Your smartwatch can count your strides, with no setup required

I love the idea of having a step-tracker. But I loathe having to carry yet another device on me. And to that end, I'm loving the integration tracking built into the first around of Android Wear smartwatches. It's a very basic integration for now — steps and only steps — but you can't beat the ease of use. Just wear your watch — the LG G Watch or Samsung Gear Live, for now — and it tracks your steps automatically, no setup required.

Oh, and be sure to walk.

Steps

And that's it. Just walk, and your watch keeps track, with a seven-day history saved on the watch.

You do have the option to shut off the tracking if you'd like, as well as adjust the daily goal from as few as 1,000 steps, or as many as 20,000. You also can choose whether you want to see the steps card, or whether you want to save that data at all. Just swipe right from the main steps info.

 

Reader comments

Tracking steps with Android Wear

33 Comments

Stephen,

Thanks for the great app! I'd really love to be able to have the steps automatically sync to a Fitbit account (I'd prefer not to wear the watch AND Fitbit). Are you considering adding this functionality using the Fitbit API?

Thanks!

IMHO, the worst thing about step trackers is that people who are using them usually think they are working out by walking.

Actually, based on the latest recommendations by the American Heart Association, they are. They are finding that 30 minutes of walking per day is very beneficial.

agreed. most fatties have no clue about how many calories they burn vs. what they consume.

Phil - walking to the refrigerator for another beer doesn't count.

This is all its doing. Infact this is all any device that says it is tracking your activity is doing. With the exception of those that actually have heart rate monitors this fitness trackers are a joke, and literally useless.

It's about that (in)accurate. Shook my arms a little bit and it counted 35 steps. Not something I would recommend relying on.

As someone who uses the hell out of his arms in a wheelchair, I'm lucky to break 100 steps by midnight. Likely those 100 steps are "real" steps in the bathroom :P

The beauty of this feature won't be completely realized until 3rd Party fitness companies like Nike+ and Fitbit start integrating their software into the Google Fitocracy.

This really needs to feed into my fitness pal automatically like my fitbit does to be useful. Im sure it will come. Great to see runkeeper and runtastic support it right away thought!

I've found the step tracking features in Android to be extremely unreliable. I prefer runkeeper which uses GPS to track distance but it is also flawed in its measurements, particularily when it comes to elevation.

With the exception of those that actually have heart rate monitors these fitness trackers are a joke, and literally useless. A pedometer on your wrist?... Use your brain people. This is tracking arm movement not steps. Which means, unless you sit around in a comatose state all day you will be doing quite a bit of "walking" while sitting at the office.

what i do is simple but effective. i used GPS to measure out 3.5 miles. i walk out and back every day. 7 miles every day - weather permitting. thank God for Pandora. i actually enjoy it. i'd share diet but that's probably OT.

As mentioned above, spending all day in a wheelchair tells me these do not track arm movement.

A FitBit one will say I walked several thousand steps, the Gear Live will not.

I have no idea how they work, but i can tell you they aren't tracking the movement of your arms.

If I air drum like Neil Peart my steps do indeed increase. Guess I'll have to lay back a bit on my sweet drums moves.

This is incorrect. The method that is used to calculate steps is by looking at the change in acceleration that occurs when your foot hits the ground. It is surprisingly stable, in the sense that it ignores regular movement.

Funny I thought the same thing so I tested it by waving my arms around and my LG G watch did not track the moving of my arms but once I walked a few steps I can see it actually tracked them so how about you try something out before saying it does not work not all pedometer apps work but either way you should try something out before calling it a joke.

I just use the built in S-Health app on my S4. Tracks my steps, and I don't need to buy another device. Or you can use one of the many step counter devices in the Play Store. Maybe if I were going on a run, or a hike, and didn't want to take my smartphone with me, this might be beneficial, however, I'd probably just end up with one of those arm bands where I can stick my phone inside.

My only issue with pedometer apps on cell is I constantly have phone on charger so like having device not just phone. I use a fitbit zip for this reason

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Well I question the accuracy since I just got my Samsung today and strapped it on and headed out to my little one's karate class. While sitting here I have gone from 383 steps to 419 all without leaving my seat. :)

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This is one of the features I was very interested in. I love my fitbit as it has made me accountable for both my amount of activity and my calorie intake. I've lost 30 lbs by simply paying attention to what I eat and how much I do throughout the day. I never would have bothered if the fitbit wasn't so easy. I hope android wear is just as simple to import data into apps like myfitness pal.

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