watchOS 3: How to Share Activity With Your Friends

by

When watchOS 3 launched alongside iOS 10, it brought a handful of feature additions and speed improvements to the Apple Watch. One of the new social features is a way for users to share their Activity Rings with friends and family through "Activity Sharing."

Mainly focused in iOS 10's Activity app, the ability to share workout data nevertheless requires an Apple Watch updated to watchOS 3, and for you to be comfortable with certain people receiving live updates on your fitness activity. When you're ready to start sharing your Activity Rings, and you've updated to both iOS 10 and watchOS 3, follow these steps:

Activity Sharing on iPhone

activity-how-to-3

  1. Open "Activity" on your iPhone.
  2. Navigate to the "Sharing" tab on the bottom right.
  3. Tap the "+" icon in the top right corner to add a friend.
  4. The app will offer suggestions from your contacts of users who may own an Apple Watch, so you can tap one of those or type in someone specific in the text box.
  5. You can include multiple invitations at one time, and once you have everyone included in the "To" box, tap "Send."

From there, simply wait for your friend to accept the invitation. Afterwards, you'll begin to see one another's Calorie, Workout, and Standing rings in the same Sharing tab you sent the invite from. Once you amass a group of friends and family members, you can also sort the data in helpful partitions depending on what you'd like to see. Simply tap "Sort" in the top left corner of the Sharing tab and choose from Name, Move, Exercise, Steps, and Workouts as the primary focus.

Tapping on anyone in the list will bring you into a deeper menu about that individual's Activity that day. The app will break down each ring, as well as showcase a step count, distance walked, and list any completed workouts or earned achievements. At the very bottom, there's a few options to mute a friend's notifications, hide your Activity from them, or delete them as a friend. Within your main friends list you will see your own Activity as well.

activity-how-to-2

An example of a friend's Sharing card (left), and your own (right)

Activity Sharing on Apple Watch

  1. When you receive an Activity notification from a friend on your Apple Watch, scroll down.
  2. Tap "Reply."
  3. You can choose from the traditional speech-to-text, emoji, Digital Touch, and Scribble options, or scroll more for some of Apple's stock Activity responses.
  4. Tap on any phrase to send it.

These responses are integrated directly into Messages in iOS 10, so if you sent "You're on fire!" for example, Messages would provide slight context above the message with "Mitchel completed a workout." Until they otherwise mute you for the day, or turn off your notifications completely within Activity on iPhone, each of your friends will receive a notification upon the completion of every workout and earning of every achievement.

activity-how-to-7
If you visit the Activity app on Apple Watch, you can scroll down to get more detailed readouts of each Activity Ring. Swiping right-to-left shows the new Sharing tab, similar to the one on iPhone. You can scroll to see each friend, tap on them for an individualized view, and send a message through a button at the bottom of their profile.

It should be noted that Apple's stock fitness-related phrases will only appear following a Sharing notification from a friend, and then only on Apple Watch. Any other Messages-related prompt outside of a notification from a friend will simply guide you over to Messages with all of the expected features introduced in the app in iOS 10.

There are plenty of other interesting and notable features to discover in watchOS 3, so be sure to check out the MacRumors roundups for both watchOS 3 and Apple Watch Series 2 to find out more information on each.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
53 months ago

How to use the most useless feature ever

You must not have any friends to share your activity with. I feel sorry for you.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago

How to use the most useless feature ever

^ how to be a shortsighted fool.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago
I'm curious to hear if this works for anyone. I've been trying to connect my activity account with my wife's for like 4 days now. We can get to the "accept" prompt to accept the invite, but after that it's just infinite spinning "thinking" icon. Have rescinded the invite and resent several times, trying both directions.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago

How to use the most useless feature ever

I think it's pretty fun, myself. I get to see how my friends and family are doing with their activity, and if they beat me on a day, it really motivates me to do better. But we do have a competitive side so that also helps.

Just because you think it's useless, doesn't make it so.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago

I'm curious to hear if this works for anyone. I've been trying to connect my activity account with my wife's for like 4 days now. We can get to the "accept" prompt to accept the invite, but after that it's just infinite spinning "thinking" icon. Have rescinded the invite and resent several times, trying both directions.

You're not going to like my answer.... but I had to RESTORE my iPhone to make that work, I've seen this 3 times now. That seems to be the ONLY solution. Apple Support had me try the following which didn't work...

- Unpair / Repair watch
- Restore Watch

Checked diagnostics on both and they were clear.

Restoring the phone and THEN repairing the watch worked.

