The Apple Watch's main flaw when it comes to workouts is that most third party apps suck. The built in workout app is the only app I've used that's rock solid, and gets you all the awards within Activity.app. It's where I track every run, ride, swim, walk, and hike.
But I still enjoy being social with my data, despite it being super personal and "private". I use Strava to track things like segments, improvements, and training for cycling and running, and enjoy having all my stats in one online place.
That's where HealthFit comes in. HealthFit is simply the best app for getting your workouts and health data out of the Health app, and into apps that are great for social features, but have terrible HealthKit implementations. [This thread has been going on for four years. I still get notifications about it.]
HealthFit is simply the best solution that I wish Apple would build into its app. It takes any workout, and [now even automatically], lets you sync it to third party service.1 HealthKit as an API is great to have, but when even the biggest players like Strava won't integrate with it correctly, or even allow you to import data from it, then you should write the feature yourself.
I also just came across Tempo which, in a similar vein to HealthFit, focuses exclusively on runs done with Workout.app, and allows a bunch of data points to be viewed from it. In my 5 minutes of using it, I've really enjoyed its visualizations so far.
Garmin Connect, Strava, TrainingPeaks, Final Surge, Selfloop, Smashrun, RunKeeper, MapMyFitness, MapMyRun, MapMyBike, Ride with GPS, Cycling Analytics, Today's Plan, Runalyze are among the apps listed that HealthFit will throw your workouts to. You can even export it as a FIT file. ↩
Turkey Trot 2016
This was the first Apple Watch badge - it was awarded on Thanksgiving Day, in the US, in 2016 for completing a running, walking, or wheelchair workout of at least 5 kilometers/3.11 miles. .
New Years 2017
This badge was awarded for completing all three rings for an entire week within the first month of 2017. This was the first badge available worldwide, and included a lot more stickers.
Earth Day 2017
This badge was earned by doing an outdoor workout of at least 30 minutes or more on Earth Day. While it was somewhat strict in which workouts counted, the 2018 badge eliminated any need for a specific workout, as long as it was 30 minutes or more.
This was the 3rd yearly badge.
Mothers Day 2017
In a continuation of Every Mother Counts Partnership [kinda?], this was a badge awarded for walking a mile more in celebration of motherhood. This was only available in the US.
Inspired by the hike from Old Faithful to Mallard Lake in Yellowstone, this badge was awarded for a walk, run, or wheelchair workout of 3.5 miles on July 15th. It was also the first big PR push for one of the badges, and was put out alongside a Press Release highlighting Apple's donations to The National Park Foundation. Despite being a celebration of the US National Parks, it was available worldwide.
In celebration of Veterans Day, this badge was awarded for doing a workout of 11 minutes or more. In the US only.
Turkey Trot 2 Electric Boogaloo
A repeat of the original badge, this was the second Turkey Trot award for doing a 5k (or 4.98897 kilometers to account for someone with miles to not do the last .01 miles and end up being really sad.) on Thanksgiving. This badge was still US only however.
New Years 2018
Another yearly badge has become the New Years challenge, challenging Apple Watch Users to complete all 3 rings for 7 days during the month of January. This one did have some SQL issues though ;)
Heart Month 2018
This was a fun, new unique badge that coincided with Heart Month - a month dedicated to a health heart, heart disease awareness and research, and more in America. This was available worldwide, and encouraged Apple Watch users to meet their exercise goal 7 days in a row starting on February 7th and ending on the 14th, 2018.
This also started the trend of the badges having fun animations.
International Women's Day
A new badge celebrating international women's day encouraged Apple Watch users to double their move goal on March 8th, 2018.
This was available worldwide.
Earth Day 2018
A repeat of the 2017 badge, this encouraged Apple Watch users to get outside and do a workout of 30 minutes or more to earn an achievement. Unlike the previous badge, however, this badge would be earned for any workout totaling 30 minutes.
This was available worldwide.
China Fitness Day
One of the first internationally specific badges that wasn't US only, this badge was earned on August 8th, 2018 by doing a workout of 30 minutes or more to Apple Watch users in China.
National Parks 2018
Surprisingly not a repeat of the previous years, this National Parks badge happens on the 50 year anniversary of Redwood National Park in California, and also featured a donation campaign by Apple. This badge is achievable on September 1st, by doing a run, walk, or wheelchair workout of 50 minutes or more.
