I've got an email a few days ago about sharing the activity file on dropbox. This reminded me that I didn't tell you guys about this feature, which is hidden inside the "email" button. This applies to both Sportablet and the Uploader for Garmin.
When you click Email to send the activity via email, I don't actually open the email app. I just go and tell Android that I want to send a file. Android will ask you to choose the app you want to use, and I would normally use Gmail.
However, there are other apps which can accept files. Dropbox is one of those, if you have the app installed. So if you want to share on Dropbox, just click email and then choose "Add to Dropbox".
This trick will probably work for many other apps which can accept a file in input. I will update the wording in one of the next releases to reflect the fact that "email" isn't actually limited to send an email :-).
On Saturday 11th, Dynastream released a new version of the ANT+ Radio Service (4.0). That release broke my apps (both Sportablet and the Uploader for Garmin). I was travelling at the time and didn't have a chance to investigate the problem until today (although I warned people on twitter and facebook the next day - so I can only recommend that you follow one of the sportablet accounts :-).
Today I released a new version of Sportablet (5.0) and the Uploader (3.4) which should be compatible with previous releases of the ANT+ Radio Service (for those who didn't care to upgrade) and with the new one. I did quite some testing (version 2.87, 3.0, 4.0, both with the USB dongle and the built-in chip in the XPeria), so I hope you guys won't have any trouble. If you do, please get in touch via email, as it's really hard to say anything without seeing a log.
Using Sportablet 4.4, published today, you can email your activity or share it to your Strava account (via email). This is done through the Share button, which will open the usual dialog (with a couple more buttons and a slightly different layout).
For full details, see my previous post
on this feature, as it came to my Uploader for Garmin first.
In version 4.4 I've also fixed a bug when editing the activity type, and improved the handling of the soft keyboard.
The Uploader for Garmin 3.3 adds a couple of new ways to export and share your activities.
I also wanted to make room for more (like the upcoming "export to GPX"), so I made a minor change to the activity screen. Now you have one tab for the activity details, and one tab to export and share in various ways.
A few of you guys asked for a quick way to send an activity via email (without exporting to SD card etc.) That's what the new "Email" button is for. It will open your email app, and create a message with the activity file in attachment.
Sharing to Strava is still via email, as Strava has not released the API V3 yet. So it's basically like the above, except that the email will be pre-addressed to Strava, and you just have to send it.
Note that it may take a while for Strava to process your email. In some of my tests it took almost 30min, in others a few seconds.
The same features are coming to Sportablet soon.
Update: it seems that if you email an activity that is already on Strava, you get back an email saying:
Unfortunately we ran into a problem uploading your files. We had a problem with <some file name>. The activity data seems to be formatted differently than we expected. Please contact support or visit our support site if you need additional help.
Not exactly the right message, but ok, they probably send the same message for all the unexpected event. So, if you get a message like that, check that you haven't uploaded that activity before.
It took me a bit, but Gear Tracking is finally here. I mostly wanted a simple way to track shoes mileage using data from my Garmin, but when I started working on it, I decided to add a few more things, like the ability to add untracked miles or calculate the cost per mile (or km) etc. So here is a quick guide. I'll use shoes as an example, as I'm mostly a runner these days, but of course you can track everything you want.
Clicking "My gear" you won't get the dreaded "Coming Soon" anymore :-). You'll be prompted to add some gear, so let's do it: just click "Add new"
Brand and model are obvious; the nickname is the only mandatory field, and it will be used later on to associate gear to activities. Price is used to calculate the cost per unit of distance and per hour. You can choose your currency, of course. I got a great deal on those yellow shoes :-)
In this case, I have used the shoes without GPS for two short runs, but I want to account for that as well, so I'll add something in the "Untracked usage" section. I think it was about 12 km. I can't exactly remember the time, or the pace, so I used a reasonable approximation for time. I slacked off a little, so you have to set time in hours, or fraction of hours, not h:m; it's untracked usage so I don't feel like we need much precision there.
Total distance is calculated by adding untracked distance to tracked activity distance. We'll see that in a moment. Same thing for total time. Cost Analysis should be pretty obvious by now; of course, it's based on total distance / time.
