How Apple Watch Can Be A Better Fitness Tracker

The Apple WatchLike many modern health trackers, it can measure an almost staggering number of statistics. Blood oxygen saturation measurements have added to that growing list in 2020, and reports from the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg suggest that a temperature sensor may be next. But what I really want is more ways feeling From that data…the more context that goes with it.

Who knows if any of these capabilities will make it to the Apple Watch. Apple does a lot of things right, but there is room for improvement.

More customization for daily goals

A day isn’t complete if I don’t have at least one activity loop. But not every day is the same, and neither should the Apple Watch behave as it should: I want different goals for movement and exercise depending on the day of the week. On the days when I commute to the office and know I have plenty of time to exercise, I like to set higher goals for my workout minutes and burn calories.

I also imagine that setting up a schedule like this could be helpful for building a regular exercise routine. While you can change your activity goals at any time on your Apple Watch, there’s no way to customize goals according to specific days. – Lisa Eadicicco, Senior Editor

Workout app on Apple Watch.

Lexi Savides/CNET

Dozens getting ready and sleeping

after living with aura ring and several Fitbit tracker Over the past few years, I’ve really gotten used to sleep tracking and a comprehensive kind of daily “readiness scores” as part of my daily notes on the watch. The degree of readiness indicates whether your body is comfortable enough to do a hard workout or if you should skip the gym. The score takes a variety of factors into account, such as sleep, recent activity, and heart rate variability among other metrics.

Likewise, sleep score indicates your sleep quality through stats such as the time you spend sleeping and whether you fluctuate and fluctuate, along with other elements. Oura and Fitbit both offer their own versions of sleep and readiness scores.

Sure, readiness scores and sleep scores aren’t necessarily perfect predictors of anything, but there are no daily activity episodes either. I find calculating activity, sleep, heart rate, and other factors incorporated into the overall score intriguing as a correlative snapshot of what I might feel.

Fitbit and Oura are also incorporating temperature into the mix: Changes in body temperature, resting heart rate, and respiratory rate may indicate a change in how good I feel. Again, this isn’t ideal, but it seems like Apple has been pretty late in adding these features to the Apple Watch. – Scott Stein, Editor at Big

Apple Watch Series 7 Unity Lights

Apple Watch could improve the way you track it for convenience.

Lexi Savides/CNET

More focus on recovery

I would like to see Apple Watch tends to recover and rest. If the past years have taught me anything, it’s the importance of listening to my body. Activity rings are a great way to get me moving, but some days shutting them down isn’t practical – especially if you’re feeling unwell. Let’s have a flag or toggle on the watch to indicate when you need a day off. And maybe adjust the circle of motion to reward that recovery or mental rest instead.

With all the health data the Apple Watch already collects, like heart rate variability, sleep, and overall activity, it makes sense to combine it all into an easy-to-understand metric. The result may be as Scott mentioned. Or it could be another loop that automatically fills in with how “prepared” you are and changes daily based on your body’s responses.

With the Mindfulness app in WatchOS 8 and the meditation activities inside Fitness PlusApple already has the tools to support rest and recovery. Let’s see it comes full circle. – Lexi Savvids, lead video Producer

airpods pro red

Maybe your Apple Watch can do more with AirPods.

Sarah Teo / CNET

Track AirPods Health Using Apple Watch

There is huge potential for AirPods To pair more closely with your Apple Watch – other than just music. It might measure heart rate or blood pressure from the ear to complement the heart health features on Apple Watch. Perhaps it is more powerful as your ear acts as an additional lead for the EKG application. Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities known for his Apple product forecasts, sees promise here too. He cited adding health management functions as a potential way for Apple to grow shipments of AirPods in the future, according to an investor note seen by MacRumors. – lexi Savedes

Apple Watch SE with AirPods Pro

The Apple Watch can also try out weekly goals as shown in Amazon’s Halo app.

Lexi Savides/CNET

Weekly fitness goals

Apple Watch activity rings are an excellent reminder to get up and move around every day. Unfortunately, I haven’t found an equivalent that motivates me to measure progress on a weekly basis.

Amazon Halo app and fitness tracker It made me realize the value of setting activity goals by week rather than by day. Instead of a daily goal, Amazon sets a weekly goal of 150 points that you earn through your activity. (Points subtract if I’ve been sitting for too long, too.) Measuring weekly activity gives me a better glimpse of how active I am in general throughout the week. I could have had a really busy day and miss my Apple Watch movement goal, but that might just be a coincidence. A weekly goal may make it easier to establish consistency.

Plus, measuring weekly activity makes every bit of movement feel like it matters. A quick walk to the subway wouldn’t be enough to shut down the Apple Watch’s daily activity loops, so it seems almost useless. But it is comforting to know that it contributes to my weekly goal of Halo activity. I’m not saying that Apple should replace daily goals with weekly goals, but it would be nice to at least have the option.

There are other ways to track weekly and monthly progress on your Apple Watch, but none have felt as useful as closing the activity loop. For example, you can view your weekly and monthly activity in the Apple Fitness app. There is also a section in the app that shows how the last 90 days of activity are trending compared to the previous 365 days. Apple also rewards you with special app badges for meeting certain milestones, such as working out all seven days in the same week or hitting a movement goal 500 times. – Lisa Edescko

Amazon Hello View

Show amazon halo.

Lisa Eadicicco / CNET

Apple never discusses product plans before they’re publicly announced, so there’s no telling if any of these wishlist features will ever become a reality. Expect to learn about the next major Apple Watch software update at the company’s global developer conference in June, and the company typically announces new Apple Watch models in the fall. If Apple’s history is any indication, we can expect health and wellness to be a big part of both announcements.

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