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Garmin Connect IQ app store guide – The Best apps for your Garmin device

Everything you need to know about the Garmin Connect IQ app store

If you own a Garmin device whether that’s the Fenix 5, the newly released Forerunner 645 or a Garmin cycling computer like the Edge 1030 then you are probably asking which are the best Garmin Connect IQ apps? In this Garmin Connect IQ app store guide, I will take you through how to use Connect IQ app store and the best Garmin Connect IQ apps for your Garmin Device.

The Garmin Connect IQ store was launched several years ago and whilst it made a slow start, things have picked up and the Connect IQ store as some quality apps ranging from fitness apps, watch faces, and smart home apps like you would find on smartwatch like the Apple Watch.

Best Garmin Connect IQ apps

With the introduction out of the way, read on to discover everything about the Garmin Connect IQ app store along with the best apps for your Garmin fitness watch or Garmin Edge cycling computer

Best Garmin Connect IQ Watch facesBest watch faces for your Garmin fitness watch

Which Garmin watches & cycling computers use Connect IQ?

 

Garmin Connect IQ compatible devicesLet’s start with the devices you can actually use with Garmin Connect IQ, which includes sports watches, smartwatches and cycling computers. There are now more than 20 devices that are Connect IQ ready.The Garmin Connect IQ supported list includes:

  • Garmin Fenix series – Fenix 5, Fenix 5S, Fenix 5X, Fenix 3, Fenix 3HR, Fenix Chronos,
  • Garmin Forerunner series – FR230, FR235, FR630, FR935, FR735XT FR920XT FR935 and the FR645.
  • Vivoactive series – Vivoactive, Vivoactive HR and Vivoactive 3
  • Garmin Edge cycling computers – Edge 520,  Edge 820, Edge 1000,  Edge 1030, Edge Explore 1000 and Edge Explore 820
  • Quatix 5, Epix and Oregon and the Decent Mk1
  • D2 Bravo, D2 Bravo Titanium and D2 Charlie

In the main, Garmin has only included support for Connect IQ in the higher end fitness watches, cycling computers and devices as you will see devices like the Vivosmart 3 and the Vivofit 4 are excluded, but if I am honest I cant see how they would benefit given the screen sizes to run and view apps.

The Garmin Connect IQ device support is pretty vast as you will see from the range of Garmin devices supported. One thing to note though, whilst the list of Garmin devices that support the Connect IQ app store, not all apps will work on every device. So, for instance, a Garmin Edge cycling computer will not be able to run a watch face like GearMin.

What can you download from Garmin Connect app store

Download Garmin Connect IQ apps

The Connect IQ store is split up into sections as you find with any other App store for easy browsing of the available apps. All the apps are free to download to your Garmin device, however, some of the require an additional fee to unlock advanced or premium app features.

So the sections that Garmin Connect IQ app store as are;

Apps

Apps in the Garmin Connect IQ store are downloaded and stored on your watch in the same way you would download apps to a smartphone or a smartwatch. However, as I said the process of installing is a little clunky if you used to smooth app installation of an iPhone for instance. The Apps found in the Garmin connect app store range from fitness apps that are similar to the native fitness apps shipped with your Garmin device. Other apps include social apps, smart home and many others.

Garmin fitness watch alternative: Checkout the Amazfit Stratos review

Widgets

Widgets display information from other apps, data from your smartphone or from information stored on your device, for instance, the “my day widget” which shows your activity throughout the day. Other widgets available from third-party developers are apps like weather, smart home apps and multi-time zone.

Garmin Watch Faces

The Garmin watch faces section in the Connect IQ store contains a collection of watch faces that will work with your Garmin fitness watch. If you find yourself bored with the watch face that shipped with your Garmin sports watch then you might want to swop it out for a batman inspire watch face or a simple watch face with no frills depending on your mood and taste.

