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Apple Watch

I have the original Apple watch, given to me about a year ago by a friend who was upgrading. I don't use it daily, but I do use it once in a while. I noticed that the battery level had dropped to the point where, even with a minimal display, it ran out of juice after less than 4 hours. Tried all kinds of things, finally just accepted that it needed a new battery. I called Apple to arrange it, and was told by the fellow who answered to check the OS version; I was surprised that there was a newer one, as it seemed as if I had just updated it recently, and he said it might help the battery. I was skeptical (but kept it to myself), thanked him, hung up, and proceeded with the (lengthy) download and update.

Well, imagine my surprise when the battery life of the watch bounced back to youthfulness. At the end of a full day of use, it still has a good bit of life left. So count me as an astonished member of the "So Far Apple Products Working as Advertised" club.
 


My first generation watch also got to the point (about 3-4 months ago) where 4-6 hours was all it could do. I was up to date with updates, but I simply unpaired it and then re-paired it and restored the backup. Its battery life has been near perfect ever since
 


My experience is very much like that of David G: poor battery life on a first gen Watch that was fixed by unpairing and repairing. No clue why. I do now have the latest watchOS so I'll see how battery life is.
 


With my 1st gen I randomly have some days with good battery life and others with bad battery life and it is not related to exercising or using the heart rate monitor. Usually a reboot will fix things...for a while.

I do have a new issue that popped up sometime in the last month and that is my watch no longer produces sounds. I’ve tried unpairing and re-pairing but it did not fix the issue. Of course I’ve checked all my settings and even tried “find my watch” but no sounds....just haptic feedback.
 


I've had similar experience with an iPhone 6 earlier this year. I did a full restore of the OS and it ran much better. I suspect that the watchOS might not be good at cleaning up various gunk that accumulates over time or that earlier watchOS upgrades might have left some stuff in less than pristine condition. I assume that the upgrade mentioned or the unpairing/repairing operations cleaned out some junk, such as corrupted caches, that hurt watch performance.
 


[...] I do have a new issue that popped up sometime in the last month and that is my watch no longer produces sounds. I’ve tried unpairing and re-pairing but it did not fix the issue. Of course I’ve checked all my settings and even tried “find my watch” but no sounds....just haptic feedback.
You've probably already done it, but you might try this: force-restart the watch, pressing in the side button and digital crown at the same time until the watch responds (i.e., shuts down – it will then start up again on its own). Just like with the iPhone, sometimes this metaphorically conks the device on the side of its head and clears its brain.
 


I wonder if anyone knows how the Apple Watch and Apple Health calculate calorie counts. My wife is having a horrible time meeting her active calorie goal which is only 460 calories. (That goal was selected for her, presumably based on her height and weight.) She has a relatively new Apple Watch Series 3.

Yesterday she was credited with only 391 active calories in spite of the fact that she got 73 minutes of exercise credit, climbed 26 flights of stairs, and walked 12,820 steps for a total of 9.8 kilometers.

I've checked and double checked and her watch and phone seem to be set up correctly. As far as I can tell, her activities are being accurately tracked as far as location, distance and heart rate go. We have followed the instructions found here:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204516

Yesterday, I got credit for 629 active calories with only 51 exercise minutes. Granted, I weight about 50% more than she does, but she only got about 5 calories per minute of exercise while I got 12 calories per minute. Her exercise was almost entirely walking around downtown Bangkok. Mine was 30 minutes of casual cycling (11K at 22 Kph), ten minutes of strength training and 11 minutes of schlepping around the house.

I feel sorry for her because she works so hard to reach this goal every day, but seems to have to put in twice the effort and twice the time as I do to reach my seemingly more difficult goal.

Is this the way it's supposed to be?
 


If the Watch is left to determine on its own when you are exercising, it goes by heart rate, and will severely underestimate your total if the exercise is something casual. In the later stages of a 18-day cycling trip last year, where I averaged almost 100km/day (moving average of just over 22kph), my series 1 watch noted, on average, only about 70-80 minutes of exercise for roughly 800 calories.

