Yesterday I spent some time looking through Apple Health Data Sources. I see that there are plenty of data sources. These are the Apple watch, the iphone, Alltrails, move, connect, stepsapp, pacer, Suunto, Ingress and three more that are marked as inactive.
Move is the app that gets data from some Casio watches. Connect is Garmin connect and gets step data from Garmin devices. If I take steps and they are logged with a casio or a garmin device they do not count in iOS apps but if I take steps with Garmin and Casio devices without also wearing the Apple watch the same steps are not counted.
The Apple Fitness and Health apps have access to all the same data. Everything goes to a central database on the iPhone. It’s from the iphone that the data is not shared transparently between all other apps.
In practice whether you have a suunto, Garmin, Apple Watch or other fitness tracker each device should feed, or retrieve data from Apple health, and each should display that data, regardless of which device you wear.
Whether I wear my Garmin, Suunto or Apple watch I would like all three to access health data transparently so that I can choose which individual watch I want to wear on a specific day. I don’t want to have to wear all three of them. Not that I do. I only have two wrists. 😉 I can only wear two at once.
The privacy argument is moot, because each app can be granted access to Apple Health, and Apple Health can be granted access to each app. This means that all the data is already transiting both ways for all apps.
When you buy a Casio or other watch the battery is expected to last from three years to ten years, and you are expected to replace the battery when it dies. With the Apple watch, now that it is four years old, the next step would be to swap the battery. The Apple watch is now at 70 percent. The battery costs 79 CHF to replace.
When the Suunto battery got low on the Ambit 3 I got a Spartan, but when I replaced the Spartan I went for a Garmin, so I lost the ability to keep my old log going, and had to migrate to the Garmin app. With the Apple Watch we’re on yet another silo. Every brand has a silo. With the Apple watch it’s worse, because you have the fitness app, but then you have all the third party apps. Everything would break at once if you stop using the Apple Watch.
I would love for Garmin, Suunto and Apple wath to allow the free flow of tracking data in both directions, so that I could choose the best device to wear, and the best app to fiddle around with. Strava is the giant in the room, but I don’t want to use an app where I have to pay a premium for added functionality.
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