Best Garmin Connect IQ Watch facesBest watch faces for your Garmin fitness watch

Data fields

Garmin devices are highly customisable and one of the ways is by presenting different data via data fields. Within the Garmin Connect app store, you can download data fields that can be added to fitness apps to display custom workout data. An example of this of this is displaying Strava Live Suffer score on a Garmin Edge computer. The data field apps on the Garmin Connect IQ store offer in my view offer a really powerful way to add to an existing fitness app.

Music & More

The music & more section in the Garmin Connect IQ store is a new section and at the moment does not have any apps listed. I suspect it’s for the new Forerunner 645 with music that will be available to customers March 2018. Once the Music & More section is updated, this guide will be updated with the latest Garmin Connect apps for music.

How to download from Garmin Connect IQ

Garmin Connect IQ apps

First up, you will need a Garmin Connect account and then there are three ways to access IQ apps.

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The first being using Garmin Connect Mobile available on iOS and Andriod. Within the GCM app, you have the option to access the Connect IQ app store and then sync them wirelessly via Bluetooth to your compatible Garmin watch.

The 2nd option to Garmin Connect IQ store is via a laptop with Garmin Express installed which is available for PC and MacOS. You need to download Garmin Express and then plug your Garmin device via the supplied USB cable. Whilst doing it this way ties you to a computer and is not as streamlined as using Garmin Connect Mobile, you do have the benefit of making sure everything is up to software wise.

MUST READ  Top 5 Garmin Fenix 5 watch faces from Garmin Connect

You can also navigate to the Garmin Connect IQ store from here to search for things you’d like to download.

Updating apps on Garmin Connect IQ

Updating apps on your Garmin device downloaded from Garmin Connect IQ store is not as streamlined as found in other app stores. Whilst downloaded the app for the first time is via the Connect IQ store, you actually update the apps under the manage device section, choose the device and then Activities and app management.

I would recommend that you check frequently for an app update, as Garmin does not alert you an update is available and if you leave it to long an app could break due to the capability between the latest version of Connect IQ and the app you have installed.

Customising settings on a Garmin Connect IQ app

Once you have the Garmin app downloaded some of the apps have settings that can be customised. I often get questions from readers asking how to customise apps or watch faces downloaded from the connect app store as this part is a little confusing.

To customise an app you do this via Garmin Connect Mobile. The location of the settings for each app us under Garmin devices, device name, activities and app management. Once you have navigated to the app management you choose your app you want to customise and then go from there

The best Garmin Connect IQ apps for Garmin fitness watch

Now you know all about the Garmin Connect IQ store, let’s get down to which is the best Garmin Connect IQ apps for your Garmin fitness watch. The

Running App Professional – Best Garmin Connect IQ app for running

Best Garmin Connect IQ app runningThe Running App Professional supports you in improving your running performance by tracking the most important parameters like distance, speed, pace and time with high sensitivity GPS. Additionally, ANT+™ compatible sensors for heart rate, foot pod and temperature monitoring are supported.

  • App type: Application
  • App use: Running
  • Compatible Garmin watches: Fenix 5 series, Fenix 3 series, Vivoactive HR/Vivoactive 3, Forerunner 735XT, 935 and the Forerunner 645 and the Descent Mk1

Download Running App Professional Connect IQ app

Running Power – Best Garmin Connect IQ apps for running power

Best Garmin Connect IQ app running power

Garmin recently launched added running with power to selected Garmin fitness watches. For those that are used to training with power whilst cycling will appreciate the benefits that training with power has. In order to use Running power, you will need an HRM Tri, HRM-Run or Running dynamics pod.

