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Garmin Connect App Revamp: Complete Walk-Through

Earlier this week Garmin announced the beginnings of a revamp of the Garmin Connect Mobile app – something that many people have been eager for…for many many years.

As part of this revamp, they’ve also opened it up to public beta, so you can poke at it yourself, and provide feedback on what still needs some love. While Garmin started that public beta access part on January 8th, there isn’t the option to manually join it, rather, Garmin is slowly rolling out access to join the beta, and like roll-outs of new firmware, they’ll expand the ability to join it each day.

Walk-through:

Thus, I figured I’d give a walk-through of what things look like today, until your toggle gets lit up. Of course, the video above does that as well, with a bit more details/thoughts/suggestions along the way.

Speaking of which, in case you somehow dismiss the beta invite in the app, the Beta App toggle is otherwise in the app under: More > Settings > Beta Program > On/Off (you can leave/join as much as you want, once your account has been activated).

Now, once joined, you’ll get a Quick Start guide, that asks you about the areas you want the Garmin Connect app to surface/focus on the most. The first page is general areas, and then the second page is a longer list of priorities that you assign a 1-5 score. After that, you’re done:

From there, you’ll see the new revamped home page. This home page is roughly divided up into four sections:

1) Latest Activity/Planned Workouts: Pretty self-explanatory
2) In Focus: A set of five swappable tiles each focused on a different training/health related thing
3) At a Glance: A bunch of tiles of various training/activity/health stats
4) Events/Training Plans/Challenges: A place to check-in on scheduled things you’ve joined

There’s also a secondary piece of sorta non-configurable information that lies between The ‘In Focus’ and ‘At a Glance’ tabs, that you’ll see in a second.

First up though is the ‘Today’s Activity’ panel. That shows any completed workouts from today, as well as any scheduled workouts (such as those from a 3rd party training platform like TrainingPeaks or TrainerRoad, as well as Garmin’s own internal coaching systems). Tapping on these simply takes you to the existing activity screen (if it’s a completed workout), or details about the planned workout. You’ll notice that virtually all of the changes here in the app revamp are on the ‘Home’/Dashboard page, and not other areas of the app that have additional details. Some pages, like this activity page, saw some minor UI changes this past fall already.

Next, below that is the ‘In Focus’ panels. These are a series of up to five customizable panels (you choose what you want), that you can swipe left/right through. Each of these panels has a focus area, and if you tap them, you’ll get brought to a more detailed section of the app (identical to before).

You can customize which panels are selected via the settings, again, up to five of these:

Below that, we’ve got the no-mans land metric, which in my case is Sleep Coach. This is likely because for one of my focus areas, I selected sleep. And, Garmin decided it was going to put the single feature I find least useful in that spot (Sleep Coach). There doesn’t appear to be a way to change this directly, though indirectly I could change my focus areas. I’d like to see this be more changeable directly, and also not necessarily be a duplicate of what’s above/below.

In any case, below that we’ve got the ‘At a Glance’ metrics, which are small cards showing you various data metrics. You can have up to 8 of these on the homepage, but it’ll show the rest on a secondary page.

If you tap on any of these cards, it’ll bring you to the previously existing data page/report on that particular item. Again, the secondary pages it links to haven’t changed at all (more on that in a second).

After that, you’ve got the Training Plans, Challenges, and Events section. This is where you can toggle none, some, or all three of these, and if you’ve got these configured in your Garmin Connect account, it’ll show data about what’s upcoming. In my case, I quickly threw a half-marathon plan on there, just to illustrate this:

Finally, Garmin has also revamped Garmin Connect (desktop/website) to match all of this, which includes the home page specifically. Also, it’ll automatically sync changes of your ‘design’ from Garmin Connect Mobile, to Garmin Connect website, which is a nice touch:

So, what are my initial thoughts?

