Rebuild Training Status Functionality ASAP!
By Andy du Garmin
I’ve been a Garmin fan since buying my Forerunner 935 on initial release two years ago. I take some ribbing from Suunto (climbing) and Apple Watch (running) friends, but I’ve been 100% pleased with the decision: the 935 is a great piece of tech, and I’m sure the 945 is as well.
HOWEVER: the Garmin Connect app seems to be getting more disappointing to use as a training tool with each revision. The prevailing style seems to prioritize oversimplified infographics over actually allowing users to review and interact with their data. As an example, I’ve been religiously using “training status” every day for two years to monitor the relationship between my 7-day training load and my target load (based on integrated firstbeat tables), making training adjustments on the fly... Now, when I open the app, all those brilliantly helpful, adjustable, overlaid charts are gone—they have literally been replaced by a colored icon that says, “Productive.” That icon changes in response to training each day, but I can no longer view the data that underlies it on the fly, rendering this potentially valuable source of insight meaningless within the app.
Dev team: you’ve had two years here. Please, please, please stop driving this app towards banal “mass-market cuteness,” and instead, try giving your devoted fanbase more powerful tools to articulate and shape our fitness goals. Would love to see you course correct here.
Used 2 garmin products and over them
By regretting i bought this
I have a vivoactive 3 for 1.5 yrs. Until recently I owned a edge 520 for roughly 4 years. The 520 does the basic features ok but when you want to use an advanced feature, it might work it might not. Both are plagued with constant glitches. I couldn’t handle the edge 520 reoccurring issues. When the charging usb port broke I got a refurbished 520 and gave it to a friend who was new to cycling. I switched to a wahoo roam and I am problem free!! I still wear the vivoactive 3. My watch always had one or two nagging quirks. Now it continues to have constant connection issues since iOS 13 was released. I’ve gone through the suggestions garmin sent out to fix this issue but still nothing. 🙄 Furthermore I had great customer service 4ish years ago. The last time I called my experience was the opposite. Things happen and people can have bad days. Why am I bringing up customer service? If you buy a garmin product you’ll have to use the garmin connect app. When issues arise you’ll have to call garmin. I know this is supposed to be a review of the app and I am giving examples of the products issues. In the end who knows if it’s a garmin connect issue or a 520/vivoactive issue.... who cares when the stuff isn’t dependable and doesn’t work as advertised. If anyone reads this the take away thought is my garmin experience has been sub par due to numerous glitches. They kinda work 🤷🏻♀️. Good luck
Garmin Connect Newbie
I’ve owned various Garmin devices for years. I never liked the “ANT” products. I never liked any of the software mobile/PC. My wife is a Triathlete and has all the Garmin “stuff” you can purchase. I saw from her experience how improved the Garmin software experience is. I own a iPhone X. She purchased the V4 for me Christmas. I was training for a February marathon. I have been very impressed with the software. In the past 2 months maybe 3 times I’ve had to do the full Bluetooth, Phone, watch, shutdown restart. I’ve seldom had to resync. The software I think is amazing. It tells, tracks, shows more than I could ever want. It is like an onion. It has layers and layers of information. My wife’s group included me in in one of their “Challenges”. That function works perfectly. I’ve never used the calendar but it seems to keep track of me to some degree anyway. I normally am a “Big Brother” is out to get me. I threw caution to the wind for the Marathon and turned on all the sharing with Apple Health and all the Garmin Connection software. There was a TON of bio data Garmin wanted. I don’t know if that has anything to do with the software running so well and keeping me up to date.
It would be great if every other update didn’t break something
I’ve been a been a Garmin user for a long time and at times I really question my loyalty because their software updates for devices frequently cause new issues, loss of functions, etc. (Some issues have taken months to resolve, eg when Strava segments updates weren’t transferring to Garmin devices.) Why am I bringing up device software issues on an app review? It’s because the app has the same issues, eg I bought a Fenix 5 about 7-8 days ago and it was working great with this app, I had all the functionality that I was supposed to until I updated the Garmin app this morning. Now the weather and the Physio TrueUp functions aren’t syncing to the watch. All the rest of my software is up to date so it’s not another software issue. Stupid me, for forgetting how many times I’ve updated the app when everything was already good and only to have a month or two until it finally gets fixed. This cycle repeats itself with Garmin every few months. Apparently there is no testing before an update release. As such, I encourage all to ask “is everything working well? If yes, then do I really need to update the app?”
Long time user
Overall I really like Garmin app & Garmin products. Am currently on my 5th Garmin watch over 7 year period. I currently use a Garmin 235 and am anxiously awaiting its replacement. I find Garmin Connect has been a very reliable application and has all the data I need. I find it has all features I need and several more that I’ve never gotten into. My only qualm with Garmin over the years is their heart rate measuring devices... to me it’s their weak spot. I have had issues with heart rate straps dating back to my first Forerunner 25 up through my Forerunner 620. I switch to wrist based on 235 and find it’s maybe 90-95% reliable - unfortunately that 5-10% comes at the most inopportune times! Like during the Boston marathon in 2017 or other critical races or workout. Actually it’s the Garmin Connect app that kept me with Garmin running watches. I know Polar does a better job tracking heart rate but I like the Garmin Connect app enough, plus have years of data on it. Am hoping that improvements to the 235 replacement will include better more reliable heart rate tracking...
