Best Garmin Connect IQ App 2021 – Fitness Winners Announced

2021 Connect IQ Developer Award Winners

My personal favourite this year is Peter Dedecker’s Wind Direction data field. Until these awards were announced I wasn’t aware it existed and coincidentally had been thinking about my own need for such a data field as I have recently spent quite a bit of time researching the optimal direction to ride laps of my local park for a given wind direction as well as which local Strava segments I need to target on any given day based on the wind direction. [Other Wind Resources: Best Bike Split, Strava Klimat, Strava MyWindsock, Garmin Running Power & Wind CIQ, Stryd Running Power w/Wind,]
When I’m not testing bike computers I almost always ride with the new Wahoo Bolt so, sadly, I don’t get to use Garmin CIQ and CIQ is the one thing I miss as a result. I tend to also use a Garmin Forerunner 935 as my personal logger so I have toyed with the idea of putting a CIQ field on that but of course, the limit for data fields on underpowered Garmin Watches is 2…much lower than the limit on Edge devices. But then I might as well just ride with a Garmin Edge. Plus, I rarely ride with a phone and even less rarely with one that has a roaming data plan so I consequently don’t use features like Live Tracking or data fields that require a data connection.

Best Edge App

Wind Direction by peterdedecker

This data field shows the currently forecast wind direction & speed in relation to your direction of travel. Your cycling speed IS taken into account but the actual wind direction and speed are not known. It would be very interesting to see something that links to products like Velocomp Aeropod or the elusive Garmin Air in order to combine actual wind measurements. You should also know that Peter Dedecker is a prolific CIQ developer and has other good apps and my understanding is that he is incorporating this WIND data field into one of his other data fields that combines multiple data fields into one data field hence bypassing limits on the number of data fields you can use.

Best New Watch Face

SHN TxD (Tactix D style) by SHN

SHN won last year as well. Nice job.

As our smartwatches become more entwined with our 24×7 lives then the face on display is important from both an aesthetic and functional point of view. You will have your own take on each of those facets and what’s best for you. My personal choice for a smartwatch is the Apple Watch 6/SE which is superior to any Garmin watch in most respects…except sport! For both Garmin and Apple, watch power consumption is an ever-present issue; Garmin has under-powered watches and Apple has to control screen usage VERY tightly in order to keep the battery life up to its customers’ expectations…consequently, Apple is restrictive about how complications are allowed to use the active watch face but nevertheless an Apple Watch’s ability to curate watch faces is an interesting contrast to the approach taken by Garmin and worth a look for those of you who might be interested. [Thoughts on Garmin & Apple Sports Watchfaces]

Fun Fact: 80% of you who click from this post to the Garmin Connect store have clicked for this watch face…I’m surprised!

Best Audio App

Podcasts by LucaSax

I do like listening to ‘interesting stuff’ and so I should perhaps be an avid podcast devotee…but I’m not. I tend to run occasionally to music and never to podcasts. I did look at some Garmin podcast software a couple of years back and the RunCast CIQ app was pretty cool. HOWEVER, it required payment to be useful and so you might find Podcasts by LucaSax a better alternative if you want a freebie.

Best Active Lifestyle App

SwimSports+ by f3b

I didn’t quite get the purpose of this app at first. However, as it was written by 2019 winner F3B I decided to take a look.

My understanding is that this is a CIQ App for lower/mid-range Garmin watches that lack a specific swimming sports profile, effectively adding in all the ones that Garmin has omitted! I’ll have to see if he covers my indoor VASA swim trainer but I suspect not! (It’s like a Concept Rower but for front crawl swimming). This class of CIQ apps and/or data fields can be very useful if you want to boost the fitness features of your Garmin watch. I refer again to my Vasa Trainer…it produces power and so I want to log power and I want to do that in a sports profile that is correctly saved as a ‘swim’ of some sort – there are a variety of reasons why I ‘need’ to do that but the only solution for me is to copy an open water swim profile (so it records as a swim with swim metrics) and then use a 3rd party CIQ field that can be linked to a power meter (no Garmin watch can pair/use a power meter in swim mode).

Best Wearable Smart App

FeverMonitor by dev372

This widget turns your watch into a smart thermometer, automatically tracking your body temperature throughout the week and alerting you to any abnormal temperature changes. The app has mixed review and people seem to either love it or hate I. Personally, I don’t see how the body temperature data will be accurate as I believe that data comes from the watch. If data instead came from an accurate thermometer like CORE which measures skin temperature and core temperature then my opinion would change.


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6 thoughts on “Best Garmin Connect IQ App 2021 – Fitness Winners Announced

  1. Apps by FBBBrown are nice, but their appearance is far diverted from native Garmin’s sport profiles. So I’d say an honorable mention could be Any Sport PRO, which does exactly this: allows to use any available Garmin’s sport type and app even allows configuration of screens in a manner close to native.

    And with newly introduced Forerunner 55 now this app can be even used on budget!

    Unfortunately, still no unicycling in the vast array of Garmin’s sports… 🙁

    1. wow!
      thank you for that link. that looks very interesting and i wasn’t aware of it

      i recommend to have a look if any one reading this is interested in replicating swim sports profiles on low spec garmins

      1. The Fenix at least, have sealings good enough for a few meters dive. There’s an app that converts the barometric readings, so they make sense when underwater (otherwise the watch just thinks you have gone to the deep core), but it’s paid… Was hoping this one would let me save the activity as a dive, for when I go apnea in a pool. 😛

  2. Tried the SwimSports+ app for open water swimming and found the GPS tracking to be atrocious. Jagged lines and recording hundreds of yards extra. So far useless

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