Your strength training probably elevated your heart rate more than the cycling you did, especially since the watch uses acceleration to help gauge your activity level. I would hazard that was where your peak calories per minute were.

Body weight is also a factor, which I doubt she wants to change upwards enough to make a difference in the calculations. (-:

I suggest your wife find ways to boost her heart rate more than currently. For example, if it's part of her routine to occasionally go up some stairs, perhaps go up them more quickly, or two steps at a time? Or walk more energetically (not necessarily faster, sometimes I might semi-dance a little when I walk, for example).

I hope this helps.
 
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I suggest your wife find ways to boost her heart rate more than currently.

I hope this helps.
Thank you.

Interesting analysis and probably spot on. I spent years doing endurance events. As a result (probably) my resting heart rate is low (50s) but, even though I'm in my late 60s, peaks out in the 150s when cycling. The watch says I peak at over 200 when swimming, but I don't think that can be accurate. My theoretical maximum heart rate is only 161 (https://www.verywellfit.com/maximum-heart-rate-1231221)

On the other hand, my wife's resting pulse is in the 60s/70s but she rarely hits 150 during exercise. Her theoretical maximum is 178, so she should be aiming for at least 140 during workouts.

I've added screenshots of our respective heart rate data for April. If anyone sees anything unusual, please post. (The lack of exercise for a few days in early April is because we were on a dive boat.)


http://www.mgnewman.com/blogger/mammike.jpg
 
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If the Watch is left to determine on its own when you are exercising, it goes by heart rate, and will severely underestimate your total if the exercise is something casual. In the later stages of a 18-day cycling trip last year, where I averaged almost 100km/day (moving average of just over 22kph), my series 1 watch noted, on average, only about 70-80 minutes of exercise for roughly 800 calories.

Your strength training probably elevated your heart rate more than the cycling you did, especially since the watch uses acceleration to help gauge your activity level. I would hazard that was where your peak calories per minute were.

Body weight is also a factor, which I doubt she wants to change upwards enough to make a difference in the calculations. (-:

I suggest your wife find ways to boost her heart rate more than currently. For example, if it's part of her routine to occasionally go up some stairs, perhaps go up them more quickly, or two steps at a time? Or walk more energetically (not necessarily faster, sometimes I might semi-dance a little when I walk, for example).

I hope this helps.
We are currently on a cruise ship, traveling at 17 knots. When we walk on the exercise track for an hour, the watch records that we have traveled 20 miles! It appears that the calculations are based on GPS, not actual steps/stride.
 


Most of the folks in my office are wearing Apple Watches these days, and we have a good smattering of the various series. We're mostly 1 or 3 - early adopters, or folks who were waiting for stand-alone cellular.

All of our Apple Watch 1 wearers have under-reading when relying on automatic activity tracking. Because of battery concerns and a very underpowered CPU, it just doesn't poll your heart rate often enough, and isn't quick enough to respond to physical motion changes over time, it seems.

Those of us with the 1 will always start workouts for seemingly trivial things, like gardening or 5 minute walks.
 


We are currently on a cruise ship, traveling at 17 knots. When we walk on the exercise track for an hour, the watch records that we have traveled 20 miles! It appears that the calculations are based on GPS, not actual steps/stride.
It sure is for the Series 3 with GPS, and for other series if you're in range of your phone. If you're not, it reverts to step count and uses the stride estimation it worked out from your initial calibration.
 


I wonder if anyone knows how the Apple Watch and Apple Health calculate calorie counts. My wife is having a horrible time meeting her active calorie goal which is only 460 calories. (That goal was selected for her, presumably based on her height and weight.) She has a relatively new Apple Watch Series 3.
Yesterday she was credited with only 391 active calories in spite of the fact that she got 73 minutes of exercise credit, climbed 26 flights of stairs, and walked 12,820 steps for a total of 9.8 kilometers.
I don't wish to sound harsh, but why does it matter? Forget the watch and just be content that you know what you've done. I think too many people get obsessed with data, much of which is inaccurate (analysis paralysis).

