Garmin’s Join IQ Platform Updates: A Spherical-Up



Yesterday Garmin held their annual developer convention, formally known as the Garmin Developer Digital Convention (GDVC). This occasion is the successor to the Garmin Join IQ Summit, which in flip is considerably the Garmin-focused sibling to the as soon as ANT+ Symposium. Albeit, there was an ANT+ part included this yr within the Garmin Developer Convention.

The convention is historically an occasion the place Garmin makes their third occasion developer-focused bulletins, however hardly ever new product bulletins. As an alternative, these bulletins  – when seen with simply the fitting lens – give perception into what’s forward on Garmin’s product roadmap for the subsequent yr. Generally that perception is overwhelmingly clear, like within the early days of Join IQ. And different occasions, it’s a bit fuzzier. This yr is nearer to the fuzzier finish of the spectrum, however there are clear hints on the place issues are going.

As with most years, Garmin didn’t announce any new client merchandise this week. As famous, that hardly ever occurs. And if/when it does, it’s extra only a case of coincidental timing with different occasions occurring the week of the convention (such because the cycling-focused Sea Otter prior to now). By way of merchandise remaining for 2021, trying on the historical past right here, we’re doubtless previous the possibility of something new occurring. Garmin has solely as soon as within the final 5 years launched a watch after this level within the calendar (the Descent MK1 in 2017, to coincide with a scuba business occasion). However on the similar time, everyone seems to be operating behind this yr, so…shrug.

In any occasion, this submit is generally geeky. Besides the future-looking tidbits that aren’t.

And for these on the lookout for my annual State of Sports activities Tech 2021 Keynote that I delivered as a part of the occasion, DCR Supporters now have early entry to that proper now, following which I’ll launch it to everybody else. Supporters can discover that right here, in addition to the power to sign-up.

What’s New in Join IQ:

First up, at a excessive degree for these not acquainted – Garmin’s Developer platforms are mainly two parts. The primary piece is the net API platform piece. That is for doing issues like pushing structured exercises (assume TrainingPeaks) or routes (assume Strava/Komoot) to Garmin units. Or for apps that wish to pull knowledge (like your exercises) to their apps (like Strava or As we speak’s Plan). Final yr Garmin did a giant consolidation effort for all these platforms to place them beneath one API roof (each technically in addition to course of/logistically). They famous that the legacy Garmin Join API can have help ending quickly, and to transform to the brand new platform.


Over the previous few months, Garmin has made three new units of knowledge accessible for builders by way of the API (which means platforms can obtain this routinely from customers’ accounts, if licensed by the person):

Sleep Scores: That is now accessible by way of the Well being API (together with sleep rating and high quality of sleep)

Well being Snapshot: This two-minute manually triggered snapshot consists of the snapshot knowledge together with coronary heart price, HRV, Pulse Ox, respiration price, and stress.

Being pregnant Monitoring: This has been included inside the bigger Girls’s Well being API, permitting apps to obtain that detailed being pregnant monitoring info if the person authorizes it.

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Subsequent, we get into the Garmin Join IQ platform adjustments. Join IQ are the bits that run apps in your watch or different Garmin machine, corresponding to a Garmin Edge. That is the place the majority of the updates had been centered this yr, although I wouldn’t take into account this a serious replace yr. That was final yr. Like most developer platforms, the extra mature they get (by way of measurement and person base), the much less important the adjustments get every year. Most builders admire stability, because it makes long-term planning simpler.

For this yr, it was the announcement of Garmin Join IQ System 5. This follows with the annual incrementing of the system every year (similar to iOS or watchOS increments as soon as per yr).

Improved App Settings: This enables app builders to do way more by way of permitting customers to configure their app settings. Which means, for those who’ve acquired a Join IQ app, now the app can have extra detailed app settings like teams and toggles. That is relevant throughout GCM, Garmin Categorical, and the CIQ App.


Revamped CIQ Machine Simulator: This enables builders to playback a .FIT file exercise, and now builders can specify an actual level within the exercise utilizing the skimmer, and management the information area occasions.


Show Enhancements: If there’s any line merchandise right here that provides you perception into the longer term, it’s this one. Garmin is basically creating a brand new class of units which have higher allowances/tolerances for the always-on watch faces. In the mean time, that’s solely the Venu 2 units. Nevertheless, the precise wording used within the occasion was “On the Venu 2 sequence, and future AMOLED units, we’re loosening the foundations for making always-active watch faces to make it simpler to make watch faces on AMOLED”.

Particularly, Garmin will now enable Venu 2 sequence (and future unannounced AMOLED models) to skip the per-pixel burn detector, so long as lower than 10% of the pixels are on. Garmin famous that the Venu 2 has completely different {hardware} than the Venu 1, which makes this potential with out concern of burn-on on these shows. I requested for a bit extra readability on this, and slightly than re-write the whole lot, right here’s the notable bits from Garmin’s CIQ lead, Nicholas Kral on how this differs from the unique Venu:

“The last word objective is to permit the person to have always-on watch faces, preserve excessive battery life, and shield the lifetime of the AMOLED show.

With [the original] Venu, when a watch face went into all the time on mode we alter the watch face replace price to once-a-minute and have two guidelines:

  1. You’ll be able to solely have 10% of the overall pixels enabled (not black)
  2. You’ll be able to solely have a pixel on for as much as 4 minutes

If the developer violates a type of guidelines at runtime we flip off all the time on mode, and we offer instruments in our SDK to validate a Venu watch face can meet the foundations. Rule #1 is supposed to maximise the quantity of disabled pixels. Rule #2 is supposed to forestall static parts from staying on for prolonged intervals. What we discover in observe it may be troublesome to implement easy issues like all the time on analog minute fingers when even one thing of a single pixel width can take greater than 4 minutes to show off.”

