Working with Audio – v8 iOS

(View for Android)

Working with Audio – iCardio, iRunner, iBiker (iOS)

One of the biggest perks of exercising with your phone, besides tracking your workouts with a Fitdigits app, is using all of the awesome audio functionality that the mini-computer we now call smart phones have to offer. Be it jamming to your favorite iTunes playlist, exploring new music on Spotify, or being enthralled by an intriguing podcast, your phone offers you a myriad of options to entertain yourself while working out.

On top of that, Fitdigits apps have some unique audio functionality of its own. Voice feedback gives you a verbal summary of your workout thus far at pre-defined intervals, allowing you to adjust your workout as necessary to meet your goals.

I. Music, Podcasts & Other Audio

iOS 7 brought the introduction of the Control Center, a pull up menu from the bottom of the screen. The Control Center allows users to change songs, pause music, and more without leaving the app.

 

Another option to change songs, podcasts, audio books and more is to leave the app entirely. Fitdigits apps will work in the background as you browse through your other apps, and if you want updates of your workout, you can turn Notifications on. Go to Activity Options (gear icon on home screen) > Heart Rate Zones > Zone Alerts & Prompts > Zone Local Notifications. Also, you can turn on voice feedback or audio alerts, but more on that below.

Workout Voice Feedback

Fitdigits, using shrink ray technology perfected in “Honey I Shrunk the Kids”, has inserted a built in personal trainer right into your phone! Voice feedback gives your real time stats on your workout, based on pre-defined intervals. First things first, let’s turn voice feedback on.

 

Select your activity type you want to change settings on, then go to Activity Options (gear icon on home screen) > Voice Feedback. From here you can choose the sex of the voice and whether and what it will announce when you transition between Heart Rate Zones. Next are the Triggers. This is your chosen interval for when you will hear voice feedback. You can choose to have voice feedback come in when you you reach a certain amount of calories, elapsed time, and/or distance. For this example, I have chosen to have voice feedback triggered when I travel 1/4 of a mile.

The final option is what you want spoken when you reach the trigger. I have left all options turned on- I will get my current heart rate, calories burned, distance, time and pace. If you have music or other audio playing, when voice feedback occurs it will dim so you can hear the stats over your music or other audio.

If you cannot wait for the trigger, at any point during a workout, you can hear voice feedback by double tapping the middle of your screen when you viewing the dashboard.

audio-trigger-ios

 

 

In-Workout Settings

You also have the ability to make some small adjustments to voice feedback once you have started a workout. If you find yourself in a gym without headphones and want to turn voice feedback off, merely tap the gear icon in the lower right, and switch “Voice Feedback” to OFF. You will also see an “Audio” volume slider. This is the volume of the voice feedback, and will not change the volume of the rest of your phone. If you feel you are being yelled at, turn the volume down here. You may also want to check the volume settings in the iOS device (slide up from bottom of any screen) or iTunes music, as the level there can also affect the workout feedback volume.

 

Pairing your Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) with Fitdigits Apps

View for Apple Watch • View for Android

Fitdigits is compatible with Polar (H10, H7, OH1 and many others), Wahoo TICKR, Zephyr, Scosche Rhythm+ and Rhythm 24, and hundreds of other Bluetooth Low Energy (also known as BLE or Bluetooth 4.0) sensors.

PAIRING A HEART RATE MONITOR

  1. Put the Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) on per the manufacturers instructions. For chest straps, it helps if they are a little moist so the electrical signals can flow. Turn the HRM on if it has an on / off mode. 
  2. Make sure the HRM is NOT paired in the device’s Settings > Bluetooth*
  3. In your Fitdigits App, tap Menu > Settings > Sensors (alternative, tap the gear icon (Activity Options) on the main activity screen and tap Sensors). 
  4. Tap the Heart Monitor line item in Sensors. 
  5. If only one sensor available, tap OK on the confirmation. If there are multiple, find the one that is your brand / model, and having the strongest signal strength. 

That’s it! Tap the name of the paired HRM in that same screen to see details or delete the pairing. If you don’t have your HRM with you all the time, no need to delete the sensor, just turn it off in that screen. You can also turn it off easily in Gear (Activity Options), tap on the icon in the bottom row for the sensor type you want to turn on or off. 