Wrap-Up:

It’s important to note that Garmin says the focus area for now is on that ‘Home’/Dashboard view – not on the rest of the Garmin Connect app. In other words, it’s on the thing that people see first and foremost, and see every time they open the app. That’s concurrently the piece that it seems most people complain about. The general consensus being many find the Garmin Connect Mobile app cluttered and full of confusion, especially if they’re new to the platform.

Thus, this revamp is clearly aimed at that criticism, and trying to make it simpler and more clear on your home page, as well as offering what are effectively quick-links to a deeper look at those particular data bits (e.g., Training Status or Stress). Meaning previously, to access some of that data, you had to fumble around more places, or the whole thing was simply overwhelming on the dashboard.

Garmin is not however on this go-around, addressing the rest of the Garmin Connect App. And honestly, I think that actually makes sense. One of Garmin’s advantages (if you can get out of the Home Screen), is that they’ve got FAAAR more data than any other sports-focused watch out there. Only Apple’s ‘Health’ app/database rivals it, but much of that data is more focused on Health/Medical/etc stats than the performance/training/recovery stats that Garmin has. Two different things obviously.

But the point there being that I rarely hear people being upset at Garmin’s depth of data, rather, the organization and accessibility of it. This seems to address that initial accessibility/organization side well. I’d just hope if they continue beyond the home page, they don’t dumb things down, or otherwise limit access. Many times when companies do user interface revamps, it’s at the cost of useful data. Even Garmin themselves if we look at the ‘Training Status’ panel on the updated home page, got rid of the actual training load #, some that’s kinda-sorta the most important number (instead going with more generic terms). Of course, hopefully with beta program, people will provide feedback that Garmin can act upon.

And finally again, Garmin hasn’t provided a timeline for when exactly this will hit product for everyone, nor when everyone can toggle it on/off in beta. But at least initially, this is a good start.

Thanks for reading!

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89 Comments

  1. Oskars

    Is HR graph from the session still a giant red lump? There’s still no HR zones overlay?

  2. Todd Johnson

    I would kill for them to have the website-based activity customization options that Movescount/Suunto had 8 years ago. The ability to create & customize screens for an activity without using the watch directly is so nice, and trying to do it in the Connect app (for me anyway) has always been a nightmare of pressing buttons & the app ignoring them because the Bluetooth connection to the device blipped.

  3. kevin

    Great review as usual ray 🙂
    Out of curiosity whats with the differernt zwift layout 2mins 10secs?

  4. I suspect the answer is “no”, but are there any changes to the data that Garmin Connect writes to Apple Health in this version? (Now that Apple Health supports things like running and cycling power, I’ve been hoping that Garmin Connect would start writing that data when it sends completed workouts there.)

    • I know Garmin has tweaked a few things over the last few months on Apple Health writing, but I honestly don’t follow it super close.

      That said, I don’t see cycling power data from my Garmin-watch recorded workout populating today’s Apple Health cycling power fields, despite having Garmin to Apple Health fully connected.

  5. PN

    Wish/hope that Garmin would add Goals to the cards on the mobile app page. I use that pretty frequently.

  6. matthias

    there is no beta toggle? I have android, GC version 4.74

    • matthias

      edit, read it again, patience

    • matthias

      got an update today to 4.74, but still no beta toggle

    • matthias

      From garmin website: How Do I Join the Beta Program?
      At this time, the Garmin Connect Beta program is only available to select Garmin Connect users. If invited to join the beta, and provide feedback, you will receive and invitation in Garmin Connect. The amount of users invited to join the beta will increase over time.

      So, not for everybody

    • It’s rolling out slowly, you’ll find random people on Reddit that got access on the 8th and beyond. How exactly Garmin has decided to select those people is a bit of a mystery. Ideally they’d start with people who have a Garmin device enabled for beta already (thus showing some level of interest in beta testing), but no idea.

      Or, alternatively, they’d allow people to join, and then batch approve access.

    • Reggie

      While that kind of makes sense, I can tell you I am cool to join the beta for anything but the device I’m actively recording a workout with. So I would definitely join this beta, but not for my devices.

