Apple Watch Setup & Notes

Getting started tracking heart rate and activities with the Apple Watch and Fitdigits apps is fast, easy, and flexible. After you’ve got the Apple Watch Companion Apps installed and active, and linked up Apple Health, you should be good to go and start tracking your adventures! We offer 3 modes: 

  • iPhone / Watch Companion Mode: A remote to the phone, you can run, pause, and stop activities, get heart rate from the watch, view in-workout metrics, and more. This is the standard mode, when both green icons – watch and phone, show on the watch home screen. 
  • Watch Stand Alone Mode: Run your activities without the iPhone around, and still have them safely recorded to the cloud and your Fitdigits account. When there is only one green watch icon on the watch home screen, you are in Stand Alone mode. Easy, lightweight – Freedom.
  • Heart Rate Only Mode: this will show your current heart rate on the watch, and can be used in our app with the phone to track heart rate within an activity, or simply use it to see your heart rate.
    • Tap the gear icon on the watch app home screen
    • Tap the button with the beating heart and <3 Only.

( Note that heart rate monitoring takes up a bit of battery, so you probably don’t want it running endlessly in the background. To cancel the readings in HR Only mode, force-touch to cancel the HR readings. If you have connected it in this mode with the iPhone app in an activity, ending the activity will end the HR readings. )

Current Requirements:

  1. An Apple Watch must be paired with your Apple iPhone.
  2. The Apple Watch must be running WatchOS 5.0 or higher. Phone must be on iOS 12+.
  3. While doing an activity in iPhone / Watch mode, the iPhone must be in the proximity (bluetooth) with the Watch.
  4. You must have all appropriate Apple Health permissions 
  5. You must have an upgrade or membership for the account to use Heart Rate from the Watch.
  6. For heart rate monitoring you must also have Workout Power Saving Mode disabled.

Getting Started with the Apple Watch

  1. Download the Fitdigits app of your choice
  2. On initial registration, link / enable Steps and overall Apple Health partner sharing (which can also be done later through Menu > Partners > Apple Health)
  3. Install the Apple Watch Companion App if not automatically installed
  4. Open the app, tap Menu > Sensors and turn ON the Apple Watch option for Heart Rate Monitors (Upgrade required)

Using the Watch to Track Activities

Important: When using the watch when paired with your iPhone, it is best to make sure the watch app is awake and active in the foreground before starting any kind of communications. Simply raise your wrist and open the app so it is in the foreground.

Tracking an Activity: 

  1. Open the watch or iPhone app. Check to see what icons are green on the main screen.
    1. If is has just the watch icon it is in Stand Alone mode, so references below to the iPhone will not apply.
    2. If you’ve recently changed workout favorites, interval settings or heart rate zones, tap the gear icon on the watch and tap Sync to bring down the changes from the iPhone. 
  2. On the watch or iPhone, swipe to the activity you want to track.
  3. Tap the Workout icon on the watch or the Play icon on the iPhone to begin tracking.
  4. Swipe up or down to show different metrics and screens. 
  5. Swipe down repeatedly or do a Force Tap on any screen to bring up the Pause / End Activity options. 

Tips for a Better Apple Watch Tracking Experience

Apple Watch General Settings

Extend the time the screen shows: For us, we found changing the settings on the watch from a 15 second time-out for the display to a 70 second time-out for the display made for a much better watch experience. You can do this in the Apple’s Watch app, under Settings > General.

Improve Heart Rate Readings: See more on how to get the most of your heart rate readings on our Apple Watch Optimization article.

3rd Party Heart Rate Monitors & Apple Watch

Pairing Scenario
Pair 3rd Party HRM with watch – start from WatchWatch will pull HR from 3rd party HRM, pairing automatically *
Pair 3rd Party HRM with watch – start from iPhoneWatch will pull HR from 3rd party HRM, pairing automatically*
Pair 3rd Party HRM with phone – start with WatchWorkout will fire up, and pull HR from the 3rd party HRM*
Pair 3rd Party HRM with phone – start with iPhonePhone workout will fire up (not watch), and phone will pull HR from 3rd party HRM*
Pair 3rd Party HRM with Watch – start a Watch Stand Alone Watch pulls from 3rd party hrm* **

* Note: you can see you have bpm on the watch, but if you tilt the watch up you don’t see the green light on, indicating the Watch HRM is not active

** Note also if your 3rd party HRM dies the Watch should fire up the HRM on your Wrist

More on Apple Watch:

Running a Stand Alone Apple Watch Session

Optimize Apple Watch Heart Rate Readings