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Activity Rings 2.0: Is it time Apple reconsider how they work?



I'm in the middle of training for a marathon at the end of October, so I've drained my races so easily. Last weekend I did a run of nine kilometers. While reading this, I'm probably in a ten kilometer run. I plan to continue emptying my weekend's long run up so lightly until I have eighteen or so. Since I have been in training mode, I realize some of the edge cases where Activity Rings fall apart for people who exercise frequently. When I woke up last Sunday, the last thing I wanted to train was again. My legs were hurt from running fifteen miles the previous two days. As I didn't run early that morning, I went out and ran a 5k that night to close my rings. And I would lie if I said my activity competition with Zac Hall didn't weigh me in mind. During my Sunday evening run, I brainstormed in some ways that Apple could fine-tune activity rings to make them better suited to people who have heavy weights or heavy cardio and need rest days to recover. Here's how the Activity Rings 2.0 in Apple Watch can look (including ideas for fine-tuning activity competitions).

Scrolling over points for the next day

One of my frustrations about the activity watches on Apple Watch is that you can only get a maximum of six hundred points per day. This also bleeds into my frustrations with the current activity ring that is set up as well. The day after the marathon in the middle of October there is a chance of zero percent that I reach my stand, move or train the goal. I'll do well just to get it out of bed. Why doesn't Apple Watch take this into account? One idea I had was to let you bank spend the next day. However, it would not be one for one trade. It would be a one-third trade. If I spend thirty minutes extra today, I can get a ten minute waiver of the day after and still get the credit for closing my rings. The same concept can also work with activity competitions. If Apple wants the daily "max" to be six hundred, let me roll over a third of how much I go over it. If I had technically got 900 points (300 over max), then start me at 1

00 for the beginning of the next day. This method of rolling over points will let me pay attention to heavier workouts having to rest the next day. I think this would be a welcome change in Activity Rings 2.0.

Sick Days

I know that many people rely on closing their rings every day. For the days I have owned an Apple Watch, I probably haven't shut them down at that time. Most of them came from either a heavy workout (see my point from above) or if I was sick. Why can't Apple account for sick days with Activity Rings? Here's my suggestion: For every 60 days you close your rings, you get a "sick day". You can only use it if you are less than 20% of the daily move or exercise target for the day. The idea behind it is that if you are at the end of the day and just want to ditch the gym, you cannot claim a sick day. Adding a sick day option to Activity Rings 2.0, you can still aim to close your rings every day, but know you can take a "sick day" without ruining your stroke.

Wrap-up on Activity Rings 2.0

What are your thoughts on my proposed changes? Is the current model perfect, or should Apple tweak it? Have you noticed that your health improved when you used Apple Watch? I think Apple's focus on health is great, and I can't wait to see how technology advances improve Apple Watch even more. With watchOS 6s features already set, we may see some activity ring updates in watchOS 7.

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