NOTE FOR FITBIT AND XIAOMI BANDS:

While BLE compatibility is typically “industry standard”, Fitbit and some cheaper models like those produced by Xiaomi notably, claim they support BLE, but in reality it is a version they implemented where they didn’t go industry standards, but decided to keep their HR proprietary thus they did not build the ability for others to pair for Heart Rate.

If you haven’t already, download the Fitdigits app, and upgrade in-app to support the heart rate monitor functionality and more. All apps have the same functionality but different messaging and graphics in areas.

Downloads

iCardio Apps iRunner Apps iBiker Apps iWalker Apps
Fitdigits iCardio app for Apple iOS Fitdigits iRunner app for Apple iOS Fitdigits iBiker app for Apple iOS Fitdigits iWalker app for Apple iOS
Fitdigits iCardio app for Android Fitdigits iRunner app for Android Fitdigits iBiker app for Android Fitdigits iWalker app for Android

 

 

Start a workout wearing your HRM and you are ready to finally realize your health and fitness destiny! When you are ready, read more on doing custom Fitness Assessments to get your custom heart rate zones, and why that is so important and effective in your own personal journey to health and fitness.

Troubleshooting

Try these initial steps if you are experiencing difficulties pairing, or these other articles for issues such as heart rate spikes or dropouts or general compatibility.

  • Chest Straps: Wet the electrodes on the belt part (which touches your skin) with water or saliva on the chest strap heart rate monitor to increase connectivity.
  • Optical HRMs: Make sure the green lights / receptors are pulsing in the part next to your skin.
  • Reset Bluetooth: Go to the Android Settings and turn off Bluetooth. Wait a few seconds then turn it back on.
  • Manually Close Your App: Exit the app and then double tap the iPhone home button. Look for the multitasking window to appear at the bottom of your screen. Tap and hold the Fitdigits icon to make a little red circle (minus sign) appear on all the apps. Then tap the little red circle for Fitdigits. Your app has now been manually closed. Relaunch the app and try pairing again.
  • Reboot: When in doubt, never hurts to reboot your phone/tablet.
If you still cannot pair with your Bluetooth HRM, check out the complete 

 

HRM pairing troubleshooting tips

Advanced Voice Types

Selecting the Best Voice for your Training

Personally, my very favorite new feature in the iOS apps is our new coaching voices, and it takes just a minute to make it great! Trust me on this one, it is worth the update. Everyone can use Advanced Voice.

I just love Karen’s Australian voice, though many are big on Alex or even Samantha. Select any option within your Region settings section:

General > Settings > Accessibility > Speech > Voices

Using the Advanced Voice Type, there are many voices available to use, even “enhanced” versions of many of them = Male, Female, you name it. Then, in your app, make sure you’ve chosen Advanced in the Voice Type section. 

Activity Options (Gear) > Voice Options > Advanced

Whether you love it 10X more like we do or just appreciate the features and benefits it unlocks, we encourage you to set up a nice pleasing voice to help coach you through your workouts. It’s worth it!

You really notice the difference when you start turning on new Advanced Audio Coaching features. Get workout totals, coaching during your structured workout routines, use real heart rate zone names and more!

Using Siri and Fitdigits Apps

“(Start/launch) an (indoor/outdoor) (workoutName) workout (with/on) <iCardio>”

There are 5 simple commands that Siri will recognize:
1) Start workout – “Start an outdoor run workout with <iCardio>”
2) Cancel Workout – “Cancel <iCardio> workout”
3) Pause Workout – “Pause my <iCardio> workout”
4) Resume Workout – “Resume <iCardio> workout”
5) End My Workout – “End <iCardio> workout”

All command can be said as above as well as the start command can be build out, however you want to say it. You can attempt to say “(Start/launch) an (indoor/outdoor) (workoutName) workout (with/on) iCardio” and if Siri recognized the location and workout it will start right up with those variables. If Siri has trouble understanding or deciphering you will be prompted to choose the workout type and location just as if you said “Start Workout.”

If Siri requests you to unlock your phone, you may be able to get around it through settings:

Posted in iOS

Advanced Audio Coaching

Advanced Audio Coaching brings your own personal coach to life, without the extra costs typically associated with a personal coach. 
 
