swim with I’ve tried several others since the MotoActv’s demise including the Fenix2 and the TomTom Multisport. No one has matched the functionality of a watch made 4 or 5 years ago!?!

  16. Frank Z

    Sorry Tim Cook. Gen 1 of your watch didn’t cut it for me. I ended up getting the Vivoactive last week. The lack of GPS was the deal killer for me as was the awkward setup if I wanted to log HR when using Strava. If I’m running at intensity I don’t carry a phone. I don’t listen to music either as I’m always concentrating to work on good technique. I wasn’t planning to wear the Vivoactive every day but I’m enjoying it. It’s lightweight, shows the time easily and it’s notifications means that my iphone can stay in my pocket most of the time. Here’s hoping that the Apple watch Gen 2 or 3 offers built in GPS and isn’t so reliant on having a phone nearby.

    • raven

      Partially in response to Frank, but in general, it seems obvious that Apple is not trying to compete with high end technical fitness watches like Garmin, Polar, and Suunto at the moment, but instead staking out a hybrid “middle ground” region between those devices and the lower end activity monitors like Fitbit, Misfit, Jawbone, etc.

      Additionally, for the Apple Watch, fitness is not the only feature it is selling itself on. There’s notifications, which we’ve seen before with Pebble, and a bit in Vivoactive and a few other devices, communication, including things like sending your heart beat, which might be silly but is a selling point from some, and leveraging the app store from the iPhone as developers make watch extensions of their iOS apps. I expect in this last area the number of apps will probably be higher than corresponding apps from Garmin’s Connect IQ, Android Wear apps, etc.

      I don’t like to carry a phone when I run either. However, a lot of my running is on track, and much of that indoor track, so GPS isn’t a deal breaker for me so much as having accurate pace, and so far, I haven’t seen anything that can compare to a well calibrated footpod in that regard.

      Right now my Apple Watch pace isn’t calibrated as well as I’d like; my pace is 15 to 30 seconds slower than my Garmin records. I think I can fix this with a bit more work on running outdoors in the proper environment, but even if that was fixed, I won’t get lap splits or other detailed data with Apple’s Activity or Workout apps, and with third-parties I really want them to be able to have access to optical heart rate.

      On the other hand, I notice a lot of people running with nothing more than an iPhone right now, and for those people, the Apple Watch would likely improve their situation, if only to get the iPhone off their arm and into a pouch on their waist, etc. Of course, for many of these people, the cost of the watch might not be worth the benefit for just the fitness features. It’s all the other non-fitness features that will tilt the balance if the watch is worth it for them at this time.

      I’m an Apple fan, an early adopter, and don’t mind stepping off into the unknown here. The Apple Watch isn’t going to replace all my other fitness devices at this time. I do think, in time, that it could be my only device. For me if I could have Bluetooth footpad support and detailed lap data I would be really close. Swimming support would be the other major area I would like, and before the Apple Watch was released, I’d expected I’d need another device like a Garmin swim to handle that, but the waterproofing of the Apple Watch seems much better than what Apple is claiming, which makes me hopeful that second generation might add real swim support.

      At the very least, I don’t think one can ignore Apple’s entry in this space if one is considering all the companies and capabilities of fitness watches and activity trackers today.

  17. Ira K

    I am a heart attack survivor and want to use the Apple Watch for stationary bike aerobic workouts along with a diet app to manage calories and nutrition. Are you going to review MyFitnessPal or other diet apps that would sync with Apple Watch?

  18. Jeff

    Are you also testing to see how the watch does both with and without the iPhone’s GPS? In other words, are you going to check the accuracy of the watch acting in a stand-alone mode?

  19. Nigel

    Hi will you cover if the watch can use maps to navigate say to a new gym a few miles away in a town you haven’t been to but whilst running a fitness session to get there at the same time. Or is it one app at a time running in this respect. Also do I really need to lug my iPhone 6 plus around with me? and if so whats the point in the watch why not keep Garmin. Thanks

  20. Bob190

    Well here it is folks .. they’ve finally updated the document on the heart rate monitor function.

    link to

    Now it “attempts” to measure your heart rate every 10 minutes, but won’t record it if you are in motion? Huh???

    One would think that is when you would want to record it to gauge calor burn.

    Not according to the geniuses at Apple though. So much for a “fitness focus”. I guess mine is going back since the changed the core functionality of the watch after I purchased it based on the premise of consistent every 10 minute HR readings.

  21. Gimmi

    Yes, the HRM function is now completely useless. In addition, the watch has given inaccurate calorie burn readings from the outset because instead of adding activity calories to BMR they add them to BMR X 1.5 (approx).

    Mine is going back too.

  22. Bob190

    Looks like this starting to hit the blogs…9to5Mac has a blurb about it.

    link to

  23. Steven Shaw

    I’ve just bought my Apple eatch, and wasn’t really planning on using it for running. However, is their any App that could produce similar information from what I get with my Garmin (or Polar) watches? What I would want is a track on a map (i know I will have to carry my phone), and graphs of pace, hr, altitude etc. I have a polar hrm which seems to pair so I could possibly use that as well.

  24. BobV190

    If anyone is interested in expanding the capabilities of the Apple Watch’s native workout app, check out this new app that appeared in the app store over the weekend. It allows you to see results of your run graphically, and also to create a .TCX file that can be uploaded to Strava, Garmin Connect, etc.

    If you want to run with just the AW, and leave the phone at home, this at least gives you the option to get your run data onto Strava, Garmin Connect, etc. Works well … only thing you don’t get is the elevation and GPS data in Strava.

    link to

    • Bsquared

      Operative word is “Run” – at this time SpectaRun will only import Run activities from Health database. So if you have a Run, then its possible to see it in SpectaRun and export as .TCX. All other activities (cycle, walk, etc) will not show up in SpectaRun and therefore cannot be exported as .TCX

      In my case SpectaRun did find an older Wahoo Fitness tracked run that was in Health database. My 50+ year old knees don’t like running, therefore all my Health workouts (from Wahoo Fitness and Apple Watch) are Outdoor Cycle, Indoor Cycle (Spin), and Outdoor Walking. I thought SpectaRun was running in demo mode, and paid $0.99 for Pro features.

