MacMost Q&A Forum • View All Forum Questions • Ask a Question 4/9/177:47 pm How Are Steps Recorded In the Apple Watch (edition 1)? Measured by arm swing, actual foot step or GPS? —– Jo Hessinger Comments: One Response to “How Are Steps Recorded In the Apple Watch (edition 1)?” Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago I believe it uses the accelerometer. This is the device inside that tracks acceleration in all directions. In other words, movement. When you make a movement that is similar to a physical step, it counts it as such. Probably a quick up-down with a swing. It can’t use GPS as the current models don’t have their own GPS. And they are capable of recording steps even if you leave your iPhone at home as you go for a walk. Comments Closed.