Garmin automatic synchronisation to Strava and implication for ConnectStats

Strava now automatically synchronises with Garmin

Garmin provide now automatic synchronisation with different services, most notably Strava. You can read about it from this post from @dcrainmakerblog.

I find it very useful. I personally use Strava as well, I like their segment functionality and the social aspect of followers.

This is a continuation of the new policy change of Garmin to not support 3rd party app that access the data from garmin directly. You can also read about it here from @dcrainmakerblog

What’s next for ConnectStats

For ConnectStats, this new approach of auto sync just does not work. I do not have the ability, the means nor the time to build my own service to save users data on a web server and use that from ConnectStats.

Garmin announced that they would stop supporting the API ConnectStats uses, but as of beginning of August and the time of writing this, it still continues to work. We just don’t know for how much longer.

To address the potential shutdown, ConnectStats can use Strava as data source instead of Garmin Connect.

I still believe that ConnectStats can be quite useful to many users with extra plots, reports and views it provide currently not available directly from other services on an iOS device. So I will try to continue maintaining ConnectStats even if Garmin shuts down the API access. For that purpose the auto sync to strava is very useful, because it lets ConnectStats use Strava as a service provider to replace Garmin Connect.

What ConnectStats users will loose

It’s not all perfect though, here are some of what will be lost when Garmin Connect shuts down its service and ConnectStats user have to switch fully to Strava:

  • The auto sync service only seems to upload recent activities, long history of data will no longer be available to users.
  • Strava API itself only lets you download the two most recent months of activity via their API. This is quite an issue because a large part of the attraction of ConnectStats is to do comparison and plots that go back in time. My favourite features are to compare my fitness evolution over long period of time
  • Strava API currently will not provide access to all the different fields provided by garmin devices. Training Effects, Normalized Power, Vertical Oscillation, and many other data will no longer be available access to the garmin service stops and ConnectStats user switch to Strava.

Note that to mitigate the issue with only accessing recent history from Strava, I plan to add a merge feature to ConnectStats multiple service support, so at the time Garmin Connect API shuts down for those lucky user that already have their history saved on their device they can continue and use strava only for new activities.

Recent Silence

I have been recently a bit quiet. I admit the idea of potentially not being able to download data from Garmin and the implication of an end of ConnectStats wasn’t a great motivation to build new features.

Recently though I had a couple of ideas that excited me. I am still working on ability to keep track of time in zone, best rolling plots, Critical power plots etc over time. I would love to be able to compare my best rolling plot of current month versus last, or versus a given year, etc.

The other feature I am working on is ability to compare your recent performance (current training) versus your long term built fitness. Somewhat inspired by training peaks’ performance chart, and leveraging ideas from the following articles about how to measure impact of exercise.

2 thoughts on “Garmin automatic synchronisation to Strava and implication for ConnectStats

  1. I bought CS a couple of days ago and couldn’t get any of my Garmin data into it at all. Read your post about Garmin wanting $5k for their API and figured that was to blame. I’m just a walker – no runs, swims, bikes or any of that, and I track my progress with a Vivofit. I love the device, but Garmin doesn’t seem to give a damn about supporting it. I’m considering moving back to a Jawbone Up. I had one of the first gen devices and it died after a few months. Seems like that’s a common story with Up, but if I buy it at Best Buy and get the BB extended warranty, they’ll swap a dead one for a new one, no questions asked.

    • Yes I am sorry, the Garmin API did not get updated as far as I know for vivofit. It’s very unlikely it will happen given their plan to stop supporting that API. I just updated the information page of connectstats to state that vivofit is not supported. Sorry about that.

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