Let's click Ok and get back to the gear list:
Well, it's quite simple; now let's go back to the activity list and open one where I've used those shoes:
just tick all the checkboxes you need - in this case, I've only added one pair of shoes, so that's the only thing I can check. Of course, you'll get all your gear listed there. Let's step back to the gear list now:
As you see, total distance and total time are now updated to reflect tracked usage. If you want more details about something, just click on it:
As you see, total distance /time are updated, and the cost per distance / time as well. If you do some more untracked usage, you can always update the fields here.
When you decide to retire those shoes, just tick "retired". Retired gear won't appear in the gear list (unless you choose "show retired") and won't be shown inside activities as well (unless you open an old activity associated to that gear, in which case it will be there, read-only).
Hope you like it!
I've been playing with my Sony Xperia Ion for a while now. Here is a short report about supported Garmin devices. I'll probably add a few videos in the next few weeks.Garmin Forerunner 405 and 910xt
: these models (actually the entire family of ANT+ Forerunners) can simply use the internal ANT+ chip. Support is in alpha, seems to be working well for some but not for all of you guys. Details here
.Garmin Forerunner 305:
this model requires a USB OTG adapter. I got one on ebay for a couple of euros. Just plug it in, it works like a charm. Several other models falls in the same family.Garmin Edge 500
: this model won't work if you simply plug it in. The Xperia complains about excessive current on the USB port and shuts is down. In practice, I expect this to happen for several other devices as well.
The workaround is simple: I used a powered USB hub. An alternative is to use a USB Y-cable plus a charger. The connection procedure seems to be critical:
- plug the edge into the powered hub.
- plug the hub into OTG adapter, not connected
to the Xperia yet
- plug the OTG adapter into the Xperia
- the edge is mounted, the app is started.
Note that if you do it any other way (first you plug in the hub, then the edge, or you plug in the OTG adapter first) it does not work
. I tried the procedure several times.
Overall: the Xperia Ion will probably handle the entire line of Garmin devices supported by the app
. Some may require external power. Some requires just an OTG adapter. Some may simply use the internal chip, no cable and no dongle required.
There is no need to root the device, or anything like that. Thanks Sony :-).
I can't vouch for the entire Xperia line, so if you try it out on another model, consider leaving a comment here to help the other guys.
The Uploader for Garmin version 3.0
provides alpha-level support for the integrated ANT+ chip present on some Sony Xperia phones. I'm writing this just after releasing the new version, so it may take a while for Google Play to make version 3.0 available to you guys.
For a list of phones with an integrated ANT+ chip, see here
. I did all my testing using a Sony Xperia Ion, LT28h, running Android 4.0.4. Please remember that if you installed an unofficial ROM on your phone, ANT+ might not be working anymore. If you have troubles with my app, please double-check using the official ANT+ Demo
The ANT+ Radio Service
from Dynastream is required. This service is usually pre-installed on the Xperia, but you might want to check the version you have, and maybe update. I did my testing with version 3.0.0 and 3.4.0, released a few days ago.
Last thing: on my phone, bluetooth must be enabled in order for ANT+ to work
. However, I did all my experiments with GPS off
(both phone and Garmin) and with WiFi off
(phone). I suggest that you do the same.
Once you have checked the ANT+ Radio Service version, and enabled bluetooth, you can give the app a try.
First, set up your watch as described here
if you have a Forerunner 405 / 405CX / 410, or here
if you have another ANT+ model (Forerunner 310xt,610, 910xt, 60, 70).
Then, click options
, and check Force ANT+ scan
option. If you have a 405/405CX/410, check also the Delay Ack option. If you have another model, you probably don't need to, but if the app gets stuck while trying to find the device model, check that option anyway. Also, for the 310xt,610, 910xt, 60, 70 family, if file transfer times out and fails, go into options again, find File Transfer Chunk, and set a lower value, like default or small.
That's it. Click get activities
, and give it a little time. While using the dongle, I send a special packet that is also used in the PC version, which speeds up device discovery. It doesn't seem to work with the internal ANT+ chip, so discovery may easily take 50 seconds or so. When the device is found, you'll be asked to pair. Just accept on your Forerunner.
Please note that this code is still in alpha. I recommend that you test it thoroughly before you purchase the app. The critical part is only the upload. Once the activity has been uploaded, the rest of the code is reasonably well tested. So you don't need to purchase the app to test the most critical part, which is data transfer.Guys, if it works on your phone, or if it doesn't work :-), I would appreciate a log.
