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The latest timeline for the release of Garmin’s CIQ3 is ‘around about now’. Precise dates might have slipped slightly.
and a few weeks ago we would have remembered this image saying what devices will support it.
That image already showed the Edge 130 and Edge 520plus (not the Edge 520). Clearly we can now add the Vivoactive 3 Music and the Fenix 5plus series . The new Fenix 5 plus is imminent as evidenced by imagery already on garmin.com (pay section) such as this orange beauty (image, right, Source Garmin.com):
The point of bringing together information on the new releases and the new CIQ is that we may be experiencing somewhat of a mini ‘Big Bang’ moment. There are rumours of yet more Garmin devices to come this year…and maybe SOON this year.
Why now? Part of the reason might be capabilities reaching a ‘critical mass’. By that I mean that initial bugs of new music and pay functionality – released on the earlier ‘public trial’ devices – will have been largely fixed. Functionality like Garmin PAY is continuing to become more useful and more widely used as Garmin take on board new bank partners.
Let’s recap what CIQ3 can do. The following list of CIQ3 functionality is from Garmin (Source: https://developer.garmin.com/index.php/blog/post/connect-iq-3.0.0-beta-now-available with underlined text from me)
- “Music – In CIQ v3.0, we have opened the audio/music APIs so any third party can create and upload an audio or a music app to the CIQ app store. iHeartRadio & Deezer are the first of hopefully many providers to create experiences. The audio/music API allows a user to download up to 500MB of music on their wearable from their music account (initially iHeartRadio and Deezer) and to play music directly from the wearable without a phone.
- “Maps – CIQ v3.0 allows developers to integrate Garmin’s onboard maps into their apps. The developer can present the map to the user, overlay routes or points, and have UI elements on top of the map.
- “Messaging – For select developers, we are opening the potential for their CIQ apps to get actionable notifications. These developers will be able to push content from their service to a specific device using Garmin’s new push notification service.
- “Menu2 – A greatly expanded menu framework that allows titles, subtitles, icons, and branded title bars.
- “Byte Arrays – Useful for getting the most out of memory, byte arrays are one fifth the size of regular arrays.
- “Cryptography – Connect IQ adds numerous hashing and encryption algorithms to the Toybox.
- “Beat to Beat Intervals – Discover deep user information by reading the timings between heartbeats.
- “Bike Radar – Integrate bike radar information into your apps and data fields.
- “Symbol Checking – The new Automatic Symbol Check (ASC) checks to make sure your methods, member variables, and objects exist at compile time while still staying true to Monkey C’s dynamic nature.”
I’ll come back to that list in a second but there is also this post (https://developer.garmin.com/index.php/blog/post/something-youve-been-waiting-for-trial-apps) which declares the possibility for developers to write trial apps to monetize content (old news).
So we have some potentially pretty exciting things going on there.
Many people, me included, might start to clamour that there is not enough running with music support. Hey…no problems. It might simply be up to Spotify and co. to get their own act together and plug their app into the Garmin open framework.
Lots of exciting map stuff can happen on apps. OK a route can be overlain on a true map…whoopy do, that’s no biggie. Perhaps, more importantly, 3rd parties can put their own content alongside the maps. Yelp might overlay a shop or a race organiser might overlay a feed station (there’s probably better examples you can think of). And, surprise surprise, the new Garmin 5 plus series (5x plus, 5plus and 5s plus) all seem to have TOPO maps onboard. Strange coincidence that? 😉
From the list above it looks like developers can access HRV/RR data. I’m not sure I quite realised that before, or maybe I forgot. But that single bullet point “Beat to Beat Intervals – Discover deep user information by reading the timings between heartbeats.” can mean a lot for functionality to come to athletes. Up until now, we have been largely tied to Garmin’s onboard Firstbeat metrics for the cleverer, HRV-related stuff but now there appears to be the chance for Firstbeat to add their own functionality independently of Garmin. Or, of course, some other company might try to muscle in.
Previously there would have been little incentive for Firstbeat to develop an app as they would not be able to monetize it. Why would they jeopardise their revenue stream for licensed technology in Garmin devices to do that? Well, now they have a reason if they can monetize their apps. $3 or $5 for a super-clever app, I would guess, is more than Fristbeat get from Garmin for their metrics to be integrated into the firmware…of course, maybe Firstbeat will do both 🙂