      Asked SpectaRun support for assistance and they confirmed app will only work on runs, and I politely asked for expanding list of supported activities.

  25. msbihli

    I’m interested in knowing how the apple watch would work for doing track workouts. For instance, at the end of an interval I push the lap button so I can check my splits later. Does the native running app or any 3rd party app support this? Perhaps by using force touch? I can’t seem to find anything online about this.

    Thanks for the great reviews!

    • Nige Bunt

      So after careful consideration I decided to buy the Garmin Fenix 3 as what it can do as a fitness device smashes the Apple watch to pieces. No gps need a phone and not waterproof. Load of rubbish and for the same price the fenix 3 gives me notifications if I so do have my phone in my bag whilst running and is a powerful companion. I’m a big apple fan with Mac iPad and iPhone 6 plus but the apple watch just isn’t for me.

  26. You might want to look at Argus app for run tracking on apple watch. Has some nice features missing in other third party apps.

    – Configurable display (mirrors the metrics from the iPhone)
    – Cadence display

    No heart rate support though which is a PITA.

    PS.: this is a shameless plug, since I was the one working on the app. Having said that, I’m a runner and we made it best way possible for running.

  27. Joshua Hunt

    Lack of GPS aside – how does the Apple Watch compare to the Fenix 3?

    • Ian

      FWIW I posted some thoughts on that very question here: link to

      Since receiving my Apple Watch nothing much has changed my opinion, but I do have some other comments to Ira K’s comments below 🙂

    • Also FWIW, there’s recently a new app that allows you to export out a .TCX file including your HR data: link to

      Disappointingly though, it doesn’t include GPS data from GPS-inclusive workouts with the default workout app. Not sure why. But does include distance data.

    • Bsquared

      Unfortunately the SpectaRun app will only read Run activities stored in Health database. If you log a Run then you can export .TCX file. If you log anything else then it doesn’t appear in SpectaRun. Confirmed by SpectaRun support.

    • Yeah, I discovered the same as well. Did they imply if that might be changed?

    • Bsquared


      I did ask SpectaRun support to expand list of supported activities.

      It was interesting to note that SpectaRun did find two Wahoo Fitness logged runs from two months ago. Therefore SpectaRun is reading the Health database and I suspect the Apple Developer APIs support reading other activities, if true then its just “a simple matter of programming” to have it read other activities like Outdoor Walk and Outdoor Cycle.

    • Bsquared

      sorry fumbled the HTML tag in that post. The response I received from SpectaRun support:

      Hi Brian,

      The app will only show running workouts.

      Thanks for the feedback,


  28. I received my Apple Sport Watch a few days ago and discovered that the beats per minute reporting during a stationary bike 45 minute exercise requires I have to lift my wrist off the handlebars and rotate the watch for the watch to light up the screen to show progress stats. Very annoying as I thought I would be able to just glance at the screen to read BPM, elapsed time, etc. once an exercise was in progress similar to the Fitbit Surge and other trackers.

    But the bigger issue was that the tracking watch screen and the after exercise reports in the app do not show cardio levels; i.e., like on the Surge – fat burning, cardio and peak and do not have custom setting for cardio levels so no custom level settings for cardio, just an overall time or calorie count. Given the price I paid, value is very thin for an activity tracker. Though the optical HRM on the wrist appears to work very well, pairs well with MyFitnessPal and the screen colors and watch face designs are gorgeous, as a cardio fitness track it falls sell short of my expectations. They need to beef up the reporting on the watch and iPhone apps for users who need more details like me and many others. I had a heart attack two years ago, went through cardio rehab and have been happily working out with a Polar tracker and chest strap ever since. I want to keep the Apple Watch as it is a brilliant device but need better/more levels/detailed cardio reports. I assume they will be coming but don’t want to wait until next fall for the OS2 update package or longer. My 75-year old ticker needs tracking info sooner than later. Maybe if you include this issue in your Apple Watch review, the Apple elves will make it happen with an update before 0S2. Thanks for reading.

    • Ian

      I think you are right Ira – I just got my Apple Watch last week, and it is brilliant in many regards, including as a everyday activity tracker. But the data you get out of it after the activity is disappointing for a data geek like me – not only do you not see HR over time (just an average when you look at the Activity app on the phone), but you can’t get the route displayed anywhere as far as I can tell (and exporting to GPX to share with other platforms is nowhere to be seen either). If you use a third party app like Strava, then it works as expected, except it can’t access HR data at all! So I actually ended up wearing a bluetooth strap to get that recorded (this may be an interim solution for you by the way), and actually I didn’t actually need the watch for that setup – just my phone!

      This is a problem that will be solved with Apple OS2 because native apps will have access to the sensors, and all manor of apps will offer all types of solutions, but I can’t see Apple offering anything ahead of that release this Fall. Would love to be proven wrong though…

    • Pete

      IRA K,
      One way around the moving your wrist is to tap the face of the watch. The screen goes blank to conserve power.
      As far as getting more info displayed. Apple’s built in health app on the iphone stores allot of info and you can give 3rd party app access to this data.
      You can still pair your bluetooth heart rate monitor to your iphone and use this Iphone & watch app to display the heart rate data on the watch:
      link to
      this might be-able to tide you over because right now No 3rd party watch app has access to the sensors. WatchOS 2 will give them access to the censors and fitness apps will be way better, probably very close dedicated devices.

  29. Ian,
    Thanks for your thoughts. By the way, I also sent my comments to a senior tech support advisor at Apple and asked her to send up the line.