Advanced Coaching Audio

Using the Advanced Coaching Audio, there are many voices available to use, even “enhanced” versions of many of them = Male, Female, you name it. See how to change voices and improve the coaching on the app here:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202362  

Some of the voices sound pretty good to us here, I use Karen, some really like Samantha, but there are many to choose from. Features you get with advanced audio coaching:

  • Multiple voice types and accents, including foreign language support
  • Workout totals readout on workout complete
  • Zone name readouts (perfect for custom named zones!)
  • Structured workout routine Target Zone Coaching: Get coached on routines whether you are in, below or above zone consistently. Perfect for regimented training programs, reminds you to stay in easy zones or when you need to push a bit harder!
Posted in iOS

Apple Watch Troubleshooting

Now that you’ve Installed the Apple Watch Companion App and linked up Apple Health, you should be great to go on any kind of adventure with your Fitdigits app.

However, sometimes trouble does arise, even on the best of adventures. What follows are different issues and how to address them if you do come across them. 

No Heart Rate Connected in the app

  1. Make sure that Apple Health is linked and all share permissions granted. You might even disable and re-enable the linking just to be sure. 
  2. Make sure you have the Apple Watch paired and selected as your active heart rate monitor on your app on the iPhone. 
  3. Make sure you aren’t in Apple Watch Stand Alone mode if you want to view heart rate on your iPhone. 
  4. Make sure you have the Fitdigits Apple Watch Companion App installed
  5. Make sure Workout Power Saving Mode is turned OFF:
    1. Open the Apple “Watch” app
    2. Tap General
    3. Scroll down, make sure Workout Power Saving Mode is turned OFF

Apple Watch Screen Cut Off

Apple Watch Cut Off

If you see your Apple Watch and the watch face looks like it has been cut off at the top, our apologies. We’ve researched it quite a bit and have only found others who experience the same with their apps. It is an easily reproducible situation – just force close watch app, fire up a workout from the phone (which will have the phone start the watch app fresh) and you have a screen cut off at the top.

General consensus currently attributes this to a bug in the WatchOS we hope they will fix soon, unfortunately there is no solution yet but there is a fix:

  1. Hard Close / Force Close the Apple Watch application by holding the power button and then holding in the crown.
  2. Open the watch app / start a workout from the watch, before trying to start a workout from phone > watch.
  3. Once you see the Cancel button on the watch home screen, you should be good. You can then cancel on the watch if you want and use phone or watch.

Apple Watch Stand Alone Issues

If your app is stopping after a very brief period of time, or failing to transfer workouts on a regular basis, perform these steps on the watch:

Watch App Re-Installing
  1. Slide up the widget tray, and enable airplane mode.
  2. Wait a moment, then disable airplane mode
  3. Close the drawer and open the app list.
  4. If iCardio starts reinstalling for no reason, then the installation is bad. In that case see Re-Install the Apple Watch Companion App below. You can tell it is re-installing if it looks like it is reloading.

If your app is telling you that the watch is currently in Stand Alone mode, and won’t launch an activity on the phone, there is a flag that somehow wasn’t cleared on the watch / phone. To clear the flag:

  1. Open the Apple Watch companion app
  2. Tap the green icons on the home screen in the lower right until only the green watch shows, putting it in stand alone mode.
  3. Tap the icon on the home screen to start an activity, then tap Cancel.
  4. Tap the green icon in the lower right to put it back in tethered mode. You should be good to go from here.

Apple Watch / iPhone Communication Issues

If you are having trouble getting an activity to start on your iPhone when starting from your Apple Watch, or from the Watch from the iPhone, the easiest and most basic thing is to try launching an activity from the other device and then tapping Cancel. 

  1. Open the iPhone app
  2. Tap the Quickstart play icon
  3. Tap Cancel
  4. Tap Quickstart play icon again

Simply tapping play / cancel a time or so on the watch and phone has been shown very effecting in resetting communicating after loss of connection. 

Apple Watch Connection Troubleshooting

If you don’t see a Cancel button show on the watch screen under the workout type, you may need to Hard Close the watch app. 

Hard Close the Watch App

  1. Make sure the app you want to hard close is the one running in the foreground.
  2. Push and hold the bottom button on the right of the watch until the power off screen appears.
  3. Push and hold the digital crown button. You will see it go back to the main apps screen, that hard closes the watch app.

