A Few Friday Fun Mini-Stories…on Thursday
It’s the lull before the September storm as we await a veritable storm of new sports gadgets and so it’s time for some short tech stories with a fitness slant
Apart from the Lumen info (which should still be embargoed but isn’t), these are mostly exclusives that you can only read about here either in whole or in part.
Must Read: Detailed Lumen Review
new Strava App – For Wear OS3
Must Read: Detailed Samsung Galaxy Watch Review
Strava has confirmed that there is a new Wear OS3 app released Friday (tomorrow). Clearly, this is to coincide with the start of retail availability of the Samsung Watch4 which, of course, is the only watch that runs Wear OS3 as of now.
I’d been sniffing around this story for a few weeks as Google’s launch of Wear OS3 was pushing imagery of the popular adidas Runtastic, Swim.com and Strava apps. It seemed strange to be advertising an app that hasn’t materially changed for years.
Coupled with that imagery, a few other media stories suggested that beefed up apps were on their way to Wear OS. That seemed plausible. Either that or Google was simply highlighting their most popular sporty apps.
Whilst the Strava Wear OS app has had very little love over the years, it also seemed a sensible deduction that downloads will significantly increase when Samsung comes on board. Samsung should get Wear OS growing in the right direction and it would make sense for Strava to double down on their existing investment in the platform.
Initially, the new Strava app for Wear OS 3 will support BEACON (live tracking) and some new OUTDOOR sports types will be added with more indoor sports types being added in the coming weeks.
Behind the scenes the Wear OS 3 app works differently and, Strava says, better. Wear OS 3 only supports one active tracker app at a time and Strava says that the performance of their modified app should improve as a result. Plus, don’t forget, Wear OS 3 is only going to work on a new generation of superior hardware so that in itself will boost the speed and smoothness of your Strava experienece.
Note: Wear OS 3 only !
new Garmin Sleep Watchface (via @A … you know who you are, thank you)
Garmin is planning a new nighttime watchface.
It looks like it adds focus to the time display and saves battery/blurs other screen elements.
Unsurprisingly, there appears to be notification suppression and alarm functionality.
new adidas (Runtsatic) app for Wear OS 3
Along with a new Strava app, Google also talked about the popular adidas Wear OS app.
The free adidas app is a great one for newbies. As you can see with over 1 million REVIEWS of the android app it’s a really popular one.
adidas released their update for the Watch4 last week and that included a new stats tile showing distances over the last 6 months plus new support for interaction using a bezel. However, September’s version (v5.6) will see another new tile which this time supports a quick way to start tracking a new activity.
There are also several behind-the-scenes technical improvements like support for Ongoing activity/Ongoing notification which allows better execution of other apps whilst a workout is in progress.
adidas is also adapting the app to track using Wear Health Services, which improves performance and reduces battery usage.
Lumen Support for Apple Watch + new subscription model
In part, this story about a new app was leaked a month ago but went unnoticed and then leaked again last week as various media organisations didn’t pull their scheduled content.
I’ve not had a chance to play with the Lumen beta but the renders suggest that the watch app will only be a reporting mechanism and not able to take a reading itself. That’s fine, I guess, and it also looks like the key parts of the smartphone app have been taken out and put on the wrist and that would be great as the smartphone app was a bit too involved for me.
Ahead of the new Watch OS app for the Apple Watch (must read: Apple Watch 6 Detailed review including negative stuff), Lumen has changed its pricing model to a subscription model.
So, for the first time the pricing will be
- $199 for the Lumen device + 3 month subscription,
- $249 for the Lumen device + 6 month subscription or
- $299 for the Lumen device + 12 month subscription.
- $19/month subscription thereafter
That seems a little steep to me but is offset by a lower initial cost compared to the previous device-only option.
YouTube Music / Play Music on Wear OS 3
I used to like Google’s Play Music ap…as a result, they closed it down just to annoy me!
The promise of migration of my music library to the YouTube Music service seemed ‘fair enough’. At least that was until I realised that Wear OS didn’t support the YouTube Music service. Grrr. This showed just how much faith Google placed in Wear OS 2.
To add insult to injury, a YouTube Music app was then released on the Apple Watch. Yep, you really couldn’t make it up.
Reading between the lines it was obvious that the next generation of Wear OS would herald support for YouTube Music and that is now shown to be the case.
There is NO TRUE STREAMING SERVICE…download and storage only.
Supersapiens are today announcing a more complete platform with support for Android & iOS as well as workout downloads on both those platforms from Apple Health and from TrainingPeaks. Support for live display of glucose readings on most newer Garmin watches and Edge bike computers has also been re-iterated.
Read More: My Experiences with Supersapiens
the new Supersapiens app also has improved onboarding help.
Spotify Confirms Offline Storage
Finally, Spotify recently confirmed that offline storage capability was added to Wear OS following a similar recent move for the Apple Watch.