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Inside watchOS 3: Customize your Apple Watch display on a workout-by-workout basis

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With the upcoming watchOS 3 update, tracked workouts with Apple Watch will not only display more information in the midst of an exercise, but the type of information shown can be completely customized by the user.

To customize the views, users must open the Apple Watch app on their connected iPhone running iOS 10. From there, choose "My Watch," then "Workout," and "Workout View."

There Apple presents a choice of "Single Metric," where just one workout stat is shown at a time, or "Multiple Metric," with a variety of readouts during an exercise.

Choosing the latter presents users with the full range of workouts that can be tracked by the native Workout app on Apple watch. Each of these can be individually customized to a user's liking.

For example, select "Outdoor Run," and users are presented with seven total possible metrics to be displayed on the Apple Watch screen. Up to five of them can be shown at once during a workout.

For an outdoor run, the full list of metrics are:

  • Active Calories
  • Average Pace
  • Current Pace
  • Distance
  • Duration
  • Heart Rate
  • Total Calories

Options are more limited for other types of workouts. For example, an elliptical workout gives options for duration, active calories, total calories and heart rate —  and these can be displayed in any order the user chooses, or not displayed at all.

The full list of exercises that can be tracked by Apple's native Workout app are:

  • Outdoor Walk
  • Outdoor Run
  • Outdoor Cycle
  • Indoor Walk
  • Indoor Run
  • Indoor Cycle
  • Elliptical
  • Rower
  • Stair Stepper
  • Other

Settings for the Workout app also include a "Power Saving Mode," where the heart rate sensor is disabled for running and walking workouts. Apple notes that this saves battery life, but does not make calorie burn calculations less accurate. Users can still rely on an external Bluetooth heart rate monitor with this mode disabled, if they so choose.

Finally, the Workout app also has an "Auto Pause" mode, during which workouts will automatically pause and resume when a user stops and starts moving during an outdoor or indoor running workout.

On the Apple Watch itself, the Workout app gains a new "Quick Start" option, which gives users the ability to repeat the same workout they previously completed.

And upon finishing an unlabeled "Other" workout, users are also given the option of naming it. Choosing this presents a range of sports, including archery, Australian-rules football, golf, pilates, skiing, strength training, and yoga.

watchOS 3 is a free update for all Apple Watch owners that will arrive this fall. It's currently available in beta for for developers to test.

For more, see AppleInsider's ongoing "Inside watchOS 3" series, parts of which are linked below: