Best CIQ Apps 2020 – Nominees

Every year we select the Best of CIQ across a range of categories. There are some great nominees for this year’s awards and those of you who looked closely at last year’s winners might, like me, still have the award-winning Crystal Watch Face adorning your Garmin.

Before we dive into this year nominees, take a quick look at the results from last year…and there were some GREAT contenders and Final Surge was a great overall winner. Here are all the category winners from 2019 ie LAST YEAR

  • Best Watch Face: Crystal (this gets the most clicks on this page! and the watch face has 1.2m downloads…wow!)
  • Smart App: Your QR
  • Edge App: XERT Workout Player .(It takes FTP to the next level through MPA)
  • Training App: Final Surge (it’s a training platform like TP)
  • The developer of the Year: fbbbrown

This following post covers the 2019 contenders for LAST YEAR in each category in more detail, then after that link we move onto the 3 nominees for each category this YEAR.

Best Of CIQ :: 2019 Garmin Connect IQ Developer Award Nominees


Back to 2020, here are the nominees in each category for the best of CIQ. The categories are BEST WATCH FACE; BEST WEARABLE SMART APP; BEST EDGE APP and BEST APP FOR AN ACTIVE LIFESTYLE.

Best New Watch Face 2020

The choice here is one of these three watch faces, each was created in 2019.


SimpleTDB has over 211,000 downloads and developer TomekCz describes it as “…a simple and clear watch face.”

InfoCal has over 109,000 downloads and developer RStudio describes it as a “Digital and analogue watch face with carefully made with high-quality rendering, customizable and functional. With up to 8 complications on the screen, each complication can show a variety of data

SHN Tactical has over 92,000 downloads and developer SHN has produced a total of 11 similar watch faces.

Opinion: They all look like popular and competent watch faces. I don’t think any have quite the same visual impact as last year’s winner, Crystal. However, SimpleTDB and InfoCal are trying to achieve a different aesthetic to Crystal and with a subtly different purpose. Nice job.

Best Wearable Smart App 2020

The criteria here include the fact that this app must be OUTSIDE OF THE FITNESS use case. Hence the three nominees offer, perhaps, lesser-used kinds of functionality.



Flight Radar has over 20,000 downloads and developer DCMARTI describes his/her work by making you contemplate, “Ever wonder of air traffic above your head? Grab this widget and scan the sky for current flights. It provides a chart of all planes in the vicinity of a given location.” DCMARTI has also developed an interesting-looking AIR QUALITY app, click on his name to see that.

Widget Compass+ has over 22,000 downloads and is another offering by developer SHN. App reviews seem highly complimentary about the simplicity and usefulness of this compass.

Maze Game has over 22,000 downloads and developer TomasSlavicek offers you 20 free levels before giving the options to get a paid for access to the remaining 30 levels. The game is summarized thus, “Press up and down buttons to rotate the circles (or use gestures on a touch screen display). When you get a continuous white path, press the upper right button to start the game. Now, by tilting your hand, go with the ball through the maze. When you fill all the white sections with yellow colour, you will advance to the next level.”

So who wins? A game? An interesting plane-flight thingy? or a useful compass?

Now we move on to the more serious categories or, at least, I think they are more serious ones.

Best Edge App 2020

We are now dealing with the big boys of CIQ.

As well as having to work on an Edge bike computer, the winner must demonstrate “unique uses of Connect IQ“.

You’ve probably heard of the cycling platform RideWithGPS and I covered the latest expansion of their expansive Android app on this site a few months ago. Perhaps you’ve not heard of PeterDeDecker but I have and he has a nice long list of CIQ development behind him. You may not have heard of developer Mappicus either but Mappicus is the developer of the HUGELY popular DWMAP which is closing in on a truly amazing target of 1 million downloads.


RideWithGPS has over 18,000 downloads and you probably already know that “Ride with GPS is the best way to plan routes for your Garmin device, with multiple map types to choose from and full turn by turn navigation. The Ride with GPS Connect IQ app allows you to wirelessly download routes to your Garmin on the go, with no need for cables or a computer.

Rain & Wind has over 9,000 downloads and I’ve already told you about dwMap. Guess what the rain and wind app does? 😉 Actually, it’s handy.

Navigator has almost 6,000 downloads and  PeterDeDecker boasts an impressive list of 25 apps.

A tricky choice awaits…

Best App For an Active Lifestyle


Regular readers will know my love of all-things STRYD and I have to confess to exchanging emails with developer Kun from time-to-time so, hey, I’m going to say they should win 😉 Seriously though the two competing ones look interesting, scarily useful!!,  and both were new to me.


SmartWake by BlackTusk has over 12,000 downloads and will wake you up at the right time (light stage) of your sleep cycle.

STRYD Zones is the new data fields from STRYD and effectively becomes the default data field for most STRYD users. I use it every week and I covered it earlier this year. It has over 18,000 downloads which give some partial indication of the popularity of running with power as each download represents a real pod.

Locus Map has over 12,000 downloads too and is the only app so far by developer WearSoft. Use Locus Map to “Navigate yourself with your Garmin on a whole new level! Connect it with Locus Map, one of the best outdoor navigation apps for Android. Enjoy route planning on a big screen of a smartphone and show maps (even on most non-map devices), navigate, track your activities or even play geocaching with Garmin.” If having a striking icon was a criterion, then Locus Map would be the winner.


There are some AWESOME entrants here and all the apps nicely reflect both independent developers and corporate developers. I know my own favourites, your thoughts or experiences welcomes below.





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