After the latest round of Garmin updates, my Forerunner 645 watch can no longer sync with the Garmin Connect calendar automatically. This means that if I want to schedule a workout and have my watch automatically walk me through it, I need to connect my watch to a personal computer and use the old "Garmin Express" desktop application to manage the file transfer.
Needless to say, this is highly inconvenient. As inconvenient as it is, it's worth keeping things in perspective. Just a few years ago, this was the only way to do it, anyway. It is only Garmin's technological advancement that ever enabled us to move beyond hard-wired file transfers for workouts on running watches. We've been spoiled by modernity. Still, no one likes moving backwards. This was a functionality that I was enjoying from my watch; it's no fun to see it disappear.
From what I can tell, the newer Garmin watches, including their newest offerings just recently released, do not have this problem. They synchronize automatically without issue. My suspicion is that these new watches use a different bit of software code to handle the transfer, and Garmin decided that it didn't want to support the older platform anymore. I work in tech and have some familiarity with this kind of decision-making. From a consumer's standpoint, it can be frustrating, but ultimately it is an economic decision. Every technology company eventually reaches a point where it has to decide how many of its resources it can afford to spend on the support of older products and applications. The world of apps and smart watches moves particularly fast, and unlike Samsung and Apple, Garmin must support devices on multiple smartphone platforms. It is not always as simple as maintaining the old code and adding new code. Imagine supporting every watch on every version of Android and every version of iOS. It's a lot of work, and it's not the only thing that Garmin does as a company. They also develop and manufacture hardware, improve the state of GPS tracking technology, and so on. Their latest app, along with their latest watches even track menstrual cycles and can predict if you're coming down with a cold. With all this new technology being released, I can forgive them for requiring me to simply plug my watch into my computer from time to time to sync my training schedule. It's a minor thing.
But I wanted to write about it here on the blog, since I spend a lot of time blogging about smart watches and reporting on their various technological issues. For those of you shopping for a new smart watch and interested in guided workouts that sync to your watch from your app, you'll want to choose a new Garmin watch, rather than one of the older ones.
Coincidentally, this is probably the most convenient time for me to experience this deprecation of features. As I recently wrote, I'm not following the Garmin HR-based training schedule anymore and had been modifying my workouts to involve pace targets instead. That meant that all the future workouts that had been synced to my watch were the old HR-based ones that I had been disregarding while I attempted to re-configure all the workouts on my calendar. For me, it all works out fine in the end. For the next day or two, I can complete my workouts "the old-fashioned way," by simply using my watch as a stopwatch that tracks my GPS data. No big deal. Then I'll finish editing my workouts and upload them to my watch manually. Problem solved.
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