How to Start an Activity Competition With a Friend in watchOS 5

by

In watchOS 5, there's a new Apple Watch activity feature that's designed to motivate people to work out and get active through competitions with friends.

You can challenge any friend to a seven-day competition on Apple Watch, with each person earning points for filling their rings each day.

How to Start a Competition

You can begin a competition on the Apple Watch itself or within the Activity app on the iPhone, with the latter method being the easiest way to get going.

Before a competition can start, you need to be sharing your activity information with the person you're challenging, which you can do by following these steps:

  1. Open up the Activity app.
  2. Tap the Sharing tab.
  3. Press the "+" button to invite one or more contacts with an Apple Watch.
  4. Choose the "Send" button to send them an invite to share activity data with you.
  5. Wait for your friend to accept the invitation.

Once you're sharing data with someone, you can begin a competition. Again, this is easiest in the Activity app on the iPhone.

  1. Open the Activity app.
  2. Tap the Sharing tab.
  3. Choose a friend you're sharing data with.
  4. Tap on "Compete with [friend's name]."
  5. Wait for your friend to accept the challenge.

You can invite friends you're already sharing with to competitions using the Apple Watch if preferred.

Just open the Activity app on Apple Watch, tap on a friend's name, and then tap "Compete" twice through the subsequent menus to launch a competition.

Competition Rules

Your friend will have 48 hours to respond to your invite, with a competition officially starting after 48 hours if the invite was accepted. Competitions will last for seven days, so if your competition started on a Saturday morning, for example, it will end on the following Friday evening.

Competitions start in the morning so no one is caught off guard and so each person has seven full days to complete all of their movement goals. You can have more than one competition going at once, but you can only compete with one person per competition, so you can't have three or more people competing together.

Each person earns points for closing the Stand ring, the Move ring, and the Exercise ring. Points are awarded for exceeding each goal and hitting additional move and exercise goals.

As with all activity sharing, you will receive notifications whenever your friend completes a workout. If you want to mute these notifications, open up the Activity app, choose the Sharing tab, select a competition, and the scroll down to the bottom of the screen to find the "Mute Notifications" option.

How Points Are Calculated

Each person participating in the competition receives one point for every percent added to the Stand, Move, and Exercise rings, with up to 600 points available to be earned per day.

So, for example, if you exceed your move goal by 300 percent, you'll receive 300 points for the day. Similar calculations are used for the stand and exercise options.

A total of 4,200 points can be earned for the week, with the award going to whoever earns the most points.

Checking on Your Competition Status

You can view how many points you have compared to the person you're competing with either through the Activity app on iPhone or the Activity app on Apple Watch.


It's best to view this data on the iPhone because you can see more information about how the competition is going, with full data for each day of the competition available.

  1. Open the Activity app.
  2. Select the Sharing tab.
  3. Tap the relevant competition listing under the "Competitions" header.

In this section of the Activity app, you can see the total of number of points each person has earned and then a breakdown of the points earned each day of the competition.

You can also see your friend's total movement, exercise, and stand rankings for the current day, plus steps and total distance traveled.

Sending Kudos

When your competitor completes a workout during the challenge, you'll get a notification, and you can send a message using the Apple Watch. You can also initiate conversations within the Activity App on the Apple Watch or the Activity app on iPhone by selecting the person's name and tapping on "Send Message."

Winning a Competition

When you win a competition with a friend, you earn a badge for completing a competition and a separate badge for being victorious.


From there, you can start a new challenge with the same friend, and under the sharing interface, you'll see your respective number of wins and losses.


All of your badges can be viewed in the Activity app either on the Apple Watch or on the iPhone.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6, watchOS 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
25 months ago

The fact that these tutorials seem necessary is not a good look on the usability of the product...