If the intention is to exercise for health, just go for a brisk walk and climb those stairs. It really doesn't matter if your watch knows about it. :) If the intention is to exercise for weight loss, rethink the strategy. It's not the number of calories you eat that matters; it's what comprises them.

I walk and do weight machines every day. I also swim and cycle (former Ironman triathlete). I gauge my exercise by the sweat on my shirt, not the dial of my watch - and I'm never disappointed I missed a goal.
 


If the intention is to exercise for weight loss, rethink the strategy. It's not the number of calories you eat that matters; it's what comprises them
Partly. The calories burned during a workout are rarely enough to compensate for overeating, but regular exercise (3-4 days a week) will cause your body's base metabolism to increase, resulting in more calorie burning 24/7 - which can have a major impact on weight.
 
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Partly. The calories burned during a workout are rarely enough to compensate for overeating, but regular exercise (3-4 days a week) will cause your body's base metabolism to increase, resulting in more calorie burning 24/7 - which can have a major impact on weight.
The whole topic is subject to some controversy, which is outside the purview of this discussion. I do agree with a previous comment that people are sometimes data-obsessed to the point of "analysis paralysis." Is it sometimes because we have these cool toys and feel we must utilize them to the max? Of course there is a motivation aspect too.
 


New topic: After applying the last round of security updates to my Mac Mini (10.12.6), iPhone, and Series 2 Watch, the Mac was no longer able to communicate with the watch for auto-unlocking. After trying many suggestions gleaned from the internet, what finally worked was to log out of iCloud on all 3 devices (watch, phone, and Mac), log back in on all 3 devices, and then check the box in the Security & Privacy preference panel to allow the watch to unlock the Mac. Hopefully this will save sometime some time if it happens to them.
 


I don't wish to sound harsh, but why does it matter?
It matters not because of the number of calories burned but because of the psychology of having met a goal. My wife doesn't need to lose any weight. But, she bought the watch as motivation to get more exercise as a strategy for better long term health. All the bells and whistles of meeting goals and receiving awards might sound hokey to those of us who don't need them, but for people who are not self-motivated they provide a powerful and amusing incentive.

But goals that are impossible to meet are nothing but a powerful disincentive. In my wife's case the Apple algorithms have either provided her with an unrealistic goal or have significantly undercounted her effort. Sure, I can tell her to revise her active calorie goal downward, but I know that to her that will simply feel like cheating.
 


And we know that the algorithms (or hardware) can be flaky.

A few months ago, my wife and I took a week vacation to Disney World. We spent most of the time together and did a lot of walking through all of the parks. At the end of each day, her distance-traveled and flights-climbed (via an iPhone 7+ in her purse and Apple Watch on her wrist) was very different from mine (via an iPhone 6+ in a pouch hanging off my belt). Not small differences either, but differences of 2-3 miles after a day of walking!

If we were using these figures to judge whether or not we are getting enough exercise, one (or both) of us would be making a big mistake.
 


It matters not because of the number of calories burned but because of the psychology of having met a goal. ... But goals that are impossible to meet are nothing but a powerful disincentive.
Amen. No guide I've seen in my lifetime has listed my ideal weight within 20 pounds.

I recently bought a FitBit Alta HR mainly to measure my heart rate. I linked it with Under Armor's Map My Walk on my iPhone. I ignore the calories and steps taken, both are far from accurate. Today my FitBit thinks I've walked 1.5 miles. All I've done so far is go downstairs to do wash.

My goals are walking distance and days with exercise.
 


It matters not because of the number of calories burned but because of the psychology of having met a goal.
But goals that are impossible to meet are nothing but a powerful disincentive. In my wife's case the Apple algorithms have either provided her with an unrealistic goal or have significantly undercounted her effort. Sure, I can tell her to revise her active calorie goal downward, but I know that to her that will simply feel like cheating.
I understand what you're saying but I think using calories as a goal is misguided. My wife has every bell and whistle toy (including an Apple Watch 3), but the only thing that actually gets her out the door is someone going with her. I'm a firm believer that social interaction - actually walking with and speaking with someone - is far better than any display on a screen.

