How many of the apps on your iPhone do you truly, madly, deeply love? Mail? Nope. Safari? OK. Calendar? Uh, not so much. Reminders? That’s a love hate relationship. Maps. Yes. Until you get led to the wrong location. Music? Too confusing. Stocks? When the market is going up, yes.
What about Keynote, Pages, and Numbers? What’s not to like? They’re good. They run on every device. They’re free. But love? Nope. Messages? Actually, yes. What about iPhone apps you hate? I have one.
iPhone and Watch have an app called Activity. It’s the Apple exercise app that tracks three activities and displays them in concentric rings. Blue for Stand, Yellow for Exercise, Red for Move.
What’s not to like?
Keep track of your activity from your Apple Watch, including historical progress toward closing your Activity rings and all the important metrics from your workouts.
That seems reasonable enough. I started on working toward closing my rings about a year ago. It worked. The more I close the rings the more weight goes down and the more fit I became.
- View progress toward closing your Activity rings and see all-day Activity metrics like total steps and distance.
- See details for your Move goal, including active calories, total calories, and a visual graph of your calorie burn throughout each day.
- See details for your Exercise goal, including exercise calories, total active time, and a visual graph of your exercise minutes throughout each day.
- See details for your Stand goal, including number of hours stood and idle hours.
- View your historical workouts from the Workout app or any third-party fitness apps on your Apple Watch.
- See important metrics from each workout including average pace, distance, calories burned, average heart rate, and more.
Again, what’s not to like?
All of it.
Every day is a new day with rings that need to be closed. It never ends. Worse, every new month has a whole month of rings that are not closed. Ged Maheux agrees:
I woke up this morning and realized I’m once again starting a whole new month to try and keep my current move and exercise streaks alive in Apple’s Activity app. I’ve been really proud of myself for keeping the streak going for 3 whole months (I know people who have gone years!) but honestly, looking ahead at an empty September is daunting.
Indeed. Daunting is the right word. Also, depressing. The mounting pressure every day and every month seems to increase as the days turn into months, and the months keep coming.
There is no rest period. Activity app is incessant, not enjoyable.
The problem only gets worse over time. The longer my streak continues, the more pressure there is not to break it. It can be so stressful in fact, some people have come up with clever hacks to work around breaking streaks.
Clever hacks? Yep. I got one.
Just turn on Activity on Watch, select the last category on the bottom– Other– and sit back and relax. Activity hums along recording Exercise, extending the Move ring, and somehow adding to the Stand ring, all while watching reruns of The Big Bang Theory.
Apple is not helping something that is in dire need of help. Yes, exercise is good, but where the hell is the Rest ring?
Let’s just set aside the fact that the Activity app doesn’t even allow you to keep your streaks alive if you become sick or injured. That’s bad enough. But not to be able to give myself a much-needed break after many months of filling my rings is a poor decision on Apple’s part.
This is why Apple needs to change Activity so it includes what all activities need. Rest periods. Hey, Apple, reward me with badges for exercise, yes; but reward me for taking much needed rest periods, too.
Otherwise, I continue to hate the Activity app.