How to get Swim.com app on your Apple Watch
To get Swim.com on your Apple Watch, download the Swim.com app from the iOS App Store at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/swim.com-swimming-workout/id956030704?mt=8
In most cases, if your Apple Watch is connected via Bluetooth to your iPhone, the Swim.com app on the Apple Watch should automatically install within five minutes of the phone app being installed. If it does not, please open the Apple Watch app on your iOS device. Ensure the "My Watch" tab is selected at the bottom and then scroll down until you see Swim.com listed under "Available Apps". Select the orange "Install" button to install the app on your watch.
After you have done that, the app should load on the watch in just a few moments. When it is loaded on the watch, open the app and leave it open on the start screen. You should then go to the Swim.com app and touch the "Device Manager" icon in the upper right corner of the screen to check and make sure Swim.com is recognizing your Apple Watch.
When you are on the "Devices" menu, make sure Apple Watch is selected under Device Type. From there, try changing your pool size to something other than the default. If the watch and phone app are connected and working properly, you should see the course length change on the start screen of the watch almost immediately after changing it.
How do I set a custom course length?
To set a custom course length, open the Swim.com app on your watch and leave it running in the foreground on the main menu screen. Then, open the Swim.com iOS app and open the device manager by touching the icon in upper right corner when the Progress or Swims tab is selected. For Device Type, make sure Apple Watch is selected. Then select Custom Option under "Pool Size">Custom. Set the course length to your desired custom course length and then select OK.
Once you select OK, the Swim.com app menu screen on your watch should immediately reflect this new course length.
On the watch app itself, you can toggle between a standard and custom course length by tapping on the grey course length box on the main menu screen. Doing so will expose a menu in which you can choose between courses by rotating the crown button or using the touch screen. The watch will always store the last course you used, so your custom course will be there until you go back to using a standard course length. If you go back to a standard course length, the next time that you need to use a custom length you will need to re-program it.
If you are having trouble with the course length feature not behaving correctly, try force quitting the Swim.com app on your iPhone and re-opening it. If that does not solve the issue, try powering down your watch and phone and restarting them before attempting to change the course length again. As a last resort, try re-installing Swim.com on your iPhone.
Do I have to water lock the screen before starting Swim.com?
Once the Swim.com watch app starts detecting swim motion, the Swim.com app will automatically water lock the screen and you do not need to manually do this from the watch OS menu. A water lock (or screen lock) is necessary when using the Apple Watch while swimming because the touch screen is capacitive and water conducts electricity, meaning that the water can potentially create false touches on the screen while the watch is submerged. The screen lock prevents this from happening.
When you start swimming, the watch screen will go dark after a few moments. When you stop at the wall to rest, the screen will come back on if you lift your wrist to look at the watch (as long as you have this option enabled in Settings>General>Wake Screen). If you do not have wrist raise wake enabled, just push the crown button to wake the screen.
Again, you do not need to manually lock the screen from the Watch OS settings for Swim.com. The watch should not encounter any water damage from regular swimming use, regardless of locking the screen or not, as the hardware is always rated to 5 ATM. Locking the screen only prevents the water from producing false touches. If you want to, after you are done working out you can manually eject any water that might be remaining in the speaker by swiping up from the watch's home screen, selecting the water drop icon, and manually ejecting any remaining water by turning the watch crown.
For more information on the water resistance rating of the Apple Watch 2, please visit https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205000
How do I end my workout?
When you are done swimming, you will need to perform a force touch on the screen to bring up the "End Workout" option. You'll want to touch the screen and press with a small amount of force, just a bit more than you use with your usual touch, and hold it there until the end workout screen comes up. It can take a few moments, but if you continue to keep your finger on the screen and press you'll see the screen start to contract towards the middle, and then the end workout screen will appear.
The force touch, which can take some practice to master, is not a specific action to Swim.com - lots of other Apple Watch apps use it. Sometimes, however, wet fingers can interfere with correctly performing this function due to the touch screen's capacitive nature, so if you find that you have trouble it may help to keep a small hand towel close by the end of your lane so that you can dry your fingers if necessary.
