WorkOutDoors

WorkOutDoors

User Guide

Workouts

Starting a Workout

Ending a Workout

Pausing and Resuming a Workout

Changing the Data Screen

Maps

How to turn on Auto-Rotation

What is the Green Compass?

How to Hide the Compasses

Full Screen Map

How to see the Latitude and Longitude

How to load Maps for use Offline

How to Remove Maps from the watch or iPhone

GPX Routes

How to Load GPX Routes

What do the Colours of the GPX route mean?

What is Hollow Mode?

How to Remove or Delete a GPS route

Common Problems

No Heart Rate

Poor Heart Rate

Poor GPS

Data not matching Strava/Garmin/etc

Data not getting sent between watch and iPhone

Cannot import GPX route file

Other Strange Issues


Workouts

Starting a Workout

To start a workout simply start the app and choose the activity type from the menu.

Note: it is worth waiting until you get a good GPS signal before starting a workout. The app shows the signal strength in the top left of the main menu. It is best to wait until you get 4 or 5 blue bars before starting or the distance estimates my be inaccurate.

Ending a Workout

To end a workout press the screen hard until a menu appears and then select '"End" from that menu.

Pausing and Resuming a Workout

To pause a workout press the screen hard until a menu appears and then select '"Pause" from that menu. Repeat the process and select "Resume" to continue the workout.

Alternatively press both side buttons at once to pause or resume.

If you wish then you can use the Shortcuts option on the Commands settings to configure different gestures to perform different commands. So you could set up a different gesture to pause the app, or you could make pressing both side buttons do some other operation instead of pausing the app.

Changing the Data Screen

To change the data screen swipe left or right. This will show the next or previous screen of data. When a map is visible then swipe below the map or it will pan the map.

To configure the layout, font and metrics shown on the screens please see the "Screen Configuration" section.

Maps

How to turn on Auto-Rotation

Auto-Rotation will rotate the screen according to the direction of your travel. Tap the red compass in the bottom right of the map to switch between "North Up" and "Auto-Rotation".

Note: Apple Watches prior to the Series 5 do not have a compass, so the orientation is calculated from your changing position. This means that the compass will not appear at the start of a workout until you have moved far enough for the app to determine the direction.

What is the Green Compass?

The green compass shows the direction back to the start. Tap it to see a message describing the distance and direction back to the start of the workout.

How to Hide the Compasses

If you want to hide the compasses to show more of the map then simply double tap them. Double tap again to make them reappear. This also works with the GPS and battery meters and the shaded background behind the time.

Full Screen Map

To see a full screen map simply double tap the display at any time during the workout. Try not to double tap the compasses or the GPS or battery meters because that will hide or show them.

Note that this will not work if you have used the Shortcut settings to configure the double tap gesture to perform a different command.

How to see the Latitude and Longitude

Tap the blue dot or arrow at the GPS position and the current latitude and longitude will be shown at the bottom of the screen. Tap again to see the altitude, and again to see the bearing of your current course. If you are in the UK then tapping again will show the Ordnance Survey grid reference.

As an aside, if you tap the time then it will be shown at the bottom of the screen for a while, but with seconds also included.

How to load Maps for use Offline

Go to the Map Downloads tab on the iPhone app. Move the map to show the area that you want. Touch the screen at one corner of the area and drag the resulting box to the other corner. Let go and you will be shown how many tiles need to be downloaded and how many need to be transferred to the watch.

Note: There is a limit to the amount of tiles that you can transfer in one go because it would take too long otherwise.

How to Remove Maps from the watch or iPhone

Go to the Help & Info tab and select the appropriate "Remove All Tiles..." option.

GPX Routes

How to Load GPX Routes

On the iPhone select the GPX route in a Mail message or in Safari. Tap Export or Share and select WorkOutDoors from the list of apps that accept GPX files. The route should appear in the Routes tab on the iPhone. Tap "Send to Watch".

On the watch press hard and select "Settings". Select "Routes" and tap the route you require. This route will then be drawn on the map. Note that the map does not move to show the route.