The greatest motivator is enjoyment - if people don't enjoy what they're doing, no amount of technology will make it a life-long pursuit.
 
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Partly. The calories burned during a workout are rarely enough to compensate for overeating, but regular exercise (3-4 days a week) will cause your body's base metabolism to increase, resulting in more calorie burning 24/7 - which can have a major impact on weight.
The flaw is most people do this with a restricted calorie diet which significantly decreases your metabolic rate. I don't wish to continue taking this off topic, but if there are any people out there struggling with weight, I highly recommend reading The Obesity Code by Dr Jason Fung.
 
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A week or so after my last post my wife's watch/phone automatically reduced her calorie goal from an unattainable 460 to 410 which, I think, is much more reasonable. It certainly has improved her feelings about her activity and exercise regimen. Perhaps Apple's algorithm is working as it should....

Anyway, it had the desired effect. She's now running 3K every morning (for the first time ever) and is contemplating a 5K race next month. She's thrilled to be able to make her goals and receive her awards.

I realize that not everyone is motivated by these sorts of gimmicks. I'm not. I started working out at age 13; at first to be a competitive athlete and then just to stay healthy and strong now that I'm old (67).
 


A week or so after my last post my wife's watch/phone automatically reduced her calorie goal from an unattainable 460 to 410 which, I think, is much more reasonable.
I know both you and your wife have and use Apple Watch, so I'm sure you already know this, but this is an FYI for others: the calorie goal is user-adjustable, either on Monday morning, when it shows your weekly summary for the previous week and suggests a goal for the coming week, or at any time by force-pressing the watch face from within the Activity app.
 


I know both you and your wife have and use Apple Watch, so I'm sure you already know this, but this is an FYI for others: the calorie goal is user-adjustable, either on Monday morning, when it shows your weekly summary for the previous week and suggests a goal for the coming week, or at any time by force-pressing the watch face from within the Activity app.
Yeah, we know that. But, as I mentioned previously, when I suggested she do this, my wife declined. I think she looked at it as some sort of "cheating". But when the watch/phone made the adjustment automatically, she was fine with it.
 


And we know that the algorithms (or hardware) can be flaky.

A few months ago, my wife and I took a week vacation to Disney World. We spent most of the time together and did a lot of walking through all of the parks. At the end of each day, her distance-traveled and flights-climbed (via an iPhone 7+ in her purse and Apple Watch on her wrist) was very different from mine (via an iPhone 6+ in a pouch hanging off my belt). Not small differences either, but differences of 2-3 miles after a day of walking!

If we were using these figures to judge whether or not we are getting enough exercise, one (or both) of us would be making a big mistake.
My wife and I do a fair amount of hiking, and our iPhones (and my Watch) are often so far off in step counts that it's funny. Of course, mine is always 'more,' which drives her nuts. We've calibrated everything, and the numbers still don't come close.

Luckily, she doesn't care so much about the actual numbers as she does the hike, and, as I point out, at least her iPhone is consistent within her world.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
My wife and I do a fair amount of hiking, and our iPhones (and my Watch) are often so far off in step counts that it's funny....
Had a similar experience this weekend on a family walk, where our step counts were almost the same, but one phone showed 3 miles and the other 2.6. Kind of stupid, really. You'd think Apple could do a little better, especially when the phones have GPS hardware in addition to the motion sensing hardware.
 


First off I am aware this is a very first-world problem. My keyword skills are getting stumped on the Google searches around this. I think I know the answer but wanted to confirm it with the experts on this platform.

I would like to issue a watch to my son using his own Apple ID that I set up under Family Sharing, but I cannot seem to find a way to attach that Apple ID to the watch without having a secondary phone solely on that Apple ID. I can pair it with my phone, but I would like to have my phone on my Apple ID (which then translates to him getting my iMessages).

