The Week in Review is a collection of both all the goodness I’ve written during the past week around the internet, as well as a small pile of links I found interesting – generally endurance sports related. I’ve often wondered what to do with all of the coolness that people write, and while I share a lot of it on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, this is a better forum for sending it on to y’all. Most times these different streams don’t overlap, so be on the lookout at all these places for good stuff!
So with that, let’s get into the action!
DCRainmaker.com posts this past week:
Here’s all the goodness that ended up on the main page of DCRainmaker.com this past week.
Saturday: A behind the scenes look at my TV appearance yesterday (and the actual video clip!)
Sunday: Week in Review–June 22nd, 2014
Monday: 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
Monday: Lots of Garmin Updates: FR620 gets cycling mode, AutoSync with MyFitnessPal, full Fenix lineup support for Android
Tuesday: A metric crap-ton of giveaway extravaganza posts
Wednesday: The 2014 Annual Giveaway Extravaganza Winners!
Sports Technology Gadget Deals of Note
It’s a deal twosome. Things to be aware of:
1) Just as a reminder, the big Suunto Ambit2 sale ends at the end of Monday, starting from $219US.
2) Starting on Tuesday (July 1st), the TomTom Runner (only that edition) drops its price permanently to $149US – and that’s eligible for the exclusive DCR Reader 10% discount on top of that.
Stuff that I found interesting around the interwebs:
Here’s a not-so-small smattering of all the random things that I stumbled on while doing my civic duty to find the end of the Internet:
1) The Win Tunnel – The Draft Debate: Another very cool video from the Specialized wind tunnel folks. Continue to love all these. (via Jay Prasuhn)
2) Bribery, spam, and harassment: the dark side of Kickstarter promotion: Thankfully, I haven’t yet been harassed like some of these guys – but everything else is par for the course.
3) The Chris Froome TUE debacle is not an encouraging sign: A good piece by Joe Lindsey on a bit of a fumble by the UCI in a recent waiver for using a prohibited substance by the reigning TdF champion. (via NYVelocity)
4) Is this your bicycle? Here’s a gigantic pile bikes confiscated from a theft ring in Marin County, CA. Awesome work there by the local law enforcement folks. Note that you can actually use the image slider on their page to see each bike individually for follow-up with them. (via Revolights blog)
5) Update on Training Peaks WKO4 development: Short version…keep waiting. Longer version…they’re continuing to tweak a lot of things and hope to be complete by the end of the year.
6) Withings Activité announced: A really cool looking merge of a sleek watch and a Bluetooth Smart connected activity tracker. Since Withings is Paris based I’ve got a meeting early this week with them to get some hands-on time, so look for a more detailed post mid-week. Also neat that about 80% of the video below was shot just down the street from me where I do my weekly 800m and 1600m repeats.
7) Magellan announces Android support for Echo: The current plan is July for Android support on a number of phones that meet certain technical requirements. You’ll remember Echo is their fitness smart watch that requires a phone, but allows individual apps to customize display screens.
8) Android Wear wearables announced: Lots of new smart watches this week announced, including a few aimed at fitness. For example, you’ve got the beautiful looking Moto 360 (I remain skeptical on actual delivery timeframe), Samsung’s Gear Live (looks just like a hardware re-hash of the Gear2 Neo just rolled out two months ago), and the LG G. I’ll be ordering a few to poke at.
9) Google Fit announced, counters Apple HealthKit: Except, as folks will note – it actually appears to contain far more than Apple has in their HealthKit platform. Apple’s is heavily slanted towards medical metrics (in large part due to initial partners), whereas Google’s appears focused a bit more on fitness. Also of note is that there’s some pretty big names on the compatibility chart – including Polar and Adidas. I’ve reached out to Polar for clarification, and have a chat with Adidas tomorrow as well. Perhaps Garmin will join the party?
10) How long is a marathon graphic: Pretty fun look at a bunch of different activities or foods that you would need to do X number of times to hit the same number of calories burned in a marathon. (via TriFuel)
Crowd Funded Projects of Athletic Note:
Most of this content used to be found within the main section, but I figured I’d just call it out up here and make it easy to find. I regularly sift through Kickstarter and Indiegogo (plus a few others on occasion) looking for sports projects. If you’re unfamiliar with projects, read my detailed post on how I decide which projects I personally back. Note that as always with crowd funded projects, assume the project will be late and will under-deliver on features. Thus far, on the numerous products I’ve helped ‘fund’ (except a leather bike handle), that’s been the case.
BareBands: Customizable watch bands, by a triathlete.
