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 and Facebook, 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 in the past week:
Here’s all the goodness that ended up on the main page of DCRainmaker.com this past week.
It was a bit of a quiet week as I was travelling a bit and preparing posts for this upcoming week, for things being announced/etc…
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) Garmin Connect IQ app platform releases major update: This update brings the long promised ability to record custom data to .FIT files. There’s also some other enhancements as well. It’ll be another month until you start seeing apps in the app store that support the updated version. Also, as Garmin hinted at last fall there will be cases where older units won’t support newer features going forward due to the older hardware not supporting it. Though, in this case they’re going to release an update for all devices that will enable support for most features. They include a nifty table to figure out where your unit stands. So…who’s gonna write me an app to record 5-6 power meters at once so I can start riding like a normal person again?
2) Start your GoPro by biting down: In the event you thought pressing the record button was too cumbersome. Still, makes sense for the likely use cases here.
3) The Secret Pro has gone Womanly! Yup, there’s now two Secret Pro’s on Cycling Tips, one for the men’s side of the peloton and the newest for the women’s side. Good stuff as always.
4) 360° View of the Escape from Alcatraz Swim Start: Another great example of using 360° cameras. Given what appears to be higher quality resolution here, I’m guessing this was a multi-cam rig.
5) Epic POV Descent – GCN Tackles Sa Calobra: I found this particular video made some trainer time go by fairly fast yesterday. I’m not usually a huge trainer video person, but the 13 minutes whirred by…literally.
6) The Samsung Gear Fit 2: Some folks have been asking about this and whether I plan a review. Haven’t fully decided on a review yet, but I did order a unit. I’ll pick it up Monday while in the States. However as I sit here typing this I just realized I left my Android phone on my desk at the office. So, won’t be able to try it out till I return. Boo.
7) Bluetooth 5.0 to get broadcast mode: Along with significantly fast transfer rates. It’ll be interesting to see what adoption looks like (in terms of how fast companies adopt). You figure that if chipsets aren’t ready till the end of 2016/early 2017, then the first products wouldn’t likely hit the market until spring of 2017 (in the most optimistic view). This could be good news for multi-device users with sensors (i.e. one HR strap to both a watch and a bike computer). However, one might remember that technically that capability was introduced in Bluetooth 4.1 in December 2013. It’s just that nobody rolled it out. (via Tedder)
8) Interesting analysis of the Escape from Alcatraz participant numbers: Some of you might remember the massive kerfuffle a bit back when the race announced they were increasing the price for this year from $425 to $750 without reason or explanation. Following this weekend’s race, a few folks have done some interesting math on that based on participant numbers. Worth the read through the thread.
9) Garmin plans to discontinue older Garmin Connect API’s: I don’t have a link for this, as it’s merely an e-mail from Garmin. They are planning on discontinuing the older Motion Based developer API’s come this July. This does not impact the auto sync pieces that they implemented two years ago that apps like Strava use. That sync is one-way though (GC to App). Versus the older Motion Based API’s (from when Garmin bought Motion Based in 2005). Garmin says they aren’t clear who is using the API’s, or even how large an issue this is. It’s unclear to me (I’ve asked for clarification) whether or not this will impact apps that emulate (fake) a user-login to Garmin Connect. What is clear to me though is that for some totally unfathomable reason, Garmin still doesn’t have any official way that 3rd party apps can tap into Garmin Connect and increase stickiness to the platform. Virtually every other company in this space has such API’s available to any developer, especially all the majors (Google, Strava, Apple, Under Armour, Withings, Fitbit, etc…). The API’s for the $5,000 fee that Garmin offers don’t allow tapping into or adding data in Garmin Connect, only receiving activity files from it after a user completes an activity.
(Note: Added this section a few hours after I published this post as I forgot to add in.)
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 are 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? Oh – and if you want to get a head start on things, this page is a great resource for watching Garmin firmware updates.
Apple Watch to get updated firmware: Increases speeds dramatically, other tweaks. Coming this fall.
Polar Loop & Loop 2 firmware update: Bug fixes.
Wahoo ELEMNT Firmware Update: Added Turn by Turn navigation (more on the testing of this later this week), slew of other additions/tweaks.
(Note: Massive pile of Garmin firmware updates this week below, grouping them by product families to save duplication)
Garmin FR735XT BETA firmware update: Boatload of new features, equal part bug fixes and perf improvements.
Garmin Vivoactive HR firmware update: Adds in Varia Vision support, proper optical HR broadcasting support, few other tweaks.
Garmin Vivoactive HR BETA firmware update: Adds new Connect IQ features support, a few other new features.
Garmin Vivomove firmware update: Bug fix.
Garmin Index WiFi Scale firmware update: Bug fixes and tweaks to users who have higher activity classes (i.e. an athlete mode).
Tip of the week to companies: If you have an RSS feed for updates I can subscribe, like Garmin, Polar, Adidas, Wahoo, and others – it’s nearly 100% how I remember to find these updates. If you lack that, I likely won’t have your updates in the above. Plus, users like it too.
Thanks for reading all!