Ping the Phone from the Watch

  1. Go to the home screen on the watch (not the main apps, but the main watch face)
  2. 2. Swipe up from the bottom bezel to get the Watch equivalent of the phone controls
  3. The Ping phone is the lower left button with the phone icon. Tap that and it will ping on the phone (a good way to find your phone too!)

Hard Close the iPhone App

Still having trouble?  Hard close the app on the phone and re-open 

Reboot the Watch and iPhone

Sometimes everything just needs a good reboot to reset all bluetooth settings and other communication options. 

  1. Watch: Push and hold the bottom button on the right of the watch until the power off screen appears. Slide the power off indicator. Hold the bottom button on the watch to turn the Watch backk on. 
  2. iPhone: See here on how to reboot the different iPhone devices

Re-Install the Apple Watch Companion App

  1.  Open the Apple “Watch” app
  2. Scroll down to the Apps section and tap on your app name (iCardio, iBiker, iRunner)
  3. Turn the Show on Apple Watch switch to off, it will uninstall (wait…).
  4. Once uninstalled, tap it on to install it again.
  5. If it doesn’t show, see Troubleshooting Installing the Companion App
iCardio showing on Apple Watch App
Installing, or re-installing, the Apple Watch extension

Apple Watch 

Installing the Companion App

Apple Watch Setup 

Running a Stand Alone Apple Watch Session

Optimize Heart Rate from the Apple Watch

Troubleshooting

 

Running a Stand Alone Apple Watch Workout

Apple Watch Stand AloneFreedom. Workout with Freedom.

 

Tap the green icons in the corner of the watch screen. One green watch icon, you are watch only. Tap and add a green phone icon and you broadcast between them. 

 

Apple Watch 

Installing the Companion App

Apple Watch Setup 

Optimize Heart Rate from the Apple Watch

Troubleshooting

 

Sync Your Settings Changes

New to the gear section is the option to Sync up the settings on your phone with the settings on your watch. Most of the time the sync is done silently in the back end, but there are times when you’ve customized your workout list, heart rate zones or other settings and you want to push the updates. Tap the Gear > Sync and presto, up to date. 

Stand Alone Watch

Requirements for Apple Watch Stand-alone:

  1. For effortless Heart Rate tracking. Apple Watch Series 1 or above. (if phone is nearby, Series 1 will track GPS from the phone)
  2. For effortless Heart Rate + GPS tracking. Apple Watch Series 2 or above must be paired with your Apple iPhone.
  3. The Apple Watch must be running WatchOS 4.0 or higher. iPhone must be on iOS 10+.
  4. You must have all appropriate Apple Health Heart Rate permissions.
  5. You must have an upgrade for the account to use the Apple Watch in Stand-alone mode.

Current Users – NOTE: ON INITIAL OVERLAY INSTALL YOU SHOULD GET AN EXTRA POPUP REQUESTING EXPANDED PERMISSIONS ON APPLE HEALTH

In order to run a stand alone workout on the watch, a new permission must be enabled from Apple Health, called Workout Routes. There should be a popup that comes up, please enable there. If for some reason it does not show, open Apple Health and tap Sources, iCardio, and enable the permission there.

Apple Health New Permission

After it is enabled, we need to make sure it is registered not just with the phone, but also on the watch. One way to make sure this happens is to put the watch in “tethered” mode, then tap the quick start or the gear icon – you will get a popup if they aren’t communicating, tapping Retry should get the link going if it is available.That’s the best method, if that doesn’t trigger a sync then maybe hard close the app on the watch and re-open. See more on Apple Watch Troubleshooting.

Installing the Apple Watch Companion App

Once you’ve got the main Fitdigits app installed, you need to install the Apple Watch companion app onto your Apple Watch.

Apple Watch AppFor some people who have their Apple Watch installed and have set the Watch app on their device to “Automatic App Install”, there is nothing more to do. However, if your settings do not allow automatic installation, you must first open the Watch app on your phone, then scroll down until you see the app name (iCardio, iBiker, iRunner or iWalker depending on your version), and tap “Install” next to it.

Install Apple Watch Companion Apps

While you are in the Watch app, also make sure that the “Workout Power Saving Mode” is turned Off.

