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Garmin Announces Smart Home Control, Connect IQ Updates

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As many of you know, today kicks off Garmin’s first Connect IQ Summit, held in Olathe, Kansas.  The summit is aimed at developers wanting to build apps on Garmin’s wearable and related devices.  A sphere that, as of this morning, now encompasses just shy of 5 million Connect IQ capable devices and over 1,000 developers with 3,000 apps in total.  All of which have been downloaded 29 million times to date.  Given these numbers, it was logical to eventually progress into having a dedicated conference, just as many other software technologies do.

And of course the conference is just as much about the attendees as is the technology that’s being announced.  For example all the big names if the fitness platforms realm are here – from Strava to Under Armour, and Training Peaks to Xert.  But perhaps more importantly are the non-fitness names.  Those being companies like Uber, Nest (of Google), Southwest Airlines, SmartThings (of Samsung), and countless more.  Which isn’t to say that smaller developers aren’t here, there are plenty of those that make just as many cool apps (in fact, far more in terms of sheer numbers).  Apps like like WikiLoc and DWMap are all present.

The point is, in it’s first year it’s a bit of a who’s who.  Nonetheless, this post is about the specific technologies being announced today.  Or rather, development pieces.  Like my past Connect IQ posts, these server as a starting point of sorts where companies can now leverage these new capabilities to do interesting things.  The demos you see here are usually basic and sometimes boring – but they tend to show the potential of a technology.  With that, let’s begin.

But first – if you want this entire post in a condensed and pretty video format, ask and you shall receive!

For those preferring text…onwards!

SmartThings Control:

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First up we’ve got a cool look at home automation control via SmartThings and their new Connect IQ app.  This enables any Connect IQ capable device to control routines from within SmartThings from your watch.  So for example you can turn on the lights when you walk in the house, or setup your home theater to a movie mode.  Whatever you an dream up within the home automation realm of SmartThings, this can trigger it.

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The app works behind the scenes by having your Garmin watch utilize the Bluetooth Smart connection to the Garmin Connect Mobile app.  From there the SmartThings app leverages your internet connectivity (cellular or WiFi) to access your stored SmartThings “routines”.  From there you can trigger these routines and thus the lights and devices connected to them.

Routines are basically like preconfigured instructions for a pile of devices.  For example to turn off all devices in the house, or just the ones on the first floor.  Note that it’s not going to list every device in your house on your watch.  Quite frankly that’d be a user interface mess.  Instead, by focusing routines it makes it easier to group those into logical buckets that you can turn on and off.

In the below photo you can see the routines that have been configured within SmartThings.  I can select any of these routines, such as ‘Good Morning’, which turns on the lights and the TV.  Or Movie Time, which turns on the TV and dims the lights.  Netflix and Chill time was not an option I could demo, due to the mostly PG-rated content of this blog.

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Within about 1-3 seconds of pressing that button on my watch the lights turn on.  It’s pretty nice.  Of course this isn’t terribly unlike other wearable devices that have done semi-similar things.  But like much of this post, it’s about those features coming to Connect IQ.  Inversely there are certainly plenty of things that competitors like Apple and Android Wear have introduced in the last year that Garmin has had for years.  The path forward in progress isn’t always equal.

I demo the entire SmartThings piece from start to finish up above in the video at the start of this post.  The best part here is that unlike the remainder of this post, the SmartThings app is available now…and not limited to one particular app platform.

Connect IQ 2.3 Platform Enhancements:

For many folks, they might not care much what Connect IQ version you’re on or what that means.  But in reality the version of Connect IQ that your watch supports will directly impacts down the road what kind of apps you can get.  For example, we saw this with the TrainingPeaks app a few weeks back being limited to certain Connect IQ versions due to those capabilities only being available on those version.

In this case, 2.3 is an incremental update that will be available on the following devices (more or less anything announced in the last 12-14 months):

Garmin Fenix 5/5S/5X
Garmin Forerunner 935
Garmin Forerunner 735XT
Garmin Fenix Chronos
Garmin Vivoactive HR
Garmin Edge 520/820/1000

Past devices like the Garmin Fenix 3 series won’t get these updates, in large part because those devices are maxed out when it comes to either processing power or in some cases simply firmware space.  In other cases it’s simply because Garmin isn’t updating those older platforms.

There are four specific major changes/enhancements coming to Connect IQ 2.3, which are as follows.

Always Active Watch Faces:

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One of the biggest complaints of 3rd party watch faces via Connect IQ in the past was the inability to show the seconds on the watch face, or for that matter any updates more frequent than every minute.  With Always Active Watch faces that changes though.  Now watch faces can display not just the second hand but any data they darn well choose at much higher refresh rates.  Garmin has even tested down to 25ms (1/40th of a second) – without any degradation of battery life.

And that was really the previous concern – was that by allowing watch faces to update more frequently it could impact battery life significantly.  But in talking with Garmin developers yesterday the testing they’ve done shows no impact to battery life at all with the new platform.  Of course, like anything it remains to be seen what ‘creative’ things people manage to come up with – but certainly this is good news for folks who like watch face customization.

Background Services:

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Next we’ve got what is clearly the first iteration of multitasking apps on Garmin’s platforms.  Connect IQ 2.3 supports the ability for apps to run in the background and then enumerate updates to the user based on all assortment of triggers.  For example an app can pop-up to remind you of a particular thing to do, like taking nutrition or even medication.  That app can then be acted upon, just like you would interact with any other app.

Triggers can be functions like sensor data, updates from a web platform, or other ANT communications.  One particularly simplistic app you see above automatically reloads your weekly Strava totals every 15 minutes.  While this might be a bit obsessive, it shows the potential of not just a background service/app, but the idea of being able to interrupt or augment what your down on the watch to provide you timely updates that would otherwise have to wait.

You might be asking – how is this different than smart notifications then?  Well, it’s much like on your smartphone – sure, you’ve got notifications, but when you’re in the middle of playing Candy Crush it allows your friend to call you – all without existing Candy Crush.  Of course your wearable lacks Candy Crush, but the basics apply here.

Certainly there will be applications people find in the sports/fitness realm, but as I alluded to at the beginning of the post – much of these changes are about appealing to apps outside that realm.

Trial Apps:

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One of the biggest criticisms of the Connect IQ platform has also been it’s biggest asset: Everything is free.  There is no monetization directly within Connect IQ in that you can’t ‘buy’ a Connect IQ app with hard cold cash.  It just doesn’t exist.

Some apps like Xert and others have been able to somewhat work around those limitations by requiring login to a 3rd party platform for the app to work, but there were always limitations in that, and it wasn’t necessarily something that was clear to the end user upon downloading the app.

