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

Although Activity Sharing is more in-depth within Activity on iOS, most of the interactivity of the new social feature takes place on the Apple Watch. Whenever friends begin closing their Activity Rings, completing workouts, and earning achievements, you'll get push notifications about each accomplishment. From these pop-ups, you can send friendly encouragements (or sly digs) about their hard work.

activity-how-to-5

  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 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

Relentless Power Avatar
67 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)
Phogro Avatar
67 months ago
How to use the most useless feature ever
^ how to be a shortsighted fool.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Raineer Avatar
67 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)
Watabou Avatar
67 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)
tliede20 Avatar
67 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)
chitoac Avatar
67 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)

Related Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
airtag in hand

Apple Enhancing AirTags Anti-Stalking Measures With Android App and Shorter Sound Intervals

Thursday June 3, 2021 11:10 am PDT by
Apple is enhancing AirTags security to prevent stalking using the Bluetooth devices, Apple told CNET today. Apple is already sending out over-the-air updates to AirTags that will shorten the amount of time before an unknown AirTag alerts you if it is in your possession. At the current time, AirTags play a sound after three days of being away from their owner. After the update, AirTags will...
maxresdefault

Here's How Apple's New iPhone to iPhone Data Migration Feature Works in iOS 12.4

Tuesday July 23, 2019 1:20 pm PDT by
Apple this week released iOS 12.4, the newest version of iOS 12 available for iPhones and iPads. One of the new features in iOS 12.4 is an updated data migration option that uses device to device transfers rather than relying on iCloud. Apple didn't provide much information on the new data migration feature, so we thought we'd check it out in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the ...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
tmobilelogo

T-Mobile Data Breach Included Personal Information of Almost 50 Million Customers

Wednesday August 18, 2021 5:41 am PDT by
T-Mobile has issued a statement with further details about a cyberattack that the company confirmed earlier this week, confirming that the data breach included the personal information of almost 50 million current, former, and prospective customers. Late last week, T-Mobile confirmed that a forum post that purported to offer data from more than 100 million people was the result of a company...
airtag precision finding

AirTag Includes U1 Chip for 'Precision Finding' Feature

Tuesday April 20, 2021 12:11 pm PDT by
Apple's long-awaited AirTag was finally unveiled today, and as expected, the small circle-shaped accessories can be attached to items like wallets, keys, and more to allow them to be tracked in the Find My app. As was rumored ahead of release, each AirTag is equipped with a U1 chip, and on devices that also have U1 chips, there's a Precision Finding feature. U1 Ultra Wideband chips are...
m1 macbook air

Kuo: Mini-LED MacBook Air Coming in Mid-2022

Thursday July 22, 2021 7:48 pm PDT by
Apple will release a new version of the MacBook Air around the middle of 2022, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in note to investors seen by MacRumors. The upcoming MacBook Air will feature a 13.3-inch mini-LED display, which would make it the second Mac to gain mini-LED technology after the 2021 MacBook Pro, which is rumored to include a mini-LED display and is expected to launch later ...
Apple Films Tom Hanks Finch First Look

Apple Original Film 'Finch' Starring Tom Hanks to Premiere November 5

Thursday August 12, 2021 8:52 am PDT by
Apple today announced that the original film "Finch," starring Tom Hanks in its titular role, will premiere on Apple TV+ on Friday, November 5 and shared a first-look image from the film. The first look at "Finch," shared by Apple. The film, which is anticipated to be an awards season contender, revolves around a man, a robot (played by "Get Out" actor Caleb Landry Jones), and a dog that form ...
2016 macbook pro flexgate b

Apple Faces Another Class-Action MacBook Pro ‘Flexgate’ Lawsuit

Thursday August 20, 2020 6:43 am PDT by
Another class-action complaint has been lodged against Apple, which claims that the company was aware of a MacBook Pro design flaw that caused some devices to have backlight display issues (via Apple Insider). The so-called "flexgate" problem was present in some MacBook Pro models manufactured between 2016 and 2017. The problem appears as dark patches along the bottom of the MacBook Pro's...
macbook air m1 first benchmark

Apple Silicon M1 Chip in MacBook Air Outperforms High-End 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Wednesday November 11, 2020 4:43 pm PST by
Apple introduced the first MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini with M1 Apple Silicon chips yesterday, and as of today, the first benchmark of the new chip appears to be showing up on the Geekbench site. The M1 chip, which belongs to a MacBook Air with 8GB RAM, features a single-core score of 1687 and a multi-core score of 7433. According to the benchmark, the M1 has a 3.2GHz base...