The iPhone 6 does pretty well counting steps and tracking walk or run. Checking the Health app shows number of steps and distances without the aid of a third-party app. Cycling, however, is missing and instead shows as steps and walking + running distance. Any cycling data added creates duplicate data for the same time frame. As of iOS 8.1.2, cycling is not recorded in Health without input from the user or a third-party app. If you’d like to keep track of total steps for the day and you bicycle frequently, you’re out of luck until a fix comes our way.
During the iPhone 6 reveal, Phil Schiller stated that the motion sensors within the iPhone 6 can tell the difference between cycling and running. I became very interested in how their sensors work, because detecting the difference between running, cycling, and riding a motorcycle isn’t trivial without the aid of a GPS. A “step” on a bicycle generally covers more distance than a walk or run step. Once a fix arrives, it will be interesting to see how accurate the data is.
Using Cyclemeter, I track my rides and jogs which are sent to Health app. Selecting run activity in Cyclemeter doesn’t produce duplicate data in Health, but when cycling, I still see large peaks in walk/run chart as seen below. My 27-mile bike ride looks like a 5.6-mile run, and I somehow performed both activities simutaneously.
In the week view above, that first peak in walk/run is an 8.6-mile jog. The other two peaks are 27-mile bike rides as seen in the cycle chart.
Until a fix arrives, the recommendation is to use a third-party app to record cycling, running, and walking. Ignore that data in Health.
Update 4/9/2015: iOS 8.2 update improved results, but not so much for riding in hilly areas. See my follow-up post