Do it like this: select options
, scroll down to diagnostics, check enable device diagnostics
, turn on the watch again, and try an upload. The app will see that there are no new activities and will stop earlier. Send me that log using the red email log
button, thanks :-). If necessary, add any text you want to the email before sending it. This will help me helping other people who may have the same phone but a different ROM version etc.After you send the log, please turn off diagnostics again. Diagnostics will interfere with the timing of ANT+.
This post will guide you through all the steps needed to connect your Android tablet or smartphone to a Garmin Forerunner 310xt, 610, 910xt, 60, or 70, using either Sportablet (for 10" tablets) or the Uploader for Garmin (for smaller tablets and smartphones). I'll use the 910xt as an example, but things are basically the same for other models.
Step 1: check your ANT+ USB key
In most cases, you need to use the ANT+ USB key that you're already using with your computer. Before you go further, check the key version on the bottom: it should read USB2. USB1 keys are not supported at this time.
The app is also known to work with the Suunto Movestick (actually, it seems to work even better :-) so if you have a USB1, you may want to consider a Suunto as well.
Step 2: install the ANT+ services
The apps adopt the ANT+ services from Dynastream. Unlike the Garmin ANT+ Agent you install on your PC, those ANT+ services don't know about your Garmin device, but know about the ANT+ hardware (the USB key, the internal chip on Xperia, etc). This should make my apps a bit more future-proof (read: I shouldn't have to implement low-level drivers for new keys). We'll see :-). Meanwhile, that means you have to install two free apps (Android services actually) from Google Play:
- The ANT Radio Service
(which deals with ANT+ channels)
- The ANT USB Service
(which deals with the USB key) Go ahead and do it!
Note that those apps require your Android device to be properly classified by Google Play as one with USB Host capabilities. Some devices, which are host-capable, are not properly classified in Google Play. In that case, unfortunately, the ANT+ services will result "incompatible" with your device and you won't be able to download them. As they're provided by Dynastream, there is little I can do about it - you'll have to find an alternative way to obtain and install the APK.
Step 3: check that everything works
Insert your USB key. If you have a micro-usb connector, remember that you need to use a USB OTG adapter. This dialog should pop up from the ANT+ Service:
of course, you have to accept.
If the dialog does not pop up, your USB key is not being recognized by the ANT+ Service. That's not part of Sportablet, so I can't really help you much on this side. Please check the Google Play page for the two ANT+ Service apps, as there are quite a few hints from users in the comments section. Sometimes, rebooting your tablet / phone with the ANT+ key connected is needed to make it work the first time (well, at least, that's what a few people told me - I never had to do it myself).
Now, if you want to double-check
that it works, and you have a chest strap that you use with your Garmin, you can also download the free ANT+ Demo
from Dynastream. It's a simple app that can connect with a chest strap or a scale and show you some values (it won't connect with your Garmin, just with the HR belt). If the ANT+ Demo works, everything has been set up properly. If you don't have a chest strap, just skip this step.
Step 4: configure your watch
It's time to fiddle with the watch a little and make sure ANT+ is properly set up. Although you've probably done this before to pair your Garmin with your PC, you have to do this again to enable pairing with your Android device. The following pics are based on a Forerunner 910.
Click Mode, then choose Settings > System > Data Transfer
Make sure that transfer is enabled and pairing is on
Step 5: it's time to run the app!
Before you upload, it's advisable to turn off the gps in your Garmin. Now start the app, and click Get New (Sportablet) or Get Activities (Uploader). You may see that the app is trying to connect on different frequencies: that's ok as it's part of the ANT+ protocol. After a while, the app will ask you to accept pairing on your device:
Pairing is a delicate process in ANT+, and you have to be ready to accept on your watch. If it fails, please repeat.
After pairing, the app will try to download all your activities from the watch. If you have many, the transfer may fail, as ANT+ has very delicate timing and can easily go out of synch over long transfers. Still, downloaded activities are recovered (you can check that by clicking Done: downloaded activities will appear in the activity list). You can repeatedly download until you get them all.
If you keep experiencing problems downloading, read on for a few tricks.
Tweaking : )
ANT+ has very delicate timings, which can be easily disturbed by background processes, especially in a smartphone. So if you experience problems, the first thing you should do is turn off the GPS, Bluetooth, WiFi, data connection on your phone. This is known to help a lot.
There are also a lot of settings under the ANT+ section of the app's Options. If you tried the app before, especially during the Alpha Test phase, make sure that everything is off, especially diagnostics.