  • App type: Data field
  • App use: Running
  • Compatible Garmin watches: Fenix 5 series, Forerunner, 935 and the Forerunner 645 and the Fenix Chronos

Download Running power Connect IQ app

Beep Test – Best Garmin Connect IQ apps for fitness

Best Garmin Connect IQ app fitnessThe Beep test is also known as the bleep test, 20-meter shuttle run test or the multi-stage fitness test, and is a common fitness test used to measure the aerobic fitness of an athlete. Good way to test your fitness, but its a hard workoutApp type: Application

  • App use: Fitness
  • Compatible Garmin watches: Fenix 5 series, Fenix 3 series, Vivoactive HR/Vivoactive 3, Forerunner 735XT, 935 and the Forerunner 645 and the Descent Mk1

Download Beeb Test Connect IQ app

Maps r.485 – Best Garmin Connect IQ apps for map

Best Garmin Connect IQ apps mapsThe app brings Google Maps and Google Directions on your Garmin watch and features a Mobile app to create more complex routes which you can also export GPX to use with other services like Strava or Garmin Connect route planning. You can also Configure the data screens to suit your preference.

  • App type: Application
  • App use: Hiking
  • Compatible Garmin watches: Fenix 5 series, Fenix 3 series, Vivoactive HR/Vivoactive 3, Forerunner 735XT, 935 and the Forerunner 645

Download Maps r.485 Connect IQ app

7-Minute Workout – Best Garmin Connect IQ app for workout

Best Garmin Connect IQ apps workout

For HIIT lovers, 7-Minute Workout takes you through a series of exercises to get the heart pumping including jumping jacks and push-ups, factoring in rest times and displaying real-time heart rate data. The UI looks great and it’ll help you mix up that training when you’re struggling to put aside time.

  • App type: Application
  • App use: workout
  • Compatible Garmin watches: Fenix 5 series, Fenix 3 series, Vivoactive HR/Vivoactive 3, Forerunner 735XT, 935 and the Forerunner 645 and the Descent Mk1

Download 7-Minute Workout Connect IQ app

Hike2 – Best Garmin Connect IQ app for hiking

Best Garmin Connect IQ app hikingHike2 features in the Best Garmin Connect IQ apps before I used the original Hike application and love the new version. The app offers tons of features from altitude and headings, as well as standard distance and time tracking.

  • App type: Application
  • App use: Hiking
  • Compatible Garmin watches: Fenix 5 series, Fenix 3 series, Vivoactive HR/Vivoactive 3, Forerunner 735XT, 935 and the Forerunner 645 and the Descent Mk1
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Download Hike2 Connect IQ app

Uber ETA – Best Garmin Connect IQ app for travel

Best Garmin Connect IQ app travel

Uber ETA is an app developed by Garmin to check the status of a booked Uber. It gives you like ETA, the name of the driver and the reg plate on your wrist without having to make your phone out of your pocket.

  • App type: Application
  • App use: Travel
  • Compatible Garmin watches: Fenix 5 series, Fenix 3 series, Vivoactive HR/Vivoactive 3, Forerunner 735XT, 935 and the Forerunner 645

Download Uber ETA Connect IQ app

Swimming App Professional – Best Garmin Connect IQ app for swimming

Best Garmin Connect IQ app swimmingThe Swimming App Professional currently focuses on open water swimming and shows you key parameters like speed, pace, distance, etc. with high sensitivity GPS. Additionally, an ANT+™ compatible sensor for heart rate and temperature monitoring is supportedApp type: Application

  • App use: Swimming
  • Compatible Garmin watches: Fenix 5 series, Fenix 3 series, Vivoactive HR/Vivoactive , Forerunner 735XT, 935

Download Uber ETA Connect IQ app

The best Garmin Connect IQ apps for Garmin Edge cycling computer’s

Now you have seen the Best apps for Garmin Sports watches, lets now talk about the best Garmin Connect IQ apps for your Garmin Edge cycling computer

Strava Live Suffer Score – Best Garmin Connect IQ app for cycling data

Best Garmin Connect IQ app cycling

Strava is one of our favourite fitness platforms and it’s great that Garmin has been open to integrating aspects of the service into its devices. The Suffer Score Connect IQ app shows a live reading of how hard you’re working on your device’s HR monitor, helping Strava users ensure they’re getting the maximum from their session.

