Another turning point for ConnectStats?

After 5 years, ConnectStats still has a lot of features to offer. There are still analysis I resort to ConnectStats to see: the month to month comparison of you best achieved heart rate, pace or power – hard to find on comparable apps, the comparison of activities, the deep dives into laps with gradient or scatter plots. I also still like the fact you can access, slice and display most numbers of your runs over time or for a given activity.

That said the app is clearly a lot less successful that it used to be. Why? I think there are a few factors.

First, I have been working on the app a lot less. I had less time to focus, but mostly, it’s hard to come up with new ideas that will make a difference in the app. It used to be that, thanks to feedback or my own analysis needs, there was always a list of new ideas to implement, which kept the app interesting for users over time. Today I don’t have a list of great ideas that would enhance the core functionality of the app, which is in-depth analytics of fitness activities. I have a few little gimmick ideas or customisation improvements that some user suggested, but nothing ground breaking.

Second, the big apps got so much better. I confess that I myself often use Strava when I just want a glance at my last activity. The social aspect is also nice and a key draw for me; but it is hard (and probably pointless) to implement in ConnectStats. Their user interface evolved a lot and look quite a lot nicer than ConnectStats. Improving that is also not simple, because the UI in ConnectStats is data driven in quite generic way. Customising the UI isn’t part of ConnectStats design.

Last and not least, the discoverability of the app has reduced a lot. ConnectStats used to appear at the top of the App Store search for Garmin Connect, just below Garmin’s own. Not anymore. First people can now pay to be first, second the App Store ranking process has changed and now ConnectStats appears quite low on the search. I don’t know what changed, but it definitely hurts the visibility of an independent app. I never advertised in the past. So search ranking in the store was the key reason I believe the app was successful, given it always had a lot of positive reviews. As I felt somewhat sad at the drop in popularity of the app last week, I did something I had always refused to do: I paid to promote the app. One week promotion on facebook, just because it was easy and facebook had emailed me to suggest it. I paid 2GBP per day for a week. It clearly had little impact. A dozen like, Yay!. Clearly a bad use of money I won’t repeat…

I will see how the story evolves. I will continue to maintain ConnectStats. Part of it because it’s fun. I always look forward to June and the WWDC (apple developer event) when they announce the feature of the next iOS, study what feature can I try to incorporate into the app and learn details about what Apple provides developer with each year. The app is also now open source, so maybe it will help someone or someone will get new ideas to share with me.

But of course I secretly hope something will happen and ConnectStats will regain a second life…

22 thoughts on “Another turning point for ConnectStats?

  1. Brice: Those or us who have used your app for some time (years in my case I am afraid) and also are on Strava appreciate the depth and functionality of yours as compared to theirs or other tracking apps. But most of all, we appreciate and applaud you for continuing to offer us this wonderful tool. Thank you. Rick

  2. I too must add my thanks for the app. I use Strava as well but the two complement rather than compete. I always analyse what I have done in your app. I like looking and thinking – why so slow/fast exactly there and not there? Starve doesn’t give you that. So thanks again

  3. Bruce, don’t be so hard on yourself. ConnectStats is still much better than Strava, GarminConnect and TrainingPeaks. My routine after a workout is always the same: load it up to Garmin, add some pics for friends on Strava and do the deep analysis on ConnectStats. thanks so much for it!

  4. I agree with everyone’s comments. I’ve been using the app for many years and there’s nothing like it. I love the granular detail as well as the being able to see yearly monthly and weekly stats. Thank you for all the years of continuous support Evolution and development.

  5. I agree with everyone also. ConnectStats being data driven, this is is strenght, this should were to develop, otherwise, that is an other product. Threaten comes from the fact that we now can start to find some data that were not possible before in Garmin connect, and some are not in connectstats now. I use more and more garmin for new analytics (vo2, strides analytics..) with connectstats (historical comparisons). From a user experience perspective, that is my feedback.

    • I don’t know about these new analytics? Are they collected by the newer device? I’d be keen to add. Could you get me a fit file from an activity that has them?

  6. As others have said great app and unrivalled in terms of data analysis and historical presentation of data.

    Whilst all my data comes in through Garmin I store and sort locally using RubiTracks and find that more user friendly than the on line tools, hence everything is a lot more ‘tidy’ there especially in terms of accurately tracking different activities and equipment etc. Would be fantastic to see ConnectStats features in a desktop application like RubiTracks to process my carefully curated activity history.

    I’ve left a message on their forums.also to this effect, I would happy pay good money for a ‘connetstats’ style add on or upgrade to rubitracks!

  7. I love ConnectStats and have recommended it to others looking for additional data. I connect to A few other apps to see how they process and report but yours is very flexible in how I report.
    Keep up the great work.

  8. For me the routine is always:
    – sync with phone on Garmin connect app. There analysis focus is VO2max, LT threshold, laps
    – Analyse in Connectstats – especially the weekly, monthly, yearly trends and the scatter plots on pace, heartrate etc.
    – then go to stryd powercentre to Analyse the heat map and running power

    With running power now heating up through Stryd, Garmin and others, I think the fit file will start to contain this metric. Somehow my stryd power data are Not visible in the Garmin IOS app or in connectstats, but they are in the Garmin website.

    I think powerdata would really add to connectstats and can be analyzed in the same way as heartrate. I think I sent you a fit file some months back.

    Freek

    • There is only one valid answer to this one: I had to order a stryd! Done. Hopefully will get it by this weekend, test run, some coding and I’ll see how I can integrate running power in the app better… Stay tuned…

        • got a stryd. Got power working in connectstats now. Need to clean up a bit, test, etc. Probably another week or so and I’ll push the new version…

          • WoW. Thans Great! There are two Great facegroup Groups with very active discussions – one from Stryd and one called Palladino power project. May be worth to check out and mention your app there – lots of people deep into analytics……

  9. I would like to get HealthKit support improved. Somehow I cannot see my running workouts but only the full day steps and walked distance. With iOS11 you should be able to access even GPX data from Health app. It would be nice to improve that part so you do not depend on any 3rd party service. Thanks anyway for the great peace of SW

  10. Brice,
    I was recently pointed to connectstats and must say, that I am after seeing it directly feel in love with the app. Clear functionality and does everyting I need (I want to have a direct link to all the information).
    Only thing I am missing somehow would be some way of exporting the information to a csv file. That would be awesome!!

    BTW, is there any way to donate?

    Markus

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