Note: There is a bug in iOS 13 that sometimes prevents WorkOutDoors from appearing on the list of apps to accept GPX files. To get around this use the new Import button on the Routes tab. Hopefully Apple will fix this issue soon.

What do the Colours of the GPX route mean?

If the GPX route does not contain elevation information then the route is shown in purple. If it does contain elevation data then the shades of purple reflect the gradient at that point (ranging from red to blue). Steep uphill sections are shown in red and steep downhill sections are shown in blue. So a slightly reddish purple would be slightly uphill.

What is Hollow Mode?

Hollow mode draws the GPX route as a pair of parallel lines either side of the actual route. This allows you to see what you will be travelling on, instead of it being obscured by the route.

How to Remove or Delete a GPS route

To remove a GPS route from the watch select it on the iPhone and tap "Remove from Watch". To delete it completely from the iPhone go to the list of routes and swipe left on the route. A Delete button will appear and can be tapped to delete the route from the device.

Common Problems

No Heart Rates

There are several possible reasons for a lack of heart rate information. The first is that you have not given the app permission to access it. To check this go to the Settings app on the iPhone and select Privacy / Health / WorkOutDoors. Make sure that every health setting is enabled (you may need to scroll down to turn them all on). Note that if you have installed on a new iPhone then you may need to give permission again.

The second possibility is that you have Workout Power Saving Mode switched on, which disables the HR sensor during workouts to save power. To check this go to the Watch app on the iPhone and select General on the My Watch tab. Scroll to the bottom to see if it is on. Alternatively go to the Settings app on the watch and tap General and then Workout. On that screen it is called "Power Saving Mode".

The third possibility is that there was an error on installation of the watch app, which is unfortunately reasonably common with iOS and watchOS. To fix this uninstall the watch app (not the iPhone app); reboot both the watch and the phone; and reinstall the watch app.

Poor Heart Rate

If you are seeing heart rate values but only infrequently or they do not look correct then it could be one of many reasons, including not having the strap tight enough, having tattoos, or just having blood vessels further below the skin than most people.

See this article by Apple about what to do in these circumstances.

Poor GPS

GPS accuracy is mainly dependent upon the conditions. However there are a few things that can help. Firstly make sure that you have a good GPS signal before you start. The signal strength is shown in the top left of the screen. Wait until you get 4 or 5 blue bars before starting a workout.

Secondly if you take your iPhone with you then it may be worth switching Bluetooth off so that the watch uses its own GPS instead of the phone GPS. If you did not have your iPhone then maybe try taking it. It is subjective but some people find the watch GPS better than the iPhone GPS and some people find the reverse. Unfortunately Apple do not allow apps to choose which to use - if your iPhone is connected then it uses the GPS in that. Note that your watch battery will last a lot longer if the iPhone is supplying the GPS.

Lastly the position of the GPS device can make a difference. For example if you are using your phone's GPS then try not to keep it at the bottom of a rucksack or too deep in a pocket. Similarly if you find that your watch GPS is poor then maybe consider a different case if it has one. As a last resort you could try wearing the watch upside down (and changing the settings accordingly). Some people report better accuracy that way because they say that the GPS sensor in the watch is then at the top.

Data not matching Strava/Garmin/etc

There are several possible reasons for the data in the WorkOutDoors app not matching that in the system that you export it to. Before we get into them it is worth mentioning that each system does its own thing and getting an exact match can be impossible in some circumstances.

It is also worth mentioning that when exporting a workout it is better to use TCX files rather than GPX files. This is because GPX files can only contain the route, from which the receiving system has to calculate the times and distances. However TCX files allow the app to also include the times and distances that it thinks were correct for the workout. This means that the receiving system should show the same values as WorkOutDoors. I say "should" because some systems respect the TCX data (e.g. Garmin Connect), whilst others seem to ignore some of it and still calculate their own values from the GPS positions (e.g. Strava).

Time Differences: The first thing to check is whether the other system is showing Elapsed or Moving time. For example Strava seems to vary depending on what mood it is in at the time. If you had auto-pause off and the other system is showing Moving time, then change it to show Elapsed time.