  30. Ira K

    Another Apple Watch issue – if you set Stand notifications to on, and you are wearing the watch when you sleep (which I do because I wake intermittently in the wee hours and want to know the time) the Stand notifications will wake you up every hour through the night. Apple needs to have a control to turn off stand notifications for specific time intervals like the do not disturb setting on the phone. The past few nights, I find myself walking around compulsively in the middle of the night having been awakened to get another Stand credit. I know I can turn off the stand notifications from the phone, but often forget to do it before dozing off. Bet your chuckling over this, but getting up so often throughout the night can drag down an otherwise productive day.

    • Bsquared

      Easy solution – enable “Do Not Disturb” on your iPhone (and in Apple Watch app). For example setup Do Not Disturb from 10pm – 6am and that stops watch notifications during the night (except for timer or alarms you’ve set).

  31. Ira K

    Hey, Bsquared, thanks for the suggestion. I am trying that but is not working right yet. Have a call in to Apple.


  32. Ira K

    Is now working correctly with do not disturb. Problem solved. Thanks.

  33. Sebastien Dufresne

    A simple question someone might have the answer to… Does the watch supports multiple “software” running at the same time? If you enjoy both RunKeeper and Nike Running, for example, will both benefits from the Apple Watch features?

  34. We’ve ported our swim tracking algorithm to the Apple Watch. Here’s an article on how it went + a video & some details on the algorithm.

    link to

    No small thanks to DCRainmaker’s waterproofing tests. I don’t think we would have attempted it otherwise – thanks!

  35. Ian

    Just some extra info on battery life experience with Apple Watch during activities. I did a 8hr cycle last weekend and the watch didn’t survive long enough (did about 6hrs of the ride only). I also ran a very slow marathon on the next day (5:30!) and had about 10% battery left after that. So really the Apple Watch is not good for long endurance events.

    There is a low power mode you can turn on for activities but that turns off the HR as I understand it – can anyone confirm how much extra life you get from that?

    The other thing that occurred to me is using a Bluetooth HR paired directly with the watch (not the phone) – I wonder how that impacts battery life? Would it be better or worse?

  36. Ira

    Hi Ian, I don’t have any experience with the Apple Watch for cycling over distance as I have a stationary bike in my home that I use for working out daily an average of 45 minutes. Bluetooth connects my iPhone 6 with the Apple watch, and I use wireless GLCON-Dacom GS-08A ear phones that fit really well with provided ear brackets inside ear fold and an angled in-ear tip, they give great sound for around $30.00 at Amazon. Bob Segar tunes help to drive my pace start to finish.

    There is very little battery drain on the phone or the watch during my workout; negligible on the phone and about 5-10% on the watch. HR monitor works constantly during my workouts which I can read instantly with a twist of the wrist or a tap. Don’t even need to lift up the watch from the handlebar. I workout in the early morning and pop the watch and phone onto a charger for a recharge while showering and first coffee of the day.

    I Don’t need GPS for this workout or most of my other daily activities so have it turned off on the phone to save battery most of the time. I only turn it on when needed for Google Maps directions if I am heading out on a trip to parts unknown. I am hoping for more detailed reporting on my HR during my workouts when OS2 is available.

  37. Maurice

    Hey Ray, a few weeks is over…looking forward to your review

    • Bsquared

      I’ve compared HR of Apple Watch versus Wahoo TICKR X on spin, cycling, and fast walking. Apple Watch is within 2bpm average HR on 45-90 minute rides/spins, with average HR in 140-155bpm range. Much better than Fitbit Surge. Average HR is also very accurate on fast walks. Its possible to pair Apple Watch with chest strap however I have not done that as the average HR for cycling/spinning has been very good.

      I’m wearing Apple Watch all day, and notifications are fantastic! Phone stays in my pocket and I’m able to dismiss app notifications, or deal with texts (I get a lot during day). Watch goes on my wrist at 4:15am and off around 10-11pm, often with 2 hours in exercise mode (heavy battery drain), and typically I’m seeing 30-50% battery at end of day.

      The Fitness app is too basic, for example on a bike ride there are no maps and it just reports average HR, average speed, active/resting calories, distance, and time. Fitness app calorie estimates are consistently low by 10-20%. Other apps are very nice, I’ve been using Cyclemeter, Strava, Fitness, Messages, Shazam, Timer, and Geocaching. Shazam makes it really easy to identify songs while driving, Geocaching with family and Watch is good fun, and I’ve configured Cyclemeter to tap my wrist every 5 miles (lots of options available, including time and intervals). Wasn’t able to get Strava real-time segment notices to work on Watch.

      A lot of potential in my opinion, full potential of Apple Watch will not be realized until watchOS 2.0 is released and native apps have access to optical HRM.

  38. Ira

    HI Bsquared,

    Your experience syncs up well with mine. I found Apple Watch heart rate readings more accurate and consistent than the Surge, and the calories earned do read somewhat lower than I expect. More detailed reporting from the Apple activity app is needed as you point out, but OS2 will probably come with upgraded reporting. I am getting enough of the basic information I need to be well satisfied for a 75-year old guy who just wants to keep fit and healthy from 45-60 minutes on a stationary bike 6 days/week. All in all, I think the Apple Watch is a brilliant device that will only get better over time.

    Turns out my sport watch has much better visibility than the more expensive model with sapphire crystal – and it is lighter by 30%. Much better buy. I can recommend the Milanese stainless band – looks great with the aluminum case and is much more comfortable and manageable than the plastic bands.

  39. Jonathan

    Hey Ray, I have been checking twice a day sometimes even three times a day your site in hopes to find that you have posted your in-depth review of the apple watch. Have you forgotten about us? 🙁 🙁 I’m really anxious to read it. I know there is other revues out there and make comments with reviews but none compares to your reviews. I hope it will be ready sometime in the near future. thanks.

    • Ivan P.


      At this point, I think Ray is probably waiting for watchOS 2 to be officially released. There are plenty of tri/running reviews of the watch out there, (although none have the level of detail that Ray provides and we love).

      watchOS 2 will give developers API access to important aspects of the watch, most notably the HR monitor. I have read mixed reviews of the native Apple Workout app, (in comments here and elsewhere) and it is currently the only app to have access to the HR natively. I’m sure Strava would love access to the optical HR. I suspect Ray already has the beta of watchOS 2 running and is testing beta versions of the Strava app and others.

