How does my phone step counter work?

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Julia9054, 13 Feb 2019.

  1. Julia9054

    Julia9054 Veteran

    i have accidentally activated the fitness tracker app on my phone and was wondering how the step counter worked.
    Does it detect side to side motion and assume walking and estimate steps (my phone is generally in a handbag rather than a pocket) or is it using GPS to measure distance travelled and estimating average step count from that.
    All it does is nag me. I can't have my phone on me at work so it doesn't count me walking round my lab - I rarely sit down - and works only intermittently when I am cycling. On Sunday, I went for a 2 hour bike ride (phone in pocket, not handbag!) it told me I had been for a 20 minute walk!
  2. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    Modern life is stressful, woman up and get on with it:angry:.

  3. Old jon

    Old jon Veteran

    I have just spent thirty minutes looking.

    Happily without one.
  4. YukonBoy

    YukonBoy Extra solar

    Ultima Thule
    Likely just detecting motion through its accelerometers. Does the tracker have a website with FAQs?
    Jody likes this.
  5. OP

    Julia9054 Veteran

    Never thought of looking on app website. Having done that it appears that it is indeed detecting motion through accelerometers and not using gps. I guess then that cycling is too smooth a motion to appear to be steps most of the time but not all of the time hence a 2hr bike ride recorded as 20 mins of walking.
    It comes built in with my phone. Having accidentally activated it, I now need to look into how I deactivate it!
  6. Pat "5mph"

    Pat "5mph" A kilogrammicaly challenged woman Moderator

    I think, just close the app like you would close a computer program.
    You could also uninstalled from the apps settings menu, but you might want to use it again in the future.
  7. Jody

    Jody Platinum member

    Is it a Samsung?
  8. Cycleops

    Cycleops Guru

    Accra, Ghana
    Careful if it's a Huawei it could be spying on you and sending the data back to China.
    classic33 likes this.
  9. postman

    postman Legendary Member

    Meanwood ,Leeds

  10. It works on a solid state ‘MEMS’ ( Micro electro-mechanical systems ) inertial accelerometer in the phone. If it detects an acceleration, then a stop, that’s a ‘step’.
  11. Shortandcrisp

    Shortandcrisp Senior Member

    I use an iPhone to record on Strava on the bike. 50 miles on the bike normally results in me having walked about 6-7 miles according to the health data. So more than enough exercise for one day!
  12. slowmotion

    slowmotion Quite dreadful

    lost somewhere
    It takes a reading of the distance from the top of your head to three geo-stationary GPS satellites, thereby detecting each step as your head bobs up and down as you walk. If you "glide", the satellites won't detect any steps. Simple.

    classic33 likes this.
  13. YukonBoy

    YukonBoy Extra solar

    Ultima Thule
    Only works if you are a pigeon.
    swee'pea99 and slowmotion like this.
  14. classic33

    classic33 Legendary Member

    Why's a pigeon need a smartphone for triangulation?
  15. slowmotion

    slowmotion Quite dreadful

    lost somewhere
    classic33 likes this.
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