Veterans Day 2018
An exact repeat of the previous years Veterans Day badge, including the model, method of earning, and limitation to the US. Sadly, unlike others, this one isn't an animated badge.
You earn this special award by working out for 11 minutes or more on Veterans Day, November 11th, 2018.
Turkey Trot 2018
Unfortunately, the third annual turkey trot badge was destroyed because of a deployment issue. Because of an improperly configured Amazon bucket, badges weren't being properly propagated to devices [As far as I'm able to observe externally. Who knows what is internally causing this. All I know is I saw the asset for TURKEY_TROT_2018, but I was unable to download it]. This issue was prevalent in an in-between period of the Veterans Day badge and the Turkey trot badge.
~Asset catalog 105 was deployed, but wasn't downloading properly to devices which caused users to not achieve the Veterans Day badge. In order to fix this, the asset catalog was rolled back to 104, which didn't have the Turkey_Trot_2018 badge in it.
For some reason this was unable to be fixed before thanksgiving, and it came and went without the badge being deployed in time to notify users, and as it stands today [12/9/2018], the Achievements Asset Catalog is still at version 104 which does not include the Turkey Trot badge.~~
I'm sad that a badge was somehow not working, but I'm glad this was resolved. I really hope this badge comes back in 2019. [Spoiler: it did!]
Ring in the New Year 2019
From what I can only assume are architecture changes to badges, the New Year's Challenge was also skipped this year.
I really hope 12.2 fixes these issues.
Heart Month 2019
A redux of last year, Heart Month 2019 badge started going out to devices January 29th, with some new fun animated stickers that were awarded for those that closed their exercise ring 7 days in row, starting February 8th and ending on the 14th.
Also I love how cute this runner is.
International Women's Day 2019
Similar in style to 2018's badge, this badge was awarded upon walking, running, or doing a wheelchair workout of a mile or more on March 8th, 2019.
This badge also included some fun new animated badges.
Earth Day 2019
The third Earth Day Badge! This version included some fun new animations as well as a new style for the alumni badge.
Yoga Day 2019
Since they officially added a Yoga workout in 2018, there can now be a yearly badge for International Yoga Day! You earn this badge by doing a Yoga workout of 15 minutes or more on June 21st.
China Fitness Day 2019
“Make August 8 an active day. Earn this award by recording any workout of 30 minutes or more on National Fitness Day”
A repeat of the first, this badge is awarded on August 8th, 2019 by doing a workout of 30 minutes or more to Apple Watch users in China.
National Park 2019 - Grand Canyon 100th Anniversary
"This challenge celebrates national parks worldwide and the 100th anniversary of Grand Canyon National Park. Earn your award on August 25 by recording a hike, walk, roll, or run of at least three miles (4.8K) - the distance of the South Kaibab Trail to Cedar Ridge and back - with any app that adds workouts to Health."
Awarded for those that completed a 3 mile workout on August 25th, 2019.
Japan Health and Sports Day 2019
This badge was for Health And Sports Day in Japan. This badge is awarded to those in Japan that did a 30 minute workout on October 14th.
Veterans Day 2019
An exact repeat of the previous years Veterans Day badge, including the model, method of earning, and limitation to the US.
You earn this special award by working out for 11 minutes or more on Veterans Day, November 11th, 2019.
Turkey Trot 2019!
Turkey Trot round 3! This badge is awarded for doing a 5k/3.1 mile walking, running, or wheelchair workout on Thanksgiving. Happy Turkey Day!
New Years 2020
New Years badge is back! and this time, it won't preemptively award it to you before the new year.
Also this running donut is adorable.
Heart Month 2020
Heart Month is back for its third year - close your exercise rings for a week from February 8th to the 14th, and you get another Heart award.
International Women's Day 2020
2020 was off to a rough start, but here's the next couple of badges obtainable this year:
This badge, seemingly inconsistent compared to previous years, was rewarded to anyone for completing a walk, run, or wheelchair workout of at least a mile on March 8th, 2020.
Environmental Day 2020
Because of the COVID-19 crisis in 2020, Apple seemed discouraged from encouraging Apple Watch users from going outside for a badge. Thus, they repurposed some of the Earth Day Badge to be used for environmental day, and encouraged them to stay indoors - this badge was awarded for users that closed their stand ring on June 5th, 2020 - World Environment Day.