Did you actually read it? There's nothing there that you couldn't have worked out yourself, MR is just highlighting the fact that it's a feature (and looking for some clicks as well, I reckon). The fact that this exists says precisely nothing about how usable the product is.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
25 months ago
The fact that these tutorials seem necessary is not a good look on the usability of the product...
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 12 Sizes Compared with iPhone SE, 7, 8, SE 2, X, 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max [Update]

Tuesday July 7, 2020 6:49 pm PDT by
Apple is planning on launching the iPhone 12 this fall which is rumored to be coming in 3 different sizes: 5.4", 6.1" and 6.7". The middle size (6.1") matches up with the currently shipping iPhone 11, but the other two sizes will be entirely new. Over the weekend, there was some excitement about how well the new 5.4" iPhone 12 compares to the original iPhone SE. Those who have been hoping...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 2: New Calendar Icon, Files Widget and More

Tuesday July 7, 2020 11:38 am PDT by
Apple today released the second beta of iOS 14 to developers for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features that are coming in the update. Below, we've rounded up all of the changes that we found in the second beta. - Calendar icon - There's a new Calendar app icon in iOS 14 beta 2, with the day of the week abbreviated rather than spelled out. - Clock icon - The clock...

Hands On With iPhone 12 Models Showing New Sizes and Design

Monday July 6, 2020 2:04 pm PDT by
Ahead of the launch of new iPhones we often see dummy models created based on leaked schematics and specifications, with those models designed to let case makers create cases for the new devices ahead of their release. We got our hands on a set of dummy models that represent the iPhone 12 lineup, giving us our first close look at the iPhone 4-style design and the different size options. Subscri ...

Developer's Visual Comparison of macOS Catalina and Big Sur Offers Closer Look at Apple's UI Redesign for Macs

Tuesday July 7, 2020 4:00 am PDT by
macOS 11 Big Sur is the next major release of Apple's operating system for Mac, and following its preview at WWDC, one of the biggest discussions has revolved around the all-new user interface redesign. Developers are still learning what the impact the new UI will have on their apps, and with that in mind, app designer Andrew Denty has compiled an extensive visual comparison of the user...

Analyst Believes iPhone 12 Pricing Will Start $50 Higher Even Without EarPods or Charger in Box

Wednesday July 8, 2020 9:35 am PDT by
Despite multiple reports indicating that Apple will not include EarPods or a wall charger with iPhone 12 models this year, one analyst believes that pricing will still increase slightly compared to the iPhone 11 lineup. In a research note provided to MacRumors, analyst Jeff Pu forecasted that iPhone 12 pricing will start at $749 for a new 5.4-inch model, an increase of $50 over the base...

14-Inch MacBook Pro With Mini-LED Display Expected to Enter Production in 2021

Wednesday July 8, 2020 7:51 am PDT by
Apple suppliers will begin competing to win manufacturing orders for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED displays in the first quarter of 2021, according to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce. Rumors of a 14-inch MacBook Pro have surfaced since Apple replaced the 15-inch MacBook Pro with a new 16-inch model last year. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has previously said that...

Apple Seeds First Betas of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 to Public Beta Testers

Thursday July 9, 2020 10:14 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public betas of upcoming iOS and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group, two weeks after first providing the updates to developers after the WWDC keynote and a day after seeding the second developer betas. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program can download the iOS/‌iPadOS‌ 14 updates over the air after installing ...

Apple's Arm-Based Macs With Apple Silicon Chips Will Support Thunderbolt

Wednesday July 8, 2020 3:14 pm PDT by
Apple is working on Macs that use its custom Apple-designed Apple Silicon chips instead of Intel chips, but Apple has committed to continuing to support Thunderbolt, reports The Verge. In a statement, an Apple spokesperson said that Apple's upcoming machines will offer support for Intel's Thunderbolt USB-C standard. "Over a decade ago, Apple partnered with Intel to design and develop...

Apple Cuts iPhone Trade-In Values as iPhone 12 Launch Nears

Tuesday July 7, 2020 7:46 am PDT by
With just two months to go until the usual timeframe for Apple's iPhone launch events, Apple is cutting back on maximum trade-in values of previous-generation iPhones for those looking to upgrade to a new model. Maximum values on more recent models have dropped by $30–$50, while older models have generally dropped by $5–$20 with a few models seeing no change in value.iPhone XS Max: $500 to...

Some iPhone Users Report Significant Battery Drain Due to Music App Background Activity in iOS 13.5.1

Wednesday July 8, 2020 1:49 am PDT by
A significant minority of iPhone users have taken to Apple's Support Communities and Reddit to report battery drain issues largely related to the Music app and high levels of background activity. Hundreds of users, many running iOS 13.5.1 on devices both new and old, are experiencing rapid battery drain when the Music app is not in use. In some cases, the background activity occurs over...