S.The phrase “I’ve got my ring off” has become a shorthand for declaring “I’ve met my workout goals today.” However, this is a goal that only Apple Watch users have been able to achieve — so far.
In the upcoming release of iOS 16, Apple is bringing its fitness app with Activity Tracking capability to the iPhone. It’s the iconic Apple Watch app that tracks movement, exercise and standing time through three different rings that work to keep users off all day long.
It turns out that the iPhone version will have only one ring in the fitness app, Move, which will measure based on how many “active calories” it will set.
Previously, this app was only available to Apple Watch users, since Apple Watch tracks actions, heart rate and other activity, and the Fitness app is where it tracks those metrics in a satisfactory ring-closing form. This is a portal to Apple’s subscription service that goes with Apple Watch, Apple Fitness +. (It’s not clear that bringing the fitness app to a larger user base means that in the future, any iPhone user will be able to get a Fitness + subscription.)
But iPhones can track your steps, the distance you walk or run, and the flight of stairs. Your iPhone already records it in the Health app. But in the fitness app, it will determine the amount of that movement in terms of active calories and allow you to set a daily goal to hit. The app will also break down your workouts that it receives from third party apps like Strava or Rankiper and convert them into active calories so that they also count towards your goals. So if you always have your iPhone with you, it can act as a fitness tracker. And it will allow you to share your move ring with friends for additional inspiration.
To be sure, there is no conclusive evidence that wearing a fitness tracker makes you more active or improves your health. It is also worth noting that calorie counting as an activity metric may contribute to the spread of diet culture and may be inaccurate in the first place. However, according to Hopkins Medicine, using a fitness tracker and aiming for daily steps can increase the number of walks per day, which can contribute to heart health. Overall, goal setting – the more specific the better – is a powerful tool to motivate you to stay active.
Digital tracking is clearly not the only way to set and meet goals. But more options that don’t require you to buy an expensive device anymore, and let you just use your smartphone, is a win-win. If you want to try the app, look for iOS 16 and download it when it becomes widely available this fall.
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