Garmin Vivofit Support

Fitdigits is very proud to announce we’ve now got support for the Garmin Vivofit line of activity monitors.

Garmin Vivofit now Supported

While the HR portion of the monitors is not supported (they use ANT+ technology), we can now link accounts and get steps, calories, and more from these great popular activity monitors.

See a complete view of your activities, with accurate calorie counts and great heart rate monitoring during activities using iCardio, iRunner, iWalker or iBiker apps, combined with the daily steps, full days calories, and more when adding Garmin Vivofit to the mix.

Give it a try today!

In Apps or on the web: Go to Menu > Partners > Garmin Vivofit, Tap Link. Enter your Garmin account information to link your two accounts. Give it a minute to import the data and refresh the page.

If you have more than one partner linked, you also need specify which one is your preferred Daily Activity data provider.

To view your Fitbit and Fitdigits steps and calories graphed over time in the app, go to Menu > Daily Activity.

Related Links: 

Linking Activity Monitors and Fitdigits to MyFitnessPal

Importing/exporting workouts from Garmin

 

Fitdigits Discontinues ANT+ Support on iOS 8

On September 17th, Apple released iOS 8, “the biggest iOS release ever”. For months now, Fitdigits has been hard at work to deliver an app that is optimized for iOS 8 and the new Apple HealthKit.

During development we ran into a roadblock with ANT+ sensor support, a platform that less than 2% of all Fitdigits users are currently using and which continues to decrease daily.

The good news for ANT+ users is Apple has limited iOS 8 to newer iPads, the iPhone 4S, 5, 5S and the new 6 series. Of those, only the 4S supports both the 30-pin connector (which the ANT+ transceiver plugs into) and will also support iOS 8. However, running iOS 8 on an iPhone 4S makes everything very sluggish and many would not recommend the upgrade. Even Apple has recognized the issue and is allowing users to re-install iOS 7 even after upgrading to iOS 8.

If you don’t intend on upgrading to iOS 8, or have an iPhone 4, you don’t have to worry. iOS 7 or below, will work just fine.

For those of you brave enough to upgrade to iOS 8 who still are using ANT+, Fitdigits will no longer be a useable option, and for this you have our sincere apologies. Currently less than 2% of our users (and dropping quickly due to hardware upgrades) are still using ANT+, and between the effort to maintain technology and the rapidly declining usage, we have made the tough decision.

ANT+

ANT+ is one of the initial platforms Fitdigits used to connect with heart rate monitors and other sensors, using an ANT+ Adapter plugged in to the 30-pin adapter on the bottom of an iPhone to receive real time stats. ANT+ was the best technology available at the time, and Fitdigits was excited to use this technology to allow users to track heart rate right on their iPhone.

Introduction of Bluetooth Low Energy

However, technology moves fast. What was viewed as innovative and groundbreaking just a few short years ago can quickly become an outdated fossil of the past. This was the case for ANT+ in October of 2011, when the iPhone 4s was released.

The iPhone 4s featured Bluetooth Low Energy technology built right into the device, allowing for easy pairing of Bluetooth Low Energy health and fitness sensors such as the Polar H7. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is a far superior platform to ANT+, for three main reasons:

  1. ANT+ has a range of only 8-12 feet from your iPhone, while BLE has a range of over 100 ft
  2. BLE does not require an adapter plugged into the bottom of your iPhone
  3. A more consistent and reliable signal, with less dropouts and variability

So naturally, with Bluetooth Low Energy now standard in all new phones, developers left the ANT+ platform behind and focused on developing sensors that use BLE. This was amplified when the iPhone 5 was released in September of 2012 with the new lightning port, making the 30-pin ANT+ Adapter more or less obsolete and ANT+ connection burdensome.

The writing was on the wall for ANT+ on the iPhone.

The End of ANT+ on iPhones

Fast forward 2 years to iOS 8 and the iPhone 6. During our initial testing of the iOS 8 beta, we found that ANT+ connection was no longer working at all. As each beta version of the new operating system was released we hoped something would be altered to make our handling of ANT+ still functional, but no such change ever came.

After some digging by our development team, it was determined that it would take a considerable amount of time to get ANT+ working in Fitdigits on iOS 8 devices, so it was time to look at our user base and determine what we should do next.

Since iOS 8 is only available for iPhone 4s and above, and the iPhone 5 has the lightning port, we determined that only iPhone 4s users that use ANT+ would be impacted. All told, less then 2% of all users, and less than 3% of all workouts recorded by Fitdigits users each month have an ANT+ sensor active. That number continues to fall, even on iOS 7.

With this in mind, we have decided to no longer offer ANT+ sensor compatibility in the upcoming iOS 8 versions of Fitdigits. This decision comes with a heavy heart, as our ANT+ users constitute some of our oldest and most dedicated customers. We value these users and all they have done to support Fitdigits throughout the years, but it is time to move on from ANT+ and look to the future.

Upgrade to Bluetooth Low Energy

Fitdigits is compatible with a variety of other BLE sensors.

Stronger and Smarter Workouts With Fitdigits

Susan has been Spinning® with Fitdigits Ambassador and Spinning Instructor Giovanni Masi for over a year.

Since Gio has started to help her in her running training using Fitdigits to track Heart Rate, Susan has recorded Personal Bests on runs on a near weekly basis! She never thought she could break the 12 min mile mark, but with the help of her trainer, the Fitdigits app and a Heart Rate Monitor, she has left that time in the dust. Also gathering dust is her old Garmin Watch.

