Tracking laps with Apple Watch

I was really confused on how to, or even if the Apple Watch could track laps using the standard Apple Watch Outdoor Run workout.  It sure seemed like I should be able to tell the watch that I had finished a lap and have it mark that.  It’s a pretty standard feature for most all GPS and Running watches…

However, I didn’t know how to do it, even after some poking around at the watch while on a run.

I’ve found repeatedly over the years in using Apple products, that when I think of some task or option that the device or software ‘should’ do – it probably does.  I just have to find that most Apple of ways – usually with a good search on the web.

For lap tracking, I found my answer today.  From the Apple Support page:

Mark segments in your workout

To mark a segment in your workout, double-tap the screen, then wait for the segment summary to appear. For example, in an Outdoor Run workout on a track, you could mark each lap or distance. In a 30-minute Indoor Cycle workout, you could split the session into three 10-minute segments.

To see all your segments after a workout:

  1. On your iPhone, open the Activity app.
  2. Tap the Workouts tab.
  3. Tap the workout, then scroll down.

Because your screen locks during swimming workouts, you can’t mark segments.


As usual, pretty simple.  I’ll give this a try in my run later today.

Apple Services suck?

The current trendy opinion on Apple in the Twitter-verse and Inter-webs is that Apple services suck.

Ben Thompson is the most recent, in his article released today, titled “Divine Discontent: Disruption’s Antidote”.   It is a very good article on disruption, through the lens of Apple VS Amazon.  Apple Services are not the point of his article, per se, however, towards the beginning he tosses this quote in:

Apple is a product company that struggles at services; Amazon is a services company that struggles at product.

As much as I liked the whole article, this one quote bothered me to read, and continues to stick with me.

My experiences with Apple services are all pretty good.  I use Apple Music, iCloud Drive with desktop sync, iMessage, iPhone back ups, Health, Photos and Maps.  To say nothing about my contacts, calendars, and email all being available on all my devices, instantly.   Hell, I’m even using GameCenter all of a sudden for Churchill Solitaire!

They all work for me.

I’m not sure what Apple could do to make them work ‘more’ for me.  Things sync, they are available, they work.   (I guess my calendar items sometimes don’t sync quickly enough for my ADHD self.  But that is only once in a while.)

So, serious questions here – what has to happen for this popular narrative to change? Is there a way to change it?

Apple’s Ecosystem

I really like this long article by Federico Viticci for MacStories – deep dive into the power of the stock apps provided by Apple and how those tie together the Apple hardware together.

The article is not written from the point of an “Apple Fanboy” whatever that is… In fact, this quote is one of my favorites:

It’s possible to like something and still point out its flaws. This is an unpopular opinion both among those who think Apple can do no wrong, as well as folks who think they’ve done nothing important after Steve Jobs. I strongly believe that both extremist camps are misguided.

Federico echos my own, more limited experience – while it is incredible fun to try out new software and hardware, and it can be quite enlightening to do so, I find myself coming back to the stock apps and software.  Time after time I will try out a new calendar app, or to do app.  And, time after time, I find myself coming back to stock.

I do like trying out other things to see what other new unique things they offer – it informs and educates me so I know what I am giving up.  It seems to satisfy my internal FOMO!

This article has found me downloading the Apple Podcast app again – while I love Overcast, I think I need to try the stock app.   If the lack of Voice Boost and Smart Speed drive me crazy, then I’ll delete the stock app right away….

Apple Watch Software wishlist

Now that I’ve had my Apple Watch Series 3 for a while, here are somethings I’d like to see on the next version of the software:

1 – Keep the screen on at all times.  I think it should be an option for all the time – even if that means dimming the time and date, and turning off all other complications.  However, there are a couple instances where the screen HAS to fully remain on:

  • When in a workout, keep the screen on.
  • When the timer is on, keep the screen on.
  • When the stopwatch is going, keep the screen on.

2 – Please quit showing the ring closing animations DURING A WORKOUT!   I mean, come on!  Wait until I’m done working out.

3 – Manual Laps button during a run workout – so I can track what and how I want to.

4 – Make the HR sensor a little smarter – sometimes it will lose your pulse from time to time if you are using your wrist or arm in the workout.  It needs to be much smarter about picking up the HR.

Too many times it loses my pulse, then somehow catches on to only half of what I’m doing.  If I’m pushing a 140 HR doing a workout, too many times I’ll look down and see 70 – as if it only catches every other beat.  Come on – there is no way a HR goes from 140 to 70 in 10 seconds!  I’m working hard here!

And, it takes way too long to catch up to the HR once it does lose it – I thought it was scanning once per second, but sure doesn’t act like it.

5 – I still want longer battery life, but I’m seeing some really good life span with this new version.  I’ve done a six hour walk/hike with GPS on and still had over 65% battery life.

6 – I’d still like an Apple approved watch face that was all complications – allow me to place my second most used items one swipe away from my main watch face.

7 – More watch faces – including one with digital seconds and an improved large face.

That is all I can think of right now – any that you have thought of that is not on the list?