If you had auto-pause switched on then some systems ignore the times sent to them in TCX files and try to determine the paused periods themselves purely from the GPS position data, which can result in different times and therefore different pace metrics.

Distance differences: By default WorkOutDoors uses Apple's estimates of distance. These presumably take into account the GPS but also other sensors such as the pedometer (I say "presumably" because Apple give no details about their calculations). You can change this in the settings to only use the GPS but generally Apple's estimates are better, especially if the GPS signal is poor or non-existent.

The problem with distances is similar to that with times. Using Apple's estimates means that the distances shown in WorkOutDoors can differ from the distances shown in other systems which ignore the distance information contained in the TCX files and determine the distance purely from the GPS positions.

In an ideal situation the distances would be similar but if they are wildly out then there are generally two possibilities: your pedometer needs calibrating, or your GPS signal is poor.

To get an idea of which one is the problem look at the workout on the iPhone and go to the GPS tab. If there is a Steps tab but no GPS tab, then select the Steps tab and tap "Show GPS". This will show you how the GPS accuracy varied along the route. The colour scheme matches the signal bars, so blue is good, grey is poor and red is bad. The average accuracy is shown, and if you swipe along the profile below the map then it shows the GPS accuracy at each point. Generally 7m to 8m accuracy or under is good and anything above 10m could affect distances.

If your GPS accuracy is poor then there are a few things that you can try

If the GPS looks ok then your pedometer probably needs recalibrating as described on Apple's website.

If the recalibration doesn't work (Apple's pedometer just doesn't work for some people) then use the GPS instead of Apple's estimates. To do this press the watch screen hard and tap "Settings" and then "More". Find the "Use Calibrated Distance Estimates" setting on that screen and switch it off. Note that this will make distance estimates susceptible to poor GPS signals, such as when you go through tunnels etc.

If you have tried all the above and are still not happy with the consistency between WorkOutDoors and the external system then you could try a third party app such as HealthFit or RunGap. These apps export the data that WorkOutDoors stores in Apple's Health system, so they offer another way to send the data.

Data not transferring between Watch and iPhone

Sometimes the communications between the watch app and the phone app can stop working. This can result in several issues, such as the inability to send maps, screens, intervals or routes from the phone app to the watch app, or the inability for the watch app to send workouts back to the phone. Other communications can still work (for example the workout is successfully sent back to the Health and Activity apps) but communications stop working between the WorkOutDoors watch and iPhone apps.

In this situation the best thing to try first is to reboot both the watch and the iPhone. Sometimes watchOS and/or iOS just need restarting to fix an issue. If this does fix the problem but your workout is still not showing on the iPhone then you can re-send it from the watch. To do this display the main menu on the watch app and press the screen hard and tap "Workout History". Tap the missing workout to see the stats for it and then press hard again and tap "Re-send to iPhone".

If rebooting does not fix the communications problem then try uninstalling the watch app (not the iPhone app); rebooting both the watch and the iPhone; and then reinstalling the watch app. If you do this then watchOS does not remember the watch settings but you can send them from the phone app to the watch app. To send screen configurations make a change to the screen and all changes will be sent to the watch. To send settings go to the "Settings" tab on the iPhone app, tap "File Management" and tap "Send Yesterday's Watch Settings".

Cannot import GPX route file

If you do not see WorkOutDoors in the list of apps when sharing a GPX route then this is probably because you are running iOS 13, which has a bug that sometimes prevents apps appearing in this list. Apple claim that the bug will be fixed in iOS 13.1. In the meantime WorkOutDoors has an Import button on the "Routes" tab of the iPhone app, which allows you to import files from on the phone. This should provide a workaround until Apple fix the problem.

Other Strange Issues

The first thing to try with strange issues is to reboot both the watch and the iPhone. It is a boring standard IT response but sometimes watchOS and/or iOS just need restarting to fix an issue.

If this does not work then please email us at info@workoutdoors.net and we will be happy to help.


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