JUMP TO:

Garmin’s Virtual Developer Conference News Tidbits for Connect IQ 4.0 and Garmin Connect Platform

image

Last week was Garmin’s 3rd annual Garmin Connect IQ developer event, this time called the Garmin Virtual Developer Conference since it’s all online, versus the Connect IQ Summit that was in person and held at Garmin’s headquarters in Olathe, Kansas. This conference digs into all the nitty-gritty aspects of Connect IQ, but also now developer aspects across Garmin’s entire platform, beyond just Connect IQ running on a watch. For example, this included aspects of the previous ANT+ Symposium (so, ANT+ as a technology), as well as health platform bits that aren’t really Connect IQ directly.

Now, generally speaking, we don’t typically see much in the way of product announcements as part of this. Like Apple’s annual WWDC events, there typically isn’t a big hardware splash, it’s more about the developer side. Though sometimes you’ll see ancillary announcements, but it’s rarely the big event or focus. The morning of the conference there was the minor announcement of the updated Index S2 WiFi Scale, but that’s it.

Instead, the major message of the developer conference could be summed up as:

– Consolidating all the developer programs under one agreement and request for developers to apply to
– Developers now get a single key that supports all of the developer program pillars (more on those down below)
– Increasing user control and specificity over their data sharing with other apps, especially for aspects such as women’s health data
– Announcement of Connect IQ 4.0 platform
– Widgets get deprecated in favor of apps with widget glances (which can then expand full screen like old school widgets)
– Increased graphics capabilities within CIQ4 to better take advantage of AMOLED/LCD screens
– Developer tools shift to Visual Studio Code Extension over IDE

Now, in addition to all the techie bits, there were also the various tracks you could tune in and watch. The breakouts are set to be published online next week as well, in the Garmin CIQ forums. Having watched some of the breakouts in the past, they tend to have lots of fun nuggets of info. For example a year or two ago Spotify did one where they dove into the nuances of how they made decisions as it related to their CIQ app, things like album covers and such. It was interesting. Here was the full slate, just for historical reference.

image

The upper first two hours had Garmin lead category managers (like the leads for the Forerunner series, Cycling units, and so on), sharing their favorite new features from the past year, along with a recap then of the upcoming developer & Connect IQ 4.0 announcements. Once they were done, I took up the bulk of the timeslot with a 45-minute ‘State of Sports Tech’ keynote that you can watch here.

And for those curious – yes, those were really the actual category managers for all those products. And indeed, the people directly in charge of those product lines. And I presume those were indeed their actual living rooms or backyards featured. Welcome to 2020.

Afterwards there were breakout tracks as you can see below. Basically the intro track for people new to Garmin development, the CIQ track for existing developers, and the business track if you weren’t a developer but more on the business side.

Ok, let’s dive through some of the bigger ticket items.

Consolidation of Developer Programs:

image

For as long as I’ve been covering Garmin, I’ve talked about their API’s and related things. Seriously, we’re talking way back. And as such, I’ve seen the full journey of it, perhaps also being the one poking that stick the hardest. So now basically 10 years later we’ve gone from them firing their entire Garmin Connect development team, to having a complete umbrella developer program with multiple pillars and API’s for almost every aspect of the system. Plus a platform for developing on devices as well.

Which, doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Obviously not. I’ll dive into some of those gaps in a minute. But first, let’s talk about what’s new here.

The main thing is that up until now, there was a different approval process for each of the API’s within the Garmin Developer program. So if you as a developer wanted to get activity files (e.g. workout files) to your app, you’d have to request access to that. Then, if you wanted to get structured workout support, you’d have to request access there. Then, if you wanted to get weight scale data – again, rinse…repeat.

image

The idea going forward is that you’ll (as a developer) request access once, and then you’ll have access to all components of the platform. As always, this doesn’t mean you get access to everyone’s data of course. A user must still approve your given app to access their data, just like you’d expect. But it means you can build out an app/platform and not have to get separate approvals for everything.

