Garmin Connect overhaul 2014

Get ready for the biggest makeover Garmin Connect has ever seen. In the next several weeks, we’ll begin granting access to the new site, making sure everyone has the best first-time experience. You’ll know it’s your turn when you see the “Switch to Modern” link appear in your header.

That is the notice that will greet you when you log into Garmin Connect this week.

I recently (February 2014)  had reason to become more than irritated with Garmin Connect: I was using Goals to track my training volume on a monthly basis leading up to IronMan when all of a sudden the Goals page “broke”. I reported the issue in detail (screenshots etc) and the response I got was disappointing. The issue was fixed, it broke again, and then magically it worked. At no stage was there any real interest, no admission of the error, and therefore no real apology. As a result I have spent quite some time looking at alternative offerings in the last week or so, creating or updating existing accounts on endomondoStravaTrainingPeaks, and MapMyFitness.

Here are some comments mostly based on what is said (and NOT said!) on the announcement page at the See what’s coming link. If I seem unfairly critical, I could just as easily pick out as many shortcomings and flaws on the competitions sites:

  • Garmin Connect Explore SegmentsIt will be interesting to see if they can match the competition in terms of social features. Strava and endomondo lead here.
    • These changes are not new: Garmin introduced social aspects to the site in March 2013 — almost a year ago (see: Small enhancements to Garmin Connect, March 2013)! This is when they started talking about Heat Maps — a pretty feature with no real purpose that is not available in South Africa.
    • I see that there is a “Segments” button on the map under Explore » Activities and Explore » Courses (you can see it was not there on the screenshot in my  Small enhancements to Garmin Connect, March 2013 post). Currently no “segments” are available, but are we to assume that this feature will be in line with Strava segments? [Note: the “Segments” button has subsequently disappeared from the interface]
  • features include enhanced reports to track performance over time
    • I hope this mean I can graph stats from time periods against each other, like: how far did I run in this period last year against the same period this year.
  • will even help track users’ weight, calories and sleep, making it easier to find and keep healthy habits
    • OK so you can already track weight and calories?
    • Still no mention of being able to track equipment (Strava, MapMyFitness, TrainingPeaks)
  • Unique to vívofit and the new Garmin Connect is a global challenge based on steps per week, language and time zone that users can participate in.
    • not sure how this will be different from endomondo challenges?
    • unless it can compete with Strava on this I can’t see it attracting the “mine are bigger than yours” crowd
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Outdoor adventure enthusiast living on the Garden Route.

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