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What is the point of WiFi?
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I might be missing something. But assuming you’ve joined the smartphone age what is the point of WiFi on GPS watches? As I’m weighing the options of which watch to buy some have WiFi some do not.

I’ve measured (not accurately but does it matter in this case?) by counting and it is consistently about 20 seconds from the time I open my garmin connect app and my watch syncs. And that’s when I have to actively sync it. If I get way behind and have to syce like 12 workouts it takes a few minutes. Sometimes it just syncs by itself and it’s done before I’m even cooled down or caught my breath.

Is there a feature that WiFi offers normal BLE just does not? If it’s a matter of seconds have we gotten that impatient? Or is it a some people don’t have BLE deal?

I still lapped everyone on the couch!
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Re: What is the point of WiFi? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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Jloewe wrote:
I might be missing something. But assuming you’ve joined the smartphone age what is the point of WiFi on GPS watches? As I’m weighing the options of which watch to buy some have WiFi some do not.

I’ve measured (not accurately but does it matter in this case?) by counting and it is consistently about 20 seconds from the time I open my garmin connect app and my watch syncs. And that’s when I have to actively sync it. If I get way behind and have to syce like 12 workouts it takes a few minutes. Sometimes it just syncs by itself and it’s done before I’m even cooled down or caught my breath.

Is there a feature that WiFi offers normal BLE just does not? If it’s a matter of seconds have we gotten that impatient? Or is it a some people don’t have BLE deal?

Assuming Bluetooth assumes a user will be pairing a device to a phone versus a laptop/desktop. Not all laptops/desktops have Bluetooth.

If you aren't pairing it to a phone for uploads of data, then you're stuck with a physical cable.

Not all countries are like the US and Europe with super data coverage everywhere to utilize a phone with Bluetooth as the upload mechanism.

Having wifi means that the person doesn't have to crack out a cable and boot up a program on a computer just to upload the workouts.

It would do it automatically over the wifi connection.

So, there you go..........it's actually saving some subset of users many minutes of interaction every workout. I had 260 activities or so in 2018. That would have been up to 1000 minutes of just plugging in a cable, open program, uploading if I lived in some part of Mexico or something.

How many minutes in a day? 1440? That's saving almost an entire DAY of your life per year.

If we're talking the 20 seconds up above you pose, even that would be 90 minutes of your life per year waiting on crap.

People take their lives into their own hands and others lives to run red lights to save a light cycle on a commute.
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Re: What is the point of WiFi? [burnthesheep] [ In reply to ]
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I guess that mostly answers my question. As I do live in the US and it doesn’t seem to save me any real time. Usually I sync while I’m at work or walking up the stairs from the trainer. Or in the shower. And again sometimes it does do it automatically, which my dumb ass could figure that one out. So for me it’s not really worth the extra money for WiFi if a watch doesn’t have it and the upgrade does.

I still lapped everyone on the couch!
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Re: What is the point of WiFi? [burnthesheep] [ In reply to ]
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That brings up another question though. Is there an advantage I’m not aware of to not paring your device to your phone? Again assuming a fiscally stable person in the US or Canada. I’m behind the times with an iPhone 7. From today forward I couldn’t imagine ever being in a situation where I wouldn’t pair my watch to my phone. In fact that’s one of the reasons I have this watch for its mobile updates.

I still lapped everyone on the couch!
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Re: What is the point of WiFi? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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My Garmin watch came with Wifi. I didn't buy it because of the wifi but it has proved helpfull. When i go for a run, my data is instantly uploaded as soon as i walk through the door of my home afyer the run. I don't need to get my phone of laptop or anything. I usualy don't have my phone with me when i go running or swimming.

In other words, the wifi is nice to have in some situations but i could live without it. If i have my phone nearby it uploads just as fast with the bluetooth. I don't ever use a cable. I cable connect it to the laptop once a year to update the firmware.
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Re: What is the point of WiFi? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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Jloewe wrote:
That brings up another question though. Is there an advantage I’m not aware of to not paring your device to your phone? Again assuming a fiscally stable person in the US or Canada. I’m behind the times with an iPhone 7. From today forward I couldn’t imagine ever being in a situation where I wouldn’t pair my watch to my phone. In fact that’s one of the reasons I have this watch for its mobile updates.

security and/or privacy concerns ?

i don't have a smartphone and do not know much about them, so am just guessing.

cabling my watch to a computer takes very little time in my world :-)

run well, run happy
george
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Re: What is the point of WiFi? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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Jloewe wrote:
That brings up another question though. Is there an advantage I’m not aware of to not paring your device to your phone? Again assuming a fiscally stable person in the US or Canada. I’m behind the times with an iPhone 7. From today forward I couldn’t imagine ever being in a situation where I wouldn’t pair my watch to my phone. In fact that’s one of the reasons I have this watch for its mobile updates.