If everything was already off, the first thing you should try in case of failure is to lower the File Transfer Chunk. It's normally set to unlimited, as this is the setting that maximizes transfer speed. If you experience failures, move it down a notch to default; if it still fails, move it to small. It's relatively normal for some smartphones to require a small chunk.
If that is not enough, you can try to enable the power boost. In that case, make sure you don't have any other ANT+ equipment around, because increasing power will also increase the probability of interaction with distant devices.
If it still fails, you can try the Delay Ack option, but this really should not be necessary.
If nothing works, get in touch. Enable logging, try an upload, stop it manually if needed, click the red "email log" button and maybe add a few lines to the email to explain what is going on on your side :-).
This is a quick post, mostly intended for those who tried the previous version (alpha) and want to upgrade to beta. A more detailed post for the rest of you guys will be out in the weekend.
Sportablet 3.7 and the Uploader for Garmin 2.9 provide beta-level support for the 310/610/910/etc family. A passcode is no longer needed, and it's now safe to purchase the app if you feel so.
If you tried the alpha, and as I suggested, did not buy the app, the safest thing to do is to unistall the previous version and install the new one. If you have bought the alpha, just let Android upgrade to the new version. It's a safe procedure anyway. If you uninstall / reinstall the app, make sure to bring back any change you made under "options".
Note: uninstalling the app is only suggested if you used it with one of the ANT+ devices above. There is no need to reinstall anything if you used a previous version with a different Garmin device.
If the alpha app didn't work for you, usually because you have too many activities on your watch, the new version will bring them in incrementally. The first upload may still fail, but some activities will be read: click on "done" and you'll see them. Click "get new" again, and a new batch will be read, and so on until you have them all. At that point, only new activities will be read.
A few of you guys had so many activities that even reading the directory caused a timeout :-). In that case, and more generally if you experience a lot of failures while downloading (mostly on smartphones), there is also a new option that you can try:
- (choose options, of course)
- scroll down under ANT+, choose File Transfer Chunk
- try "default", if it fails try "small". Transfer will be slower but the phone may handle that traffic better.
More details in the next post.
By the way guys: if you like the app, leave a positive comment on google play. Too many harsh people out there, who won't even get in touch when they can't make it work, and just leave 1 star :-).
Update: Sportablet 3.7 and the Uploader for Garmin 2.9 provide beta-level support. A more detailed post will follow, but the passcode is no longer needed, and it's now safe to purchase the app if you feel so.
Sportablet 3.5 and the Uploader for Garmin 2.6Sportablet 3.5 and the Uploader for Garmin 2.6 provide alpha-level support for the Garmin Forerunner 310xt, 610, 910xt, 60, and 70.
Being still in alpha, support is disabled
by default and can only be enabled with a passcode
Note: I've just released those versions (January 20) so it may take a few hours before Google Play makes them available to you guys.
To obtain a passcode:
- Please understand that it's alpha code
. It's fairly complete but lacks some error handling and error recovery. It may leave some files on your tablet in case of errors, and the only way to clean up those files will be uninstalling the app. Therefore, please don't ask for a passcode if you have purchased the app
, or obtained a free activation code from me, because you may have to uninstall / reinstall
the app when it goes beta or final.
- Follow the steps in my post "getting ready for ANT+
". Instructions are for the 405, but you should be able to figure out how to make it work with your model (otherwise, sorry, the alpha is not for you :-). Unlike what is said in the instructions, enable device diagnostics under "options"
. Also, leave buffering and delay OFF at first.
- With diagnostics enabled, try to get the activities. The watch should pair and then an error message should appear, telling you that a passcode is needed. Click on the red "email log
" button, send me the log. I'll get back to you with the passcode.
- Please understand that you're expected to actually try the app
:-) and tell me if it's working fine with your Garmin, your tablet, your phone. I may need to add a few options to get the best reliability / performance on all platform, and withouth logs, it's hard to do so.
- for details on how to use the internal ANT+ chip in the Xperia see here
- Please understand that, after you obtain a passcode, you should not buy the app during the alpha period
, because it's recommended that you uninstall / reinstall the app when it goes beta or final.
- Please do not apply
for a passcode if you're paranoid, you're afraid that my app will destroy your Garmin, your tablet, your phone, cause a nuclear war, summon demons to your house, or are otherwise suspicious that I'm a master of mischief trying to steal your precious money. Life is too short to deal with that.If you're still reading this, yes, you're the right person to try the alpha :-)