  7. Lee Weikert

    From your screen shot of the web based interface it looks like they have gotten rid of Dashboards? Sad Panda if they do this. I use different dashboards to track activities/goals/metrics/gear usage associated with different sports/activities (i.e. Road Biking/Running/Swimming/Hiking/Gravel dashboards).

    • As far as I can see, that’s correct.

      That’s one gap – there’s no longer a yesterday/this week/month type summary there used to be. Maybe nobody used it, I don’t know.

    • Neil Jones

      That’s annoying for my scuba diving activity, which is non-existent for part of the year and a flurry for the rest of it so it made complete sense to have it on a separate dashboard.

    • Daniel

      Hi,

      FWIW I always like yesterday & last week. Gives me a quick glance of trend over week. Quicker than going to each card individually.

      Tnx.

  8. ReHMn

    The Classic version of Garmin Connect when will be restored?
    Or when will be the Garmin Connect more customizable?
    When will be the data visualization more customizable?

    • Not sure I understand, what’s the ‘Classic version’?

    • ReHMn

      Until cca 2017 there were two parallel platforms to view activities. One was a Classic and a newly developed one was a Modern.
      Then they turned off the Classic, so the only remaining was Modern.
      Its name remained on the URL, for example, connect.garmin.com/modern/profile/dcrainmaker

      Another issue I had a problem with was a Recovery Heart Rate.
      Since 2009 within my Forerunner 310XT, I have been begging to make it visible on Garmin Connect.
      – It is not possible. was the answer. Till the Forerunner 945 generation, where they silently implemented this data on Connect…

  9. Dermot O'Riordan

    Thanks Ray for the helpful (as always) review

    Does this Garmin Connect update do anything to improve the connectivity with Garmin’s own devices?

    For the umpteenth time I’ve just got in from a ride, recorded on an Edge 830. Just would not sync/upload despite turning device and iPhone off/on

    Had to resort to forgetting/deleting the Bluetooth connection and starting the whole pairing process

    If only that was a rare necessity…

    • To be honest, that’s more of a Bluetooth connection thing with the older legacy Garmin dual-bluetooth connected devices (e.g. Edge 830 and everything Edge before the Edge 540/840/1040). On the x40 series, they got rid of the wonky dual-Bluetooth connections, which solved virtually all of those issues.

  10. joint_me

    The interface still looks like it’s designed in the twenties, I wish they would modernise their design system. Something a little more like Whoop.

    • As always, design is subjective.

      However, what’s more objective here is that Whoop has a relatively tiny amount of data to display/surface. In terms of raw stats Whoop collects/has, I’d guess it’s about 1/100th that of what Garmin has (in terms of stats). Even if we boil those down a bit, it’d probably still 30:1.

      Garmin’s challenge has always been to balance the fact that one person may love one thing, and another not care about it. And with so many features, there’s a lot of potential variance. Whereas Whoop doesn’t allow/have any of that customization.

      Not saying Garmin shouldn’t improve, but just the reality that Whoop is a very simplistic device in comparison to the breadth of Garmin devices/features/stats that Garmin has to consolidate in the GCM app.

    • David

      Aren’t we currently in the 20’s?

  11. Paul E

    I don’t see that option to join the beta using the path you mentioned. My Garmin Connect s/w is 4.74.1.3

    • Ryan M.

      “While Garmin started that public beta access part on January 8th, there isn’t the option to manually join it, rather, Garmin is slowly rolling out access to join the beta.”

  12. Samuel

    So I’ll have to swipe to see more than 1 activity in a day. This is terribad. The rest is ok I guess.

  13. giorgitd

    At 2:10 in the video…indoor cycling of 45 min and an avg of 223 W. And, yet, 0 km. If Garmin is looking for bugs…

    • It’s not a bug at all though.

      The watch feeding that data was connected to a power meter, not a trainer with speed/distance.

    • Raven

      One might quibble the bug is more that Garmin prioritizes distance as the main metric a cyclist would want to see. I’d prefer power be the primary metric, especially in cases when there is no distance.