With trial apps though, Garmin will now allow 3rd parties to authorize users to use an app on their devices.  And thus by extension the ability for a developer to charge for said apps.  Now, the devil is still in the details here because all this really does is offload the payment processing piece more clearly onto said 3rd party developer.  A piece that Garmin (like most companies) wants approximately nothing to do with.  Managing currencies and points and such in an app store model reaches the height of sucky things that app ecosystem have to deal with.

Still, by at least making the process easier here for 3rd party developers it should simplify their ability to manage consumer expectations a bit, as well as offer themselves a more economical model.

Action Intelligence:

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Next we’ve got probably the feature with the most potential, which is Action Intelligence.  This allows apps to access and record accelerometer data at up to 25hz (aka 25 times a second…aka every 40ms).  The idea behind this is to enable apps to start to do more gesture sensing and control.  As well as recording of those movements.

For example Garmin had a simple pitch counter app, that would allow someone wearing the watch to enable the app to count how many baseballs they threw as a pitcher.  That’s a simplistic example, but it worked reasonably well when demoed to me.

The feature allows companies to gather 3-axis accelerometer data, but also to leverage Finite Impulse Response (FIR) and Infinite Impulse Response (IIR) filters which and then filter out noisy day (or include such data).  The idea being that a developer could target just the exact accelerometer data they wanted for their specific application.  All of which can be recorded and potentially processed elsewhere on a 3rd party platform.

In some ways this is similar to what Suunto is doing with their Movesense pods, except that this is built into the watch itself.  So rather than a secondary pod, the user just wears the watch as normal.  On the flipside, the pod approach of Suunto is better in scenarios where you want to measure things not on the wrist (i.e. on skis or legs/etc…).

Wrap-up:

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Phew, lots of stuff being announced today!  Sure, some of this is kinda dry and boring for non-developers.  For most of us, we’ll have to wait for interesting apps to start taking advantage of this.  In some cases they’ll be a matter of days, whereas for other apps it’ll be months.  For example the changes we saw back in the fall realistically took a few months before major headliner apps started to take advantage of them.

Still, it’s interesting to see wearable app platforms continue to evolve, whether it be Connect IQ, Android Wear, Apple’s WatchOS, or other up and coming or re-invented platforms.  There’s no better time to be a consumer in this space, as the competition is heating up!

Oh…don’t forget! I’m speaking today at 1:00PM US Central Time (2:00PM US Eastern, 8:00PM Central European Time).  That session in front of hundreds of folks here in a rather fancy auditorium with swanky lighting will be broadcast live on Facebook Live on Garmin’s page and then I’ll have someone retweet it to my Twitter.  I’ll be covering all sorts of my thoughts on the app and wearables market.  Should be fun and offer some of my insights into where I think things have gone well, not so well, and what I’m looking for coming down the pipeline.

Update: You can watch the recorded version here or below!

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120 Comments

  1. tfk

    I’m going to champion the lightswitch and the candle. C’mon sporty people just walk up the stairs and when you are on holiday use one of those plugin timers.

    Just off to the shops in my Model-T

  2. Jonas S.

    So… now I can scare the shit out of people at home by switching lights on and off from my Edge 1000 while out riding? What a time to be alive. :D

    • tfk

      hmm. better than that you could probably program a ghost control to somehow take over household stuff on the anniversary of your death. And on that cheery note I’m off to write about Vector 3.

  3. giorgitd

    Well, CIQ has had potential for a long time, but really has not delivered anything that would drive my purchase of a Garmin CIQ capable device. Now, the new capabilities *do* seem to add significant new opportunities and the clear path for payment is likely a functional incentive for the development of useful CIQ apps. BUT…I…don’t…care. Why? Because my flagship Garmin device, less than 18 months old, is likely shut out from any of this potential goodness. I’m talking about the 920XT. And while it might fall into the ‘not enough processor or not enough firmware space’, I think that DCR hit the nail on the head…in some cases ‘…it’s simply because Garmin isn’t updating those older platforms.’ Got it.

    • Joshua A Parks

      I completely agree with you. Garmin’s durability has gotten to the point that it far outstrips the Garmin timeline for upgrades. Who knew that all the various firmware updates were taking up space? In that case maybe I don’t want Martian added to my languages, thank you very much.

      There’s a point to be made about getting an older unit that works and simply expecting it to be a great multi or single sport unit…and then not giving a rip about all this new stuff.

      The Garmin CIQ app/integration with Xertonline is excellent, but beyond that I’ve struggled to find much that I like…

    • To be fair, the FR920XT will be three years old this fall. So it’s it’s more like 32 months right now.

      I think the biggest thing I’d point out is that the first generation of Connect IQ devices (FR920XT/Fenix3) were just that: The first time Garmin had attempted to do 3rd party apps. As such, they learned a crapton of things that they’d likely have changed if they knew that along the way. Some silly little things, some big things. In the case of wearables, it’s a much more difficult task than something like a phone, because battery/power and space constraints are just so much tighter.

      It sounds like things are better positioned for this newer generation, but of course we won’t really know how that turns out for at least another year or two.

    • Tim Grose

      But is your 920 still doing what you wanted it to do when you bought it? Take my several years old PC I am replacing. Surprise, surprise the newer one is better but the old one still works – just slower. A couple of years these days is a long time in tech gadgets.

    • Eli

      While I agree that the 920 is pretty old now so makes sense for it to not get all the latest features I do have a major problem with the reasoning of “But is your YYY device still doing what you wanted it to do when you bought it?” Why? Notice what this whole article is about, new ConnectIQ functionality in 2.3 of Connect IQ. By your reasoning, everyone who bought a Fenix 5 should be perfectly happy that their watch runs ConnectIQ2.2.2 and if they want the new features of 2.3 they should be happy buying a new device. I’m pretty sure no one would be happy with that and so Garmin isn’t doing that.

      One of the reasons why I find it very frustrating how Garmin has been in the dark about the 935 keeping up with the features of the Fenix 5 (i.e. future functionality added to the F5 where with the devices sharing the same hardware could easily be added to the 935) and those defending Garmin by saying you should be happy with the functionality it had when you bought it.

    • I believe the first portion of the post isn’t on CIQ 2.3, and thus is applicable to everyone.

      Also, the 2.3 doesn’t require just the Fenix 5 – but folks back on the Vivoactive HR from a year ago and the FR735XT too also work.

      Certainly, I really wish the Fenix3 series supported the newer platforms. And certainly they probably could have if Garmin didn’t add support for all the other things seen in the firmware update log over the last two years. Which, everyone agrees is a crapton of features. Sorta a one or the other situation in that case.

    • Andrew Clarke

      It seems like you’re conflating a few different arguments and issues.

