This past week, Garmin held its annual Connect IQ Developer Conference. This event, created specifically to provide information and announce news to programmers, serves to showcase the latest creations and announce news and future plans.
Although it's not a cheap conference I do think it's an interesting conference for the type of developer Garmin is focusing on. $300 is what it costs to register (plus the corresponding trip, it depends on where you come from), but this is what you get in return:
- Three-day conference pass
- A Garmin device to develop with (this year it was the Forerunner 645
- Registration for the April 21st Garmin Marathon (full distance, half marathon or 10K)
- Event to meet other developers and share experiences
In other words, it is an event designed to attract the active developer who practices sport, in which case the registration is quite interesting.
This year's presentation included some applications for Connect IQ 2.4. At least the most important ones, from somewhat more important developers. For example:
- MySwimProAdvanced training plans for swimming on your own platform, but now also available on Garmin watches by downloading to your phone connections.
- YelpFind points of interest to be able to navigate with any compatible edge.
- TrailforksApplication that allows you to download routes from TrailforksThe website is dedicated to mountain biking.
These are just some examples of applications that are added to the extensive list of applications that are already present. Garmin also wanted to pull out some muscle and mentioned that they already have 54 million downloaded applications (not in use, because there will be many deleted immediately) on about 8 million devices that support them.
But without a doubt the most relevant is the presentation of Garmin Connect 3.0.
Garmin Connect IQ 3.0
The important news is the presentation of the new version of Connect IQ 3.0:
- Music - Garmin opens its API to any developer, which means that any of them can bring their application into the Garmin ecosystem. This is the path that iHeartRadio and Deezer have had to follow. Through this API, it will be possible to store up to 500MB of music or podcast. This is something important, not only for FR645 but for all the models that have to arrive.
It's an interesting possibility because it leaves everything totally open to any developer at any time. If tomorrow Spotify or any other platform wants to make Garmin watches compatible they don't have to make agreements with the manufacturer, they simply have to develop the application and launch it in the app store. And not only directly with the platform but also from third parties. I think podcasts are going to be able to benefit quite a lot from this possibility.
- Maps - The new version of Connect IQ will allow applications to make use of Garmin maps stored on the device, allowing them to display the map and at the same time draw routes on it, mark points of interest or create other items on the map - something that is intended for Edges and I don't think will make it to the Fenix 5X.
The clear example is with the recently released Yelp application. Right now it can only offer the point of interest, but with this new version you can also show it represented on the map.
- Notification system - Only a few developers will have access to this feature. These developers will be able to send push content to a particular device through a new notification service, thus notifying the device directly, not the phone.
It's simply a way to get notifications directly to the clock without having to go through the phone. If you install, for example, a training application, you can be notified when there is something new or when a certain training touches without the developer also having to prepare a mobile application for iOS or Android, which are currently the only possible way to get notifications to the clock.
This is not a tremendously important new development, but it does expand the possibilities offered to developers.
Connect IQ 3.0 compatible devices
Finally we go to the most painful part, and that is the devices that fall off the compatibility list with the new version. These are the devices that will no longer be able to support applications developed specifically for this new version and that join those that were already discarded from version 2.0.
Compatible with Connect IQ 2.4
- Garmin Forerunner 735 (Connect IQ 2.4)
- Garmin Vivoactive HR (Connect IQ 2.4)
- Garmin Edge 520 (Connect IQ 2.4)
- Garmin Edge 1000 (Connect IQ 2.4)
Compatible with Connect IQ 1.4
- Garmin Epix
- Garmin Fenix 3
- Garmin Forerunner 230/235
- Garmin Forerunner 630
- Garmin Forerunner 920XT
- Garmin Vivoactive
- Garmin D2 Bravo
It's a long list, but most of them lost compatibility long ago. For those who did it was a trauma, in the case of those who will stay in version 2.4 it's not so critical because they are all devices released at least a couple of years ago.
So, what are the ones yes will have that compatibility?
- Garmin Forerunner 645
- Garmin Forerunner 935
- Garmin Vivoactive 3
- Garmin Fenix 5
- Garmin Fenix Chronos
- Garmin Oregon 700
- Garmin Rino 700
- Garmin Edge 130
- Garmin Edge 520 Plus
- Garmin Edge 820
- Garmin Edge 1030
- Garmin Approach S60
- Garmin D2 Charlie
- Garmin Descent MK1
In terms of dates, this is the timeline
In other words, the first beta has already been launched so that developers can get to know the new possibilities. The second beta will be released in May and will include support for maps and notifications. And finally, in mid-June it will be progressively launched on all compatible models through its corresponding firmware update.
But it's one thing to have it available and another to have applications that take advantage of the new possibilities. At the moment there is not an excess of "interesting" applications, a big part of the blame lies in the fact that the developer cannot directly monetize the applications. That is to say, Garmin does not allow charging for the download of applications, which does not mean that the application is directly related to a service or a premium subscription (for example, Uber's app).
And with that... thanks for reading!