The core API pillars are:

Health API: This includes things like steps and weight scale data, basically, 24×7 data, such as for a corporate health program to see your steps
Activity API: This is for completed workouts (where you start/stop a timer), such as TrainingPeaks/Strava receiving your workout
Women’s Health API: This is for accessing female health tracking data
Training API: This is for structured workout support, such as TrainerRoad pushing workouts to Garmin devices
Courses API: This is for courses support, such as Strava/Komoot pushing courses to Garmin devices

Note that these are all API-driven pillars, not Connect IQ driven components (such as what happens on a device) – that’s more of an SDK level thing that happens in a different realm (also, my next section).

Keep in mind however one important bit: Most of these are outbound from Garmin (or read only), not inbound to Garmin. Here, let me explain:

*Health API: Reads access to 24×7 health data
*Activity API: Read access to 24×7 completed workouts
*Women’s Health API: Read access to women’s health data
Training API: This allows the app to push structured workouts to Garmin Connect & Garmin Devices
Courses API: This allows the app to push course files to Garmin Connect & Garmin Devices

*Technically speaking some of these are more ‘pushes’ of files from Garmin to the platform, but the point here being a 3rd party app can’t ‘add data’ to the Garmin Connect repository.

Here, the below shows the two groups pretty well. The first three are listed on the left below, and the second two on the right:

image

About now, some of you are like, wait a second…how does Zwift or TrainerRoad (and a handful of others) push completed workouts from Zwift to Garmin Connect? How do I (as an app developer) do that?

The simple answer: You don’t.

Garmin says the API that allows 3rd parties to insert data onto Garmin Connect isn’t part of this program and isn’t open. It’s behind all the secret doors. Essentially the only way you’re getting access to that is if you’re a household name in the sports world, *AND* if you don’t meaningfully compete with Garmin. In other words, they’ll call you, you won’t call them. They also noted that the engineering work on that is higher for Garmin, and thus the ROI needs to be higher.

That’s their right, sure, but I think it’s also a bit short-sighted still. I’d love to see more trainer apps in that bucket, beyond just the handful in there today. Plus, if people want their data in Garmin Connect it’s because they have a Garmin device they paid for. They want things in one place.

Now, there are two more things of note related to the API changes (both of which are good):

– The API now allows historical access to data: Previously, this wasn’t the case, and you only got a snippet of near-term data from the point of registration. Now it’s everything historical. That’s crazy cool.

– Defined access controls for users: With MCT (Menstrual Cycle Tracking) data being opened up, users can explicitly set which data they want to allow apps to have. For example, end users can allow access for the other pillars (such as activity data or health data), but not female health tracking data – similar to how today you can toggle an app to push receive completed workouts but not receive courses from a partner.

Ok with that, let’s shift over to the device bits. Oh, and remember that the cohesive umbrella developer agreement isn’t live yet today, but slated for by the end of the year.

Connect IQ 4.0:

image

Next, we’ve got updates to the Connect IQ platform, which are launching as part of Connect IQ 4.0. However, as of today there aren’t yet any devices to take advantage of the Connect IQ 4.0 capabilities . Garmin says that the first CIQ 4.0 devices won’t launch until 2021. Meaning that while some things  such as the increased graphics capabilities clearly hint towards increased graphically capable devices. And, long-time followers of Garmin’s Connect IQ announcements know that they often hint at features ahead of actual devices being available to take advantage of those features.