      First, as has been mentioned and from your post I’d say you agree, the app/smartwatch/wearable ecosystem is moving very quickly. As Ray said above, when the Fenix 3 was designed, Garmin didn’t even know what ConnectIQ would be capable of three years later. So while it sucks for anyone who just bought a Fenix 3HR, it also shouldn’t be super surprising for anyone who’s buying a previous-generation device. This isn’t like buying a computer, where the rate of technological progress has slowed lately and a 5 year old computer will likely do all of us just fine. I’d rather have Garmin move things forward and leave some hardware behind, than keep the whole ecosystem hobbled for the sake of a few devices.

      Regarding your comment about Fenix 5 users who should be happy, that’s their latest, brand new flagship design. If new features don’t go in the Fenix 5, where would they go? Garmin would otherwise be waiting for new hardware. I can’t even buy a Fenix 5s here in Canada yet, so stating that if Fenix 3 users should be happy without updates, Fenix 5 users should be too is a false equivalence.

      Garmin’s arbitrary, software-based market stratification (e.g. 235/735) is another issue. In cases where they have the same hardware underlying multiple products, it REALLY galls me to have features locked out in firmware to meet a certain price point or give the impression of multiple models. The 935/Fenix situation isn’t really purely software as there exists a good reason to buy one over the other due to design. As long as they don’t hobble the 935 I’m good with that. There really doesn’t seem to be any reason though that they wouldn’t give the 735 all the running features of the 235, but maybe I’m missing something.

    • Eli

      I wasn’t making any claims about what 2.3 requires, just pointing out that Fenix 5 users would be very upset if their device didn’t support it, especially if the Vivoactive HR or 735XT did support it. Basically arguing that what Tim said is not a good reason by itself:
      “But is your YYY device still doing what you wanted it to do when you bought it?”

      I’m not trying to talk about what should happen with old devices, I’m just using the past to show what could happen in the future as it seems like the past is being ignored. The past being the 920 was mostly left as is while the F3 got many new features, and the future being the 935 and F5. They have different screens so good chance it wouldn’t have been that easy to keep the watches at the same level of functionality. It may have been a hardware limitation of the 920 or it may not, no one said anything, but the difference in firmware size was only .3 megs (~1 vs ~1.3) so cpu and memory limits seems unlikely.

      Andrew, I agree that that Garmin should move forward and not limited by previous hardware. I never expected 2.x of connect IQ to come to older devices. But I’m confused by how you argue against arbitrary, software-based market stratification and using the 235 and the 735 as an example. They are not the same hardware as obvious by benchmarks where the 735 is much faster then the 235:
      link to apps.garmin.com
      link to apps.garmin.com
      So they clearly aren’t the same.

      But you think the 935 and F5 isn’t purely software? As far as can be seen all that is different is the case materials and if there is a wifi chip or not. Kind of the very definition of being purely software difference, especially when they start off with basically the same functionality. They have the same screen, same input mechanisms as far as can be seen same cpu and memory so should be easy to keep the watches at the same level of functionality. Will it stay that way? Who knows. Seems like most people think we should be happy with what we got and not question.

    • Dennis

      Since I paid big money 14 months ago for the F3HR I feel abandon by Garmin. PERHAPS we F3 buyers deserve a credit toward the purchase of the f5.

      Thank you for this comment: “Certainly, I really wish the Fenix3 series supported the newer platforms.
      Thank you
      F3HR owner
      Dennis

    • Andrew Clarke

      @Eli: I wasn’t very clear, and I was wrong about something. I thought the 735XT omitted features that were available in the 235 but I think I must have just been wrong.

      About the 935/Fenix5, I meant more or less the same as you but said it poorly. I would not want the 935 to lose software/firmware features the Fenix5 has, and to Garmin’s credit it doesn’t appear that’s happened (yet?). I meant that the watches are quite different from a design standpoint, and it’s the hardware differences that will prompt someone to buy one over the other.

      I guess I’d better make myself another espresso.

    • Tim Grose

      AFAIK the 235 and 735 aren’t the same hardware. In fact, I can’t think of 2 Garmin fitness watches that are the same “inside” but have different feature sets? I used to use a 920 but retired it long ago. Whilst it is undoubtedly disappointing that you can’t turn your lights out from it going forwards my point was that when I did first get it, this was based on what I saw it doing at the time not what it might do in the future.

    • giorgitd

      Well, to be fair, these were the premium, top of the line devices less than 18 months ago. So, if you purchased then, you own a $400+ device that is 18 months old, presumably capable of updates but not receiving them for, again, presumably, business reasons. Garmin is betting that folks will upgrade now or eventually and not move to a different vendor/platform. Hmmm…

    • Christian Köhler

      What about 230/235/630?

      There are not even newer replacements for these devices, yet. The Vivoactive may get the latest Connect IQ, but I think it won’t replace 230/235/630 for many runners.

      Something new soon?

      Christian

    • Tim Grose

      I would argue that the 935 is already the replacement as the top line running watch. It works for this runner and it is also why they dropped the XT in the name. Not sure any of this announcement today makes a whole lot of difference to me. 230/235/630 are similar true but subtlety different – one has OHR, one has touchscreen and one has neither.

    • Christian Köhler

      935 is about twice the price of 235 (actual street prices) . Just for that ‘subtle difference’ 935 won’t replace 235.

    • Dom

      the 920XT… might fall into the ‘not enough processor or not enough firmware space’
      It may have been a hardware limitation of the 920 or it may not, no one said anything, but the difference in firmware size was only .3 megs (~1 vs ~1.3) so cpu and memory limits seems unlikely.

      RAM limits, I think, not CPU, flash memory, or firmware space per se (though increasing RAM requirements from larger firmware footprint could be a factor). This is the blog post where Connect IQ 2.0 was announced. It lists the available RAM for ConnectIQ apps on the devices which supported 1.x and those which could support 2.x as well; 16k versus a minimum of 32k for data fields and 64k versus a minimum of 128k for apps. Before 2.0 came along, developers were finding that data fields would stop working with new point releases of 1.x, as the platform took up more of the available RAM for its own overheads. I think it was going to get to the point where you couldn’t build anything very useful for the 1st-generation watches.

      I own a Fenix 3, incidentally, so I’m in the same position as a 920xt owner.

      Do people have a reason to think that the 935 won’t be kept in line with the F5/5s? It’s clearly the same hardware. The 235 and 735 are not the same hardware, as Eli correctly points out.

    • Dom

      The italic section is slightly edited quotes from two posts above by different people – I should have made that clearer, sorry.

    • Eli

      The part you quoted was more where I was complaining how the F3 got features the 920xt didn’t get and was using that past to explain why I’m not sure the 935 and the F5 will stay at feature parity in the software. The 920 and the F3 seem to share the same processor based on benchmarks and the ConnectIQ devices.xml file has then at the same amount of memory. Yes one was square and one was a circle screen and the button layout was different but thats about it.

