You Can Use the iOS 16 Fitness App for Activity Tracking Without an Apple Watch

The Fitness app on the iPhone has long been available as an activity tracking tool for those who own an Apple Watch, but in iOS 16, Apple wants to make the app an activity tracking option useful even for those who don't own an Apple Watch.

fitness app ios 16
With iOS 16, you can track your activity using the ‌iPhone‌ motion sensors. The ‌iPhone‌ can keep tabs on steps, distance, and third-party workouts, giving you an estimate of your calories burned.

You can set a daily move goal even if you don't have an Apple Watch, using the ‌iPhone‌ to track your progress toward reaching the goal. The updated Fitness app is useful for people who don't have an Apple Watch or another kind of activity tracker and who would like to be more active.

The Fitness app looks almost identical to the Fitness app available to Apple Watch owners, but it does not include a Fitness+ tab as that feature is restricted to the Apple Watch, nor does it have Stand and Exercise rings.

For more on what's new in iOS 16, make sure to check out our hands-on video.

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Top Rated Comments

Jim Lahey Avatar
26 months ago

It’s not about the money, it’s about the fact that i don’t like the AW as a watch, and prefer my nice big 5lb mechanical watch. I LOVE the fitness tuff on the AW, I’ve said it many times the person who invented those Rings should get a Noble Piece Prize, that person(s) will save millions of lives; BUT I hate the AW for everything else, I don’t like it as a watch, I hate that it takes over all the notifications (screen lighting up and dinging) from my phone, I hate that instead of looking at my 6” phone I’m now reading everything on 1.77” “watch” that I need to turn my wrist and twist my neck to read.
All fair enough if you don’t like it but you should be aware that watch notifications are completely customisable. You can have it effectively just be a watch if you prefer. It won’t alert you to things if you set it so it doesn’t. I can totally see why you might prefer a proper watch but annoying notifications isn’t a valid criticism of Apple Watch. Ten minutes in the phone app is all that’s needed to configure it to better suit your needs. It also has silent mode, theatre mode and even airplane mode ?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
matrix07 Avatar
26 months ago

The sad news is that you loose this if you have a Apple’s one or another.
Wait. What? Lose what?

You lose nothing if you have Apple Watch.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sharksftw Avatar
26 months ago

Before Apple Watch… didn’t the health app or something similar track steps and walking? I could have sworn that was a thing and was marketed as keeping your iPhone in your pocket to count steps
Yes, the steps and miles walked count is in the health app. But it lacks the calories burned estimate
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BJMRamage Avatar
26 months ago
The Health App might currently track steps and flights (stairs not beer) the Fitness App has RINGS. Those rings are now a Lockscreen option.

I would REALLY like the idea of mapping my walks or hikes since I don’t have an AppleWatch.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jav6454 Avatar
26 months ago

I tried it this morning. It wasn’t tracking stands for me.
Well, the keynote did mention the Fitness app uses algorithms to approach the move side of things, not the Stand side of the rings.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jclardy Avatar
26 months ago

The sad news is that you loose this if you have an Apple’s one or another.
Yeah, I can’t find a way to enable it since I have a watch paired. Was hoping I could keep my move streaks when I have to dress up and not wear my watch.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)