Yoga Day 2020
A new Yoga Day badge - 20 minutes of Yoga got you this badge on June 21st, 2020 - The International Day of Yoga.
China Fitness Day 2020
30 minute of exercise on August 8th, 2020 National Fitness Day gets you this badge - exclusive to China.
National Parks 2020
This badge was awarded on August 30th, 2020 for anyone that did a walk, run, hike, or roll of a mile or more.
It even had some language probably because of the lock down - where last years encouraged you to hike the distance of a long Grand Canyon trail, this one said:
You can earn this award wherever you are by doing a hike, walk, run, or wheelchair workout of a mile (1.6K) or more
Veteran's Day 2020
Same as it ever was - on Veteran's day, do a workout of 11 minutes or more, and you get this achievement.
Turkey Trot 2020
Another year, another turkey trot - do a 5K walk, run, or wheelchair workout on Thanksgiving, and get this super excited pink Turkey.
Near Years 2021
The donut is back!
Close all three rings for any week in January to get this award.
Unity Award 2021
In celebration of Black History Month, this new award was given to those that closed their move ring for 7 days in a row throughout February.
Unfortunately, this one had an error in its awarding: the "Availability Date" was set to February 1st. Which, if you had previously been closing your move ring for the preceding 6 days, means you could achieve it before it was supposed to be possible.
The proper value of the property "availabilityStart" should have been 2021-02-07, the 7th day of February.
Heart Month 2021
Changed from previous year's Heart Month awards (probably due to the previous years method of achieving: 7 days in a row of the exercise ring, was too similar to the new Unity Award) this award was achievable on February 14th by getting at least 60 minutes of exercise on their Exercise Ring.
Also unfortunately, this one had a bug where it wasn't awarded unless you rebooted your device. My random theory on this (despite knowing nothing) is that this had to two with two awards being available in the same period, something not done before, and that may have caused an issue with the notification engine.
365 days seemed like a lot way back when I got my Apple Watch. I remember seeing the original 365 badge and thinking it was crazy, and now I’ve technically earned it 3 times.
I’m forever grateful for technology like this that helps motivate me to do more. It’s motivated me to try different workouts, where now I'm swimming, strength training, and attempting a triathlon very soon.
I know there's things I can say here that sound similar to what I've written before, talking about my past with exercising, how I got where I am now, and how I've worked to recovery from an injury I had a while ago and learned about my passion for other workouts because of that. But I feel like a lot of that has already been said, and I don't want to be too repetitive.
All I know is that I've found what clicks in my head. I've found and done more working out than I feel I could have ever done. I'm running faster thanks to strength training, doing way way more outside and enjoying it because of cycling, swimming, and hiking. I'm continually moving and getting stronger. And in part, I do owe a lot of that to the Apple Watch in how it motivated me. But obviously the other part is my own stubbornness, but it's nice to have a little push.
It's also cool to see fitness-focused events, at the same event that inspired me to start finding ways to close my rings all the time, without any excuse.
I just want to say thank you to everyone that has, in any way, made the Activity and Workout apps. They truly are amazing, and I still, and will continue, to use them more than any other technology in my life. Thank you.
WWDC time! Time for great coffee, fun parties, and a whole lotta nerdiness in San Jose.
I'm super excited to go, and here's a few things I'm hoping will happen.
- Health updates - speedier, more information, more data types, and expansion upon the Health Records integrations.
- Activity updates - I have a small feeling about a new ring, but a bigger feeling about more workout types such as strength training, or whichever is the most popular based on Apple's anonymized data.
- Breathe updates
- MacBook Pro, Mac Pro, iMac Pro, Pro Pros. And a new Muse Single
- New Apple Watch faces, and possibly announcements of an SDK of sorts for for faces. If not, at least different options for complications
- New watchOS 5 APIs to help spur development of new, and better, Apple Watch apps.
- I'm hoping for a lot and a lot of bug fixes and improvements, and possibly a related announcement about update times/software versions. Especially since it feels like absolutely no one has heard anything about 12.
It'll be interesting if any of the previous Marzipan rumors come true. But I'm not holding out hope for anything related to that.