Pairing your gps watch to your phone using bluetooth drains the battery of your phone. How much depends on the type of phone. I recently got e new phone. With my old phone battery was gone using bluetooth in half a day. With the new phone the battery lasts much longer.
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Re: What is the point of WiFi? [burnthesheep] [ In reply to ]
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burnthesheep wrote:
.

Not all countries are like the US and Europe with super data coverage everywhere to utilize a phone with Bluetooth as the upload mechanism.

Just the opposite. It's generally assumed that countries outside of Europe and NA have leapfrogged over laying cables and depend on wireless internet. Exceptions etc etc, but it's rarer to have cable internet the way most do in the US with Comcast.

To the OP, I've always wondered this as well. I'm not a wireless networking expert, but in broad strokes my experience has been that WiFi offers faster on demand data transmission but with WPS, etc BLE had more reliable connectivity and significantly lower battery life.
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Re: What is the point of WiFi? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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Jloewe wrote:
I might be missing something. But assuming you’ve joined the smartphone age what is the point of WiFi on GPS watches? As I’m weighing the options of which watch to buy some have WiFi some do not.

I’ve measured (not accurately but does it matter in this case?) by counting and it is consistently about 20 seconds from the time I open my garmin connect app and my watch syncs. And that’s when I have to actively sync it. If I get way behind and have to syce like 12 workouts it takes a few minutes. Sometimes it just syncs by itself and it’s done before I’m even cooled down or caught my breath.

Is there a feature that WiFi offers normal BLE just does not? If it’s a matter of seconds have we gotten that impatient? Or is it a some people don’t have BLE deal?

I'm using an old smartphone that doesn't do apps. Having WiFi on my Garmin 935 enables it to upload to Garmin Connect without using another device as the middleman.
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Re: What is the point of WiFi? [Karl.n] [ In reply to ]
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Ok, so seems to me that it’s more of an individual thing. If you have a modern smart phone that supports apps and has a strong BLE connection other than saving what’s likely a few meaningless seconds it doesn’t seem to have any advantage at all and you’ll likely not notice the difference. However if you don’t have a smart phone or the one you have doesn’t support the proper apps it would be the better option.

WiFi will likely not move the needle for me one day or another as I see personally nothing to gain from it. But for others it might be needed.

I still lapped everyone on the couch!
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Re: What is the point of WiFi? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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Jloewe wrote:
That brings up another question though. Is there an advantage I’m not aware of to not paring your device to your phone? Again assuming a fiscally stable person in the US or Canada. I’m behind the times with an iPhone 7. From today forward I couldn’t imagine ever being in a situation where I wouldn’t pair my watch to my phone. In fact that’s one of the reasons I have this watch for its mobile updates.
You mean for uploading activities or for calls/text notifications etc?
I had notifications enabled for a day or two after I got my 920XT and then disabled it. Utterly irritating.
But I'm not in US or Canada so maybe there's a difference ;)
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Re: What is the point of WiFi? [Ai_1] [ In reply to ]
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Ai_1 wrote:
Jloewe wrote:
That brings up another question though. Is there an advantage I’m not aware of to not paring your device to your phone? Again assuming a fiscally stable person in the US or Canada. I’m behind the times with an iPhone 7. From today forward I couldn’t imagine ever being in a situation where I wouldn’t pair my watch to my phone. In fact that’s one of the reasons I have this watch for its mobile updates.
You mean for uploading activities or for calls/text notifications etc?
I had notifications enabled for a day or two after I got my 920XT and then disabled it. Utterly irritating.
But I'm not in US or Canada so maybe there's a difference ;)

Both really. I will admit I might disable my Facebook notifications but I still like to get text and call notifications on my watch. Plus the uploading is easy peasy lemon squeezy. Half the time (wish I could figure out why it’s not all the time) I finish my ride and it’s uploaded before I even start my car(I live in a traffic heavy area and drive 5 minutes to smooth riding). And that immediately syncs with MFP and training peaks. I also guess I’m the typical American with my phone always on me. Even when I’m swimming. I mean not litteraly but either in my car or locker depending on where I’m swimming. And again boom! Half the time I finish and it just syncs without me doing anything. If it doesn’t, I open the app, put the phone down, and before I even have my undies back on it’s synced and synced to everything.