      The better question is why would you expect the 935 stay at feature parity to the F5? Garmin hasn’t said that it would or even hinted that it would.

      They have said:

      With similar features to the fēnix 5 – our popular multisport GPS watch built for fitness, adventure and style – the Forerunner 935 is catered more towards athletes focused on performance and results

      link to garmin.com

      So like the F3 every new feature on the F5 could fall outside the scope of “catered more towards athletes focused on performance and results”

    • Except the FR920XT was announced 3 months prior to the Fenix3, and teams were far more separated then in terms of both internal split and codebases.

      The inverse and opposites are true now in both cases.

    • Eli

      The major new functionality in the F3 came way after the F3 came out in 6.50 so the F3 coming out later is not a reason in itself for it having more functionality.

      The teams and the codebase are more unified but has anyone from Garmin said they plan to keep the watches at feature parity? Seems like everyone is dancing around that simple question and just making assumptions instead of trying to get an answer out of Garmin. They could justify the split by saying the F5 is more premium with it costing $100 more so deserves more functionality

    • Matthew B.

      Eli, not sure why you’re stuck on the 920xt and Fenix3 comparison, as they clearly had/have clearly different codebases. Menus aren’t similar, how you navigate the device is completely different, etc.. The Fenix5 and 935 are almost identical (and actually currently are identical).

      I’m going to go out on a limb and say they aren’t promising anything because if there comes some unforeseen difference, they don’t want to have promised that the 935 would keep up and it can’t (or really vice versa). There is no business reason for them to make that claim. I’d be willing to bet that they are identical for their life cycle now that they’re on the same beta schedule.

    • Eli

      Using the past to understand the future. Same reason why Ray has his standard saying in his weekly posts when he posts a new kickstarter he found that is of interest.

      Look at what Garmin said about the Chronos which came out in August of last year:
      fēnix® Chronos is now a fēnix 5s
      link to developer.garmin.com

      So they clearly aren’t against making claims about their devices.

      As far as everyone can tell the 935 and F5 have the exact same buttons, screen, memory, cpu, and the rest of the hardware so outside of the boot screen there really is no reason to have the code base be different between the F5 and 935. They are more alike then the Chronos is to the 5. But they are different which seems significant.

      Is this the same difference that the Chronos, 5S, 5, and 5X have? Garmin has been very clear that all 4 of those are part of the same family so 4 code bases will be kept at the same level of functionality. The 935? They have been quiet about any relationship.

  4. Markus

    Hey

    So with the always on watch Faces – now it is possible to update heart rate every second ? So it can show nearly real time HR data on the watch face ? :)

    Thanks for Reply :)

  5. Andrew

    Nice to see the fenix 3hr abandoned at less than a year old while the 735 (cheaper watch similar release timeframe) still gets support.

    • Gonzalo

      Agree with Andrew.
      It is also very annoying to keep asking Garmin about the issue around odd readings for temperature, pressure and altitude in my Fenix 3HR. They have told me that the problem is software related and they are dealing with it, however after 4 months of waiting nothing has been solve.

    • Petr

      Totally agree. Fenix 3HR was totally abandoned in less than a year. Yes, maybe the non HR version received a lot of updates and new features (a “crapton” as Ray would say), but this has not been the case of Fenix 3HR (sorry, no really big feature additions, and in most cases only bugfixes), and now F3HR owners are left behind. Again – in less than a year.
      Simply – I don’t trust Garmin anymore ( e.g. – that they wouldn’t do the same for F5 next year).

    • Ihsan

      It would have been (somewhat) OK if it did work properly, but aren’t there quite a bit of bugs related to barometer/altimeter, not being able to connect to hidden WiFi networks, etc?

      But what do we get? A firmware update for dog tracking. Yup, ownership experience is awesome for F3HR owners.

      In case it wasn’t obvious, it was sarcasm up above…

    • Eli

      The F3HR was just HR added onto the F3 so shouldn’t expect the F3HR to get any more updating then the F3.

    • Ihsan

      Doe that mean Garmin should feel justified that a 1.5 year old platform still has bugs and the support should be abandoned just so that they have a new product?

      Quite off topic but this isn’t even about the CIQ, it’s the firmware of the previous generation product that is still not up to par.

  6. todd

    When can we expect to see the CIQ 2.3 update actually hit our watches?

  7. Eli

    I’m confused by:
    Managing currencies and points and such in an app store model reaches the height of sucky things that app ecosystem have to deal with.

    because:
    Revenue from Apple’s App Store grows 60% to $5.4 billion
    link to appleinsider.com

    Garmin isn’t Apple but still, there are ways to profit off the app store

  8. Nick

    I would love to see a CIQ app that measured diving depth using the barometer sensor on the Fenix series/935. Adding pricing to apps would incentivize developers to explore more app options like that

    • Chris

      For safety and certification reasons Garmin will not allow a diving app in the CIQ store.

    • Nick

      Really? That’s a bummer. I would think it would be fun for recreational divers or just someone snorkeling that would like to know what depth they’re going down to. Do you know where that reasoning is, or are you a Garmin employee and have the inside scoop?

    • Andrew M

      An altimeter has to be sensitive to changes in the order of 1/1000th of an ATM. A dive watch is adding an additional ATM of pressure for every 10m/30ft of depth. Given the difference in sensitivty required, I imagine it is difficult to get a single sensor to do both jobs well.

      If a sports watch gets altimeter functions wrong, the consequences aren’t huge (and GPS elevation is a backstop). The consequences (and legal liabilities?) of incorrect understanding of how long at what depths while diving are pretty serious. No wonder Garmin wants nothing to do with Fenix dive apps.

  9. Eli

    Is garmin going to do more to promote: (or some other source code sharing site)
    link to github.com

    Thinking with many of the apps not meant to make money it might be useful to share source code as both examples for other developers to base their code on but also to spur people to create libraries to do things Garmin hasn’t spent the effort on.

  10. Kaz

    Do not wait out for SmartThings…

    They are famous for announcing and never delivering support they announce. They are the typical engineer driven company who loves new things and rarely complete them as something else new and more interesting comes along.

    • No need to wait, it’s already out today: link to apps.garmin.com

    • Kaz

      ohh – hmm maybe the CEO have a Garmin watch.

      But it only support routines? I have not used them much as they tend to be unreliable and not very smart :)

      I have 2 smartthings boxes – and I’m not impressed in general – but everything else is worse so far. Bug fixes hardly ever happens – I have waited about 7 months for 2 small bugs to get fixed that hinders integration with Smappee Energy monitor and Door Knock Detection – and they are still not fixed.

