Standalone app for Apple Watch Series 3

Comments

8 comments

  • Avatar
    reedmck

    The Apple Watch 3 is a near-perfect platform for Gaia.

  • Avatar
    gaia

    I totally agree. I finally bought the Apple Watch 3 because of the barometer and cellular only to find out there is a complete lack of app support for these hardware features. Not to mention that you cannot Tx/Rx texts on the watch unless the paired iPhone is on and connected. So my watch is going back until the platform is better supported as a standalone unit. I can deal with the battery drain but not with having to have the phone along to enable primary functions. If I were prioritizing app support I'd put this at the top of the list. There is also 16GB of RAM on the phone as well so plenty of storage for some map data.

  • Avatar
    bkrier

    Agree that using the Apple Watch3  alone with GAIA is no where as helpful (panning in and out is slow)as with my iphone, however, concerning texting- my watch3 will send and receive texts when my phone is in airplane mode. Just tested it.

  • Avatar
    gaia

    Sorry, should have clarified that I was talking about a cellular only scenario. The AW3 will not make calls or text (SMS) over cellular on its own unless the paired iPhone is on and also connected to cellular (confirmed through Apple and ATT) so I am betting you must have had a WiFi connection on the watch for your test. However.... one consolation is your phone could be in CA and your watch in NY and as long as both are connected to cellular the watch will make calls and SMS texts and communicate with the phone (some interesting possibilities there). Gaia said they have no near term plans to write an Apple Watch app. MotionX has an AW app but it doesn't utilize the barometer, cellular connection or GPS on the watch (e.g. watch is just a UI to the phone's hardware). I want to leave my phone behind and go for a trail run/bike/ski with no connectivity and capture GPS workout stats. Would be nice as well to improve elevation stats with the barometer on AW3. For the reason you state maps on the watch would be a nice to have but useful scenarios are limited. Gaia and MotionX are both good apps (prefer Gaia) but I don't really care which one gets it done first.

  • Avatar
    bkrier

    I am just getting back into backpacking after 10 years and it is unbelievable how technology has advanced. I love the online GAIA GPS for planning- can't wait to go for a hike this weekend and follow my trip I have planned.
    I would like to suggest one more screen for the apple 3 watch: it would allow you to select the next waypoint and select "guide me" as on the iphone then if you hold your watch on your arm in front of you the map is oriented as the terrain would be in real life as you look over your watch. Having a small range of the compass on the front edge showing current heading and a line to the next waypoint to guide you. Hope that is clear but think it would be very helpful

  • Avatar
    fedeico

    Me too looking for a "more independent" Watch app, either for cellular and gps only versions.

    One thing I would like to do is to go outdoor with my Watch but without my iPhone - record the track on the Watch memory itself - come back home and sync the track with iPhone/mac. It can be done it on Trails app (sorry if I mention another app).

    Thanks for your attention.

  • Avatar
    bkrier

    Wanted to give my feedback on the GAIA app using the iphone 8 plus and the iphone watch 3 on the Art Loeb Trail (ALT) n North Carolina the first weekend in November 2017.

    When we started at the southern trailhead in Bravard, NC, it was just nice to have. I love maps and this was by far the best experience on trail I have ever had using a map. Fantastic detail and accuracy. The watch kept track of altitude, which was most helpful for knowing how we were progressing. The distance was helpful, however, due to a human error- I had somehow started to record in the car 80 miles before we started out hike. lol. I corrected this by starting a new recording each day. Distance and altitude seemed very accurate. The mph that I was hiking varied too much on the watch from one moment to the next when I really had not changed pace. After 30 minutes, I stopped using the phone app and used the watch- mostly just checking altitude to see how I was progressing to the next waypoint. The map on the watch was not useful at all- I never was able to see the "guide me" line on the watch even though I had it showing on the phone. But for the first 2/3 of the trek it did not matter since the trail was well marked. However, on our 3rd day when we entered the Shining Rock Wilderness the phone app's usefulness prevented us from getting lost three times when we ran into multiple unmarked trail intersections; it also helped us find a better alternative trail when we ran into signs telling us the ALT was closed due to erosion. In the wilderness area I used the phone app with the "guide me" line marked to our next waypoint and it directed us flawlessly to the correct trail!

    Only improvements that I would like to see is a better map on the watch that shows the "guide me" line as well as have the GAIA watch app start up automatically again when I would "awaken" the watch after hiking awhile (my watch would default back to the clock screen after a certain time) . It got dangerous pulling the phone out and trying to keep walking so an improved watch app would be great. BUT all that said, I can't see me changing to any other app at this time!

    By the way, despite trying to enhance battery life on my phone and watch- I did need to bring along 2 power banks; one for the watch was <6oz and one for my phone that weighed in just under 1lb. So much for packpacking lite. But seeing how it kept us from getting lost several times, the extra weight was worth it. I charged every night- both the phone and watch got down to <40% after each day. Both power banks were still >80% after the 3 days.

    Thanks GAIA staff and developers! 

  • Avatar
    taewu

    All I want is hiking with only my Apple Watch but I can occasionally check where I am on a small offline map, despite that this can also save battery life for both Watch and iPhone and eliminate the possibility of connection problems in other cases. Please, make this happen.

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