Here’s the condensed list of the announcements being made:

– Widgets get deprecated in CIQ4 in favor of apps with widget glances (which can then expand full screen like old school widgets)
– Increased graphics capabilities within CIQ4 to better take advantage of AMOLED/LCD screens
– Developer tools shift to Visual Studio Code Extension over IDE
– Apps can now be launched at any time, including from an activity
– New type system for Monkey C language to help reduce errors without runtime testing

Now, there isn’t yet a ton of information available on any of these. Most of it is set to arrive soon, but the first is that they’re going to be shifting to a Visual Studio Code extension instead of the existing Eclipse environment.

image

Next, there’s the consolidation into widget glances. Or basically, the deprecation of full-screen widgets in CIQ4 on the widget roll. As a reminder, widget glances are shown at the left, below. Basically it lets you get three pieces of information on the screen, versus a single piece of information from a single widget. Then you’re able to expand that out to get the full widget with additional information (seen at right for the weather):

 

Garmin says that widgets will still be supported for older devices, but that going forward for newer devices it’s all about widget glances (and then of course, the ability to expand into more detailed full-screen widget pages). This is fine by me, as I think widget glances are one of the best things Garmin has rolled out usability-wise in the last year or so (the first device was the Fenix 6 the last few days of summer 2019).

However, what’s notable though is that these widget glances won’t be part of the widget ‘type’ anymore, but rather part of the app type, which include widget glances. Here, I modified their slide to explain it:

image

However, this does show one aspect where the Garmin CIQ ecosystem is far less backwards compatible than that of Apple’s (which is supporting devices in the latest OS all the way back to Apple Watch 3, launched in 2017). Whereas CIQ is only supporting 2021 and beyond devices. If we look at widget glances being rolled into apps, I truly struggle to understand a reason why that can’t be made to at least recent devices. After all, the Fenix 6 already has widget glances, and already has apps.

As Garmin matures, this sort of lack of backwards compatibility will only serve to frustrate both developers and consumers alike.

Next, in line with graphical related bits is that graphic tasks will soon load into a separate graphics pool, which gives additional resources for those operations. The main driver for this is the newer AMOLED/LCD screens (such as seen on the Garmin Venu series to date).

This would probably be your biggest clue as to the direction Garmin is going with respect to not just CIQ, but devices as well. But of course, that’s no surprise. Since the Garmin Venu last year, we’ve seen them expand that screen type into other wearable devices in the Garmin lineup, beyond just fitness-focused watches.

And finally, on the list of items, there’s a new type system for the Monkey C language, which should help reduce errors for runtime testing. I believe that was covered more in-depth in one of the later breakouts, but I wasn’t able to make that one.

image

Ok, that’s the core messages take away from this. Obviously, the bigger questions are which devices get CIQ4 (be it now, or in the future), and then the nuances of the implementation of all these things, which really won’t happen till developers get their hands on it.

Wrap-Up:

One of the things that’s easy to forget here is that by brand, Garmin (as covering the first half of CY2020) is now the #2 smartwatch maker (behind Apple). Which is sorta crazy. Now, that gets a bit fuzzier in some ways because Wear OS isn’t tracked by unit volume for CY2020H1, so it’s entirely plausible Wear OS might be ahead of Garmin, because the distribution numbers are consolidated among units shipped by brand (e.g. by Fossil, Huawei, Suunto, etc..) – rather than smartwatch OS. It’d be tough though (I dive into the numbers of this a bit in my presentation).

Point being, we’re talking millions of units per quarter shipped, second only to Apple (albeit, a long-ass ways away in second). But it’s enough to matter now. It’s no longer just a fun little platform for people who like to run, which is basically how it started out 6 years ago. But as illustrated in the CIQ4.0 section above, Garmin needs to really lengthen out the backwards compatibility timeframes. People buying a $2,000 MARQ series unit this holiday season should have confidence their units aren’t already digital vintage before the non-existent New Years’ Eve parties this year.

But with that also comes the platform pieces, beyond just Connect IQ as a wearables spot. Since ultimately every one of those Connect IQ capable devices is connected to Garmin Connect as the platform (and far more devices that don’t fall under the ‘smartwatch’ banner like Garmin Edge devices, or even some of the more simplistic Vivo series).

