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"Global leader in satellite navigation" concedes that using a smartphone is fine for most people

The new Garmin Fit app for iPhone and Android tracks speed, pace, distance, time and calories with mapping along with heart rate and cadence too if you have the Ant+ accessories.

Garmin is also launching an ANT+ adapter for iPhone, so that owners of heart rate monitors, cadence monitors and the like using the universal Ant+ wireless device protocol can make the best of the new app on their iPhones. There's no word from Garmin on when there will be an Android version.

"Garmin Fit is the ideal solution for users who are new to the fitness tracking landscape and for those looking to stay totally connected," said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales. "To be able to utilise Garmin’s powerful fitness accessories with the same device that plays music, makes calls and uploads workouts automatically to share and analyse, makes Garmin Fit a must have app."

Garmin Fit uploads into the existing Garmin Connect online network where users can compare and share the data from rides, runs and other activities over time.


Garmin Fit app iPhone screenshots

The new app is a departure for Garmin who in billing themselves as the "global leader in satellite navigation" have set the pace in selling premium GPS hardware to cyclists, runners and indeed car drivers wanting to take advantage of the US government providing its military satellite service for domestic navigation.

By providing an inexpensive piece of software allowing smartphone users to monitor most of the functions most people need most of the time - assuming they care about how fast they're going or where they've been - Garmin is clearly in danger of undermining the need for their dedicated hardware.

On the other hand and thinking specifically about bike products like the new Garmin Edge 200, they are undeniably well made, waterproof and run for a good 15 hours on one charge, which is something any smartphone will struggle to achieve while running GPS.

By taking on established smartphone cyclists' app platforms like MapMyRide, Cyclemeter and Strava, Garmin can introduce new users to the Garmin Connect community where they're in the ideal place to read about the benefits of dedicated hardware, even if it's just peripherals like heart rate monitors, cadence meters and the forthcoming Vector power measuring collaboration with Look.

The app costs 69p in the UK and the iPhone Ant+ adaptor £39.99.

Details: garmin.co.uk  download iPhone app here and Android here


Garmin Ant+ adaptor for iPhone £39.99: allows wireless comms with other Ant+ accessories like heart rate monitor straps, cadence meters and the forthcoming Garmin Vector power pedals with Look. 

 

16 comments

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 4 years ago
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They've made a big mistake trying to charge for the app IMO there are alot of free ones and a couple of them are great and have hundreds of thousands of users

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BikerBob [116 posts] 4 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:

a couple of them are great and have hundreds of thousands of users

Care to advise which they are.............  3

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 4 years ago
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Only problem with iPhone is 3 hr max battery if using GPS app (even in background logging track).

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outOfPhase [13 posts] 4 years ago
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Endomondo is good. Android and iPhone apps upload to the website automatically. Or use other apps and upload the gpx file manually. Or upload from a Garmin device.

www.endomondo.com

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captain_slog [335 posts] 4 years ago
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I use Endomondo. It's free and very good. I don't know what extra my 69p would get me. However the adaptor looks like good value, though I'd have to get a HRM belt and that's another £40. I'm thinking I might be better off with a watch-style one.

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NorthernRouleur [24 posts] 4 years ago
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So, for the most part, we're riding £1000+ bikes and debating whether a nav app is worth 69p.  39

Surely the issues/drawbacks are:
1) Battery life is poor compared to the newer Garmin units offer 10+ hours. (Just about long enough for even me to get around the Tour of Flanders sportive)
2) If you run out of battery and can't find your way home or breakdown you can't call your buddies to come and pick you up as your phone is dead
3) I can't imagine the iphone is a weather-proof or as easily fixed to your handlebars as a standard Garmin unit.

Just don't tell me £400 iphone users on these £1000 bikes can't afford a 69p app!  14

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idadown [12 posts] 4 years ago
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I've been using Runkeeper all year... great app and there's no limit to the data it stores.

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joemmo [1164 posts] 4 years ago
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the main market for this is probably people who already own garmins and use the garmin connect site. A phone isn't a decent substitute for a proper GPS unit mainly because of battery life and durability but its ok if you want to sling it in your bag and track your commute.

For android users I'd recommend trying Endomondo, MyTracks or MapMyRide which are all free. MyTracks can upload your ride straight to google maps or to a spreadsheet if you like your stats and both Endomondo and MapMyRide integrate with a web app for storing your rides.

