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Sunday, January 03, 2016


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Thanks for the great guide to the insane world that is Garmin's unforced error of bad software. One small snag with your description here: the Garmin 910xt connects via the horrific ANT+ system rather than USB, and thus cannot be discovered by Basecamp. That leaves you stuck shuffling .fit files around -- and, so far, I've found no way to successfully transfer waypoints from the 910xt to any software, including the suite of humiliating embarrassments released by Garmin themselves (Basecamp, My Garmin, Garmin Connect, Garmin Express).


hello @lblackmore. all agreed on garmin's general inability to create good software. which makes it even more confusing why they are not more open in their approach: after all, they must realize how much they lag behind in software and services.
but garmin always has been very closed, so as long as there are at least little holes, it's better than nothing.
it's great that the fenix 3 reads GPX, that's some sort of standard. those units that have been locked down further, such as the 910xt and the 920xt, are a bigger problem. afaict, the closed FIT format has no support for waypoints, so there simply is no way how you can get them onto these units in a free and open way.
it's a shame that nobody at garmin seems to understand how much they could gain by being more open. but i've given up hope on that one, and i am simply glad when from time to time, there are little holes in garmin's iron curtain.


@dret A few days ago Garmin and Strava announced a partnership to bring Strava live segments to Garmin Connect. So I think that Garmin fully realize that their software does not compete with Strava's . Let's hope that this is only the first step towards more openness!


Is Suunto any better than Garmin when it comes to openness? I see that Movescount has an option to import GPX as a routes in their route planner:
but I've never tried it.

I've bought a Garmin fenix 3 rather than Suunto Ambit because the fenix 3 is arguably a better watch (I wasn't aware of Garmin limitations at the time). But with the release of the Suunto Spartan, Garmin does not have the hardware advantage anymore. I think that they need to seriously revise their software strategy if they want stay competitive.


@sebastienmaret, definitely let us know should you learn anything interesting about the spartan. from my experience with suunto, their software (the on-device part) is close to being unusable, but from what i've heard they have made quite a bit of progress. i haven't read any experience reports of the spartan yet, and i am curious. the hardware definitely looks as if for the first time they may have something that is on even footing with garmin, but there are many ways in which firmware or software might give that opportunity away. personally, i hope that they get it right, because it would be good to have some competition for garmin.

Loren Starr

I just purchased a Fenix 3 HR and I am dismayed that I cannot create waypoints in for the courses I am creating. It is very easy to do in Movescount and I am thinking I should have stuck with my Suunto Ambit 3. RIght now I would say that Suunto runs circles around the Garmin in terms of navigation.


I'd disagree that the Suunto is better for nav than the F3HR. The F3 can display waypoint text quite happily on the map. The trick is not to use gamin's software to create the GPX. Many other sites can annotate GPX waypoints and the titles will show up on the map screen. Some sites can also embed turn-by-turn directions into the GPX file, and they also work, giving advance notice of when to turn.

In the UK the OS mapping site will generate GPX with labels, as will GPSies.com. Bikeroutetoaster will add in the turn-by-turn information too.

The trick then is to copy the .gpx file onto the garmin directly rather than trying to use Conncet (this is also far easier and more reliable than Connect!) by dropping the file into the hidden

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