I have to announce the end of support for the Garmin Connect IQ apps I have developed. The overall user experience has proved to be not pleasing. The main reason for this is the way the Garmin watches communicate with the phone. In order to save energy and increase battery life, the Bluetooth communication between the Garmin watches and the Garmin host app on the phone is reduced to a pretty low frequency. That is enough for simple data exchange, but this proves to be overall insufficient for the type of apps I develop, where it is expected that this Bluetooth communication is instantaneous. With a little patience, this all works out well in general, but it seems that on many devices it takes more time waiting for the connection to be established than the actual operation that should be taking place. Since there is nothing I can do to improve this behaviour, I made the decision to remove my apps from the store.
Unfortunately, I had to remove my iOS Companion app for Garmin Connect IQ and Pebble from the Apple App Store. The reason are the recent changes in the iOS system that pose additional restrictions to dialing apps, by requiring that the requested number dialing is confirmed by tapping on the phone screen, which defies the sole purpose for the existence of these dialing apps that I had developed.
The restrictions were neither present nor announced at the time I developed and published my apps on the App Store, thus I could not have been aware that my apps would be rendered useless due to some new iOS modifications.
Apart from that, I experienced attempts to block the development of companion apps for Garmin devices. The mere existence of the Garmin API in the app was a reason for my apps to be rejected from the App Store. That was also something new for me, which hindered me to publish any updates. The reason for the rejection was:
We were required to install Garmin Connect Mobile before we could use your app. Apps should be able to run on launch, without requiring additional apps to be installed.
Finally, the full, advanced dialer for Garmin Connect IQ devices. Only the full touch screen devices are supported: currently that is only Epix and the newly announced Vivoactive HR. The old Vivoactive’s screen is not full touch, it registers only 9 touch areas.
The second way, next to speed dialing, to quickly call a number from the smart watch is definitely the call log. Here’s the app for Garmin Connect IQ devices. It works nicely with both touch screens and physical keys.