Garmin unveiled a sweeping change to how 3rd parties can interface with Garmin wearable devices a new platform called Connect IQ. This will ultimately enable 3rd party developers to write applications that run directly on the company’s devices such as enabling companies like the Strava to create apps on future Garmin watches that could in real-time pull from cloud services to create notifications, receive data, or send data. These extensions allow folks to significantly extend the functionality and features of your newfangled Garmin device.
In 2015, for the first time ever, Garmin opened up its platform enabling clever developers outside of Garmin HQ to use their brains and coding skills to create widgets, apps and watch extensions. It means new sports, niche features and extra watch faces.
Apple and Google have both been at if for a decade. Suunto watches also had this power for a couple of years. Before we get under the skin of Garmin Connect IQ, let’s be clear, that creating a successful app store isn’t easy. While this ought to be a positive step for the Garmin – and a good thing for Garmin users – there is plenty of pitfalls the GPS giants will need to avoid make this popular. Not least ensuring there are sufficient app of reliable quality, a battle Google continues to fight with Android.
Apps in Garmin Connect IQ world are downloaded and stored on your watch pretty much in the same way as you would an app for your phone. You can also download as many apps as your device will store but you can only run one at time.