Anyways, as always, it’ll be interesting to see what apps do with all this, which usually takes 3-9 months before we see the fruits of that. For example, a few years back the addition of the music/audio Connect IQ device type is what eventually got us Spotify and Amazon Music on Garmin wearables. And then in April 2019 the addition of the structured workout sync API (Training API) is what eventually got duplicated to give us automatic sync of routes from Strava/Komoot/etc…

In most cases, the ways the announcements are phrased above, probably won’t directly be the most interesting implementations seen by next summer. Instead, developers will take the functionality and ideally do something outside the box.

With that – thanks for reading!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.
If you would like a profile picture, simply register at Gravatar, which works here on DCR and across the web.

You can click here to Subscribe without commenting

Add a picture

*

74 Comments

  1. Marco

    Thanks for the update Ray! Still it would be nice that for instance a Zwift workout would count for the Garmin Training status, especially now the indoor season starts again.

  2. John

    Also Tacx app integration would be nice, since it is now garmin company. It enables only automated export to Strava, but not to garmin connect, which is shame. Strava is going down fast while garmin connect seems like the best option for workout mangement right now.

    • Gunnar

      +1 They really need to fix that. My family and I bailed on Strava as a training log when they stopped supporting sensors and got Garmin devices (Edge 830, Fenix 6) and started to use Garmin Connect instead. The added features and integration of data from both devices are both useful and fun. Having to jump through hoops to get data from our Tacx video rides (which we really like, the Neo 2T is great too) to Garmin Connect is definitely annoying and makes the experience feel broken and inexcusable at the level of investment we have made into Garmin’s ecosystem.

  3. Bane

    What? As I understand, Fenix 6 Pro Solar is basically already obsolete? It was launched two months ago!

  4. Peter

    This is one of the main reasons I moved to an Apple Watch last year after buying many many Garmins since the Forerunner 305.
    The feeling of being left behind and upgrading most years for almost purely new software features since the Fenix started coming out and that form factor was standardised upon became too much. I wouldn’t have even minded paying €50 or so for software upgrades each year.
    I still miss some things about my (much more expensive) Fenix watches over Apple Watch but I can’t imagine ever buying another Garmin now.

    • FackKnope

      “…I can’t imagine ever buying another Garmin now.”

      And I can’t imagine worrying about keeping my watch charged on weekend hike in the Adirondaks.

    • Peter

      Garmin definitely still have some less common use cases locked up. I actually kept my Fenix 5S Plus for that reason.
      However, there were zero occasions over the last year where actually I’ve needed it so I recently sold it.

      The poor battery life compared to Garmin is the major downside but for what I do these days (run, cycle, hike) it has been fine for me. But if Garmin had moved to the model of providing new features (where possible) across generations I’d most likely still be purchasing new Fenix and Edge units every couple of years for the hardware improvements and the new software features they can bring.

    • Dushko Kantardjiev

      Cheers,
      You don’t mind not being able adding sensors to your Apple watch?

    • Plenty of 3rd party apps support sensors on the Apple Watch, even power meters.

    • Peter

      As Ray mentioned, I can connect a HRM and a Stryd to the watch with no issues. Although, my favourite running app (WorkOutdoors) doesn’t support it yet but it is coming.
      I was really delighted when I discovered there were iPhone apps that connect to Varia Radar (albeit with a subscription).

      I would say I get about 90% of what I get from Garmin devices (mostly I would like something like PacePro) on a sports level but the smartwatch side of things isn’t a contest and that’s enough for me.

  5. Seth

    “Widgets get deprecated in CIQ4 in favor of widget glances (which can then expand full screen like old school widgets)” – nope. Widgets get deprecated in CIQ4 in favor of new “power” (I don’t remember how they called it) apps with ability to have glances. Small difference, but it means that widgets are deprecated completely. In CIQ4 widget = “power” app’s glance.

    • That’s explained in the post: “However, what’s notable though is that these widget glances won’t be part of the widget ‘type’ anymore, but rather part of the app type, which include widget glances. Here, I modified their slide to explain it:”

    • HD

      With widgets instead being part of the App type does that mean you won’t be able to use them whilst recording an activity, which can be done with widgets as they are now?