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WolfieSmith [1317 posts] 4 years ago
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So far all the cycle Apps I've seen miss the whole point of what they're supposed to do. I want to be able to map a route beforehand on the Mac and then load that route into the iPhone and follow it using the blue dot. Some apps give you the dot but you have to ride the route first (useless if you're riding a new location abroad) or show you you're planned route but not where you are on it! In the past when in new parts of Spain I've resorted to printing off A5 maps of my route using UKmapometer (very good btw) and then following those with a quick switch on of the iPhone to confirm here and there.

The only one I've seen that does both is the Motion GPX - but it's as busy looking as the cockpit of a F15 and so useless to consult on the bike.

That all of the app builders think there's a massive market for sharing your rides on Facebook realtime or creating pie charts after the ride is beyond me. I don't want social media links - I just want to be able to follow a route I've mapped beforehand.

It's all very strange. Rather like buying new car and the Sat Nav saying "We can't show you where you are on the route but we can tweet that your lost if you like!"

I've practically begged UkMapometer and designer friends to come up with an App that just shows you your chosen route and where you are on it but no luck so far.

The first person to build a simple no thrills version with very BIG position graphics will clean up.

Good luck and let me know if you want me to test it.

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dave atkinson [6209 posts] 4 years ago
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MercuryOne - have you tried viewranger? it's not free, but it does what you're asking. You can upload gpx files and create tracks to follow.

Memory Map will let you follow routes too. it's more expensive though

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gerrymc [41 posts] 4 years ago
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Same as Mercury One.

I was expecting to upload routes onto the phone & follow them.

 39

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joemmo [1164 posts] 4 years ago
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if you create a route in google maps using the 'my maps' feature under a google account then on an android phone (can't say if this works for iphones) you can view the route as a layer over the map view (if you're logged into that account) and thus follow it - if you want to fix your phone to the bars and disable the screen timeout. Good luck with the battery life on that.

There's also a google my maps editor app so you could in theory create a route and follow it entirely on yor phone but from experience, the interface is just too fiddly for a touchscreen and is better done on a regular computer.

As for devices, I have an old Garmin Forerunner which has very basic map and track functionality but does at least have a 12 hour battery life and is pretty robust - it survived accidental washing machine cycles twice. I also have an android phone and have used the gps and mapping while cycling a few times but more for an occasional 'where the hell are we?' check. Still prefer to print a paper map, tape it into a plastic sleeve and carry it in a pocket.

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richdirector [67 posts] 4 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:

They've made a big mistake trying to charge for the app IMO there are alot of free ones and a couple of them are great and have hundreds of thousands of users

Endomondo good - like a facebook of exercise - in a good way - good for diary and sucks in full .gpx .tcx files from Garmin as well.
MotionX great as gps app
ANT+ is the way forward and going to be death of Suunto and Polar unless they wise up soon. Would much rather have the T6C or polar RCX5 than the Garmin but cross platform cross sports wins ....

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peasantpigfarmer [46 posts] 4 years ago
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ppf. Personally i wouldn't hold your breath,garmin products are poorly developed,and their customer service non exsistant.I have nuvi car sat and an edge705.
the cycle comp part is good,the satnav gets lost! jams! The mapping is very poorly detailed,etc,etc,etc! even downloading files disappear into the air! Cant endorse any of their navigation products or the customer service.But the great thing is someone will produce an app worth using in the future!!!

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nick_rearden [436 posts] 4 years ago
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On an iPhone I've used MapMyRide and BikeBrain and both are fine as well as free although I don't honestly think being free or .69p makes much odds really once you've got past the novelty of filling your phone with crappy free apps. I'd rather pay a small amount and get something worthwhile. Meanwhile, I seem to have settled for now on Cyclemeter (also coincidentally free) as my 'go to' app - something about the combination of reliable info, clear presentation and I've set it to email me a summary of each ride with a route map which is sometimes useful to 'share' with fellow riders.

However, the effective 3 hour limit on the life of the iPhone while running GPS and the faff of handlebar mounting means I'm sorely tempted by the new Garmin Edge 200 which will give me all the info I need and a dedicated device which can just live on my bike. *If* I really need a map I can always refer to the iPhone, or whatever, in my back pocket. Just have to be *really* nice to the missus if I have a hope for Christmas.

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moonbucket [63 posts] 4 years ago
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Using a combo of Endomondo for tracking road rides, and viewranger for tracking off-road.

With Viewranger you can load different maps like the very useful open cycle mapping (free) which has loads of tracks on it - both the national cycle network and any local tracks added by cyclists who upkeep the map. It also records your route too if you wish.