      But it is useful for small things like turning on the light in the toilet for the kids and keep track of open doors/windows.

    • The primary reason for only supporting routines is that if you had a lot of devices in your home, that’d enumeration would look rather messy on the small screen of a wearable.

    • Scott Shell

      FWIW I spent a day with the CEO of SmartThings in Feb when volunteering for a race and he is an endurance athlete I don’t recall if he had a Garmin Device but it wouldn’t surprise me.

      The SmartThings system may not be perfect but as a relatively powerful user of the system I must say I’m a happy customer especially utilizing a little bit of the power of the community to accomplish things that do not have native support.

  11. Michael Coyne

    I am so stoked for all of this – great news all around for me. My FR 935 is out for delivery as I type this.
    In general I think Garmin’s “smart” aspect of their smartwatches is what lagged behind others the most, but ofc people like me kept buying them for other reasons. While the “other reasons” may have ultimately dominated my purchase choice, it hurt knowing my friends’ smartwatches would be able to do more day-to-day. I think there’s a lot of fitness-focused people out there like me who do care a LOT about those smart features, but simply have to make a heart-torn purchase choice, so this is great.

    By the way, I’ve been thinking about getting a generation 2 Noke lock since it has ANT+ to work with Garmin watches, but I’ve been unsure due to bad ratings on the gen 1 version. Have you tried any smart locks, especially ones for watches?

    Thanks again, and I can’t wait for your speech! Cheers!

  12. Scott E

    To me this is like a hobby. Yes, cool stuff for a hobbyist to create and extend the platform. Yet given the nature of Garmin devices being sports centric and always advancing makes and models to stay relevant does not give it a cross-over into the broader market where third parties can monetize their add-ons. Or simply said, “Show me the money”.

  13. James

    I still feel good with my 920 purchase a month ago. I knew going in that I was buying a device that was not compatible with the latest CIQ. But, that’s ok. I needed a multisport watch now that I’m doing duathlons,. Hell, my 620 is still going strong. Still haven’t download any apps yet. The 935 is nice, but $500 – no. I’m also wary of how Garmin supports their watches. the F3HR and Epix are good examples.

    • giorgitd

      I think that this comment provides the cautionary tale. If folks are paying attention and saying…well, your xxx device was released 36 months ago, so you should not expect new features…what happens to those buying the current crop of device 6 or 12 months after release? You, in a year, will be singing the same ‘Garmin left me behind’ blues. So…either you are ready to upgrade on a 12-18 month cycle, or you’ll save lots of USD/EURO by buying the last gen device in the Garmin refurb store. And, to the question ‘is my 920xt doing what it was when I purchased it’? Yes. And the analogy to rapid evolution of computer technology – sure, I get it. BUT even Microsoft provides updates for their software for *many years*, despite the emergence of new versions…i.e. Win 8 still receives updates despite the fact that Win 10 is the current OS. I think that the irritating thing for me is that I *think* (bit don’t know for sure) that my device is capable of being updated, but Garmin is making a business decision not to do so. I *think* that they are deciding that the economic downside of abandoning the installed base is less (negatively) impactful to their bottom line than building a community of enthusiastic, long-time advocates. That is what bothers me – the appearance (maybe incorrect interpretation) of willful neglect to update technically capable hardware in the hopes that the new features (available only on the newest hardware) will inspire new purchases. The relationship between supplier and consumer runs both ways, I think, and I don’t feel well served right now.

  14. Gabe

    neat but not nearly as cumbersome as asking Alexa to turn the lights on or any other triggers you have set up at home.

  15. Marklemcd

    Given that Garmin can’t even keep watches connected to their app via Bluetooth, how likely is it that controlling lights will actually work well?

  16. Jon Hockley

    Will this finally allow the Vivoactive HR to record power meter data?
    I’m not really sure how the SDK works but back with the release of Vivoactive HR you mentioned on your blog

    “It does NOT support ANT+ power meters, however you can get ANT+ power meter support through some Connect IQ apps already (but you can’t record that data quite yet until the next Connect IQ software update is released).”

    I think at the time of VAHR’s release connect IQ was version 2.1. Version 2.2 appeared to bring ant+ to 3rd party apps. I’m not sure why no app was developed as a result.

  17. Manuel

    Instead of wasting time on smart home control – Garmin should better focus on their software development which is really really weak. With my last update of my garmin edge 1000 all my activity profiles were gone. This should not happen to company of this size.

  18. husain

    Cool t shirt on the video ;)

  19. Eli

    Seems like the every second update still has some limits. Drawing too much of the display is still not allowed so they added buffered bitmaps and clipping regions and there are limits on execution time

    They also added support for encrypted ANT channels. I wonder who plans to make use of that functionality

  20. Forrest

    I just want it to count reps and sets when I lift, because I’m kind of distracted wondering what the hell I’m doing this for, and don’t want to miscount.

    • That’s exactly the type of app this will/should enable.

      For others, that same rep counting is actually now on the Vivosmart 3 natively, and I think soon also on the Fenix5/FR935 natively.

  21. Scott Shell

    I was just thinking the other day that Connect IQ could really use a SmartThings app of some sort. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next.

    I did install it look forward to seeing how well it works.

  22. אורי אסלן

    could the fenix 3 sapphire get this connect iq update in the future?

    • Not for 2.3. There’s no more memory space in the firmware.

    • ‫אורי אסלן‬‎

      But it comes with 23 mb of available space?
      Another thing, this connect is update is an update in the watch or in the garmin connect app?

    • That’s on the on-disk space, not the space in memory to operate the watch itself.

      It’s something that’s been somewhat talked about behind the scenes for a month or two recently, but Garmin was pretty clear about it in today’s Connect IQ Symposium. There’s simply no space left in memory for the firmware in the F3/3HR. They’ve been doing some crazy stuff for the better part of a year to even get it where it’s at, but the end of the road is here.

      I suspect there’s a tiny bit left in case some sort of emergency bug scenario pops up down the road, a safety net of sorts.

      As noted early, one could look back at other features and say “Well, why’d they add this or that, etc..”, such as all the new sport modes in January 2016, but then folks would have been upset about that too. Not sure there’s a good answer – aside of course having put the memory in there to begin with.

      It was clear that Garmin has definitely learned that lesson, which hopefully holds true for a few years.

    • ‫אורי אסלן‬‎

      So it means that the fenix 3 will not get any updates and new stuff or smart features anymore at all?
      If so, should I still buy it if I was interested in it?

  23. George

    Why is the Apple iWatch the only advanced device that plays bluetooth mp3s? The garmin devices are bluetooth capable and had memory. Why can I link them to my bluetooth headphone and listen to music when I run? Instead I either need to buy an Apple product, or carry an additional bluetooth mp3 player.