Downloaded the latest update. Nothing has changed. Zero stars.
Another update WHY AM I EXPECTED TO SIGN IN EVERY DAY WHEN I POWER UP MY PHONE? I’ve figured out how to skip it since I don’t have my password, but then my step card and sleep card have disappeared and the card order is wrong.
Update: signed out/back in and the missing cards reappeared. Now waiting for the connectivity and sync issues to be fixed.
Have a Vivosmart 4. Downloaded app a few weeks ago on tablet. I’ve had to reorder the cards 6 times on my iPad already - I’m sure it would have been more if I logged into Connect on my tablet every day. Downloaded the new iOS on iPhone today. The cards on phone app aren’t in MY chosen order, but wait, I can’t reorder cards that are missing. I’ve gone to edit my day and there’s no sleep or step card. There’s no hidden cards showing either. Stats from both are still showing on the main screen however. Horrible. Otherwise takes too long to connect with Bluetooth, randomly switches between devices, floor count is completely off, hydration- glad to see it but why isn’t it a card?, I love being able to see the minutes of different sleep modes by moving my finger on the screen (Best improvement ever) but need this for hourly step count too.
Bought a FR245 to train for a marathon
4 Stars - Jan 2020 update - In January my iphone upgraded to ios13 and since then my FR245 continues to disconnect from the app and I need to repair them every day. I used the instructions recommended, kudos to Garmin for acknowledging this problem. It’s a real hassle so far, not thrilled about it and haven’t fixed the disconnect on my phone yet.
5 Stars- The app provides tremendous amount of useful information. I enjoy the format compared to Fitbit in every way. The app is customizable to each persons preferences in terms of what you want to see and in what order. Works seamlessly with Strava and Myfitness Pal. I’m enjoying it very much and I find the app to be very satisfying.
-I love how as I read my stats, I can also read about what statistics mean and how Garmin calculates them so seamlessly in the app.
-I never quite figured out how to use the Garmin coach for marathon training plan in that... I was hoping for interactive videos and audio commands, haven’t figured it out yet and used other training plans for the Marathon. I may try it for a different goal I set for myself to be seen.
getting better again
Latest update seems to have resolved all of the issues below. I am upgrading my rating to 4 stars since the auto syncing is working flawlessly again and when I manually sync it works exactly as intended. The only reason I’m not going a full 5 stars is due to the amount of time it took them to resolve an issue that wasn’t an issue to begin with.
Since the last update my FR945 has difficulty maintaining connection and syncing with iPhone. iOS 13 latest version. I have to turn off the 945 and restart just to acquire a connection. Then when I attempt to sync the status bar/circle will reach the halfway point and freeze and eventually fail. I have to repeat this process 3-4 times before getting a full sync. Last night it took over an hour to sync the data. Prior to the latest update there were none of these issues and everything worked great. Seems as though Garmin is going backwards? Oh, and I have gone through and adjusted all of the privacy and Bluetooth settings as Garmin has instructed since the latest release.
Good but can be so much better
May not deserve a 1 star but the fact there are so many problems/bugs that they haven’t addressed in years makes it a one to me. The first is the notifications. If I get one in anything it’ll show as a very large number of notifications and won’t go away unless I tap on the top left icon. Second are the charts that are messed up when going in my run details. Might as well forget trying to look at pace chart. For some reason it wants to show pace as slow as 30 minutes a mile even if you never went that slow. For instance I may do a run and the slowest I go is 8 minutes a mile but since they pull the chart down to 30 minutes a mile you can really tell anything about your pace.
The other thing they need to do better on is making it more sociable. They have basically accepted strava as taking its business but if they would make a better screen with social interaction and better search engine for friends it would be great. They also need to make it to where people can use their phone as their GPS device in their app but I doubt they’ll ever do that as they want people to buy their devices but the fact is most casual runners will never buy one cause they want their phone with them.
A couple weeks ago a friend of mine talked me into participating in a sprint distance triathlon. Often I’d joke around with friends that my three least favorite activities are running, cycling and swimming. However, I am very competitive and very much into fitness. So I got talked into this triathlon. I knew I had to prepare but I had no idea how to. When all else fails, data is the key. While looking for the ideal fitness tracker, most of them seemed lackluster. When I found Garmin, and realized that they make much more than just GPS devices, I knew that it’d be worth a try. Ordered a Garmin Forerunner 735xt and the running sensor and off I went on my journey.
Everything about this app is awesome!
From the recovery advisor to the map of your run. The graphs that I show my girlfriend/trainer so that she can help me get better are easy to understand. It feels like it uses minimal battery in the background even when on constantly.
Solid app, great hardware, flawless connectivity so far and I recommend it to all my friends and training partners!