      Also, watchOS 2 will provide a better mechanism for having independent apps on the watch without the need to have the iPhone on your body, (although GPS is lost).

      Just my 2c.


    • No, not waiting for the next version. Just waiting till the end of Sunday when the complete mess of June/July visitors is complete (we’ve had going on 6 weeks of straight visitors now at our house – one after another). While totally awesome and lots of fun travelling around Europe with me, it’s left me with approximately zero time for writing reviews.

      Once I get to Sunday, it’s free and clear!

    • Ivan P.

      Watch OS2 out. Can’t wait to see how much better exercise apps get with native access to HR, etc.


  40. Thanks for letting us know. Kind of made sense to assume you were are waiting for OS2. I just read this morning in the New York Times that Apple is getting 97% average positive rating from users of the Apple Watch. I agree. It is certainly exceeding my expectations, and every other Apple Watch owner I bump into says the same. I have not taken it off since I got it except for charging which is less often and faster then I expected. For $350, the aluminum sport watch is a heck of a bargain. Dictating texts and handling phone calls from the watch is amazing and so convenient.



  41. Jonathan

    Thanks for letting us know Ray!! And thank you Ivan p for your input. I have a Fenix 2 that’s is getting kinda old quick, meaning it’s really scratched up and has a lot of nicks on it and want to replace it, I really like the Fenix 3 but want to wait for the apple watch review. I know they are very different but I hate the idea of having to run with my phone ( a 6 plus) I will feel pretty silly with that thing strapped to my arm. Maybe I should get one of those back packs that hold water, and find a place for it there, but then I have that swoosh of the water that is probably annoying. Oh well…. I’m eager to read your review Ray!!! Once again thanks for replying!

    • Just a bit of info re iPhone 6+. I run with mine inside a fitbelt (link to – it’s a little tight to get in initially but I have done a marathon and many shorter runs with it holding iPhone 6+, thin wallet with some cards and cash and a few keys and I forget I have it on, I push the bit with the phone round to my side. Very comfortable, and secure, and I put it under my shirt, so invisible too. Highly recommended 🙂

    • Jonathan

      Thanks for the info I looked it up and it looks awesome!!! You can fit a lot things in it! Thanks!!

    • Ivan P.

      Myself, I use a Spibelt. They usually have a booth at most big running expos. Otherwise, if your local store doesn’t have one, Amazon does: Spibelt

      It looks small but stretches quite nicely. I even wear it over a fuelbelt, (since the iPhone doesn’t really fit in there).


    • Jonathan

      Am I the only one checking like 10 times a day?!?!

    • Which is equal to the number of times a day I’m checking my baggage claim status for Croatia Airlines to figure out where my bag with my Apple Watch is in and has been since Saturday. 🙁

    • Ivan P.

      Ray: Ouch… Not good to be missing the bag…

      Jonathan: I too have been checking at least 10 times a day.

      All: If you followed Beardy’s Caravan for Le Tour, you would have seen some pics he took inside the Sky bus before the last stage. Froome is clearly wearing an Apple Watch in the pictures. Not sure he wears it during the stage though… 🙂

    • Jonathan

      Ohh no!!!! ????? well it real sucks that you can’t get you bag and might loose some of your personal belongings and apple watch, and it sucks that the review will take even longer now, which means I have to wait that much longer to get a new watch ( gonna start cycling ), but I got a response from you which is awesome!! Hahaha I would
      Like to take this time and say that you have THE BEST REVIEWS EVER!!! and your page is AWESOME!!! haha I hope you get your bag back soon! Keep up the great job!!

    • I’ve got a second unit I’ll switch over to starting tomorrow, just to wrap things up. But kinda wanted to take final photos on the other one.

      There were approximately $5,000 worth of sports tech stuff in that bag. Sad panda.

  42. Very cool, sent the link to all my workout buddies.


  43. Bsquared

    Finally setup to output Apple Watch HR data as TCX file using Heart Graph app (Smoky Cat Software). Attached Excel graph is from indoor spin session, comparing Apple Watch with Wahoo TICKR X.

    • Bob190

      Pretty much mirrors my experience with the AW. I have been using it for both runs and bike rides (with the Strava iOS app) since early May and have found the HR to be very accurate during exercise.

      Very much looking forward to Watch OS2, and the updated apps that will surely follow that will take advantage of the sensors in the AW.

      Now if it just had GPS … it would be perfect.

    • Sweet – mostly because the other app I had for exporting data didn’t get any non-running data. That’s awesome.

    • Bsquared

      The app is pretty good but a little buggy — I had Wahoo Fitness and Apple Watch sending workouts into Health database. Using Heart Graph app to import Wahoo or AW workout resulted in TCX file with HR data from both devices. I disabled Wahoo Fitness from writing to Health, and that solved the problem.

    • Bsquared

      And of course that means I’m only able to export new rides and get a clean AW HR file. Or open Health app and delete TICKR X HR data one 3 second datapoint at a time 😉

      I’m slowly working on my own app to cleanup Health database, sort workouts, export workouts, etc, etc. Still early, at this point I can display all workout source apps, then drill down into a list of workouts per app (Strava app workout, Wahoo Fitness app workouts, etc, etc).

    • Hi Bsquared,

      The comparison graph you produced is great. I was hoping to get similar comparison graphs in Heart Graph for reference indoor cycle workouts, maybe coming soon. I have been using Heart Graph for awhile now with my Apple Watch and Health App, works great but does not produce the kind of comparison graph for a current ride vs. a reference ride – so I contacted Smoky Cat, and they are going to look into developing comparison graphs for workout (Indoor cycle) from the data from Apple Watch Health app/activity app. Crossed fingers.