    • Tim Grose

      Horses for courses sometimes. Try taking your Apple Watch for a 6 hour ride and wanting to record your power data… Actually most of the Garmin watches have tiny “hard drives”.

    • Eli

      TomTom plays MP3s. Its a big tradeoff so getting the watch to be able to do that would require much more power draw which is why the tomtom only last 5 hours. I have a feeling a generation from now (well once they switch to an even faster cpu) they will have the processing power to do mp3 music.

  24. giorgitd

    I don’t want to be a total grouch about the lack of updates for premium Garmin devices that are not very old, so let me offer a constructive recommendation… Garmin (if you’re reading … and I’m pretty confident that you are) … offer the owners of the high end devices that can’t / won’t be upgraded to current capabilities a trade-in opportunity. Have a F3 and want an F5 for the new capabilities that will not be provided to your device? Provide a trade in mechanism at substantially reduced cost. Your loyal customer base will be appreciative as will all of those CIQ developers considering the installed base that can leverage their creative works. Just a thought, when you have a product line advancing as quickly as the Forerunners and Fenixes and with the substantial investment those purchasers have made…

    • Paul

      Garmin has done a trade-in of sorts in the past so this might not be outside the realm of possibility, though to be fair I think it’s been quite a while since they have done this. I remember upgrading my Forerunner once and sent them my old device and got a rebate (I think it was only $50, but Garmin devices were also cheaper back then). I would love it if they brought something like this back to make it cheaper to upgrade my F3 to an F5, though I doubt they will do it.

  25. VeeTee

    How about connecting some basic stuff like … SCALES? It is completely ridiculous that Garmin platform can’t import any weight measurement and you can’t even add manually something like BMI, fat or whatever. Half of the formulas use by calculation your weight but Garmin can’t read it from nowhere – not even Apple Health.

    To be honest instead of this, they should implement import of weight from Withings, Apple Health or whatever. As a developer I wouldn’t bother developing for platform which misses one of the basic and most watched metric – it shows poor internal policy and lack of vision – the platform is useless for using statistics, because lacks important metric and only few will go and add manually weight – lot of people are exercising to lose weight, so why you would deprive yourself of statistics of how regular exercise keeps you in shape is beyond my comprehension. Probably it would be the most interesting insight of all with cross-reference with other data like burned calories, when people started to exercise and how much did they lose vs exercise – also how inactivity or holidays have influence.

    I think you should press them, and add to comparison import abilities – there is zero initiative on import from HealthKit on phones, some time ago it worked from MyFitnessPal, but that looks dead now, also there should be big red you have to add weight manually and can’t add advanced weight statistics unless you own Garmin own scale, which you probably won’t.

    What is worrisome is that if their policy is to lock out complete product lineup like scales, in future they could do same with things like power meters and your expensive Fenix watch or Edge computer would work just with their Vector pedal.

    • Honestly speaking, as I agree that Garmin should be more “open”, I do not see them planning to do so. They have their own scale, integrated with Garmin Connect. And that’s it. Period. From that perspective they’re a little close minded, agreed, but I do not expect them to change.

      In my personal opnion Garmin Connect, especially as a mobile phone app, is galaxies away from perfect. And their ecosystem as well. TomTom, having a simple watch, made a much better job creating web fitness platform. I can’t believe that Garmin doesn’t have resources to make as good or even better one! And Garmin Connect on Android still looks and behaves like a hybrid (HTML based) app! It shouldn’t, really. It should be a snappy, highly flexible native app with some widgets added to it. I have no idea how it works there, but I would fire Product Manager responsible for this app or his boses – depending whether it’s due to lack of interest and/or knowledge or lack of backing for that project…

      It’s the whole policy. It’s our business and others should go away. It’s our app, it’s crap but you can’t do without it. Complains? You have the best device on the market, why you’re complaining about the app? Openes? What for?

      I like Garmin devices, but Garmin as a company is really, really pissing me off sometimes. I do not like bullies…

      Obviously it’s just my personal opinion.

    • derlinzer

      Garmin, TomTom, etc. *need* Apple’s and Google’s platforms and stores to release their apps. Without these apps their hardware is a lot less appealing.

      Apple and Google introduced Apple Health and Google Fit, their solutions to save/sync health and activity data from a lot of devices and apps. No more need to support a dedicated scale or sensor – just read/write data to/from apps via APIs on system level.

      Since Garmin, TomTom, etc. either don’t get it or don’t want to get it, there’s only one logical choice: Kick their apps from the stores unless they fully support Apple Health and Google Fit. Apple and Google wouldn’t lose any money, because the apps are free anyway, but it would hurt Garmin, TomTom, etc. enough to get their act together and remember that they have to serve and satisfy their customers.

    • I’m not sure I understand.

      It’s funny though – because what your asking for actually hurts what you want. Have you tried loading an openwater swim or a bike ride into Apple Health? If so, I asssume you know it can’t maintain anything but basic HR data. No cadence sensor, no power meter. No indoor speed on a bike. Or, it won’t allow you to export GPS tracks for anything – *at all*. No other platform has that restriction. Period.

      As for Google Fit…it’s funny too. Because I would have thought by now someone would ask for it. But ironically, I can’t recall a *SINGLE* person asking why company XYZ didn’t support Google Fit in their app. Seriously, not a single comment I can recall in years here on the site. None. Which isn’t to say nobody at all wants it, but to say almost nobody wants it.

      P.S. – In unrelated news, two days ago Garmin started syncing weight scale data to any API partners. Some have already implemented it – such as Sport Tracks.

    • I am here with Ray – personally, I give a rat’s a** about Google Fit (sorry, staying away from iPhone) as it’s design was targeting a different crowd. Yeah, TomTom can sync steps maybe and general information about runs, but it’s an effort not worth the price IMHO….

      It doesn’t change the fact that Garmin Connect mobile app is ridiculously bad in comparison to Suunto’s MoveScout, Polar’s Flow and even TomTom’s Sports. No, both the Android app and the web app are crap compared to those. And I *REALLY* can’t figure out why? It’s not like Garmin doesn’t have resources to make it better, right?

      And as for syncing I think the idea was for Garmin to “consume” other vendor’s data (like Withings) rather then publish them from their own products. But it’s great they managed to make it 50% right… :-)

  26. So… Phone app even if my Garmin is WiFi capable? Bummer…

    Three things my watch is missing and likely will not have for a battery optimization reasons:
    – music playback via BT
    – SIM card or virtual SIM card with radio (I can think of crapton if usage scenarios)
    – more standalone, no app connected APIs

    Although I think the last is not only battery related…

  27. Diggler

    Hi Ray

    All very interesting. Waiting for the much delayed and highly anticipated Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR review. Garmin overload at the moment.