  1. Open the Apple “Watch” app
  2. Tap General
  3. Scroll down, make sure Workout Power Saving Mode is turned OFF

Don’t See Your App in the Watch App like above?

If you do not see your App listed in the Watch list screen above, please reboot your iOS device, it should show up then.

Sometimes on install, with any watch companion app, the device doesn’t pick up the availability.

 

More on Apple Watch:

Apple Watch Setup

Running a Stand Alone Apple Watch Session

Optimize Apple Watch Heart Rate Readings

Troubleshooting

Power Sensor Support & Power Zones

Ready for some Power? We are! Cranking up the Watts just makes you feel, well, powerful. And according to science, there is no more accurate version of calories burned than Kilojoules, something you can only get accurately by measuring watts. For cycling, it is the rage, and for good reason. If you are interested in learning more on the history and the power revolution, listen to this great podcast with Hunter Allen at VeloNews.

So let’s jump right into the nitty-gritty. The requirements are pretty basic – a compatible BLE Power Meter, an iOS compatible device with one of our apps installed and a Star Membership.

Pairing your Bluetooth low-energy Power Meter

Menu > Sensors > Power > tap the + sign while engaging the power sensor (turning the crank)

Tap OK to pair with the sensor.

Note: If there are multiple sensors found, like if you are in a Spin(r) class, you will also see a proximity meter next to the sensors. Typically the most powerful signal is the one closest to you. Tap that sensor to pair.

Running a Workout with Power

Once your sensors are paired, simply hit the play/go button on the activity type you’re using the sensor on, or chose any number of ways you can start your workout / workout routines. It will acquire the sensor as you activate it, and begin the workout. If you want different data then what is shown on the default dashboard, you can easily setup custom dashboards, even one just dedicated to Power metrics. You also can swipe to a Power (Watts) graph, with Power Zones if you have set them up or done a Personal Power Assessment.

Setting Up / Editing Power Zones

Creating and Editing Power ZonesSetting up Power Zones is easy, and allows you to start designing workouts specifically targeting different systems and improvements. You typically want to personalize your zone set (see more on the Personal Power Test (PPT) below) to customize your zones to your current fitness level (we are not fans of default zones here!! We are all individuals and very different, and we respect that!). If you are familiar with customizing and managing heart rate zones, it’s the same process.

Select your activity type for the Zones, tap the Gear / Activity Options icon.

Under the Preferences section, tap Dashboards & Zones. Then tap Power Zones > Add Zone Set

Tap the title to change it, change the values on the right to modify them, tap the zone name to change those if you want.

Edit Power ZonesTap Save to save the set. That will bring you back to the Zone Set list. Tap again into the details and tap Set Default at the top if you want to use that zone set as your default.

To delete a zone set, in the Zone Set listing, tap edit, then tap the red delete icon on the left.

Personal Power Test (PPT) – Power Zone Assessment

Training at various intensities gives specific physiological adaptations. The most accurate way to categorize intensity ranges is by measuring the work-rates that cause various physiological responses. Power Zones are based on a percentage of a rider’s baseline fitness marker, known as Personal Power Threshold (PPT). PPT represents the rider’s ‘work-threshold’ or their current level of fitness. With power meter technology of the Spinner® Chrono or the Crank, the result of a relatively simple and straightforward test can accurately establish your PPT. Once determined, riders can train in their unique ranges based on a percentage of their PPT. Since power is dynamic and improvement in fitness will increase PPT, it is important to retest quarterly (or sooner) to track progress and re-establish zones that match the rider’s current fitness level.

Personal Power Test AssessmentThe Personal Power Threshold Test (PPT Test) is a sub-maximal, repeatable test to determine PPT. It is:
• The personal results of an individual rider
• A scientifically validated incremental test
• Easy to learn
• Repeatable and Reliable
• Sub-maximal, and so can be performed by nearly everyone

After a 10 minute warm up (you can skip this by double tapping on the screen at any time), the test consists of back-to-back two-minute stages, in which the rider sustains a cadence goal within 5RPM of the target, while remaining a seated position, in Hand Position two. The first stage begins with light resistance on the flywheel. Each corresponding stage begins by increasing resistance, while keeping cadence and riding position the same.