  14. Scott

    Ugh, just let me configure what’s displayed on my device using the app.

  15. Lars

    Strange. I don’t see the option to join the beta program?

    • Dibblah

      At the top of the article

      “ While Garmin started that public beta access part on January 8th, there isn’t the option to manually join it, rather, Garmin is slowly rolling out access to join the beta, and like roll-outs of new firmware, they’ll expand the ability to join it each day.”

  16. Frank

    Is the expand / collapse option still on the home screen? The collapse makes it easier to read and review only the statistics you may be interested at the time.

  17. Dibblah

    Will it sync offline?

    My biggest gripe about Connect is not being able to sync my watch if I’m on a hike without access to mobile data

  18. Rob

    Does the new app move away from MFP integration? They were still showing UnderArmor branding in the app even though they stopped that partnership a long time ago. Will they have native calorie tracking?

    • Paul N

      Rather than do their own calorie tracking I’d like to see them open it up to other third party apps. There are already a lot of them that can pull fitness data from Connect but none of them except MFP can write calorie intake to Connect. Changing that would probably just require them to update the API vs putting together their own calorie tracking solution.

  19. Teak

    Cool story but there is no beta program on the current iteration of GC as of 1/12.

  20. vpier

    Thanks once again Ray.

    One quick question I have is whether you see the daily suggested workouts in the new UI. By daily suggested workouts I mean the workouts that Garmin watch suggests automatically based on an event you have planned.

    • At the moment, my watches are rather insistent I rest. So…I’ll let ya know when it gets back to DSW’s showing up. 🙂 Maybe tomorrow.

    • Benjamin

      My guess would be they won’t as they’re generated on device aren’t they? I have a FR745 and an Edge 530, and they don’t suggest the same workout (My Edge never suggests a run…. wonder why? 😛 ) So not sure which one connect would pull and show me? (both would be cool).

  21. BuTTuS

    But, I’m perfectly happy with the current design, will it be possible to keep that?

  22. Peter

    Hi Ray. What if I do not have beta option in my ‘more-settings-….? It seems that it is missing from my garmin connect app

  23. Trevor

    Mountain biking and photography Gopro

  24. Hello there!
    Do you know if they plan to add iOS widgets? Because it’s relly something that could be great: training readiness, body battery, training status… even hydration status.
    Could you please pass the request too?
    Thank you very much !

  25. Andre

    Hello Ray,
    Thanks for the walk through. From my understanding they are not adding much features, more like visual change.
    Do you think any day they will kinda merge garmin explore and connect?
    It’s kinda annoying to have bought the 965 that was stated as compatible with the explore and now they taken out that feature, and so you can’t sync POIs wirelessly with it.
    An all in one app like suunto could be good.

    Have a great day

  26. Paul N

    Thanks for the update! Since you mentioned training plans, any chance Garmin will let us create our own training plans in Connect? This is one of those things I’ve wanted them to add for a long time and maybe since they are revising Connect they’ll finally consider doing it. It’d be great to be able to add my triathlon training plans and then put them on the calendar whenever I started a training cycle.

  27. Nate

    Seems focused on wearables. As a head unit user all I want is a way to configure my screens without fiddly head unit touch screen/button menus. Let me drag and drop my screen design on the big easy to use phone u have and push it to my head unit. Please?

  28. Thanks Ray!

    Have you tested the new training plan widget with an external app such as TrainingPeaks, or does this only work with Garmin training plans?

    Currently, I see my imported plan from TrainingPeaks in today’s “Scheduled Workout” card at the top of the home page. Hopefully that won’t be affected, since the Garmin training plans are pretty silly, as you noted there isn’t even a marathon plan.

  29. Thank you for this detailed review of the Garmin Connect Mobile app revamp. Garmin’s approach to simplifying the user interface while retaining data depth is impressive. I particularly appreciate how you highlighted the improvements to the home screen and new features like the ‘In Focus’ and ‘At a Glance’ panels. This seems like a significant step forward in making the app more intuitive for new users while still being useful for experienced ones. I’m looking forward to seeing how Garmin continues to evolve and enhance the user experience in future updates. Your thorough analysis really helped me understand the changes and what they mean for my own use of Garmin Connect.