  28. Serban

    Ray,

    What is your view on the internal differences between Fenix 5X and Fenix 5 in regards to the new CIQ? I am talking about the extra RAM that 5X has over 5, besides other limitations that exists in 5… Will these play any importance on the future of CIQ apps differences between these two models? Thanks.

  29. DaveQB

    Just a heads up Ray.

    “…Connect IQ posts, these SERVER as a starting point of sorts…”
    Working in IT, I make that typo all of the time.

  30. derlinzer

    I don’t trust Garmin with anything that has to do with software. Instead of fixing and polishing their Connect Mobile apps for Android and iOS they hop on the smart home hype and will definitely blow this as well.

    • I cannot say that I do not disagree with that.

      As noted before it is my opinion that Garmin Connect is far from perfect. And jumping on Smart Home bandwagon is nice and will give them some hype, focusing more on the products and services would be highly appreciated by all customer base.

      Heck, I just had a *PLEASURE* to check Suunto Movescout. It has some problems and areas, in which they should improve but I am impressed and like it much more than Garmin Connect. Unfortunately, I am not a fan of their watches for many reasons…

    • derlinzer

      Garmin, Suunto, Polar,… they all suck so bad when it comes to software. It’s unbelievable. Currently I believe that Apple will iterate faster in hardware, then Garmin, Suunto, Polar, etc. together will do in software.

  31. Sweet. Now my Inspector Gadget costume for Halloween this year will be complete.

    The technological advances are pretty amazing. And with the competition heating up as you say, hopefully that equates to better products at cheaper prices :)

    Thanks for the awesome review,

    Dave

  32. Gian Camillo

    Hi Ray, a common complaint that can be also read into the comments here is that Garmin should do definitely something to listen to their customers, improve software quality and add features that matters to us. It would be so much appreciated if you could use your influence and connections to let them hear our voice.

    There are things that simply are not acceptable (my experience on Garmin Edge 1000, Garmin Varia Tail Light and Garmin Index Scale):
    All settings lost when upgrading firmware
    Devices becoming unusable after applying new firmware
    Garmin Connect not able to send a track wirelessly to a device (Not considering that useless import as ride and then export)
    Tedious user interfaces
    Garmin Index Scale only working with Garmin Connect. Weight not shared with Strava, MyFitnessPal etc…

    My Garmin Edge is a fantastic device for cyclists but many times I have the feeling that people that made it don’t actually use it.

    • Greg Hilton

      Gian,

      I’ve had Garmin 810, 1000, Fenix 3, 735XT and 935. None of which have lost settings in recent firmware updates. They may have done a few years back!

      Also rock solid after a firmware update. If it becomes unusable you have some corruption. Backup and do a full reset. This happened to me twice with the 1000 and was fine once I reset

      I can send a track from Garmin Connect mobile wirelessly to my devices.

    • Gian Camillo

      Greg, from the tone of your answer I suspect you work at Garmin.

      Have to say, it is really upsetting (especially if you work at Garmin). You consider what happens to you as the rule, and are arrogant enough to state that.

      Commenting what you said. I neither had any problem after an upgrade, never lost my settings and never became unusable.

      But I do interact in a few forums (including Garmin own) and there are lots of of users that experience it, all the times. Is it corruption? Maybe, but it should be handled. Anyway, funny you say “rock solid” and in the next sentence you say it became unusable twice. This is kinda contradicting and seems to confirm what I wrote.
      Doing a full reset might be a solution, but for many it’s not. And doing a full reset means losing all settings and data and doing a backup and restoring is not something that everyone has enough computer experience to do.

      On sending a track, it would be useful to the masses that can’t do that if you could document it (considering my initial note that uploading a track as a ride and sending it is not considered a solution of the problem and also please avoid mentioning ConnectIQ solutions, we know they exist but they are not integrated in the Garmin user experience).

      Also, read the other comments.

    • Greg Hilton

      Gian, you make a huge sweeping statement with no detail to back it up and then call me arrogant when all I am trying to suggest is that it’s not as bad for everyone – nice one! I do not work for Garmin or any other sports technology company or reseller.

      So you have the Garmin 1000 right? I’m on the latest 12.2 firmware and cannot recall ever loosing firmware settings for it in the past year. Ray has also said many times that ongoing issues are likely some corruption post the upgrade.

      To send a course, open the app, select course, click send in top right, chose your device. As you state it’s a pain taking someone else course and having to upload it, but it is what it is.

      I’m not getting into an argument, you clearly have your view and I have mine. If you don’t like Garmin products there are more and more competitors out there with solutions.

    • Gian Camillo

      I failed on the Garmin employee guess. I’ll try the next one… Official designated censor for DCRainmaker.com? But I still believe the first guess is right.

    • Reed

      My god, was your oatmeal off this morning or why so cranky?

    • Gian Camillo

      Hi Reed, you think I overreacted? Probably true, blimey. I for sure have anger management issues. Beg the pardon of the readers. It’s just that I have true passion for Garmin devices and how they support in making the best use of my recreational time and help my health. I just think what I stated (not necessarily as a result of my own experience but because of active participation in forums and what I read on this site as well) and I did not like my message to be “banalised” with comments that were totally off (or at least this is how I percevied them).

      In detail, the person stated that he’s not having some of the issues I described. And I don’t have them either, but that doesn’t prove software is perfect.

      The person stated that one of the functionality I described as missing is there. Only to reveal later that the functionality he refers to is not the one I was asking for.

      And to end it, he said that I shouldn’t ask Raymond for support in communicating with Garmin but that I should stop buying their devices. Which looks bizarre as well, I think I have the right to express my view, unless someone is taking Trump too seriously here.

      Anyway Reed, thanks for the pat on the shoulder ;), appreciated.

  33. chris noland

    Ray,

    I am not sure if you have seen this… this is an app that integrates Crestron and Garmin. Crestron is the system when it comes to home automation and used for pro installation.

    link to apps.garmin.com

    I have not tired it yet but plan to do an integration with it soon and need to talk with the developer again if he is using the background services as when he started earlier this year I think you had to open to make the connection with a phone.

    Chris

    • Thanks for the plug Chris, and for drawing my attention to the new background services… I did make this feature request on the Garmin Dev forum last year, though I imagine they had it on the road map already ;-)

      Depending on what triggers we can hook into (GPS location proximity in particular), it could open a lot of possibilities!

      Exciting stuff – and I’ll need to upgrade my FR235 to test it ;-)

    • Sorry about the image! I thought I was adding an avatar pic! :-/

  34. Phileault

    Not Edge device compatible? I have Smarthings at home and it would be great to open the garage door using my Edge 520 when coming back home!