I do know this sounds geeky, and it’s – but it surely looks as if Garmin could also be selecting AMOLED because the know-how going ahead for higher-end shows. That’s considerably notable as a result of Garmin additionally flirted with LCD screens, of their Venu SQ models final yr.


Including New Profiler: This new profiler will assist builders measure app efficiency, and works in each the simulator and the machine. Which means builders can begin to dig into what calls are taking the longest, and work out out to repair them.


Up to date documentation: Garmin says they’ve up to date the documentation to assist builders try to make extra native trying apps, giving particulars on how every of the completely different Garmin product ranges and fashions have their very own “character” (their phrases, not mine). My watch has its personal character too, particularly when it thinks I’m lazy. I’d name that sassy.


Expanded CIQ knowledge metrics: Join IQ apps can now entry Physique Battery, Stress, Restoration Time, VO2Max, and Exercise Historical past. Nevertheless, presently neither Coaching Load nor Coaching Standing are included sadly. I observe that particularly, as I feel it’d be nice to have that accessible for watch faces, as that’s a core motive why I exploit the FR745 over the higher-end watches (I just like the Coaching Load default watch face). As well as, they’ve added help for accessing gyroscope (plus the earlier magnetometer and accelerometer help).


Deeper App Retailer Analytics: Builders can now get additional particulars about which units are downloading their apps, together with % primarily based charts. That is going to be tremendous helpful for builders to determine the place to spend time. It’s additionally, after all, just about waaaaay overdue. However hey, higher late than by no means.


Earlier than we get to the final merchandise, right here’s which platforms are getting Join IQ System 5, although as with earlier than, there are particular options inside the household that solely apply to sure {hardware} (such because the fancier show bits and options on the Venu 2)


New On-Machine Join IQ Retailer: That is the second ‘Poke your ears up’ merchandise, which is that Garmin is launching a Join IQ retailer on the machine itself. This can have beneficial apps from Garmin, that are then downloaded and up to date by way of BLE and now additionally WiFi. This might be pretty fundamental at launch, for instance, you received’t have the ability to seek for apps but, slightly it’s simply Garmin’s suggestion of latest issues to seize, or apps that you just would possibly wish to replace. Traditionally apps have solely up to date over BLE, so the enlargement to WiFi is notable.

In fact, we’ve seen app shops come on-device to each Put on OS and watchOS, so it is a pure evolution for Garmin as properly. Nevertheless observe, this may solely be accessible for units launched in 2022. Which means, units that aren’t introduced but, however not present units.

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Phew. Acquired all that? Good.

Wait, no? Properly, then go learn the developer paperwork right here. which dive into it in additional element than my ice cream imposed timeline permits.

ANT+ Modifications:


There’s been a handful of minor adjustments to 3 ANT+ machine profiles, they’re:

ANT+ Bike Lights: The profile documentation has been up to date, and certification has been made simpler. Additional, SimulANT now helps this – a part of making the certification simpler.

ANT+ Coronary heart Price Machine Profile:
Improves efficiency for the profile in dense gymnasium environments

ANT+ E-C Profile:
This isn’t an ANT+ factor per se, however they famous that Garmin now consists of rowing machine help with chosen wearables

Typically talking, there’s nothing as a client that you just’ll must learn about these. Corporations will incorporate these adjustments into merchandise and sensors over time. For instance, on some random day sooner or later, you would possibly see your Garmin machine say it has an replace on your coronary heart price sensor. It’ll take a couple of minutes, and that’ll be that.

It’s been some time since we’ve seen any sweeping ANT+ machine profile adjustments (corresponding to once they launched ANT+ FE-C). In some methods, stability is nice. However as I focus on in my State of Sports activities Tech Keynote, quite a few firms have famous the dearth of fitness-specific machine profile requirements innovation/motion from each ANT+ & Bluetooth has triggered erosion of requirements following. We’ve seen loads of proof of this particularly inside the indoor coaching house over the 1-2 years.

Additional, of their part of the presentation, ANT+ famous that there was exercise within the shifting & management TWG’s (Technical Working Group). They mentioned that one may discover the precise schedule inside the website, although I used to be unable to search out it. This can be as a result of whereas I used to be logged in, it wasn’t as an annual (paid) member, and as a substitute as a non-paid member. Both method, I may see worth in at the least having the schedule accessible, so smarter/startup firms may resolve if it was worthwhile to improve their ANT+ membership to hitch these TWG’s (which means, to know these TWG’s are literally nonetheless alive and doing one thing).

Lastly, the Nordic Semiconductor group had a bit discussing their merchandise, together with that ANT+ is coming to the NRF5340 in 2022H1. Traditionally talking Nordic and Texas Devices had been fairly concerned within the earlier ANT+ Symposium. Additionally, all essentially the most outlandish ANT+ Symposium moments had been spawned by the Nordic crew. If it concerned getting misplaced within the woods with Viking hats and beer, or maybe on a horse with a costume…then the Nordic crew was concerned. Anyway – for those who’re on the chipset degree, you most likely have this info from Nordic immediately.


Okay – there ya go, an entire wrap-up of issues. Gamin additionally had reside developer breakouts, which they are saying must be posted shortly to the developer convention web page. After which my State of Sports activities Tech 2021 keynote may also be launched shortly as properly – although as famous is now accessible for DCR Supporters in early entry right here.

With that – thanks for studying!