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Garmin announces redesigned Connect app, updated watches, and new heart monitor

Published Jan 8th, 2024 2:20PM EST
Garmin Connect gets a new look: Simplified design provides a more customized experience
Image: Garmin

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As an Apple Watch Ultra owner, I’m relatively new to the world of extreme smartwatches that you use to tackle running a marathon or climbing a mountain. That being said, I’ve always known that pretty much anyone who runs, bikes, swims, or is basically into any fitness that doesn’t own an iPhone (or sometimes iPhone owners too) owns a Garmin smartwatch.

The company has planted itself firmly in the ground as the go-to smartwatch for people who want to track everything while having great battery life and reliability. While Apple is trying to make headway into that world with the Apple Watch Ultra, it has its work cut out for it — Garmin is the top dog and has an incredibly loyal fanbase.

If there is one thing that the fanbase has been waiting on, however, it’s been a new app to connect their Garmin smartwatch to. The Connect app has been languishing in its old design for a while, so it was time for Garmin to put some miles in for its customers and, today, that’s exactly what they’ve done. In a press release, the company announced a major update coming to the Garmin Connect app.

Joe Schrick, Garmin’s Vice President of Fitness, said in a statement that the redesign offers a simplified design and more relevant insights,” something that Garmin owners are sure to appreciate. More stats!

“Since its inception, Garmin Connect has played an integral role in helping users track, analyze and share their health and fitness stats recorded by a paired Garmin device. With this new refresh, we are excited to bring a simplified design and more relevant insights to each customer to inform and inspire them as they continue to conquer their goals.”

The new homepage features customizable sections (widgets) that start with Today’s Activity, a widget that shows you the day’s logged activities, upcoming workouts, and any upcoming events. The In Focus widget gives users a quick look at their sleep score, Body Battery energy monitoring, training status, and activity trends.

The At a Glance widget shows off a bunch of stats, including heart rate, intensity minutes, steps, calories burned, stress, floors climbed, hydration, fitness age, HRV status, VO2 max, training load, heat and altitude acclimation, endurance score, and more. There’s also an Events widget, which — you guessed it — shows you all of the upcoming events that you might be training for.

The Training Plans section allows users to keep track of their Garmin Coach running or cycling plans, monitor training plan progress, and view a week’s worth of scheduled and completed workouts. The last widget, called Challenges, shows you your progress in expedition, badge, group, and family challenges.

Garmin says that the redesigned Connect app is available in beta today for “select customers using Garmin smartwatches, cycling computers, and accessories.” If you’re one of those customers, you can opt into the beta. For everyone else, Garmin plans to launch the updated app “later this year.”

While it may have been the announcement for everyone today, it wasn’t the only one. In addition to revealing the designed Connect app, Garmin has also announced some updates to its Lily 2 smartwatch as well as the HRM-Fit, a heart-rate monitor purpose-built for women’s sports bras. While we’re going to have to wait for the Garmin Connect app update, both the Lily 2 and the HRM-Fit are available now.

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.

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