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Apple fitness chief Jay Blahnik talks up the Apple Watch's fitness advantages

Jay Blahnik, Apple's health and fitness chief, has opened up about what he sees as the Apple Watch's role in fitness, and what he's looking forward to with the future of the watch. Blahnik, a long-time figure in the world of fitness, said that he thinks the Apple Watch stands out against other fitness trackers by providing more valuable data, not only that someone has burned calories, but when and how.

From Outdside Online:

Other activity trackers focus on just one thing: steps or calories. That offers a certain level of simplicity, which is very attractive, but it's also misleading. Tell me that you've burned more calories during the day, and I'm going to immediately ask, "How and when did you burn them?" The Watch tracks three things: movement, standing time, and minutes of exercise. It's about more than quantity. As I like to say, it gives you three ways to win. And it does so in a visual way.

Thinking about the future, Blahnik is excited about the potential of native third-party apps, which will start hitting the Apple Watch this fall. Native apps will have access to the more of the watch's hardware, like the heart rate monitor and the accelerometer. Blahnik is intrigued by the potential of the watch when used in sports where how much you do isn't always the goal.

There are a lot of sports and activities where the sum of the activity isn't necessarily measuring what actually matters. Think about golf or tennis or baseball. If you can measure what's happening at the wrist, you may get an opportunity to learn things that aren't about calories or tracking but about form or injury prevention.

Blahnik also talked about pulling activity data to the watch from third-party devices:

We have the ability to bring in metrics from lots of different devices. We see more and more people buying scales to lose weight. But that same scale could work for a cyclist to get her ready for race day. Someone may be able to create a great app for that scale or a great app for the PowerTap on your bike. There's a huge appetite from consumers to get more measurement from more devices.

You can read Blahnik's whole interview at the link below.

Source: Outside Online

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.

  • Yes yes that's all good but I wish the watch would give the user the option to break down the type of calorie burn or not. I have had an incident ticket within apple for 3 weeks as to why my apple watch counts a different total calorie burn (always 100 calories or more less) than my Polar watch but they both record the same heart rate by connected via Bluetooth to a waist band. If that can be solved I would agree with how much benefit this watch is as a health tracker.
  • Yeah, but I did a 3h27m mountain bike ride yesterday while in the Outdoor Cycle option of the Workout app and somehow accumulated about 6,000 steps in the same time period. I'm very happy with the watch overall, but some of the movement data is really bogus.
  • It makes sense that the watch shares activity data with the phone. Why is it when I leave the watch off and accumulate exercise data on the phone it doesn't transfer to the watch?