  35. AT

    Not sure why I need this, Alexa and Google Home with voice control is the way to go.

  36. acousticbiker

    DCR, hope your talk went well. Interesting stuff here. Any word on whether any of these updates will allow the outside temperature in current location to be a complication on a watchface (including Garmin’s own stock faces)? Very basic and useful feature that is available on every other smartwatch.

    • Hmm, that’s an interesting observation/question. Not sure why either. I’ll see if I can find out. My guess is simply to limit BT calls to the phone and thus conserve battery life. The only other platformsthat do that – Apple Watch and Android Wear, have battery life in the 24-36hr department.

    • Ray, are you trying to say that fetching weather updates every, let’s say, 1 hour will kill battery life?…

      I think there is an app for that and it will draw more energy if I will open it, connect to Garmin Connect on my phone (I think pure WiFi will not suffice for that) and fetch that data…

    • No, since they actually already do that for the weather widget. I’m just talking why they might not have wanted 3rd party apps to do it. But with background services now, that concern largely seems irrelevant.

      I can say that in talking with numerous CIQ team members over the previous few days that there was a clear mantra of not letting 3rd party CIQ apps do harm to the stated battery life specs (at least in a meaningful way. Fwiw.

    • Eli

      When not in an activity the watch doesn’t know its current location and all the watch has to find the current location is GPS which is high power. Other platforms use the paired cell phone or have a sim card built in so can do lower power location internally.

    • acousticbiker

      On battery life concerns, I would think they could allow the user to define how often to poll the phone for location (every 15, 30, 60 min etc). I still have a hard time imagining this being the cause of Apple/Android watch-level battery life – I would think that has more to do with the hi res screens (especially given that Garmin watches already sync to phone in the background – although I don’t know what the baseline frequency is).

      I think an important feature that many people would use

  37. Mooseman

    I think Garmin are becoming aware their support software is behind the competition. Ray keeps telling them that they need Connect to hook and keep customers, but they don’t listen very well.

    I spoke to a Garmin rep in the UK in January, and that person told me that Garmin had hired a bunch of mobile platform developers from Samsung.

    I hope this is true and that they start to get traction. Seeing how easy it is to programme the Wahoo Bolt through your mobile phone rather than the Edge 1000, by the way its called the Edge 1000 as it takes 1000 screen and key clicks to set it up…. Thats why the model numbers keep going up folks :)

  38. Ray, forgot to ask – is this home automation has capabilities similar to IFTTT? Like if I am close to home from my training switch on the lights and open garage doors? Like geo-fencing and similar triggers? Or is it just controlled by an app? And if not, are there any plans for them to do so?

    • Nah, this is more or less just a company (Samsung/SmartThings) making an app. Nest could do the same (in fact, Nest was at the event). As could others.

      IFTTT integration would be pretty cool though!

    • Well, then that app is more or less useless. If I have to have my phone with me what will stop me from just taking it out when close to my home and just opening my smart lock with it? And based on geo-fencing my lights will be already on anyway and my SmartThings scene will be already selected. So I just wonder what I would use that app for… if I have my phone with me… and IFTTT on it… and SmartThings app…

      The point would be to do all of that without the phone with me, but for that Garmin would have to include SIM card (physical or virtual) and data connection capabilities.

      Otherwise, IMHO, it’s a useless app that is just a good for making marketing hype and makes you show it off on the video ;-)

    • But isn’t that the case for any smartwatch app sans-SIM today?

      I think there will always be tasks that work better/faster on a phone, and some that work better/faster on a watch. For example, for some people they like setting alarms on a watch. For me, I just do that on my phone.

      I think there’s also the case here where if cycling for example you’d have your phone in your pocket, but might not want to grab it (either rain/sweat/whatever), so a watch makes more sense.

      In general, smartwatch apps across the board will always be like this. A given specific app might appeal to 3-7% of the market. Everyone else will say it’s stupid. Then another app that you like I might say is stupid because it doesn’t hit my use case. But in total, eventually all our use cases get covered by various apps.

    • I wouldn’t reach for my phone as I do not need to – geo-fencing works. Plus some conditions like: if connected to the bluetooth device called _garmin edge 820_ and 100 meters away from home being out for more than an hour open garage door #2. I don’t even need to reach for the phone to open the doors to the house itself – Bluetooth works for about 1 meter with my lock. I can walk to my kitchen without touching any keys or my phone :-D

      And you’re wrong about the watches – Android Wear 2.0 supports SIM cards, and there are watches equipped with them already…

      Other than that – agreed. Some will love it; probably most will not.

    • Just to be clear, I wasn’t saying there aren’t SIM-card enabled watches (of course there are, I’ve written quite a bit about them). I was simply saying that for those watches that don’t have SIM cards, that’s the case for any app that it might be faster/easier to just use a phone.

  39. miguel

    f3.. my seconf garmin and my last

    garmin, you can delete the dog track feature (I know a lot of effot was put in it… several updates, etc) and get space for the update

  40. Neal

    What watch face was being used for the strava distances update every 15 minutes. That watch face looks great and would be nice to see distance totals

  41. Eli

    Garmin did just release new beta firmware for the Fenix 3 that fixes bugs. For those who complain about bugs have you contacted garmin support to tell them of the bug or just assume they know about the bug? The more who complain about a specific bug they can duplicate on their end the more likely they are to fix it

  42. Nico

    And yet they still haven’t a simple “elevation gain” app/field for the ongoing activity.
    All I can get out of 735xt is the current elevation. Which is somewhere near totally useless. Even though it’s usually quite precise.
    And no, lack of barometer isn’t really a deciding factor here. My old Polar RC3 had done it perfectly w/o barometer aid. Never knew I’d struggle so much w/o this feature. Have all my hopes on successor of V800 now. Guess the moment it’s out I’ll drop my 735xt. Since for me it lacks in so many areas…
    Too bad they have all the hardware you might want/need (well, except for the barometer) but software part is so much behind in terms of utilizing the device’s possibilities…

    • Well, all of Garmin’s baro capable units do that have that field.

      And for the FR735XT you can use any of the crapton of Ascent fields found within the Connect IQ app store (free): link to apps.garmin.com

      Which…is no different than we’re talking about here – SmartThings is a 3rd party company with a 3rd party Connect IQ app.

    • Nico

      Wow, thanks!
      I’ve been trying to search for an app/field for quite some time now but obviously was using some wrong keywords… Found one in the list you’ve suggested and immediately tested it out on a short ride. Works just fine.

      You’ve just neutralized one of the big bullet points in my list of “Things I’m unhappy about in Garmin”. There’re quite a few left there though…

  43. Markus

    Hi,
    can also HR Data be Updated in Real Time with the new Always active Watchfaces ?