iPhone, Garmin, Live Tracking

This is a write-up I made for a friend having problems with Garmin Live Tracking on an iPhone. It would get interrupted all the time, and show negative, or tiny percentages, of the real stats, though the map and track would look correct.

iPhone viruses / bugs:
iPhones don’t get generally malware unless they have been jailbroken / hacked.
This can only happen hands-on, and is not currently possible at the current OS version.

Any concerns can be fixed with a reinstall/restore of the phone.
I do this for any major upgrade (iOS 8 to iOS 9), but no more often.

This brings you to latest level, and replaces anything that got messed up.
Takes a couple of hours to finish the restore.

iPhone Restore / Reinstall:
* Back up to iTunes, plugged in is best.
* Disable your pin-code lock from Settings on the phone..
* Do a restore from iTunes.
* Wait for the OS install to finish (15-20 mins)
* Answer the 5 “new phone” questions to get back to the home screen.
* Re-Enable your pin-code lock
* Re-Enroll your fingerprints if you use that
* Wait for iTunes to finish restoring your apps and photos.

    Here is info about the LiveTracking problem specifically:

The stats error:
This is a design issue with the garmin app. They really need to fix it.
Reference: https://forums.garmin.com/archive/index.php/t-329984.html

The stats fix:
Replace the livetrack exercise with an upload of the activity.
* Finish the activity on the device.
* Delete the bad one from the Connect app calendar.
* Sync/Upload from your device.

Stability improvement:
The stability during tracking can be helped with:
* Disable WiFi while livetracking.
* Make sure all other apps are closed while livetracking
* Make sure the phone has been hard rebooted in the last week or two.

General Garmin stuff that *may* help:
* Update the Garmin Connect app from the App Store. Again.
* Update Garmin Express. Mine doesn’t auto-update anymore.
* Update Garmin device firmware. Maybe there is an unreleased version from support?
* Clear off activities every week. You can save the files to dropbox, or upload to Garmin Connect, or both.
* Maybe to a master reset as a last resort.

Master Reset of the Garmin Device
Plug in the USB cable
Copy all of the files off of your device.
Delete activities from the device
Unplug the USB cable
Power off the device of not already off
Hold Lap/Reset and Start/Stop buttons
Press power button
Wait for spash screen showing Garmin brand
Release Lap/Reset and Start/Stop buttons
Wait for power-up
Take outside for a 5-20 minutes so it can get the initial satellite fix.
Power off the device
Plug in USB cable
Copy the settings.fit, totals.fit, and records.fit back to “NewFiles”
Unplug USB
Power on and make sure all of your settings are there.

    Here are the things I have done that have helped my phone be less crashy in general:

#1 Limit what can use GPS in the background.
* Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services -> Purple are running now or in the last few minutes. Grey are in the last day. Disable anything that should not be allowed. Keep garmin, strava, etc.

#2 Limit what can run in the background
* Settings -> General -> Background App Refresh -> Disable anything that should never stay running when not up on the screen. Keep music, maps, chat/messenger, and similar enabled.

#3 Close apps when you’re not using them.
iOS 8 and later seems to have memory control issues. Lots of apps just get killed when they ask for memory, rather than being denied. If you close out everything first, then start the one GPS app, that often helps.

#4 is hard reboot your phone once every week or two.
I find sometimes my phone gets crashy, and only a hard reboot helps:
* close all of the apps running – double-click home, then swipe or close from there
* hold power button and swipe off when prompted
* Power on with both power and home button held down at the same time.
* Keep both buttons held down until the apple logo appears, then disappears again.
* Normal power on with 1 second on power button.

Strava Connect?

I accidentally deleted my upload bookmarks, because in Chrome, “T” means new tab in one context, but delete in the bookmarks context. Really stupid. As in ridiculously stupid. As in, how does the product manager remember to breathe, or not to eat their own faeces, stupid.

Anyway, this precipitated me finding the Strava (strive!) upload link, which now recommends linking to Garmin Connect. Now, Garmin Express magically uploads to all of the places I care about.

On the flip side, it’ll sync before I put in any details about the ride… Meh. Whatever.

Looks like power, hrm, timing, and laps all made it over.

Garmin cycling categories

Under profile Cycling it asks for cycling classification number. What is that?

These are race categories.
* Recreational means someone who doesn’t race.
* Category 5 means new racer.
* Category 4 means you’ve completed 10 mass-start races.
* Category 3 means you earned 20-30 points as a cat-4 racer.
* Category 2 means you earned 30-40 points as a Cat-3 racer.
* Category 1 means you earned 35-50 poings as a Cat-2 racer.

As for “Open Category”, I’m not really sure. It looks like it’s a fuzzy term for elite racers, such as cat 2,1,pro together. It may include Cat 3 racers that were fit enough to compete with them, but didn’t have the points to upgrade yet.

Cat-1 upgrades require the involvement of the regional race coordinator, but lower levels can be done locally.

You can be downgraded after time, but never back to Cat-5.

There are several ways to earn points:
* Attending a USA Cycling education clinics
* Completing a race in the front pack
* Finishing in the top 10 of a race.

Road point values are listed here:

Mountain rankings are 3, 2, 1 and Pro.

Cyclocross rankings are 5-1 for men and 4-1 for women. There are conversion rights into and out of CX if you’re rated in MTB or Road.

Other groups and countries may have minor variances to this, but generally, the numbered categories are roughly equivalent.