  30. Troy

    Maybe I’m the only one, I’m hoping for a compact version that mimics the current layout on connect. I font want to scroll to find each little tab.

  31. Ronald

    I have some very simple requests for Garmin to add to the Connect app/ web site:
    – allow me to set the y-axis of my charts manually.
    – allow me to add photos of my gear (shoes).

    I suspect that the relative lack of software development (vs hardware and features on watches) is related to the financial model. I’m happy that the price I paid for my watch many years ago somehow still covers the use of the connect service but I guess it shows in lacking development.

  32. Oskar

    You rarely hear people being upset at Garmin’s depth of data? I miss the most obvious thing, a good summary of total training amount and development for all activity types over time. Not available on Strava either or am I missing something? Is there a good place for this type of summaries and analyzes other than custom excel worksheets? Perhaps you can write a post about which tools you use for long-term follow-up and evaluation of your training?

    • It depends a bit on *what* type of “training amount” you mean. e.g. time, distance, training load, etc…

      For Load based stats, via the phone app:
      Performance Stats > Training Status > Training Load
      Then you can do it as Load Focus, Excercise Load, or Training Load. But from the mobile app you can’t specify other timeframes beyond 28d chunks, but you can on Garmin Connect web.

      For certain activity types, e.g. running/cycling/swimming/walking/multisport/gym, you can easily do the 7d/4w/1y graphs for any time period showing distance, time, ascent, calroies – all via GCM. But, as you noted, that doesn’t oddly include ‘All Activities’.

      Meanwhile, on Garmin Connect you can include all activities more easily in this stat, against a crapton of variables on the left. Though, you can’t pick two exact dates. Just sorta pre-canned dates.

      I agree that this at first glance seems obvious, but I think that’s Garmin’s biggest challenge. For me, this has honestly never been something I’ve cared to know or look for. And it’s sorta the opposite problem Garmin has: Which is that their devices cater to ensuring everyone has their 1% feature. Meaning, the most important feature in the world to them, but only 1% of everyone else uses.

    • Cirmi

      Just a tip, I am auto-exporting everything from Strava to Intervals.icu. Then I can check a bunch of different data there, see the summary of all my activities, see form, fatigue, etc. Check it out, it is free. The UI is not the most intuitive but the tool itself is really capable.

      link to intervals.icu

  33. Max

    Does the scaling on ipads finally work now? As long as a big company like garmin doesn’t manage to program simple scaling, I’d rather stick with polar, where it has worked since the beginning.

  34. Jen Dunn

    I do not have an option for Beta testing under settings. AWent to the Garmin site and my Star Wars Legacy Rey watch is not eligible for the beta. Bummer.

  35. Jen Dunn

    Go here and type in your product name:

    link to support.garmin.com

    Your device (like mine) may not be eligible. I figure it’s because my watch is at least 6 years old.

  36. Duncan

    Are they improving the graphs? Pet peeve is not being able to zoom, find min max etc. eg. Pulse always has a scale of max 200 even if my pulse never went about 120 today.

  37. Robert

    Any chance they will provide a toggle to switch all the graphs x-axis between time vs distance? They have the option on the website.

  38. aaronntw

    Any chance that Garmin would be allowing more activity types to be choose from in the Gear tracking? I saw this requests many times for a long time and still we can’t choose a different shoe/ bike for virtual training or gravel riding. =(

  39. Jimmy J

    Any way to make the font larger on edge 530 with this new update?

  40. Maybe sometime in the spring I will see the Beta option. 🙁

  41. lior lev

    what if i cannot see the beta program on my mobile
    i have the beta on my 965 watch
    but i cannot see the beta on my android phone.

