Apple Watch Learns Runners' Strides Over Time, Becoming More Independent From iPhone

After talking with Tim Cook onstage at the March 9 "Spring Forward" media event, model Christy Turlington Burns has kept a weekly blog on Apple's official website with updates on her preparations for the London Marathon next month.

In this week's post, Burns mentions in passing that the Watch will not only learn a user's stride after a few exercises when paired with an iPhone, after a while the Watch will be able to act independently in tracking fitness-related stats without needing to be tethered to an iPhone at all (via MacObserver).

Turlington Apple Watch
Burns shows off the ease of exchanging Apple Watch bands in this week's blog post

The post, titled "The Art of Vacation Training", finds Burns on a bit of a break from her usual training regimen while on vacation with her family in the Caribbean. Still finding time to put in a 14-mile run in one day, Burns discusses how her personal Apple Watch has since learned her stride and speed, the Watch becoming less reliant on the iPhone in the fitness-tracking departments the more she uses it.
I switched up my runs between the treadmill at the hotel gym and outside. After you run with Apple Watch and your iPhone a few times, the Workout app knows more about your stride. So you can run on a treadmill or outside without your phone and still get a really accurate workout summary.
Apple's presentation of the device, ever since its reveal last September, has been of a Watch in nearly constant need of contact with an iPhone. Although Burns' blog post only appears to confirm the Watch's fitness-focused apps can sufficiently work sans iPhone, it's still an interesting piece of information, especially for users planning to use the wearable as a sole workout device.

Check out the rest of Burns' blog post, and her earlier entries, on Apple's official website.

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Top Rated Comments

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59 months ago
According to the experts who have never worn the thing, you constantly need the iPhone around it so this can't be true!

experts who have never worn the thing

have never worn the thing

experts

never
Rating: 20 Votes
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59 months ago
Yes, Yes, Yes!!! I wondered (and even posted) about this months ago. Fantastic news! True GPS data is less important to me than accurate distance. This lessens the need to bring my iPhone on runs.
Rating: 11 Votes
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59 months ago

That's EXCELLENT for the tracking side...but I'm still tethered if I want to listen to music, track my run by GPS, etc.


Correct on the GPS, but the watch has 2GB for music.
Rating: 7 Votes
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59 months ago
thats kinda cool!
Rating: 6 Votes
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59 months ago

I get that it's cool to know your route, but how is that a show stopper for anyone?! Having GPS to know your route is 100% useless data as far as anything but motivation is concerned, it's only convenient data.


Not really. The entire fitness/running/cycling community with Strava and similar services is built upon GPS data. That's how you share workout with friends, automatically log time in segments where you can compete with friends and pro athletes. Logging distance without GPS data would be pretty pointless to me.
Rating: 6 Votes
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59 months ago
As a runner and triathlete I'm quite curious to see how well it works.

Though I can't imagine the watch alone can be as accurate as a GPS based watch, regardless of the algorithms and measurements it's using.

Hoping to see GPS in future versions, but I don't think I'll replace my TomTom watch for workouts just yet.
Rating: 4 Votes
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59 months ago
So after a few runs with my iPhone and Apple Watch I can start to leave the iPhone at home? If so then I'm leaning a little more towards buying one.
Rating: 3 Votes
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59 months ago

I get that it's cool to know your route, but how is that a show stopper for anyone?! Having GPS to know your route is 100% useless data as far as anything but motivation is concerned, it's only convenient data.


Because it shows how fast (or slow), I'm doing on a particular area. To me, I don't want to spend 500 dollars for a pedometer, but rather 250 for product that can map my runs without the need of a phone.

Also I don't always know my route, I run in the city and take different streets, it's a nice feature to have it mapped out when you finish up.
Rating: 3 Votes
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59 months ago
Except, it still can't tell my route w/o a GPS, that's a show stopper for me.
Rating: 3 Votes
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59 months ago

I get that it's cool to know your route, but how is that a show stopper for anyone?! Having GPS to know your route is 100% useless data as far as anything but motivation is concerned, it's only convenient data.


:eek: Have you ever heard of Strava? GPS is what attracts millions of users around the world. It's far from being 'convenient' data, when the entire platform and user exerience is built around GPS data.
Rating: 2 Votes
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