Sports tracker: 1004 hours tracked across multiple devices over the years.

For years now I have been tracking my sports activities with sports tracker on a variety of mobile phones, dive computers and sports tracking watches. I have gone canyoning, hiking, swimming, skiing, snowboarding, climbing, to do via ferrata, explored caves and trained indoors. In that time I have not had too many injuries and I have taken hundreds, if not thousands of photographs.

1000hrs with sports tracker
I have tracked more than 1000 hours

These activities have been in France, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, England, Poland and maybe in or two countries that I have forgotten about.

Sports tracking has progressed enormously since I started tracking activities. In the beginning I was using the N95 8gb and the battery lasted for about an hour. I then switched to various iphones and android devices before deciding that mobile phones were crap. That’s when I moved over to the Suunto Ambit 2 and later Suunto Ambit 3 devices. Since then I have been very happy tracking my physical activities.

One key step was when Suunto and Sports tracker decided to share data between their services. At this moment I could track with the Suunto Ambit 3 and share to Sports tracker without four or six steps per activity. Since then the service has been reliable.



Suunto and Sports tracker collaborate.

I have been using sports tracker for years. I first used it on the Nokia N95 8GB several years ago. This was an excellent app that allowed you to track your moves using the mobile phone as a GPS. The limitation of such an app was battery life on mobile phones. The battery usually did not last more than an hour at first and eventually progressed to two hours or more.

The first Suunto Device I used was for diving. I used the Suunto D9 dive computer for many months before upgrading. As I satisfied with this device I bought the Suunto Ambit 2 and eventually the Suunto Ambit 3. The reason for buying these watches is battery life. As normal watches they can last for 100 days, losing about one percent a day. If you use them as fitness watches then they easily last for a day or more.

When you’re doing via Ferrata, hiking, cycling or doing other sports you want the device you use to track your fitness efforts for as long as you’re going. That’s where Sports trackers and other mobile phones had their weakness. Mobile phone apps sometimes crash. If you’re pushing yourself hard during a workout you do not want to reach the end of a workout with no data.

Another frustration I often encountered was with Movescount, Suunto’s social sports app. At the end of quite a few workouts, I was unable to sync my workout data and analyse my progress. At the time,

I wanted to see Suunto and Sports tracker combined. They’re both Finnish companies and they both excel at specific tasks. Suunto for the hardware and Sports tracker for the analytics. By combining the two we have the best of both worlds.

Communications between Movescount and Sports tracker has been available for several weeks at this point and it works flawlessly. I have hiked, cycled, walked, sailed and climbed and each activity has synced without problems.

Amersports and Sports tracker

Today Amer Sports announced that it has bought Sports tracker. Sports Tracker is an application that I have been using since I had the Nokia N95 8GB. I used it on symbian, iOS and Android devices over the years. What I love about this app is the way it displays information about the work out. It gives you several screens while you are exercising with the option to select which information you want to see most.

Once you arrive home and synchronise the workout with the web interface you can see the information displayed above. You can choose whether there is a topographic map, a normal map or satellite imagery. It is simple and intuitive to read.

Suunto make devices that I like using. I have used the Suunto D9 diving computer, the Suunto D4i diving computer, the Suunto Ambit 2 and the Suunto Ambit3. Suunto dive computers are small diving computers that you can wear in day to day life. When you are passionate about diving this is nice.

The Suunto Ambit family are more interesting for people who do land based sports. I used the Suunto Ambit 2 and 3 when doing via ferrata, hiking, cycling and other sports. The advantage of these fitness watches is that they have long battery life. This means that you can be active for two or three days before worrying about the battery dying. In this respect they are far better than mobile phones for fitness activity tracking.

Suunto products and Sports tracker do not communicate natively. Suunto products synchronise with movescount. From movescount you need to export the GPX workout files and import them to Sports tracker. I would like to see Suunto devices communicate directly with Sports tracker. In my eyes the best option would have been for Sports tracker to buy movescount and for them to take over the web interface for Suunto. They both provide interesting web interfaces and combining the two would have been mutually beneficial.

Time will show whether Amer Sports with links to sports tracker, precor and Suunto will come out with an interesting amalgamation of the three products/services. I look forward to finding out.


Sports tracker on the N95

It’s fun to walk fast and far, especially in the countryside where there are fewer people to avoid. I often walk for fourty minutes to an hour at the end of the day to think about the day and process all that’s happened. Recently though I realised one of the shorter walks is almost 3000 steps thanks to the N95 pedometer.

That’s because with the N95 you have a built in GPS and the ability to download applications. One of these is the sports tracker that allows you to track a number of variables across four to six screens. There’s the map view, map view with relevant details, co-ordinate view, speed view, pedometer and then three or four graphs, some for time in relation to speed, distance over time and height in relation to speed.

You can zoom in and out of the graphs as you’re walking. If you do this more than once it creates a series of tracks that you can easily translate to KML and importe to Google Earth so the world can see your walks. Of course keeping your privacy from some people may be desirable.

It’s a fun little addition to the n95 although the biggest drawback is you need to have it out in front of you to keep track of the satellites.