  6. Volker

    Would that mean, that Garmin will use an AMOLED screen for example on a Fenix 6 series successor? Please do not!

    • We don’t know yet, but I suspect eventually it will.

      I think there are far too many misconceptions around AMOLED/LCD screens in areas such as sunlight or battery power. Screens are what companies make of them. An Apple Watch Series 5 or 6 screen is perfectly viewable in even the brightest of sunny days. Some other/older watches screens? Not so much.

      Inversely, an Apple Watch S5/S6 always-on screen burns through battery far more than others. Some other companies/models? Not as much (far better).

      If I look at the Venu screen, I’ve had zero issues using it on bright sunny summer days (and there’s not a single ‘not bright enough’ complaint on the Venu review comments). It’s perfectly fine there. It’s not as vibrant (nor the refresh rate) as an Apple Watch screen, but I think that’s OK for now.

      Eventually, Garmin will have to make a Fenix AMOLED device, and as long as it has similiar daily wear battery aspects as a VENU, with a perhaps 25hr GPS-on time, it’ll do just fine. It doesn’t mean they can’t have a non-AMOLED version, but for 99% of the audience, they don’t need 40-100hr GPS runtimes.

    • Volker

      Sorry for off topic: the Descent mk2i is visible on the Garmin homepage, no official Garmin announcement yet…

    • One of these days Garmin’s own site won’t out their own products.

      But today…today is not that day.

    • Jojo

      I see it coming: Fenix 6X PLUS SOLAR TITAN AMOLED … a name to remember

    • inSyt

      It’s not just the battery life, transflective also allows for full always on mode which I appreciate.

    • Most AMOLED/LCD screens that have come out since mid-2019 have an always-on mode. How much that impacts battery life depends on the watch. Certainly, it impacts it, but most of the entrants in this realm are smaller watches – compared to something like a larger Fenix series unit.

    • ChrisTexan

      It would seem to make sense to compromise, an “always-on” mode that is “power-saving” (maybe a user-selectable setting)… AMOLED only draws power for the active elements, so if you want just “date/time” always on (or maybe “activity level indicator” until a button is pressed, screen touched, etc, they could set that. With a fairly simple date/time/activity bar, conceivably you might only use 5-10% of the active screen area, which would save battery draw by 90-95% over “full display always-on”.
      Sure, it may not have pretty “ooh/ahh” graphics that your friends are wowed by as you walk by, but, if that matters to you, turn off the “power-save always on” feature, and charge it every day or two.
      Same with workout modes, with a similar (same?) setting, when you start a workout, it shows “pretty stuff” for 2 minutes, then goes to “simple output” mode (white digits on black at 50% brightness for instance) and then returns to “full-wow” output when you touch it (or even could do like Polar and have a “tap” feature, so you don’t have to fumble with buttons, just tap it sharply and it wakes up fully)…
      If they aren’t, I’m sure this has occurred to someone out there as an option/capability. Satisfies all camps “pretty all the time, don’t care about charging every 2 days or never need more than 8 hours in GPS mode” crowd” and the “24-hour racer, just need to see current pace and HR during an event, and hate charging more than once a week” crowd.

    • ChrisTexan

      LOL!!!! Never been in the market for a $1500 diving watch, but too funny. (Pretty cool looking watch though, and dang if I was a diver, pretty awesome looking features as a non-diver peeking into that world).

    • Pyronick

      I wonder if they could combine the transflective LCD matrix with a transparant (W)OLED backlight.

      That would solve the issues OLED has with daylight (having to shine very bright to compensate) and with draining power with an always-on mode. And it would also solve the issues with the transflective display, namely bad contrast (i.e. the whole screen is lit up when you activate the backlight) and being hard to read in certain low light conditions.