  44. Ira K

    Fantastic result for Apple Watch! Thanks Bsquared

  45. Bsquared,
    Thanks for testing Apple Watch HR for indoor spinning. Much appreciate the info as I am sure other readers will as well. “Heartening” to see that my impressions of Apple Watch accuracy for spinning are born out by your testing with Wahoo TICKER X. Since I got the Apple Watch last month, my expensive Swiss dress watches sit in a drawer. My sell them on eBay as AW does so much more.



    • Bsquared


      Last night I rode 110 minutes on my mountain bike, another ride with average HR agreement between TICKR X and AW (within 2bpm). Actually it was 2 rides, had to take a break due to high temperatures. I’ll put together another graph and post it today.

      It was a very hot evening (107 degrees / 42 celsius) and I gained new respect for the Tour riders on those hot days.


    • Josh

      Hey Brian,

      When you are doing a workout in that kind of heat and presumably very sweaty, can you still interact with the watch face? My concern is when I’m on summer runs here in New York my hands are so sweaty I can’t interface with my iphone. So unless most of the functions are controlled by the physical dial I dont know how the apps would work in those conditions.

      Thanks for your feedback,


    • Bsquared

      Hi Josh,

      It’s Sacramento ‘a dry heat’ and weather underground reported “107 but feels like 101” LOL.

      Last night was sweaty enough to have problems using TouchID to unlock phone, but not with watch. I usually leave watch set to show HR and current time, but did swipe a few times to display elapsed time and calories. Usually just view current stats on my bike computer.

      Cyclemeter is awesome app, lots of flexibility customizing info displayed on bike computer and Apple Watch. I had trouble getting Strava real-time segments to display on Watch (shows up on phone), so I normally use Wahoo Fitness or Cyclemeter apps to record ride and then export to Strava.


  46. Matt B


    Maybe you’ll want to wait for your full review, but I do have one question which I think will give me (and others) huge insight into the Apple Watch: have you switched to using it as your daily watch or could you imagine doing so once Watch OS 2 comes out (not sports related necessarily – it’s no dedicated GPS watch, but like fitness tracker/smart watch)?

  47. Ira K

    Hey Brian,

    About sweat and wet with the AW. My arms can be wet running sweat and same with my hands on the bike, but I can still swipe the watch face, during exercise and it is responsive for changing readings to calories, HR, etc. and glances, texts, etc. I always rinse the AW under cool water after exercise, dry it and charge it while showering. AW is lasting closer to 24 hours for me including a 45 minute daily workout. Finally loaded a playlist on to the watch and connected Bluetooth GLCON-Dacom GS-08A ear buds (Amazon for around $30.00). Fantastic sound quality and volume, way better than the Apple ear buds/iPhone combo.


    • Bsquared

      Yesterday I put watch on at 7am, and took off at 11:30pm. It was on for 16.5 hours and I exercised for 3.5 hours. Ended day with 23% battery charge. Usually exercise less, and battery is ~ 40% at end of a long day.

    • Were you using the activity app to track the 3.5hrs exercise? I find when I do that battery is seriously delpleted. It didn’t last for a 7hr cycle recently for example, and I had about 10% left after a 4.5hr run.

    • Bsquared

      Yes I was using Apple Watch Workout app:
      62:22 outdoor walk
      35:08 outdoor cycle
      79:32 outdoor cycle
      42:35 other (weights)
      Total: 219:37 = 3 hours 39 minutes

      Wore Watch for 16.5 hours, used Workout app for 3:39:37, ended day with 23% battery.

  48. Ira K

    Have about 50% by late evening so keep watch on most nights and start new day with about 30%. Have never fallen into battery reserve level,

  49. Ira K

    I like to know what time it is when I wake up at night – 3-4 times a night so I wear it at all night. Usually I charge once in the AM after working out but did not charge it this morning.

    Since yesterday at 9:00AM I still have 54% charge on the AW. It is now 8:12 AM Friday. Did not recharge it since yesterday. Going to see how long it runs before going into reserve.

  50. Ira K


    I am getting longer time between charges possibly because I only work out on the bike for about 45 minutes daily as compared to your workouts which are many hours. Right now, I have 50% charge left after 25 hours since last charge.

    • Fwiw, I’m getting about 36hrs on a charge before it dies, assuming a 45-60min workout daily.

    • Ivan P.

      All great news from each of you. I was worried about initial reports that people might not be able to make it to the end of the day!

    • I’m getting nowhere near that – maybe the amount of apps installed / notifications I am getting? Wednesday I had 100% charge before a 3.5hr cycle at 8am and by 5pm-ish I was on power reserve. I’m not really complaining I wasn’t expecting great battery life and I love the watch in plenty of other ways, but I’ll take another look at my settings.

      Do you have the power save mode on for workouts Ray?

  51. Ira K

    I have 31 hours so far since yesterday without a recharge and still have 37% charge on the AW. Will let you know when it gets to 10% and goes into reserve.

  52. Nico

    I may have found the holy grail at least till WatchOS2. Forgive me if it’s already posted above – if not it may please some of you.
    To merge the heart rate information in your ride recorded with Strava:
    What I usually do is start Strava on my phone (I hate it on the Watch so far, it’s too buggy).
    I also start a bike workout on the Apple watch app so I can check out my heart rate during my ride. I just couldn’t find a way to get that info back in my ride stats up till now. What I do now:
    1. Download the “Heart Graph” app somebody mentioned above.
    2. Pay for Premium so you can export data from the Health app about your workout, in tcx.
    3. Go to Strava, and open the Strava ride that fits that workout in Health.
    4. On the URL, just add (without the quotes) “/export_tcx”
    5. You now have two files, from the same workout. One is your GPS data, from Strava. The other is your HR data, from Apple.
    6. To combine them, go here: link to
    7. Now upload that combined .tcx file back in Strava and you’re done.

    Note: Strava will detect that it’s a duplicate from the first activity you uploaded. So you will have to delete the old one (keep backups!) which will also delete kudos and comments for those of you who care.

    Hope it helps!

