Garmin’s Connect IQ has, up until fairly recently, been kind of unimpressive. Designed to help users customize their wearables and other devices, most of the apps on the Connect IQ store were pretty much designed specifically for location tracking and fitness—not super surprising, considering the market they were aimed for, but it definitely limited the usefulness of a Garmin watch outside of workout tracking.
However, at the recent 2017 CES, Garmin announced that it was debuting several third party apps from bigger companies including Strava and Uber. At the time of writing, the apps appear to all be available on the Connect IQ store, but they aren’t all available on all devices, obviously. Here are some of the cool new apps and data fields that you can try out on your compatible Garmin:
- Uber ETA, which shows the estimated time of arrival on your Garmin after you hail an Uber
- Trek/Montrager data field for controlling lights from the handlebars
- New custom watch face for nuun Active Hydration users
- Several data fields from Xert Advanced Power Analytics including Maximal Power Available, Time to Exhaustion/Recovery, Fat/Carb Utilization, Strain Score, and others
- Stryd IQ app, which provides data from a foot-mounted power meter
- Strava Life Suffer Score data field, which shows how much time the user spends in different heart rate zones
- AccuWeather Edge MinuteCast, which provides by-the-minute precipitation forecasts
While the inclusion of these apps won’t magically make Garmin able to compare to dedicated smartwatches, it is definitely a step in the right direction and shows that Garmin is aware that its app store Connect IQ needs a bit of working and tweaking.
The following devices can use the Connect IQ store:
- D2 Bravo
- D2 Bravo Titanium
- Fenix 3, Fenix 3 HR, Fenix Chronos
- Quatix 2, Tactix Bravo
- Forerunner 230, 235, 630, 735XT, 920XT
- Vivoactive, Vivoactive HR
- Edge 520, 820, 1000
- Edge Explore 820, 1000
- Oregon 700, 750, 750t
- Rino 700, 755t
For more information, or to download some of these apps for your device, check out the Connect IQ website.