After you end the workout, you should be able to see a workout summary. When this appears, scroll to the bottom of this and touch the blue "finished' button.
How do I get my data to sync with Apple Health and Activity?
When you have first installed the Swim.com app on your iOS device, you will be prompted to link Apple Health with Swim.com. To get the best results, please turn all categories on. The "write" permissions are what allow workouts on your Swim.com feed to be shared with the Apple Health & Activity apps. The "read" permissions are what allow Swim.com to retrieve any lap swim data on your Apple Activity workout feed and populate it on your Swim.com feed (e.g. swims recorded with the native application, Activity, on your Apple Watch, or lap swim data that was imported into your Apple Activity workout feed from other swimming apps or devices). If you need to adjust these permissions, they are located in the Apple Health app on your iOS device. Open Apple Health and navigate to Profile>Privacy>Apps>Swim.com
How do I start a drill mode?
After you start your workout, if you don't immediately start swimming with one of the four standard strokes (free, fly, breast, back), you will be in rest mode. You will also be in rest mode anytime you stop to rest at the wall between any lengths completed with those standard strokes. Rest mode is identified by the red text on the screen that says "resting" as opposed to the green "swimming". While in rest mode, force touch the screen to expose the drill/pace/end workout menu.
If this is your first time using drill mode, a short prompt will explain how to use the feature. To set your drill mode distance, touch the blue "Start Drill Mode" button and then use the digital crown button or touch screen to set the desired distance. When you are ready to start the drill, you can either simultaneously press the digital crown and side buttons to start the drill or force touch the screen again and touch "start" and it will take you back to your workout screen and show you the drill distance and a running timer. If you are not ready to use drill mode, force touch and select "exit". When you are done swimming the drill, force touch again and your options will include electing a new drill distance or exiting drill mode.
How do I set the pace/send-off timer?
At the beginning of your workout (right after you hit the blue start button) you will see the watch is in resting mode. This is noted in red text on the screen.
While in rest mode, force touch the screen to expose the drill/pace/end workout menu.
If this is your first time using the pace/send-off timer, a short prompt will explain how to use the feature. To set your desired pace duration, touch the blue "Start Pace Mode" button and then use the digital crown button to set the desired duration. When you are ready to start the timer, you can either simultaneously press the digital crown and side buttons or force touch the screen to start the pace timer and it will take you back to your workout screen. If you are not ready to use the timer, force touch to exit the mode.
How do I use the pre-loaded workout functionality?
The Swim.com mobile app allows you to search our library of workouts and send these workout plans to your watch so you can follow it along during your workout! No more memorizing what you were supposed to do or carrying a card to the lane with you!
Currently, these workouts will appear as virtual cards on the watch and are only available to view during rest periods as a reference. This feature will not automatically prompt you with the information for your next interval during the swim. You must manually go to view the information. Eventually, this feature will be built out so that it does become an in-swim guidance with automatic prompting.
To start using this features, you first want to navigate to the workouts tab on your mobile app.
The workouts tab allows you to select workouts from Swim.com's library or create your own. In order to get those workouts to your watch, you must start by adding the workouts to your favorites list.
To add a workout to your favorites, find one that suits your needs (make sure its the correct course length!) then select it. Then, touch the ellipses in the upper right corner.
You can favorite as many workouts on the mobile app as you would like, but you can only have up to three stored on the watch at one time. To remove the workout from your watch you would need to un-favorite it from the mobile app, following the same steps as above.
Now that you have favorite workouts loaded into your mobile app, you're ready to swim with the watch app!
On the watch app start screen, first make sure you have the correct course length setting, adjust it if needed, then touch "Select Workout". Find the workout you want on the screen by swiping from right to left and then hit the blue "Select" button. If you do not want to swim the workout, select the red "No Workout" button. After selecting the workout, it will display on the start screen and you can now start your swim.
To access the workout plan, you will need to swipe from right to left to expose it.
To view the prescribed intervals, use the digital crown button on the side of the watch to scroll down. The first screen you see will show the entire warmup set in smaller text. As you scroll down you will see that set broken into different sections, if applicable, and those will be shown in larger text.