The Watch is turning 3 this year, and I think it'll be due for some interesting new features, as well as improvements to existing apps. Breathe and Activity are two I could see getting majors boosts, as well as the possibility of either enabling more health tracking features, or giving us a new ring to close. I'm pretty sure we'll also see new workouts as I said above.
The watch faces themselves I think will be getting more and more features. Since it was scrapped at the last minute last year, I could see a Connectivity complication coming back, therefore allowing you to see what status you have connection wise on any watch face. I would also like to see new things that make having the cellular watch more beneficial, although I can't name a ton off of my head.
I'm hoping that Apple also rekindles developer excitement for third party apps on the Watch. There are a few apps, like CARROT, workout apps, Starbucks, and more that are really great on the Watch, but you still hear a lot about companies like Lyft and Transit removing their apps. And while some may be coming back with a rewrite based on new SDKs, I'm just hoping that more developers are encouraged to actually bring their apps up to speed, in a beneficial way. Especially with the Series 3 expanded capabilities.
Speaking of this, I expect the Siri face to get some integrations so third party apps can show their info as needed on the Siri watch face, and maybe alongside others.
It feels like the HomePod is where the Apple Watch was right after the initial release - it's gained its initial users, the early adopters, and is just waiting for the big thing that'll push it to more homes. That may be more size options, a better Siri SDK for apps to use, and independent/skills type integrations that you can install.
Apple Music is turning 3 this year, and the latest redesign/huge addition of features [besides a focus on music videos] was 2 years ago. I'm hoping it'll get smarter, as it has with the Siri capabilities, and possibly gain more features to intrigue new subscribers
Recently, Apple has been expanding its marketing efforts for more and more TV content. And Apple TV as a "brand" a la Prime video and Netflix, where you can go to watch content. While this may be more suited for a September event, I could see Apple, in iOS 12, expanding and having more focus on the app, its capabilities, and possibly give us hints [either on purpose or in code] about its subscription service coming up. Who knows, maybe we'll have Cue dancing to a bunch of TV shows on stage.
Homekit, like Siri, has gotten more capable and prominent with the release of the HomePod. While Apple probably won't be making a bunch of home specific hardware itself, it could be expanding on the types of hardware it could use, while also bringing refinements to the Home app.
I'm not sure if we'll see any kind of future indication of the platform as a whole this year, but we certainly are slowly building up to it with things like APFS, High Sierra and the subsystem rewrites, and the continued morphing of macOS into a more iOS type system. Who knows, maybe we'll get Fusion Drive APFS support, some new apps, and possibly some interesting hardware tweaks.
I doubt we'll see as drastic of a change as we did with iOS 11, I'm going the iPad continues to get improvements, alongside the new hardware. As for the OS itself, I can see refinements on things like battery, CPU usage, and more smart features that benefit the end user, and the addition of "personal health" features in relation to device usage. Bedtime is one feature like this, but additional usage time metrics/specific app controls could also assist in helping people use their devices less.
As I write this, I'm definitely not having as many initiations or thoughts as to what may be announced, which gives me a little bit more excitement because there's all kinds of things Apple could surprise us with. I'm looking forward to sitting in a room full of nerds and watching the keynote. See you all next week.
It's no secret to anyone that reads anything I write how much the Apple Watch has motivated me.
What's even more inspiring is seeing how my actions are able to inspire others, as well as watching them continue a great fitness journey.
Federico Viticci just posted an amazing story about his commitment to a healthy lifestyle:
The Apple Watch has played a fundamental role in helping me get back in shape and commit to a daily exercise routine. I am not exaggerating when I say that the Apple Watch has become as important as my iPad in my daily life. Like other features of the Watch, there isn't a single, all-encompassing aspect that defines the experience; rather, it's a collection of small but meaningful options that have turned the Apple Watch into a must-have fitness companion for me. Closing the rings and sharing my Activity with friends (hi, Kyle) keep me motivated and publicly accountable. Standard and special event badges are fun to unlock and have the practical consequence of requiring me to train harder for certain achievements.6 Working out with a Polar H10 strap and AirPods connected to my Watch without having to use an iPhone makes me feel free and is delightfully futuristic.
Go give his story a read - it's super inspiring, and is among the many things that keeps me going. It's been awesome seeing Viticci's workouts every day - consistent, improving, and besting mine.
Be sure to also listen to the episode of Connected on Viticci's Second Life.