My daughter has an old iPhone 5s, which I connected to her AppleID (under family sharing), and then her Apple watch is paired with that iPhone. She is on wifi-only iMessage, which works well, since I can put her on wifi in most locations.

Is this possible, or shall I find a used iPhone 5c onto which I can attach his Apple ID and subsequently his Apple watch?
 


I would like to issue a watch to my son using his own Apple ID that I set up under Family Sharing, but I cannot seem to find a way to attach that Apple ID to the watch without having a secondary phone solely on that Apple ID.
As I understand it, Apple Watches are still intimately tied to iPhones. A Watch has to be paired with a phone, and when it is, it interacts closely with the apps on that phone (including Messages).

I don't think it is (yet?) possible to configure an Apple Watch to be completely independent from a phone, which is what it sounds like you require. I think you will need to get your son an iPhone running a sufficiently-recent version of iOS if you want to get him an Apple Watch that isn't tied to your phone.
 


Is this possible, or shall I find a used iPhone 5c onto which I can attach his Apple ID and subsequently his Apple watch?
I agree with David Charlap's post that an iPhone is required for Apple Watch use. And here are the system requirements which show that iPhone 5c is not supported, so iPhone 5s is the minimum.
Apple said:
https://www.apple.com/apple-watch-series-3/
Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) requires an iPhone 6 or later with iOS 11 or later. Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS) requires an iPhone 5s or later with iOS 11 or later. Apple Watch Series 1 requires an iPhone 5s or later with iOS 11 or later.
 


As I understand it, Apple Watches are still intimately tied to iPhones. A Watch has to be paired with a phone, and when it is, it interacts closely with the apps on that phone (including Messages). I don't think it is (yet?) possible to configure an Apple Watch to be completely independent from a phone, which is what it sounds like you require. I think you will need to get your son an iPhone running a sufficiently-recent version of iOS if you want to get him an Apple Watch that isn't tied to your phone.
Thank you. One of those times I wish I was wrong. Thanks for the time in confirming.
 


Apple technology works its way into our two-member household over a predictable path:
  • I adopt a new technology
  • Several months later, I’ve worked out the kinks and my spouse wants one of whatever I’m having.
So, I purchased a Series 3 Apple Watch (GPS/LTE) in January, and because of the 90-day warranty and a small discount, I did that through Costco. I also purchased AppleCare. I wanted to add the cellular service because I wanted to ditch my iPhone on occasion, and the LTE version of Watch adds value beyond a cell connection (doubled RAM, ceramic back, and better glass on the watch face).

My spouse gave up struggling with her FitBit the other day (August, as I write), asked a few questions, and decided she wanted her own Watch. We configured it on the Apple Store app, purchased it with Apple Pay from my Watch, and an hour later picked it up at a nearby Apple Store. The experience was seamless, and because the store changed systems on Wednesday, even easier than the easy pickup process that Apple had outlined: put a ticket into the Wallet on my Watch, and have it scanned at the store.

Getting each watch added to our AT&T service is the real point of this post. It turns out there’s a hard way, and an easy way.

My watch: came by FedEx. I skipped over a prompt in the setup process for adding a provider, figuring that I had to do that with AT&T. So, I talked with AT&T, and went through a frustrating process that took five days to complete. It included reading the IMEI numbers to a representative over the phone, then being told that my request had to go to a provisioning department. It took a specialist two days near the end of the process to straighten everything out. Meantime, I had unlocked my account for changes, and two different reps took advantage of that to change our wireless plan to something much more costly (it included HBO!!), for which I’m sure they received a commission. The same specialist had to pull strings to restore the account that had been slammed. The special $10/month/device rate that Apple and AT&T negotiated for Watch access also had to be restored, and it took three months to recover the activation charge that AT&T charged.

