Easy methods to rely steps together with your Apple Watch


After being a devoted Fitbit wearer, I made a decision to change to an Apple Look ahead to its prettier show, superior design and further options to proceed my step-counting methods.

Learn extra: Apple Watch vs. Fitbit Versa

However after spending a lot time with a Fitbit, I used to be dissatisfied to find that the Exercise app deemphasizes step counts. I shortly grew accustomed to checking my present step rely with a fast look at my Fitbit, and did not like that my Apple Watch made me dig and faucet and swipe to see the quantity I’ve come to care extra about than the time of day. I additionally had some questions concerning the accuracy with which it was counting my steps.

Fortunately, I discovered a manner so as to add a step counter to my Apple Watch’s face and some methods to get a extra correct accounting of my day by day travels. Let’s, um, step to it.

Enter your well being knowledge

In case you’re new to step counting, the very first thing that you must do is ready up the Well being app with some details about your self. It makes use of your age, peak, weight and gender to estimate issues like energy burned and steps taken.

In your iPhone ($949 at Walmart), open the Watch app and on the My Watch tab, faucet Well being after which faucet Edit. Enter your info after which faucet Finished.

The Well being app will share this info with the Exercise and Exercise apps in addition to third-party apps that help it.

Allow location providers

Your Apple Watch makes use of GPS monitoring to get a extra correct studying of the distances you journey. The Apple Watch Collection 1 ($249 at Walmart) lacks the GPS of the newer Apple Watch Collection Three or the discontinued Collection 2. It counts steps utilizing solely the accelerometer in case you go for a stroll with out your iPhone, after which will sync with the Well being app while you return inside vary of your iPhone.

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Depend steps extra simply with the Apple Watch


Irrespective of your Apple Watch mannequin, you may get higher, extra correct outcomes in case you allow location providers for it. In your iPhone, go to Settings > Privateness > Location Companies and make it possible for Location Companies is turned on. And whilst you’re right here, you may allow location providers for the 2 Watch-related objects on the lengthy checklist of apps. Close to the highest of the checklist, you must see Apple Watch Faces and Apple Watch Exercise. Set each to Whereas Utilizing the App.

Allow health monitoring

Location providers are solely half the battle. Your Apple Watch and iPhone use an accelerometer that measures your complete physique motion to trace your exercise. You will need to let the accelerometer do its factor for occasions when GPS information is unavailable, whether or not you’ve a Collection 1 and are with out your iPhone or are strolling the place there’s poor protection. There are separate settings in your telephone and watch.

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In your iPhone, go to Settings > Privateness > Location Companies and scroll all the best way to the underside of the checklist of apps and faucet System Companies and make it possible for Movement Calibration & Distance is turned on. Then go to Settings > Privateness > Movement & Health and ensure Health Monitoring is enabled together with Well being and any third-party apps that you simply’re utilizing to trace your health.

Subsequent, open the Watch app in your iPhone and on the My Watch tab, faucet Privateness and ensure Health Monitoring is turned on.


Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Calibrate for elevated accuracy

With out its personal GPS, an Apple Watch Collection 1 wants a bit assist to find out how you stroll or run. You’ll be able to calibrate the Watch by letting it evaluate knowledge from its accelerometer with GPS knowledge out of your iPhone so it will probably get a greater deal with in your stride size and arm actions. This is learn how to calibrate it:

  • Put in your Apple Watch and head exterior, ideally to a flat, open space below clear skies (so that you get good GPS reception).
  • Convey alongside your iPhone and carry it in your hand or put on it in an armband or in your waist.
  • Open the Exercise app in your Apple Watch, faucet Outside Stroll or Outside Run, and set a time aim of 20 minutes.
  • Stroll or run at your regular tempo for 20 minutes.

Add step counter to observe face

After getting my Apple Watch Collection 1 finely tuned to rely my steps, I used to be dismayed to search out that I could not add a step counter to any of the watch faces. Some watch faces let me add information from the Exercise app, however solely energy burned, train minutes or hours standing. After a bit digging, I discovered an app that permit me add my present steps to my watch face so it is solely a look away, similar to my Fitbit.

The app is Pedometer++ and it is free. It was the one app of the handful of health trackers I attempted that included complication integration — that’s, including info to the watch face itself.

First, nevertheless, you may must grant it permission to make use of your Apple units to rely your steps. In your iPhone, open the Well being app, faucet the Sources tab, faucet Pedometer (it drops the ++ on the iPhone for some cause) and faucet Flip All Classes On.

So as to add a step counter complication, Drive Contact your watch face to name up the gallery of faces and choose one that allows you to customise it. Faucet the Customise button to edit the problems displayed in your watch and use the digital crown to scroll by means of the choices till you discover Pedometer++. I discovered that the X-Massive watch face provided the largest, boldest step counter. 

Now, I’ve acquired my Apple Watch arrange so it precisely counts my steps and shows my present rely on the watch face. And with the X-Massive watch face, particularly, the quantity is less complicated to learn than the tiny, skinny font on my Fitbit Cost 2. The one draw back is that it updates much less steadily than my Fitbit, which may be irritating to a compulsive step counter. Or possibly it is a good factor — it’s going to drive me to chill out and never verify my step rely so steadily.


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