    • Pyronick

      I am not sure how that would work with interpolation of the LCD matrix and you’d be stuck with the low refresh rates of the transflective LCD screen too (unless you disable it and rely on the OLED screen for certain animations), but this might be an interesting idea for Garmin.

    • Mike S.

      Ray,

      I don’t understand what the advantage would be for an AMOLED Fenix that has a pretty display but a severely impacted battery life. Why not just have a super retina display? Wouldn’t that be more battery efficient than an AMOLED?

      The slight increase in the number of pixels between the Fenix 5 and Fenix 6 made notable improvements in the watch faces. Why not just keep adding more pixels?

    • “Why not just have a super retina display? Wouldn’t that be more battery efficient than an AMOLED?”

      Apple’s so-called ‘Retina’ display on their Apple Watch is simply an AMOLED display. ‘Retina’ is just the marketing buzzword they use. 🙂

    • inSyt

      I think he meant transflective with ‘Super Retina’ (>326ppi) resolution? You will get the sharpness of AMOLEDS with ugly blacks. But you do get ‘Always On’ which looks way better than AMOLEDS low power / turn off modes. Is there any manufacturing limitation besides price that prevents the making of a high resolution transflective display?

    • But Apple Watch is an AMOLED display, and isn’t even classified as Super Retina. So that’s all imaginary at this point.

      AMOLED displays don’t all use turn-off modes. Every watch from Fitbit, Samsung, and Garmin (and Apple) have all have always-on modes with their AMOLED displays. Of course, it’s a balance of battery and power. But most except Apple are about 3 days in always-on mode with an AMOLED, inclusive of about an hour of GPS time per day.

    • Mike S.

      Ray,

      I was thinking more of the iPhone 4 where the term “retina display” was first coined by Steve Jobs. The iPhone 4 had an LCD display that you couldn’t see the individual pixels unless you held it right close to your eye.

      My point is, couldn’t Garmin just increase the pixel density to increase resolution and still keep the good battery life? Even the first iPhone display was capable of watching YouTube videos.

    • Γιώργος Μακρυπουλιας

      Since I have fenix and a stratos 3 I can easely compare both and the screen of stratos which is also transflective is far better (resolution, brightness and clarity). Its 1,3″ and 320 x 320.

      I think if they could use a similat ro Stratos screen would be a great upgrade instead a super high res Amoled with battery drain.

  7. Denis

    Dear Ray,
    thank you very much for the insightful post. Are any dates given yet as to when the new umbrella API thing will take off? Given that the amount of data readable will increase significantly, do you envision that obtaining access will be harder going forward? I guess still no ambitions to open up for hobbyist as STRAVA or OURA do, correct?
    Any tips on do’s and dont’s / minimum requirements when applying? Thank you very much in advance for your your insights.
    Best regards, Denis

    • The plan is for it to be live by the end of the year.

      I don’t anticipate any changes in terms of making it more difficult to access – it sounds like if you were able to apply for it in the past, then things carry over.

      For this API, Garmin seems to be taking the stance of ‘as long as you’ve got a site with a privacy policy’ that you can sign-up. But I don’t have a ton of insight beyond that.

  8. fneu

    Is it viable for me as a hobbyist programmer to create my own little glances widget/app? Something like a training summary that is customized to my schedule?

    That would be kinda cool and maybe a reason for me to switch to garmin in the future.

    • Ben

      Yes. Go to developer.garmin.com and you can poke around with the SDK docs. forums.garmin.com has a section for ConnectIQ where you can ask questions.

      Some watch face authors have uploaded their source to github so you can learn, but I don’t know if any widget authors have. Widgets and apps are much less prevalent than watch faces.

      Regarding the new changes, Glances is a class in widgets and I assume it will just move to the App class. I suspect CIQ 4 will be restricted to devices with enough oomph for significant background processing so apps can constantly be updated and be more interactive. Right now they kind of suck. I also hope Garmin opens up some of the basic watch stuff like Alarms so those can be shown on watch faces (and Weather if I am allowed to dream). Eventually it’d be awesome to put app glances ON the watchface like Apple’s Complication model.