Good Luck!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago

I'm curious to hear if this works for anyone. I've been trying to connect my activity account with my wife's for like 4 days now. We can get to the "accept" prompt to accept the invite, but after that it's just infinite spinning "thinking" icon. Have rescinded the invite and resent several times, trying both directions.

its working for me. only problem i got was that my gf didnt update her watch, but after both have ios 10 and watch os 3 its working. sometimes it takes a little long to load.
but im loving it! specially the days i beat my her LOL
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

'iPhone 12 mini' Name Reappears in Leaked Apple iPhone 12 Case Stickers

Friday September 25, 2020 1:58 am PDT by
Earlier this week a proven leaker claimed that the iPhone 12 lineup would be named "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max," and today the same nomenclature has appeared again in a photo depicting alleged stickers from unreleased Silicone iPhone cases originating from Apple's international distribution center in Ireland. The photo shows three stickers with the...

Top Stories: iOS 14 Feature Tour, 'iPhone 12 mini' Rumors, Apple Watch Band Controversy

Saturday September 26, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Things started to calm down a bit this week following last week's rush of media event, Apple Watch and iPad launches, and the release of iOS 14 and other operating updates. But that doesn't mean there wasn't still a lot of news, from digging deeper into iOS 14 to more iPhone 12 rumors to the uproar over trying to exchange band sizes on the new Apple Watch. On top of all of that, we heard...

Apple Releases iOS 14.0.1 With Fix for Bug That Resets Default Apps After Rebooting

Thursday September 24, 2020 10:12 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 14.0.1, the first update to the iOS 14 operating system that was released on September 16. Today's update is a bug fix update addressing issues that weren't able to be fixed in the initial iOS 14 launch. The iOS 14.0.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. ...

New Images Leak of iPhone 12 Braided USB-C to Lightning Cable

Thursday September 24, 2020 2:37 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple's upcoming iPhone 12 models will ship with a new Lightning to USB-C cable that includes a braided fabric design. Images of the purported cables were leaked in July, and today leaker Mr White has shared new images that give us a closer look at what we might get included in the iPhone 12 box. The photos show a USB-C to Lightning cable with a clearly braided design rather...

New Version of Microsoft Office Coming Next Year That Won't Require a Subscription

Thursday September 24, 2020 1:53 am PDT by
Microsoft will next year offer a new perpetual release of Microsoft Office for Mac and Windows that doesn't require a subscription to use, according to the software giant (via Windows Central). "Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021," said Microsoft in a blog post announcing the next version of its Exchange server,...

Video Offers Closer Look at Apple Face Mask

Friday September 25, 2020 5:25 am PDT by
YouTube channel Unbox Therapy has today shared a new video giving a closer look at Apple's reusable face masks for corporate and retail employees. Apple's own face mask was designed by the company's Engineering and Industrial Design teams amid the global health crisis for corporate and retail employees, and the boxes include Apple's famous "Designed by Apple in California" text. The...

Upcoming Xbox App Update Will Let Xbox Users Stream Games to iPhone and iPad

Friday September 25, 2020 11:58 am PDT by
Microsoft is testing a new version of its Xbox app that will let Xbox users play games remotely on their iPhones and iPads using streaming functionality. The new feature was rolled out to TestFlight users this morning. The Xbox streaming option is distinct from Microsoft's xCloud service, which it has been clashing with Apple over. xCloud is designed to stream games from Microsoft's servers, ...

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.7 With Fixes for WiFi Bug, 27-Inch iMac Graphics Issues

Thursday September 24, 2020 10:32 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Catalina 10.15.7, the latest update to the macOS Catalina software. macOS Catalina 10.15.7 fixes several major bugs that Mac users have been experiencing, and it comes a month after the latest macOS Catalina release. The ‌‌‌macOS Catalina‌‌‌ 10.15.6 Supplemental Update can be downloaded from the Mac App Store using the Update feature in the System...

iOS 14: 'Phoenix 2' Space Shooter Delivers Playable Demo via App Clips

Saturday September 26, 2020 2:08 pm PDT by
One of the new features that arrived in iOS 14 is called App Clips. App Clips is described by Apple to be a "small part of your app" that can be available to users at just the right moment.App Clips focus on finishing one task quickly. An ideal App Clip experience allows users to open and complete a task in seconds. Instead of requiring an App Store download, they can be loaded and run via...

Apple's iPhone 12 Event Could Happen on October 13 Based on Rumors From Mobile Operators

Wednesday September 23, 2020 11:51 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone-centric event could perhaps be held on Tuesday, October 13, according to information shared with MacRumors by an employee at a UK cellular carrier. There's no way for us to confirm the dates at this point in time nor are we sure on the credibility of the source, but even without a rumor, Tuesday, October 13 is a good guess based on Apple's historic launch timelines, ...