Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

Wish List: Auto-resume for walking workouts in watchOS

For a smart watch, the Apple Watch can sometimes be…less than intelligent. Case in point: more than a few times in the past weeks, I’ve found myself bitten by one relatively minor missing feature.

There I am, out for my daily walk—with the outdoor walk workout running on my watch—when I pause to pop into a store on an errand or to grab a snack. Being the honest person that I am, I manually pause my workout. But ten or twenty minutes later, as I’m on my way home, I realize I’ve forgotten to resume it.

Walk, interrupted.

So, I ask: why can’t the Apple Watch detect that I’ve started my walk again and offer to un-pause—my workout?

If you find yourself thinking that this feature sounds familiar, that’s because the Apple Watch already auto-pauses and auto-resumes outdoor running and cycling workouts. Moreover, it can detect when you’ve forgotten to start a walking workout, prompt you to start it, and retroactively apply that workout back to the beginning. And it can automatically figure out when you’ve stopped your workout and forgotten to turn it off or pause it.

So there’s really only one missing piece of the puzzle, and yet it’s one that drives me bananas. I’m not quite sure why watchOS can handle part of the equation but not the exact opposite.

There are reportedly a lot of big changes expected for watchOS 10 when it’s unveiled in June, and I’m glad to hear the Apple Watch is getting some love, but while the company’s at it, maybe they could throw in a few little features too.

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at or reach him by email at His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is now available for pre-order.]

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