Garmin Fit App for iPhone, Android Turns Smartphone into GPS Cycling, Running Computer
Garmin has just announced their new Garmin Fit app for the iPhone and Android-based smartphones.
The app is just 99¢ on iTunes and tracks metrics like speed, pace, distance, time and (estimated) calories all on its own. Add their ANT+ dongle ($49.99) and it’ll capture data from their heart rate monitors and speed/cadence sensors. It maps and can automatically upload your ride data to their Garmin Connect.
Using the dongle it’ll also sync with their Foot Pod ($60) to track running cadence, step count and, if you’re running indoors where there’s no GPS, it’ll also track pace, distance and time. The pod uses a built in accelerometer to capture speed, and working with the app can let you use lap counts, etc.
“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 utilize Garmin’s powerful fitness accessories with the same device that plays music, makes calls and uploads workouts automatically to share and analyze, makes Garmin Fit a must have app.”
Yep, you can play your music on the built-in music player that pulls from your iTunes library and take a call while the app is doing its business, even text message, take pics and facebook. It should work even stuffed in a jersey pocket or hydration pack if you’re not keen on sticking a $300 iDevice to your handlebar. That last bit is why it may not totally kill the market for their dedicated (waterproof, durable, compact) GPS cycling computers. That, and there’s no mention of Power Measurement at present. As their Vector Power Meter pedals come to market in March, word is they’ll be integrating power into the app.
Screenshots and more details after the break…
The app will show the last 30 days of activity from your Garmin Connect account.
Following completion of the workout, you can name it and it’ll upload. This last bit is perhaps the true killer app: there’s no longer a need for you to hook anything up to your computer or download data or a program. Everything should just auto-upload to Garmin’s “cloud”. The only reason you’ll need to go the actual Connect website (for now) is to share your activity on Facebook, Twitter or whatever. They’re likely going to integrate the social media features into the app in the future.
Data on each bout of exercise is available for quick review.
While it doesn’t have power yet, it will compare performances based on the metrics currently collected. Just remember to hit Stop when you’re done working out so it stops recording info and saves the workout. Unlike sitting around afterward claiming “chamois time is training time”, the app will just show that you’re sitting on your ass.
At present, the app will only work with Garmin’s ANT+ dongle and initial plans are to only make it read power from their Vector pedals. We’re guessing that may change over time, but given the app is so cheap, they may be looking to boost hardware sales by making the app so alluring.