Detailed Comparison of Running and Cycling Statistics over time

Comparison to previous period in percentage change

ConnectStats 6.8 comes with significant rework of the statistics and calendar page. The main new feature is the ability to compare the numbers between weeks, months or years. Let’s dive in.

First, this new feature needs to be activated by switching to the new theme 2021 in config if you haven’t already. Because it’s still has some quirks, this is not yet the default, but it’s likely within one or more release, I’ll make it the main default theme.

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Garmin Service Error

As of last night, February 23rd, the Garmin service changed and now ConnectStats receives Service Logic Error as Garmin is rejecting the current approach ConnectStats uses to access the Garmin web page information.

I am pushing a new version that fixes the issue, hopefully will be approved soon by apple,

As explained here, you can still access your activities by making sure you use the ConnectStats service, which is still working. For that follow instruction in the link and make sure you select for Garmin Source “All” or “ConnectStats”. This should let you access new activities properly.

Please note that if you enable the connectstats service for the first time or if you are a new user of the app, you will not get any activities prior to you registering for the service, as Garmin only sends new activities after you registered. I’ll see how to improve that or write about how to work around it later.

I’ll update further when I have time to properly investigate and see if there can be a workaround.

Sorry for any inconvenience, please check here again later for updates

A New ConnectStats for 2021

Living in London, the year end period ended up in new strict lockdown with very few options but to spend a lot of time at home, and skip the traditional visit to my family in France and Switzerland. Luckily me and my family stayed safe so far.

Biking in empty London around year end

I took the opportunity of being at home to make quite a few changes to ConnectStats both internally and externally…

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Home Networking Adventure

One of the requirement for me in finding a new house was to make sure it had ethernet cabling everywhere so I could ensure I have a stable network and enough access point to get good wifi connectivity in every room.

When I moved into a new place in August 2016, it met the requirement, but to my and my family dismay, the network and wifi stability was dreadful. It consistently would stall time and time over again. Streaming movies or music want halt for minutes at a time, and reading news on the web would also randomly hang.

I embarked on a long journey to try to resolve the issue, which would lead me to learn way more about networking that I ever imagined possible…

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Yet another step up the provider ladder

New Cloud Provider

I have already documented my adventures in getting the service behind ConnectStats to keep up with the users increase.

I have now yet again upgraded my provider. I was using GoDaddy Enhance plan and have just migrated my server to Digital Ocean.

The previous service was having regular glitches, was slow to process data from Garmin and limited option and flexibility for upgrades. It was time to change.

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Moving weather data from DarkSky to Visual Crossing

ConnectStats history with the weather had a few chapter. First, I started to get the data from the Garmin Website so I could display the condition, the temperature and mostly the wind direction and speed in the map, which is always a good visual clue of how the wind helped or hurt in an activity.

When Garmin stopped publishing its weather data in the API, ConnectStats ended up without the weather for a while. Until Garmin opened its new API which required me to implement my own server, and indirectly made it easier to query the weather to display in an activity.

In March, Apple announced it was purchasing DarkSky and as a consequence it was going to shut down the API access to third party developer by next summer. So it was time to look for a new API. I will move the app to use Visual Crossing.

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A Hilly Summer App Update

I live and do most of my running in London, where it can be quite hard to find any type of hills and the elevation gain field from my activities is never the most relevant.

This summer I managed to escape London twice. The first week when the UK lifted travel restrictions and quarantine early July, I went to the mountains of the Valais in Switzerland and the last week before the quarantine was restored, I went to south france, 30 kilometres in land from Nice, where the Alps ease into the sea. So I got my share of opportunity for testing how to slice and dice elevation gain in ConnectStats.

To keep motivated, I also took a few Strava Challenges, including the august climbing challenge of running at least 2,000m of elevation. It became clear that ConnectStats required a few enhancement to properly track my progress on elevation gain…

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New Garmin Issue affecting ConnectStats

At the moment ConnectStats is not working properly when using the Garmin Data from the ConnectStats Servers. I’ll explain the issue, but there is a temporary work around

Workaround

UPDATE: I have a new version pending approval from Apple that will work without the work around. With version 6.2.1, if you have “all” as a source, the app will automatically go to the web site if the ConnectStats Server didn’t receive data from the Garmin Health API.

Update as of August 6th the issue with the garmin api is resolved. So no need for the work around and using all as data source should be fine.

I you are having ConnectStats not display an activity or statistics or hanging you need to

  • Select the last good activity you have in your list (does not have to be the last one but a known good one)
  • Go to Config, Profile and select “Delete Some Activities”. This will delete all the activities from the app up to the one you have selected. It will not delete anything on any server, only in the app local files.
  • Go to Config, Services, Garmin and select for Source “Garmin WebSite”
  • Close the app fully (may not be necessary, but to ensure there are nothing in the memory cache)
  • Restart the app and try to download activities again.

When thing works again, you should be able to revert source to “all”, but monitor here or on twitter for message that it’s fixed

What is the issue

Since early today, the Garmin API is sending error instead of the activities files to the ConnectStats server. As a result the app is trying to go the Garmin website directly to get the fit file. Currently Garmin Connect is not letting you download fit files (if you go to garmin connect and select “export original” you will get an error), this second error is causing ConnectStats to hang on its processing queue (my bug).

If you select Garmin WebSite as a source it will get the data of your activity without trying to get the fit file and this seems to work at the moment.

I’ll update this as the situation evolve and post on twitter as well.

Some usage statistics on ConnectStats usage

Following the Garmin outage, someone asked me on twitter about some usage statistics and its evolution over time. I thought it would be a good idea to put together a little write up both on the stats but also to show people what type of usage data one can see when you have an app.

ConnectStats remains a very tiny player compared to the big guys, and its two key statistics is that in the recent month the app got about 5,000 downloads and on average 3,000 users start the app every day with some variation between weekend and weekdays. This is quite a representative month.

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Garmin Outage and ConnectStats

Garmin Servers were out from Thursday July 23rd to Monday July 27th. I won’t go over what happened at Garmin as it’s well covered in the press or other sites, but wanted to share how it impacted me and ConnectStats. While the impact on ConnectStats wasn’t massive, the episode resulted in two small fixes and improvements…

The discovery

First, it happened that on a Thursday when I didn’t go out running. So I didn’t realise until Friday, after the Garmin Connect App didn’t upload my latest morning run. The app was reporting some maintenance, which I didn’t worry about too much. I just opened ConnectStats, to see how the app was handling the maintenance, it reported a Garmin Error and invalid name or password if you tried to use the Garmin Website connection. Not great, but it’s hard sometime to interpret the web page errors. Mental note to check again later see if could interpret the message better, and I went to work.

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