The added resistance should be enough to feel the change, as if increasing RPE (Real Perceived Exertion) to the next level. This also noted as increased wattage. Since individuality and fitness level will determine the actual wattage change, it will generally be around 5–20 watts. Adding too much resistance will bring the rider to threshold too soon. Adding too little resistance will extend the overall duration of the PPT Test. Generally speaking, a rider should aim to complete 5-8 2 minute ramps to completion.

The graded ramp process continues until the rider can no longer sustain the workload for an entire two-minute stage. This will be noted by an obvious decline in the ability to sustain steady pedaling, cadence and riding position. The rider’s PPT is the workload sustained during the last fully completed stage.

Below are the guidelines for implementing the PPT Test. This assumes you have your power meter already paired (see above).

  • Tap Indoor Cycling or Bike (outdoors)
  • Tap the Activity Options (Gear Icon located in lower left of the Activity type screen)
  • Tap Assessments
  • Tap PPT Assessment
  • Warm up countdown will begin. Warm-up for 10 minutes at an easy pace, shifting through different resistance loads and incorporating a few 10-20 second hard efforts. Include some transitions in and out of the saddle. You may advance to PST Test at any time during warm-up, by double tapping the countdown bar.
  • After warm up, begin Ramp 1 with light resistance on the flywheel, at a low workload and cadence that feels relaxed and most natural. The app will begin to countdown 2 minutes. During this time, the app will use your current cadence to determine and set a cadence goal for the proceeding ramps.
  • After 2 minutes, app will transition for 15 seconds to Ramp 2. During the 15 second countdown, the app will inform rider of cadence goal to sustain for next ramps. Increase resistance, while keeping target cadence and riding position the same. The added resistance should be enough to feel the change, as if increasing RPE to the next level. This will also be noted as increased wattage. The app will begin to countdown 2 minutes. Maintain the target cadence range, within 5 RPM, while maintaining riding position and resistance. The app will inform the rider if their cadence is higher or lower than the target cadence. After 2 minutes, app will transition for 15 seconds to Ramp 3. During the 15 second countdown, the app will inform rider to increase resistance, while keeping their target cadence and riding position the same. The added resistance should be enough to feel the change, as if increasing RPE to the next level. This will also be noted as increased wattage.
  • The ramp process continues until the rider can no longer sustain the workload for the full 2 minute duration. At this time, rider will slide HEART ICON to stop the PPT Test.
  • The app will display a summary of the PPT Test Ramps. Rider will choose the last fully completed as their PPT.
  • Once the PPT is determined, unique Power Training Zones will be determined based on a percentage of PPT. Power Training Zones allows riders to build their training intensity and boost their current level of conditioning in their current training programs.

 

Optimize Apple Watch Heart Rate Readings

Have you see flatlines or choppy heart rate readings from your Apple Watch?


The most basic thing to check is to make sure you’ve enabled ALL your Apple Health permissions but if that hasn’t helped, or you have results that aren’t quite flat-lined for an entire workout, something like this: 


Here are some tips to get the best out of your experience and the cleanest heart rate readings we can get while tracking activities. Like most wrist based HRMs, the values are not quite as accurate as those of chest straps or the Scosche Rhythm+, but there are a few things you can do to help.

Tighten and check position of the Apple Watch

  • Check the positioning of your Apple Watch. The Watch should be snug, but still comfortable. You can move the Watch so it sits higher on your wrist (toward your elbow).

Close Apps Currently in the Background

  1. On the Watch, press and hold down the side button until the shutdown screen appears. Release the side button, then press and hold the Digital Crown to force quit the active app
  2. Force quite any other apps running on the iPhone as well

Restart Fitdigits app on Watch and iPhone – see Troubleshooting

In the end, a lot of factors play into results, but you should be able to be as fluid as the screen shot above!

Special notes:

  • Haptics will disrupt the optical heart rate sensor on your Apple Watch. When your Watch buzzes from notifications, it will not query HR for that moment, which can result in a brief dropout.
  • Like with other heart rate monitors, we recommend using one app at a time. Using Fitdigits along with the Heart Rate or Workout app will result in poor readings.

Happy tracking!

Apple Watch 

Installing the Companion App

Apple Watch Setup 

Optimize Heart Rate from the Apple Watch

Troubleshooting