  53. Ira K

    Hi Ray,

    I just put my AW on the charger. 43 hours and 32 minutes since last charge according to usage reading on the iPhone AW app. Included a 45 minute workout on my stationary bike early yesterday morning. And still had 4% reserve charge left.


    • Can you let us know any key settings you have on or off that are giving you such an extraordinary battery life? E.g brightness, notifications, animated watch face, power save mode for workouts, the number of apps installed, and the rough number of notifications you have. Just trying to understand why your experience differs so much from mine and other members of my family who don’t get that sort of battery life at all.



  54. Ira K

    I. I let it run down to 10% and reset to 4% and decided that was close enough to reserve to stop and recharge. Was amazed how long it took to get down to that level, was up into the we hours waiting for it to run down that low.

    2. Relatively sedentary lifestyle. I am not that physically active as I work from home as a consultant with a business doing survey research on the internet and supporting hundreds of licensee-users of my online software system via email, Skype and GTM web sessions – many, many electronic interactions a day but all intellectual energy – most activity is in my apt./home office at the PC, tablet, mobile devices. I go out for errands every day or an occasional meeting with clients in Manhattan where I am located or out to dinner with friends and relatives – some cabs but mostly walks. The only real physical exercise I get is on the stationary bike for 45 minutes almost every day intensely close to my max BPM plus some strength training – have a small gym setup in the apt. Compared with most people who commute to work daily and are much more out and about every day, I am considerably less active – and an avid reader for hours at a time, not much calorie consumption there.

    3. I have the 42mm sport watch which has a larger battery than the smaller watch – and the glass watch face is clearer than the sapphire so I don’t need brighter settings or larger type and don’t use color on the watch face.

    My AW setting are:
    Bluetooth always on to sync with iPhone 6
    Notifications indicator on
    Notification Privacy not enabled
    Activity app enabled all features – use indoor bike and workouts – set to show goal metric
    Power Saving Mode is not enabled
    Calendar mirrors my phone and shows in glances
    Email set to custom and show alerts is disabled – not use as I get over 300+ emails a day
    Maps turn alerts enabled (but I haven’t used Maps yet)
    Messages – mirrors my phone
    Passbook and Apple Pay mirrors my phone
    Phone – mirrors my phone – use for quick answering of calls – great for that
    Photo notifications – turned on the phone
    Reminders mirror my phone
    Handoff enabled
    Wrist detection enabled
    Show watch face on wrist raise
    I use Modular watch face exclusively – have not customized any others
    Complications on my watch face: day/date, weather temp, Activity app with stand up notices, battery charge and calendar that tracks my day and alerts – set those on the iPhone, works great.

    Other apps copied over from the iPhone and installed on Watch for which I get alerts: Amazon, AP Mobile, Apple Store, my bank app, Connect, Gett, Gmail, Google Maps, Heart Rate, LinkedIn, MeetingMetrics (my business demo app in Apple Store), MeetingsNet, MyVerizon, MyFitnessPal, NYTimes, Pandora, PayPal, Starbucks, Uber, Up Next, WeatherBug

    Glances – pretty much from all the apps
    Do not disturb from 11:00 PM – 6:00 AM
    Brightness set about halfway
    Text size at about 40%
    Alert volume is high
    Mute is disabled
    Haptic strength is high
    Cover to Mute is enabled but I have never done it
    Health app is all enabled
    Motion and Fitness – heart rate and Fitness Tracking are enabled
    Clock is enabled to push alerts from iPhone and Notifications indicator is enabled
    Contacts mirror my phone – about 1,000 entries
    Music – have a synched playlist of 25 songs from Bob Segar for exercise and set aside 500 MB – use Bluetooth earbuds
    Photos – favorites not set with photos yet

    Ian, I think that is all of it, but if I missed something you want to know, reach out


  55. Ira K

    Ian, one more thought. I have been recharging at a time of my convenience regardless of how much charge was left on the AW – usually anywhere from 40-60%. This time, I let it run down all the way to 4%. From about 25% charge down to 4% took about 7 hours or so (no HR exercise done during that time) My guess is that most people don’t let it run down close to that 4% level so don’t use the potential in their existing charge. And maybe a lot of people are using exercise HR modes hours longer than I do and other power-draining features I don’t use as well.

  56. Ira K

    Look in the AW guide on page 13 for Usage. I used that for my totals. Seemed accurate based on my hand calc. of hours/minutes.

  57. Many thanks Ira K – that’s great detail! I don’t think I am too far from your settings which is interesting. I am going to monitor my watch more closely to see what is going on, and I’ll report back anything of significance here.



  58. Ira K

    Check my last messages – some guidance on letting AW charge run down and reading the manual for calculating usage.


  59. Ira K

    I completed another charging time test of the AW over the weekend. With 9% charge left, I had 38 hours and 52 minutes showing in Usage on the AW app/General. Included were 2 45 minute indoor bike sessions – very close to what Ray experienced.

  60. Francois

    Hey Ray, you mentioned in the podcast number 13 an app called workouts that could export from the apple watch in tcx
    Would you have a link as it is not in the details of the podcast
    Many thanks

    • Bob190

      This one does it via iTunes. However it only works for runs, not bike rides:

      link to

    • I’ve been using that one, but actually as of late have instead been using an app called ‘Heart Graph’. Also does exporting, but also allows cycling workouts and further yet, straight into a Dropbox app share.

    • Bsquared

      Heart Graph should import any workout produced by Apple’s Workout app, I’ve used it on:
      – Other (rowing & free weights)
      – Indoor Cycle
      – Outdoor Cycle
      – Indoor Walk
      – Outdoor Walk
      – Outdoor Run

  61. Peter


    Would be interesting for me to hear if there is any app out there which allows you to create workouts like garmin does, e.g. 3 x 5 k at 3:55 min/km and the AW giving an alarm when you are too slow or fast.