Suffice to say, Susan thinks Fitdigits is pretty splendid:

“I have so far logged 88 running and Spinning workouts with Fitdigits. Fitdigits’s visual displays allow me to compare one workout to another, which has facilitated improvement in performance, recovery and endurance. Over the past four months Fitdigits has taught me to control my heart rate in such a way as to become more efficient in both running and Spinning®. For example, the first run I logged on Fitdigits was October 10, 2012 with a pace average of 12:04, which was pretty much the norm for me. Later on a similar run I logged a pace average of 10:34, which is a time I never thought I would see! This is a remarkable feat and attributable to the skills learned from using Fitdigits and Giovanni’s training advices/plans on a regular basis. Taking more than 1.5 minutes off my pace has inspired me to keep trying to run faster and stronger.

During spinning classes, Fitdigits has taught me to control my heart rate with resistance and breath. It has truly empowered me with the confidence and strength with which to challenge myself to become a stronger and smarter rider. It appears as though the strength gained from using Fitdigits regularly has spilled over into general fitness classes and personal training at the Y and at L.A. Fitness. Now, using Fitdigits in those classes will help me to improve my performance there as well.

Overall, I would say that the gains from using Fitdigits have been great. Just by monitoring my heart rate and learning how to control it, my level of fitness has improved remarkably. Since I spend an average of nine hours a week engaged in physical activity, this is a big deal. Thank you Fitdigits!”

Now that Susan has made such great gains, the next step is taking a Fitness Assessment so she can truly see her gains in her fitness level.

Linking Fitdigits & Our Partners

In Fitdigits we partner with many great health and fitness solutions. From our partner section (Menu > Partners), you can link accounts to share information across portals.

We group partners into Daily Activity & Steps Platforms, such as Fitbit, Google Fit or Apple Health, Nutrition, such as MyFitnessPal or Lose It! (iOS only), and workout sharing partners that we will post workouts to their portal, such as RunKeeper or TrainingPeaks.

For Daily Activity platforms, we can post activities recorded by the app to them, and/or read their data to our portal / apps.

You can link multiple platforms and we will post to each, but you are limited to only one Preferred Partner that we will read and display their activity data such as steps, active / sedentary calories, and other metrics depending on the provider. You can change your Preferred Partner in your Partners section on the web or in-app (Menu > Partners).

 

Daily Activity Platforms

Apple Health

Link your app with Apple Health, and Fitdigits will be granted access to any of the data you approve during the linking process. This could include metrics like reading from them calories, steps, daily activity metrics, etc., and writing to equivalent areas in Apple Health with Fitdigits data recorded within our app.

Fitbit
Link your Fitdigits account with your Fitbit account, and Fitdigits will automatically receive your caloric burn totals based on your Fitbit daily activity. You can find this information in the apps under (Home) Menu > Health > Steps, or on my.fitdigits.com on the dashboard and in Health > Daily Activity.

Fitdigits will also send all Fitdigits workouts to Fitbit so the calories are included in your Fitbit daily total. For more information on the interaction between Fitbit and Fitdigits calories, read here.

Please note we are not compatible with Heart Rate on HR bands (see more).

Garmin Vivofit
When you link your Garmin account to Fitdigits, we will receive your Vivofit steps and other data with our portal. Please note this now includes Garmin watches and other Garmin Connect compatibility, including basic workout information.

Google Fit
When you link your Google Fit app to Fitdigits, we will receive your steps and othe supported data. Please note we aren’t sharing TO Google Fit at this time, but we plan to have more integration soon!

Misfit
When you link your Misfit account to Fitdigits,we will receive your Misfit steps and other data with our portal.

Withings
When you link your Withings account to Fitdigits, the next time you sync the app (Results -> Sync) all of your Withings steps, weight entries and blood pressure data will be automatically updated.

 

Nutrition

MyFitnessPal
When you link your Fitdigits account with MyFitnessPal, the calories burned during your Fitdigits workouts will be automatically sent to MyFitnessPal. No button pushing required! Just sign in and get accurate calories total added to your MyFitnessPal daily allowance.

 

Workout Sharing

TrainingPeaks
Share all of your workouts to TrainingPeaks. Log in here, and after completing a workout share to TrainingPeaks using the “Share button” on the results page.

Strava
Share all of your workouts to Strava. Log in here, and after completing a workout share to Strava using the “Share button” on the results page.

RunKeeper
Sign in to RunKeeper with your username and password, and now you can share your workouts to runkeeper.com with the tap of a button under results.

Dailymile
Sign in to Dailymile with your username and password, and now you can share your workouts to dailymile.com with the tap of a button under results.

 

Fitdigits and Marathon Training

Testimonial from Fitdigits User – Robert C.

I have been using Fitdigits with a Garmin heart rate monitor and foot pod on my iPod touch for 6 months while in training to complete a marathon. Fitdigits gives me heart rate, pace, distance and a map of my run.

I am 60 years old and have not trained seriously for 20 years. My training goals are to follow a prescribed training plan of increasing weekly mileage to push my endurance without a “deal breaking” injury. So far, Fitdigits has been a great help in achieving my non-injury/endurance goal while giving me a side benefit of making my runs more enjoyable.

Fitdigits heart monitor helps me smooth out my workouts by allowing me to continually monitor my heart to self reduce both the rate and variability. By staying calm with controlled breathing, I can lower my heart rate (about six beats per minute) which reduces the effort as I cover more miles. This I believe has helped both avoid injury and improve recovery time from the predictable aches and pains.

Also, my workouts have become more enjoyable because I no longer watching the clock. Now I am tracking my heart rate against distance and continually making the workout a better experience by staying “smooth.”

Another related benefit is the ability to share my workout summaries with my doctor in my physical exams. He avidly supports my efforts and is delighted to see that my heart is strong.

I will continue to use this tool as I move beyond the marathon training.  I believe its uses and benefits will only increase for me.

I recommend Fitdigits for other Baby Boomers who are active and want to improve their physical stamina.

-Robert C., Fitdigits User
(Waukesha, WI)

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