Sports Technology Software/Firmware Updates This Week:
Each week I quickly highlight some of the new firmware, app, software and website service updates that I see go out. If you’re a sports technology company and release an update – shoot me a quick note (just one liners is perfect, or Tweet it at me is even better) and I’ll make mention of it here. If I don’t know about it, I won’t be able to post about it. Sound good?
Adidas miCoach Website Updates: A handful of nice little feature updates there.
Garmin VIRB Edit software update: Added new gauges and templates.
Windows Phone Apps:
(No sports/fitness related app updates this week on my Windows Phone)
Thanks for reading all!
Thanks again for your hard work on updates. It will be interesting if and how Garmin, TomTom, etc decide to play in the google/adroid and apple spaces. I think those with GPS fitness devices have a narrow window to position themselves in the google and apple worlds with their GPS devices so that bringing a phone on a run in addition to a watch isn’t needed for GPS. Better yet, with SIM cards in addition to GPS so that no separate phone is needed on runs or while biking at all. Because someone soon or eventually will.
I think I’m about ready to give up on fitness tech for now. The newer devices coming out still don’t have a fraction of the feature set, accuracy, or usability of the MotoActv from four years ago. Many of the devices (Amiigo and Mio Link, I’m looking at you) aren’t even close to being ready for prime time (especially at the cost for the devices), and the device designers are almost all stuck in a “I have a hammer, so everything must be a nail” mode where the only thing that counts are steps because those are easy to measure. Great if you’re a runner, I suppose, but it’s more than a bit mind boggling to see a Vivofit complain about my inactivity after an hour of swimming laps and then go on to tell me that a two hour heavy lift workout (with HRM, mind) is only burning 193 calories because… I dunno, steps?
I’d be more likely to get a decent calorie burned estimate from a random number generator than pretty much any of the current crop of fitness devices and their portals.
Not that it’s limited to just devices, I had to /facepalm at Endomondo insisting GPS be on when set to record a weight lifting workout or elliptical session.
I believe the operative phrase is “lolwut?”
The truly sad thing is I’d still be using my MotoActv (bad buttons and all) if it wasn’t that Moto summarily abandoned the thing when Google bought them, leaving the portal in a state so unstable and unreliable as to be useless.
Which is, of course, another issue. Why does every bloody damn one of these things have to upload to an online portal to at all be useful? I mean, other than that companies want to feed you adverts and collect your personal data to sell — and everyone’s okay with this? My Withings scale, all I want is to be able to look at the data graphed over time, certainly not a task requiring complex programming or a supercomputer to render, nothing that couldn’t be done by software on my local network — hell, my microwave oven has more than enough storage and CPU power to handle the job. And yet the only way to see the data decently is to go to Withings website where I’m fed the same bloody annoying adverts over and over and over (No, I do not want to buy your overpriced step counter, stop asking!) and get to wonder what creative ways they’ll find to sell every byte of data they collect.
Sorry for the OT rant, it is just something that has been getting on my nerves lately.
Myria, don’t give up, yet!
I have been as frustrated as you, in my case with the available fitness applications on Android. So I decided to build my own. After years of work, the first version is now ready and I would very much like you to give it a try.
From the things you mentioned:
No uploading ever needed – all done on-device if you prefer, but with easy export options directly from within the app.
When you select an indoor (non-GPS) activity, GPS is automatically switched off.
Calories are calculated with a bunch of different formulas, depending on activity type and available sensors: heart rate, speed/gradient based (walk, run, bike), or as last resort the activity’s MET.
It has already a good feature set, but more things will be added in the coming months.
If you have an Android device, I would really love to hear your opinion! What do you like? What is missing?
100% agree. Especially about the submissions to online services.
To borrow from Paul, the best comment in Ray’s winner post and revise to fit:
No one makes fitness devices that just work anymore… *runs away crying*
I share the frustration at times, but I think it’s temporary and things will continue to improve. Or, you can start a new lunch table for kids who are really, really frustrated with today’s fitness toys.
There was a similar bicycle theft bust in Vancouver recently, glad they caught that guy!
link to mediareleases.vpd.ca
Er, RunKeeper for Android was updated last week and features support for BLE cardio sensors now. They implemented that in a weird way, though: you get a tiny gray heart icon on the main tab that you need to tap to pair devices, then you get a tiny strip with HR data in the upper part of the display when you record an activity. It doesn’t even show HR until you start recording.
the TP WKO 4.0 or whatever they are calling it wasn’t an update at all. it was just a “hey don’t forget we might have an update to a product we long ago left behind, or we might not’ statement.