    Cheers Peter

  62. Ira K

    I just downloaded Heart Graph app from Apple App Store. Latest version 3.9 works with the Apple Watch as well as chest straps and connects through the Health app.It is free but with $2.99 premium payment, many additional features and settings become available – Ad-free, heart rate alarm, heart rate zone alarm, graph, large choice of workout types, profile, TCX and CSV files and many more. Looks great. I bought the premium and plan to try it out later today.

    Company website is

    Thanks again, Ray, for all you do. You are the best!

  63. Ira K

    Just did a quick session – 45 minutes on stationary bike. Once Heart Graph was set up as a source in the Apple Health app, the workout data recorded in the Apple Watch imported from Apple Health directly into the Heart Graph app including any of my prior exercise sessions that I wanted to select. Now will automatically import new sessions.

    Graphs and data are easy to read but not very appealing – very basic standard typefaces and colors – graphics are not up to modern standards especially for a mobile app on an iPhone or Watch – clearly (desperately) needs a designer’s style upgrade which is an easy, quick fix that I expect they will take care of soon. For a free app with $2.99 premium upgrade for an excellent assortment of useful/needed features, definitely a bargain.

    • Yeah, the backend features are great. It’s also feeding data into some comparison tools that I’ve been creating/using – so it’s super handy in that way. I do agree, front-end is a bit…less ideal.

    • Bsquared

      Agree with you guys. Keep in mind that if you have two sources writing into Health for the same workout, say Apple Watch writing a ride into Health, and Wahoo Fitness writing the same ride into Health, and then you ask Heart Graph to import only the Apple Watch workout, upon exporting you will get HR data from both AW and WF. To get around that I had to disable WF from automatically writing workouts into Health.

  64. Ira K


    Thanks for the guidance. Maybe Health will get refined in OS2 so it will export data from separate sources for the same activity instead of combining their output. Wonder if the Apple developers are aware of the need for this level of refinement?


    • Bsquared

      Hi Ira, not sure if it is a Health Graph bug, or limitation of iOS Health database query. My suspicion is that its Health Graph issue — I’m working on my app and will know soon.

  65. Jonathan

    Hey Ray my watch broke and I want to buy a new one soon but before I do I would really like to read your review on the apple watch. I can’t decide on wether to buy the apple watch or Stick with garmin. Will it still be long before your review is ready? Thanks

  66. Esther

    Can you pair the HRM of the Apple Watch to the Garmin 620? My friend now has both, and is wearing both, but doesn’t know how to integrate the HR data into her Garmin uploads. Thanks.

  67. CBo

    Hi Ray, Was this review ever completed? I’m sort of interested in the Apple Watch but as always value your opinion on these things. Thanks

  68. Maria

    Hello, I have an Apple Watch sports but still like running with my FR220…can I make my run “count” in apple’s Activity app?? Thanks!

  69. Hi Maria,
    Sorry, I am not familiar with the FR220. Gave my heart to the Apple Watch last June and have bonded. I suggest you contact Apple support to find out more about the FR220.


  70. A

    When is the Apple Watch review coming?? Still checking back every couple of days to see if it’s up!

  71. Brian

    @A Me too!

  72. Brian

    I think he has lost interest in his own site judging by how late reviews of new products are. Must be the wife making his honey do list too long! 🙂

    • Noelle

      Coming from someone who also has a full time job and a part time job (which I’m sure is far less demanding than this blog is), I think Ray is a bit swamped 🙂 I’m eager for the review too, but there’s only so many hours in a day!

  73. Steve

    I am also waiting for the apple watch review from Ray the man, but i am wondering why we are´t seeing much watch os2 native apps from developers such as strava etc. right now??

    • From talking to a few of those apps last week, the main reason is that these companies are finding very little benefit from Apple Watch apps. Meaning, they aren’t driving much in terms of why one of these companies should do it.

      Most are doing it (apps) these days because Apple has told companies that their apps won’t be listed on any of the featured apps pages if they don’t have a corresponding Apple Watch app.

  74. Ira

    App developers need to get creative to add real value in a watch app, but it is worth it as glances is a terrific feature of the watch. Apps with watch apps that add value will justify additional payments and differentiate themselves. You can only keep so many apps on your watch, so only the most useful will survive. Specialty apps will appeal to their users, like the health and exercise apps. There will be little constellations of apps focused on a topic. Already happening. Just rearrange your watch apps on the screen into groups.

    Heart Graph is conducting a beta now for an Apple Watch app as well as upgrading their app. It now resides next to the Activity app, MFP and Health app on my Apple Watch.

    I am seeing more and more Apple Watch Apps appearing in the app store. But, considering there are over a million apps in the App Store, it will take quite a large number of new watch apps appearing before people will have the impression that watch apps have a presence in the App Store.

    Given 0S2 was released only a few weeks ago, it needs time to percolate. People need to have patience. Building and testing apps takes time. Not easy, and when you are done, a new list of upgrades appears. App development never ends. Just one pregnancy after another. Oy!

  75. Oscar

    Will you be reviewing the Microsoft Band 2?

    From the specs that looks like a much more interesting (and a lot cheaper) product than the Apple watch, which looks more like a fashion accessory to me. Nothing wrong with that but I am more interested in a more practical, sensor-rich device without the fashion premium.

    • Ian Blackburn

      Ray talks a little about the band on this weeks podcast. Essentially I got from that that he considers it having the same issues as the first one; nice screen but unresponsive when wet, HR not the most reliable for intervals, not the most comfortable, but gps is good. Pretty much in line with the rest of the reviews I’ve read.

  76. shirin

    Would it be accurate to say in regard to Apple Watch optical HR accuracy:

    Mio > (Apple Watch=Garmin 235=Fitbit Surge) >Polar A360 ?

  77. Stephanie Henricksen

    I have a garmin 620 and a chest strap. I am trying to pick out an optical HR tracker to use when I am doing gym training, yoga, daily life and don’t want to strap on the chest strap for an accurate read. It appears that the Apple Watch just isn’t quite there yet. Any opinion on the Microsoft Band 2 vs. garmin vivosmart hr in terms of optical HR accuracy? I did try the fitbit charge HR but it always dropped signal during spin classes and any time I moved my wrist certain ways (strength training, HIIT, etc). Budget isn’t so much my issue but more accuracy. Smart watch features are not so important to me. Thank you for your help and your awesome reviews!