  9. Michael Falk

    I would much rather have a working “old” watch with old “software” than a slow watch with the newest software. I dont understand the need to have the latest verison of software on any device “just because” – it is perfectly fine that they make a clear cut. Making everything new, backwards compatible to old units, is the road to crap-software.

    • Joop Verdoorn

      With Garmin’s quality control for; watch firmware I even don’t like new watches with new software. One is often a betatester with a brand new device. I wait for at least a year before issues are ironed out

  10. FackKnope

    “…they’re going to be shifting to a Visual Studio Code extension instead of the existing Eclipse environment.”

    Oh thank f*ck. Eclipse just needs to hurry up and die.

    • Albert Mink

      VS code aka the “new kid in town” might help them to shine on the software engineering side. Finally, Garmin converts to a software distributor. Selling devices aka licence to their platform.

    • Dave Lusty

      Came here to say this. Best move by Garmin this year. Agree Eclipse needs to be take out back and shot.

      On another subject, reading between the lines it’s clear Fenix 7 will start to drift towards mainstream with the pretty screens. I 100% agree with Ray that most normal people want this. I want this. What really saddens me is that I’ve seen this countless times in tech. The original audience will be left behind – endurance just isn’t a big enough market to justify the investment longer term. My expectation is that by Fenix 9 (yeah, there’s got to be a rebrand by then!) the current lower power screens will be removed as the niche models will be selling in the hundreds compared to the standard pretty model selling in the millions. As Ray said, 24h gps time is fine for most people, as is charging every few days. It would be nice to see Garmin continue to support the niche but I just can’t see it happening sadly.

    • GLT

      What your suggesting does seem likely, though there isn’t a hard requirement for the Forerunner line to share Fenix-like infrastructure for every single model.

      An ultra-endurance Forerunner derived from Instinct tech that skips OHR for a bigger battery wouldn’t doom the rest of the line.

      The Foretrex is still prowling around out there too, but for how long is anyone’s guess.

    • PeterF

      Agreed on Eclipse, though I would love to see a proper plugin for the IntelliJ platform.

    • FackKnope

      There’s limited (read: probably ZERO) market for any sport-centric wearable that doesn’t have 24/7 optical HR. That sensor is used in “all day stress and recovery” metrics so omitting it nerfs a high end sports watch.

      OHR can be disabled on any Garmin that has it and the sensor is so cheap I don’t see why Garmin would delete it. I can imagine the jeers from the entire industry and the DCR comments sections if they ever released such a device – it would be complete dog, with, like, four people buying it and the rest of us pointing and laughing.

    • Indeed. At this point I can’t imagine you’ll ever see another Garmin/Apple/Samsung/etc watch that doesn’t have an optical HR sensor in it. The cost of adding it is negligible in the grand scheme of things, and the user can always disable it.

      It does take up a tiny bit of size in the watch, but still pretty darn small.

  11. Logan Fleisher

    Did they make any mention of integration plans of the explore platform (for inReach) devices into Connect? The courses/tracks integration between the 2 platforms is awful.

  12. Marek Basler

    Anyone knows if the new Connect IQ will allow apps write into native fields (and not Connect IQ fields)?
    Best,
    Marek

  13. ReHMn

    My requests to the developers and the lead category managers:

    1. Add the Recovery Heart Rate to Garmin Connect as a data field.
    2. Bring back the rectangular screen for the Forerunner series. At least on one model. I hate the sportswatch wannabe dresswatch design!
    3. Bring back Bike Profiles to the Forerunner series.

  14. Patrick Greene

    Any mention of when the next iteration of the fenix will be released?

  15. Tom

    Hey Ray, with the recent Index 2 announcement you talked about the lack of 3rd party platforms that have access to the weight data – do you see the consolidation of API approvals helping alleviate that for existing Activity API partners that don’t currently get weight data (like Strava, TR, etc.)?