    • Then you are not a “Garmin Connect Beta” chosen one. I’m on the Garmin Watch Beta opt-in. I’m still waiting to see if they push the Garmin Connect Beta to me.
      As Ray wrote above: “While Garmin started that public beta access part on January 8th, there isn’t the option to manually join it, rather, Garmin is slowly rolling out access to join the beta, and like roll-outs of new firmware, they’ll expand the ability to join it each day.”

    • Indeed. I have zero idea what criteria they are using – but plenty of people on Reddit (and interwebs at large) have access to it.

      Personally, I’d have thought they’d start with people who have a recent Garmin device already enrolled in the hardware beta side, and then go from there to perhaps to those who request it, and then finally offer it to random people.

  42. Aviatrix

    My Connect wishes are:
    a) allow goals that relate to actual performance: e.g. 50 minute 10k, not so many hours or km run in a time period, the way the ‘goals’ work now. Do people really have goals of that type?
    b) have notifications like “your gear has logged its maximum miles” or “you have a reply from your connection” turn up in mobile, and not just on the desktop, which I rarely log into.
    c) allow gear expiries to be logged in hours and not just km. (gear pictures would be fun)
    d) show the hourly change in body battery over time in the 7d view. It used to do that and now it just shows min-max. There’s a big difference between a day when you started at 80, cratered to 5 by noon and spent the day there, and one where you gradually declined, reaching 5 just before bedtime, but for the current graphs those would look identical.
    e) be able to see more than one year of past data, and compare year on year.
    f) be able to select to show only incomplete challenges on the challenges page

  43. lior lev

    ok
    thanks

  44. Tony

    I have Android 4.74.1..I don’t see Beta Program in my Setting menu….?

  45. Tony

    I have Android 4.74.1..I don’t see Beta Program in my Setting menu….? I am enrolled to 2 device Beta programs already…FOMO!

    • ?? ‘patience young grasshopper’ ?? I’ve got major cobwebs and dust bunnies waiting to be a “Garmin Connect Beta” chosen one. Maybe I got put on the Garmin Beta Naughty List because of the Garmin HRM-Pro crashing X-C / Nordic ski profiles beta issue in late 2022 / early 2023.

    • Chris

      I have an iPhone – no Beta for me. Perhaps, I too, am on a naughty list.

  46. Chris

    As always, thanks for the review. Sadly, even though I signed up for the Beta, I still have not been given access to check out the “Revamp”. I update my watch regularly, and I have checked regularly to see if the app is updated, but alas nothing. Any idea when this will be available to those of us less influential?

  47. Ray, maybe you can let your Garmin contacts know that it is over 3 weeks since this post – 11 Jan and a number of us still haven’t seen the option to join this Beta. If Garmin is going to take several months before GA – General Availability of the Garmin Connect Mobile beta it would be nice to know. thanks

  48. Jamie

    A friend of mine just got invited to the beta program. Doesn’t train anywhere near as much as me or in as many disciplines. You would think Garmin would want people who actually use the app to provide feedback.

    Well my feedback is that Garmin should work out who is using their products and for how many years and ask those people for feedback.

  49. Huib

    Well, in the beta they took away the 3 dashboard I made for myself and no longer able to access them. I left that as feedback and opted out of the beta to get my dashboards back.

  50. Claus Jensen

    I have tried out their beta-version now. And it was a short test. I am using an iPhone 12 Mini and with a screen that small, the amount of scrolling to see anything with the new layout is insane. I have switched back to the standard version and hope they hear my feedback, because putting that much less information on the screen is the wrong way to go…

  51. Since it is after 2-14, or 14-2 across the pond, Garmin Connect Beta must be “feeling the love.” I finally got the beta option this afternoon, 16 Feb. Now to kick the virtual tyres.

  52. Keith

    Your review is very thorough about Today.

    You don’t mention anywhere about looking at past data and trends longer than the current day.

    It is available via Calendar. Good coverage actually.

    On the Calendar page is all sorts of blocks and a number. I assume it’s a reference to goals achieved on that day. But so far I’ve not found any explanation as to meaning anywhere.