I still lapped everyone on the couch!
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Re: What is the point of WiFi? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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Jloewe wrote:
That brings up another question though. Is there an advantage I’m not aware of to not paring your device to your phone? Again assuming a fiscally stable person in the US or Canada. I’m behind the times with an iPhone 7. From today forward I couldn’t imagine ever being in a situation where I wouldn’t pair my watch to my phone. In fact that’s one of the reasons I have this watch for its mobile updates.

Battery usage/life.

I generally don't keep the radio turned on the phone unless I plan to use a paired device. Otherwise it's constantly broadcasting/listening and taking up resources/battery.

I think some phones allow you to see usage metrics and I'd bet if left on constantly it would use some amount of power.
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Re: What is the point of WiFi? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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I often ride the trainer in my office with my phone on the charge in the bedroom out of Bluetooth range. It's nice that it will just auto upload. I don't have to go grab the phone and bring it next to the head unit. Same with running watch. Sometimes I'll shut Bluetooth off on the phone and forget it for a while. Don't have to think about it and just let it go through wifi.
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Re: What is the point of WiFi? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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Most of the responses have covered the main aspects.

However, there are some big ticket reasons for WiFi on both Garmin and non-Garmin devices like. For Garmin's wearable lineups, now with music, WiFi allows them do download/cache music from Spotify and such. These services generally don't permit Garmin to store & forward via secondary devices. Meaning, they aren't allowed to funnel it via a PC/Mac to your computer (and Bluetooth doesn't have the bandwidth to handle it). So WiFi is really the only option until direct cellular connectivity (like what the recent Vivoactive 3 Music LTE version does).

Similarly, while Garmin doesn't do anything useful map-wise over WiFi, Wahoo and Sigma do. They allow you to download extra/more detailed map regions via WiFi connections, where again, Bluetooth simply isn't viable for the multi-GB files that are being worked with. If Garmin ever gets onboard with making it as easy as these other companies have to download extra (free) maps, then Garmin might take more advantage of that.


-
My tiny little slice of the internets: dcrainmaker.com
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Re: What is the point of WiFi? [burnthesheep] [ In reply to ]
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burnthesheep wrote:
Jloewe wrote:
That brings up another question though. Is there an advantage I’m not aware of to not paring your device to your phone? Again assuming a fiscally stable person in the US or Canada. I’m behind the times with an iPhone 7. From today forward I couldn’t imagine ever being in a situation where I wouldn’t pair my watch to my phone. In fact that’s one of the reasons I have this watch for its mobile updates.


Battery usage/life.

I generally don't keep the radio turned on the phone unless I plan to use a paired device. Otherwise it's constantly broadcasting/listening and taking up resources/battery.

I think some phones allow you to see usage metrics and I'd bet if left on constantly it would use some amount of power.

The amount of power Bluetooth uses is tiny compared to the screen. I have never noticed any battery drain on my phone caused by my Garmin syncing, although as a disclaimer, I don't sync email notifications, because my watch would be vibrating constantly. To see significant battery drain from Bluetooth, you'd need to be doing something that makes a constant connection, like streaming audio.
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Re: What is the point of WiFi? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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I have the 920 XT . As I get near my house from my run or bike, wifi is already downloading my data. Not always but it’s pretty good. My phone pairs better with both the 520 and the 920 than my iPad. I have text and msg notifications turned on. Nice to know when there’s a weather warning in your area like the tornadoes in Ottawa last fall. I wouldn’t fall over if wifi wasn’t available.
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Re: What is the point of WiFi? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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The Fenix 5x has wifi...I haven't used the wifi setting once.

Rugby Media Dude-earfulofdirt.com

Hooker training for the Sport of Scrum-Halves [Triathlon]
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Re: What is the point of WiFi? [TheStroBro] [ In reply to ]
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I love wifi! You enter your home back from the training session and voila - it goes to TP, Stava within seconds. And all the updates come down via wifi, i never connected my Garmin my PC.
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Re: What is the point of WiFi? [triprem] [ In reply to ]
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well I do the bluetooth connection, so I've never connected my garmin to my computer.

Rugby Media Dude-earfulofdirt.com

Hooker training for the Sport of Scrum-Halves [Triathlon]
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Re: What is the point of WiFi? [TheStroBro] [ In reply to ]
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In my experience bluetooth always has issues - you need to reconnect the device, garmin app doesnt sync, etc. It happened on fenix 3 and so does now on Fenix 5 Plus. Wifi works just seamless. Also battery drain is bigger with BT vs Wifi.
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Re: What is the point of WiFi? [triprem] [ In reply to ]
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I sync only when I wake up and after a workout.

Rugby Media Dude-earfulofdirt.com

Hooker training for the Sport of Scrum-Halves [Triathlon]
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