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One issue I could see with Zwift having to do this is that the data would need to be temporarily stored (or a more permanent space) to a temp table. My gut tells me that Zwift does not want to get into the business being a data repository of sorts. I
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... when you press this chrono a extra screen would be display (as in workout mode), displaying avg power/NP / HR....
You would press LAP button,
and STOP to finish the chrono mode.
Of course, (start/stop would not lead to start/finish a new fit file, but only to introduce laps).
and what about IF?
what about not needing to re-start the sw to change of route?
To be fair, they claim they scrapped it because with their rapid growth the new UI they were building wasn't actually good enough for what they really needed, not because they don't care. Reading between the lines, I think basically they are starting over with a more extensive rebuild.
I'm no expert on this stuff but I gather that Zwift is a hobby project that blew up and the technology underlying it is really holding them back and a good part of the reason some of these obvious fixes haven't been implemented.
At this point, with $450M in the bank, expectations are now very high and if they don't eventually fix the UI problems and bugginess there's going to be a lot of dissatisfaction. But even with the various issues, Zwift has critical mass and a huge community, and that fact alone means they will probably be the dominant player in the virtual cycling world for the foreseeable future.
As for metrics, we use our regular bike computers with Zwift, which allows display of power metrics and so forth, but for that to be useful you need a power meter on your bike that you're using as the power source, and a speed sensor if you're using a wheel-on trainer. And of course the speed sensor doesn't work with direct drive trainers, but personally I don't care about virtual speed, I only care about the power. You also lose the virtual elevation data which is helpful when viewing your ride file.
Really what Zwift needs is a heads up display that you can customize similar to a bike computer and of course a lap button would be a no brainer. Hopefully that will eventually be coming as I think a lot of us care about things like that more than virtual pro racing, etc.