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The Android version of Garmin Connect app was recently updated. The update improved the overall look of the app which was something I appreciated. However, the update also changed the way step counts are presented. In the process, the app no longer presents the data I have chosen to use as my primary metric—a metric view that presented data in a stable manner.1 In its place, they now provide a view older data that changes every day!2

This chage was quite frustrating. Information I used to get with a quick glance was now going to require keeping several numbers in my head while flipping through several pages in the app.

After a little digging, I discovered that someone had already created a python module that will interface with Garmin’s servers and extract, among other things, historical steps data.

Thanks to that module, I’ve been able to pull together a python script that automatically downloads the data from Garmin, caches the information locally, and then creates a webpage with the data I want to see. It was a fun little project which occupied a few evenings—and has simplified keeping track of my daily, monthly, and annual step counts.

  1. My chosen metric is steps per month. I’ve chosen not to obsess (as much) about steps on any given day, but try to hit the overall goal month by month. The steps per month view allows me quickly to see whether at any point in the month whether I’m on target to average 10,000 steps a day.return
  2. They now provide a “weeks” view, but the weeks are always counted backward from “today”. You can see what you did in the last six days (and today), and then the seven days before that, and then the seven days before that. This means the day data is always sliding backward in the slots and total step counts for prior weeks constantly change.

    I can understand the logic of the choice: you are always comparing “this past week” to a comparable timeframe.

    However, I’m much more geared to think about life by organizing it in weeks, months, and years with fixed beginnings. And, I prefer my retrospective data to be stable from day to day.

    I wrote to customer support to express my preference for the prior view. The representative responded in the passive voice to describe the change (it was something that happened to them) and said it would likely be changed in a future update. The response did point out that their website continues to offer the view (on a not-very-mobile-friendly website).

    return

  1. My chosen metric is steps per month. I’ve chosen not to obsess (as much) about steps on any given day, but try to hit the overall goal month by month. The steps per month view allows me quickly to see whether at any point in the month whether I’m on target to average 10,000 steps a day.return
  2. They now provide a “weeks” view, but the weeks are always counted backward from “today”. You can see what you did in the last six days (and today), and then the seven days before that, and then the seven days before that. This means the day data is always sliding backward in the slots and total step counts for prior weeks constantly change.

    I can understand the logic of the choice: you are always comparing “this past week” to a comparable timeframe.

    However, I’m much more geared to think about life by organizing it in weeks, months, and years with fixed beginnings. And, I prefer my retrospective data to be stable from day to day.

    I wrote to customer support to express my preference for the prior view. The representative responded in the passive voice to describe the change (it was something that happened to them) and said it would likely be changed in a future update. The response did point out that their website continues to offer the view (on a not-very-mobile-friendly website).

    return