My spouse’s watch: I clicked AT&T as my wireless carrier during the setup process. I logged into our account, waited a total of 45 seconds, and got a confirmation that her watch was added to our account, $10/month, no activation fee, and that we needed to confirm that NumberSync was set up on her iPhone. It worked as designed within about 2 minutes of provisioning. It was all done automatically, no human agents involved.

You can guess which of those two experiences I preferred.

My recommendation, as you’d expect, is to swallow hard and choose the option in Watch setup.
 


...and the LTE version of Watch adds value beyond a cell connection (doubled RAM, ceramic back, and better glass on the watch face).
Very minor detail - the path to getting the sapphire crystal glass on the watch face is to choose the stainless steel model. All of the aluminum models come with Ion-X glass, including the aluminum LTE version.
My recommendation, as you’d expect, is to swallow hard and choose the option in Watch setup.
Thanks for the tip. I would expect the out-of-the-box process to be streamlined vs. configuring LTE later, but not to this extent.
 


This sort of mess is not surprising. Customer service representatives really don't know what to do when automated provisioning systems fail or otherwise need to be bypassed. It's likely that they don't even have the access needed to do what they need to do.

When I got my last iPhone (6+), I had a problem with Verizon's auto-provisioning phone-tree system. I wasn't accepting my PIN code (I later learned that there are two different PINs and I was providing the wrong one). So I had a customer service person activate the phone.

That worked, but I didn't get the free 2GB bonus data offer that was part of my upgrade incentive. It took them nearly six months of passing my paperwork between dozens of different departments before the bonus data was finally applied to my account.

In the meanwhile, I figured out the right PIN code before activating my wife's phone. That one got the bonus data a minute afterward.
 


Got up this morning, grabbed my watch from its charging stand to put on, and it detected that I had fallen. Fortunately, I looked at the screen and noticed before it called somebody.
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Got up this morning, grabbed my watch from its charging stand to put on, and it detected that I had fallen. Fortunately, I looked at the screen and noticed before it called somebody.
Hmmm... here's a related article:
Ars Technica said:
Apple Watch’s new auto-911 calls after falls may tumble into legal trouble

... Elizabeth Joh, a law professor at the University of California, Davis, was quick to point out that, by inviting the police into your home, Apple Watch wearers may be opening themselves up to criminal liability....
 


I went to the Apple Store today to compare the different finishes. I was shocked when I saw the gold plated stainless steel watch. It's closer to the color of a five-year-old copper pipe than it is to gold.

The gold watches in the display case, with very bright lights, looked good. But when the fellow handed me a gold watch to try on... whoa! It is brown-ish... not what I would call gold at all.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the 44mm didn't seem any larger on my wrist than my 1st generation 42mm model.
 


After updating my iPhone Xs to iOS 12.1 I wanted to update my Watch series 4 to WatchOS 5.1. The Watch app on iOS 12.1 doesn't show 5.1 to update the watch.

Apple Support checked and notified me that WatchOS 5.1 has been withdrawn temporarily. The agency said I'd get a notification when it is ready for installation.
 


I went to the Apple Store today to compare the different finishes. I was shocked when I saw the gold plated stainless steel watch. It's closer to the color of a five-year-old copper pipe than it is to gold. The gold watches in the display case, with very bright lights, looked good. But when the fellow handed me a gold watch to try on... whoa! It is brown-ish... not what I would call gold at all.
No Apple Store anywhere close to me, so as soon as Best Buy showed them in stock, I bought an aluminium gold (along with a brown leather band, as the pink band it came with isn’t really my color). I had the same reaction to the copper color when I unboxed it - it’s a bit disappointing, actually. The brown band goes with it okay, I suppose.

I do like the larger screen (40mm) that physically seems no larger than my Series 1 38mm did, but with a larger display area. It sits on my wrist better, too.

Other than the color, I like it.
 


WatchOS 5.1 got pulled because it was bricking Series 4 watches, requiring them to be sent back to Apple. Did anyone here get 5.1 while it was available and end up with a stuck watch? I wonder if the undocumented connector on the watch can reset it, and if so, why the stores don't have a device that can do it?
 


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