  78. Rob

    Just curious if we will still see an Apple Watch review before year-end.

    • Ivan P.

      In a word: No.

      I suspect that we will not see a review of the Apple Watch v1.0. From other reviews it seems like the product would not have a favorable review. While that is not necessarily a reason to not write a review, the Apple Watch is probably just “not there yet” for the serious athlete. As such, a detail review of an average product is probably not that useful.

      Most people purchasing the Apple Watch will be using it for other features. People who are die-hard athletes (and data-junkies) will likely prefer something from Garmin, Suunto, or Polar.

      If you are waiting for the review before purchasing the Apple Watch, you may as well wait until March when Apple is rumored to introduce the second hardware iteration of the watch. If GPS were included then a review might be more appropriate.

      Good luck and happy holidays,

    • I wouldn’t go that far.

      I have a Fenix 3, edge 1000 and Apple Watch. And the Apple watch is starting to be a first choice for running. I always carry my phone running anyway, but now that Strava includes HR when using the watch, and apps like iSmoothRun lets you create detailed workouts with voice alerts (With Bluetooth earphones), together with the excellent smart watch functionality (way better than Garmins) and how light the sport edition is, I’m beginning to really enjoy it.

      A review would still be valuable in my opinion.

    • Rob

      Appreciate your feedback Ivan, but with that logic, why would Ray do reviews of the fitness trackers like the vivofit, etc. They’re not intended for serious athletes either, yet I know serious athletes who use them.

      As a fan of the site, I’m mainly interested in getting Ray’s take on this device with his experience across such a wide range of devices from the more simple ones like the vivofit all the way up to the Garmin Forerunners, Fenix, Suuntos and Polars.

      Only Ray holds the answer, I suppose. 😉

      Cheers and happy holidays!

    • Stephen Thomas

      While I appreciate the reasoning, Ivan, I have to respectfully disagree.

      I’d consider myself a serious amateur endurance athlete (multiple Ironman races, ultra-marathons, cycling road races and triathlons.) I’ve owned and used the V800, Fenix 3, and the Ambit3. Nonetheless, I’ve settled on the Apple Watch (with the a few third-party apps, namely Strava and iSmoothRun) as my primary workout tracking device. (I race and swim with an Ambit3 peak.) It’s true that there are some features and functionality that the Apple Watch lacks, but for me the benefits of the Apple watch (ease of use, light weight, daily wear, plus the non-sport functions) significantly outweigh the disadvantages.

      BTW, I have no idea whether this has any bearing on whether or not Ray reviews the watch.

  79. Lukasz

    Since there is no review from Ray I will cheap in my experience with AW. Just for your consideration.
    I bought mine with doing sport in mind, I was not that interested in the “smart” functions at all although I am kind of Apple fun-boy. Just wanted a decent sport companion that looks good on every day occasion.

    I have mainly used the watch with Runmeter app on the iPhone. I like the app a lot for it does not require to have a named used (no private info collection), allows to build complicated workouts and training plan, has a voice over that conveys information during the workout and shows statistics. Everything pretty neatly done for an armature getting ready for a half marathon. Thumb up!!!

    Then I had an idea that with AW I will not have to wait to get the HR, pace info via voice over I will get it immediately via watch display – so I want and bought one. Here how it worked
    1. the data on the watch comes only from iphone – no computation what so ever on the watch (iOS v.1.X – I will comment on iOS v2.X latter)
    2. due to 1. Whenever I wanted to check my HR, pace, etc. data on the watch I had had to lift my wrist, wait 1-2 seconds and then read the data from the watch. While doing a serious fast/demanding workout it was a bummer !!!!. Apple idea to get the watch to connect to the iphone, send the data from the iphone back to watch takes just too much time – sneak peak was not possible
    3. Due to that constant connectivity between AW and iphone (point 2) reposes from the watch to the action, start of the workout, new lap, etc. were always tricky – not always it worked on the first touch if ever. Not to mention that with wet fingers one can do nothing – the watch is basically not operatable – how runs and does not have wet/sweaty fingers?!?!
    4. Apple and app providers have different software release cycles. That means that every a few weeks one of the decides to update the software (OS or App) and then the watch/app has new bugs, issues that takes days/weeks to solve and meanwhile one is left with semi functional sport companion (assuming it works at all). Imagine when I discovered on the morning of my HM race that the bloody app got automatically updated – I had no idea if it was going to crash before I finished the race – that day it worked
    5. Both Runmeter and Apple were making hopes that after the upgrade to iOS v2.X things will get better – on the responsiveness side and interface as well. So I waited. After the upgrade the app (Runmeter) got literary not operational. Time to update the distance was taking minutes and I just lost my patience and with the AW/Runmeter combination – blaming both partners for that. I wanted to have a decent, reliable and cool looking solution – I had a lot of trouble, frustration and cool looking but overpriced watch.

    Maybe other apps work better on the AW but the responsiveness and lack of GPS is a problem with this product. Running races with the iphone (with each version they only get bigger) is not really nice for any serious amateur. And responsiveness cannot be fixed without letting the AW do the work of calculating HR, distance, processing GPS data – and this will be a batter killer in return, a batter that is already an issues for this device.

    Epilog – I sold my AW and do not look back. For the money I got for it I bought the Garmin Forerunner 920. And now I am happy bunny. As a spot companion it is does everything I need and without any flaws. Nearly perfect. The only thing I do not like is the look of it. Comparing to AW it looks really ugly. But hey … one cannot have everything.

  80. Steve

    Are you also working on a review version apple watch v. 1.2?

  81. James Szczygiel

    Ability to Sync with TrainingPeaks would be a good feature.
    Its such a shame that many nice devices can leap that barrier