  • App type: Data field
  • App use: Cycling
  • Compatible Edge devices: Edge 520,  Edge 820, Edge 1000,  Edge 1030, Edge Explore 1000 and Edge Explore 820
  • Compatible Garmin watches: Fenix 5 series, Forerunner 735XT, 935 and the Forerunner 645 and the Descent Mk1
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Download Strava Live Suffer Score Connect IQ app

Strava Routes – Best Garmin Connect IQ app for cycling

Best Garmin Connect IQ app routesStrava route app was introduced back in 2017 along with the Edge 1030. The Stava routes app allows you to download routes that you have saved on your Strava account and then follow it on your Edge or selected Garmin watch. The app will also warn you if you go off route.

  • App type: Data field
  • App use: Cycling
  • Compatible Edge devices: Edge 520,  Edge 820, Edge 1000,  Edge 1030, Edge Explore 1000 and Edge Explore 820
  • Compatible Garmin watches: Fenix 5 series, Fenix Chronos, Fenix 3 series, Vivoactive HR/Vivoactive 3, Forerunner 735XT, 935 and the Forerunner 645, Descent Mk1, D2 Bravo, Approach S60

Download Strava Routes Connect IQ app

Cycling Dynamics – Best Garmin Connect IQ app for power meter

Best Garmin Connect IQ app cycling power

Garmin cycling dynamics is preloaded with compatible Garmin Edge devices and is a data field I use all the time when I am out cycling, especially when I am training with power and following a training plan. In order to use cycling dynamics you will need to use Garmin’s Vector power meters, so if you have them along with an Edge head unit you are good to go.

  • App type: Data field
  • App use: Cycling
  • Compatible Edge devices: Edge 520,  Edge 820, Edge 1000,  Edge 1030, Edge Explore 1000 and Edge Explore 820

Drinkfield – Best Garmin Connect IQ app for fun

Best Garmin Connect IQ app fun

If you want to have a little fun whilst cycling you can download this data field and see how many beers or alcoholic drinks you have burnt throughout the ride. Drinkfield is a great little data field and always useful to see how many beers you could drink following a good ride

  • App type: Data field
  • App use: Cycling
  • Compatible Edge devices: Edge 520,  Edge 820, Edge 1000,  Edge 1030, Edge Explore 1000 and Edge Explore 820
  • Compatible Garmin watches: Fenix 5 series, Fenix Chronos, Fenix 3 series, Vivoactive HR/Vivoactive 3, Forerunner 735XT, 935 and the Forerunner 645, Descent Mk1, D2 Bravo, Approach S60

Download Drinkfield Connect IQ app

Garmin Connect IQ app store opinion

In the main its pretty good with some good developers offering some quality apps for your Garmin device. As with any App store you will some crap and the Connect IQ store is no different, so you need to choose wisely and test out the apps that work for your Garmin. Garmin could improve the installation experience and make it clearer on how to edit the apps once you have them on the device as sometimes it’s a bit clunky. It’s going to be particularly interesting to see what developers do with the music section of the Connect IQ store.

If you have a question or a comment about the Garmin Connect IQ app store or you have an app that you like then leave it in the comments section below for others to see. If you want to subscribe to our mailing list for the latest from Active JR

Get involved in the debate, leave a comment or as a question

7 COMMENTS

  1. There is also something quite new – Navmin. It’s application for Androud + ConnectIQ application and/or widget for Garmin. https://apps.garmin.com/en/search?q=navmin&device=&deviceLimit=&appType=&sort=&start=0&count=30 It’s allow to create routes directly on mobile and get it from Garmin. Additional it allow to import and edit GPX/TCX files, and offer “back to home” option, which generate route “to home address” directly from Garmin device (connection with Android application is required)

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Jon Ratcliffe
I am Jon R and the editor of Active JR that covers wearables, fitness tech and smart home. I have a huge passion for technology having worked in the sector for over 18 years in a variety of roles and I like combining this with fitness.My reviews and information will talk about how the product works in reality and not just what the marketing departments want you to think.You can contact Jon on Twitter @ActiveJR1

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