This continues on through the main sets and cool down. Many beginner workouts will not contain multiple sections within a warm-up, main set, or cool down and may appear on the watch workout sequence to be "duplicates". This is not actually the case, again, it's just that several of the beginner workouts do not have multiple sections within a set.
During a rest period, you can always swipe over to this screen if you need a reminder of what you are supposed to be doing for your next interval. Here is how this particular example workout progresses.
When you are done swimming, end the workout like normal by force touching the screen. Below you can see the results of this swimmer that swam this example workout.
What can I do if swims are not transferring from my Apple watch to Swim.com iOS app?
If you are unable to sync swims from the watch to your swim feed on the mobile app, resetting the Bluetooth connection between the watch and phone app can sometimes help. If that doesn't help solve the problem, a combination of force closing the apps and device restarts may help. To do this, first force close the Swim.com app on your Apple Watch (https://www.imore.com/how-force-quit-apps-apple-watch) and then force close the Swim.com app on your iOS device (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201276). Force closing both apps will end all running processes originating from the Swim.com app so that the next time you open the apps, everything starts up fresh. After force closing the apps, shut down and restart both devices. This allows the devices to clear temporary data caches that could potentially be interfering. Once both device are running again, open the Swim.com iOS app, then open the Swim.com watch app. Let the apps run in the foreground and allow for up to 5 minutes to sync data. Refresh your activity feed on the Swim.com iOS app by toggling between the Progress and Swim tabs or by swiping down on the feed itself. This refresh command will instruct that app to populate any new swim data that has transferred from the watch app to our online server.
The app isn't counting my distance correctly, why?
If you are experiencing the app undercounting your overall distance swam, this issue might be alleviated by trying a different turn technique at the wall. Our app's algorithms work best when you utilize a flip or open turn at the wall. If you can't perform those types of turns, at minimum you will need to push off the wall with your feet and streamline glide for a few yards before resuming your stroke. The algorithms can only identify that you performed a turn when there is enough of a recorded pause in your stroke cadence, and pushing off the walls changes your acceleration, which also aids the algorithms in identifying a turn. If your turn consists of swimming to the wall, touching it, turning around and immediately resuming your stroke, you will likely experience the app undercounting your distance because there is not enough of a pause in your stroke cadence for the watch to interpret a turn happened. In this case, the accelerometer data produced by your motion and processed by the algorithms appears as one giant, continuous length, which causes the undercounting of overall distance.
Other factors that could produce inaccurate lap counts are: 1) switching stroke type mid-length 2) pausing for several seconds to let another swimmer pass you in the lane 3) low stroke rates on your length 4) not using drill mode for kickboard drills
I don't want to see distance, I'd rather see lap count, how do I change that?
To change this setting, open the Swim.com iOS app. Navigate to Settings>Devices>Apple Watch. Touch "Distance Units" to open a menu in which you can choose from yards/meters, laps, or lengths.
Where can I view my heart rate data from a swim?
Heart Rate data is collected from the optical wrist heart rate sensor on your Apple Watch. Swim.com will display this data on our mobile app. To view the data, choose the swim you'd like to view from your list, then select "View Swim Details". Swipe from right to left on the header to reveal HR. The main HR screen will show your average heart rate for each interval. Touch the interval to break down your average heart rate by length. Swipe from right to left on the screen to reveal your average, minimum, and maximum heart rate per length and interval.
Please note that the Apple Watch HR data collected while swimming could potentially be inaccurate. This is because water that becomes trapped between the sensor and your wrist can refract the light and corrupt readings (Wrist-based HR sensors operate by shining a green light that illuminates your capillaries in order to sense pulsations). This light refraction corruption typically manifests as a higher beats-per-minute than what it actually is. For more information on how to try to help combat this problem, please click here.
Can I use Swim.com with a first generation Apple Watch?
The Swim.com app software will work with your first generation Apple Watch. However, the device does not have sufficient water resistance to be safely used while swimming. Swimming with this device could damage it and void any applicable warranties. For more information on the first generation Apple Watch and water resistance, please refer to this help article from Apple: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205000