  16. Benedikt

    I think the new widget glance can not come to the F6 line because those can’t run two apps (one activity and one app) at the same time, but you can enter the widget roll while an app is running.

    • FackKnope

      I think you’re onto something here Benedikt. Next gen CIQ may require next gen hardware capable of true multitasking.

  17. Matt

    Hey Ray,

    Thank you for the summary. With all these new developments coming down the line from Garmin, will there be any improvement to the Bluetooth connectivity for Edge units? I’ve been a loyal Edge user since basically the first Edge came out, but one thing that never fails to drive me absolutely insane is the process to connect with my iPhone over Bluetooth and this affects how I am able to use IQ apps like Trailforks and Xert.

    I realize this might be partially Apple’s fault and partially Garmin’s, but is there anything on Garmin’s side that could make the Bluetooth process better?

    Thanks

    • Hmm, it’s been mostly pretty good for me once I get it paired.

      I still find the pairing process a bit like trying to do a complex dance move. Mostly, cause I can’t dance.

  18. Dushko Kantardjiev

    Hey Ray,
    Any hint of including the native running power in the ANT+/BT stack somewhere?
    Cheers

  19. Peter

    So, any chance that they’ll back-port glances to some of the not-really-that-old devices like the 935 / Fenix5 lineup? It would be nice to get some of the new capabilities on my family’s fleet of 935’s, or is the processor just too wimpy to be able to deal with that?

    I have noticed that my Strava courses haven’t been updating now for months, so I keep racing against my PR from 6 months ago… which is a bummer, since I’ve beat it like 5 times on my favorite segment.

    Oh well, I guess maybe I’ll wait for the Fenix 7P… er the 955 to come out and then consider an upgrade.

  20. Thanks for the summary! I completely agree that while battery life was important a few years back, now it is not the case. Whether a unit will last 10 days or 6 in normal use, wouldn’t matter for most of the people out there. (I honestly could not tell, how often I charge mine.) Coros would have obliterated the market 10 years ago, however, extra long battery life is not a strong selling point for a wide audience nowadays. So I’ll be interested to see AMOLED displays with buttons. Also, if wrist based wake-up is reliable enough, I don’t care if my watch is not showing my HR to the trees I ran by.

    Having said that, I was a happy Pebble user, and now have an Instinct 😀

    Also, happy to see vscode plugin coming.

  21. Peter^

    Currently there are CIQ Datafields and there are Sport Modes.

    Whenever developers want to show something a little more complicated during a workout than simply one value, they are forced to create a whole Sport Mode – where they basically play catch-up with the default sports mode, trying to manually add all the features that “Stock Modes” provide out of the box (e.g. different widget layouts and customization of data fields).

    It would be nice if “Datafields” could be more complicated things, including whole Pages with multiple values/graphics. Maybe the “Stock Modes” code could be open sourced so developers can simply extend existing modes when they want to only change a few things?

  22. Henrik

    Thanks for the information about CIQ 4.0! My Fenix 5 will just have to do until there is a new Fenix model that’s compatible with CIQ 4.0.

  23. Anirudh

    Sounds like I’ll skip the Fenix 6 and go straight to its successor, been looking for a tri-capable 645 replacement.

  24. Marco Soldano

    Good to see Garmin keeps digging their own grave. Good luck.

  25. Gareth

    Any idea when/if a new Vivosmart will be released?

  26. Carl Sealby

    Great info as ever Ray, thank you, very interesting, it’s time Garmin connect got a makeover, does this mean that the next new Fenix line might have this new IQ 4.0 ? It’s making me more and morr inclined to hang fire buying a Fenix 6, and wait to see if a 7 is on the horizon.

    Thanks for all your great work 🙌

  27. Wyatt

    They should fire the Garmin Connect development team members again who are responsible for getting rid of the different activity colours on the GC Calendar! 😂

  28. Chuan

    Any detail about the supporting device?