Garmin Fenix / Tactix GPS BLE ABC Watch is Great … No Android Support Any Suggestions?
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Thread: Garmin Fenix / Tactix GPS BLE ABC Watch is Great … No Android Support Any Suggestions?

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  1. #1
    Member allout's Avatar
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    Garmin Fenix / Tactix GPS BLE ABC Watch is Great … No Android Support Any Suggestions?

    Given how much has been modded/hackable in the past does it seem likely the Garmin Fenix GPS watch with BLE will be made to communicate and allow notifications from Android phone? The Fenix currently pairs and is compatible with the iPhone. Garmin's position is (paraphrasing) there are too many versions/models of Android. On the later model Android phones is an app all that is needed? It was known going in that there was no support for Android. The watch's features are outstanding as a stand alone watch. It would be "over the top" if someday it would allow for Android notifications.



    I am using a Nexus 4 and the Tactix.

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    Last edited by allout; January 4th, 2014 at 10:01.

  2. #2
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    Re: Garmin Fenix / Tactix GPS BLE ABC Watch is Great … No Android Support Any Suggestions?

    Not many Android phones support BLE. Then there's trying to support all the different hardware/ OS version configurations. It's just too much of a hassle. That why I stopped developing for Android and concentrated on iOS only.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Garmin Fenix / Tactix GPS BLE ABC Watch is Great … No Android Support Any Suggestions?

    A Time to Speculate and Opinionate

    Not looking for a solution as much as attempting to tap into the fast reserve of knowledge and wisdom the internet has created in the unification of us mere mortals to glimpse the future based on past accomplishments (0_0). Seriously, it does seem a bit odd that a watch as powerful and popular as it seems to be has not been whipped into shape and brought to it full potential like displaying Android phone notifications making use of a loud alarm and a great vibration motor.

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  4. #4
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    Garmin Fenix / Tactix GPS BLE ABC Watch is Great … No Android Support Any Sug...

    No speculation or opinion....

    In talking today with the Fenix team, it’s not on the immediate radar. The challenge is that today on Android there really isn’t the same simplicity to implement that there is on iOS7. They noted they’d have to basically go model to model to get it working, even with the improvements made on Android KitKat 4.4, it lacks the ability to push notifications over Bluetooth Smart uniformly across all devices (handset).
    Source: DC Rainmaker

    The problem is Android, not the Garmin Fenix/ Tactix.
    Last edited by theotherphil; January 6th, 2014 at 05:53.
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  5. #5
    Member allout's Avatar
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    Re: Garmin Fenix / Tactix GPS BLE ABC Watch is Great … No Android Support Any Sug...

    Quote from Steve Knapp on Rainmaker's review.
    "As far as Android support, I don’t buy into their “must customize it for each device”. There are APIs to get notification status that are pretty straightforward."
    And he links this site.
    NotificationListenerService | Android Developers


    It does seem all that maybe needed is an Android app. If this is the case then shame on Garmin, with some 10,000 people, for not getting this done, and but, this may be a good thing as I am certain some sharp person will whip up an app to the rescue.

    I have killed two BT headsets a Plantronics and a HX550 using them in moisture rich environments for remote notification. The waterproof-ish watch would be an excellent solution.

    How hard is it to get two later generation BT devices to play nice together? Even if it is plain BT and not the latest greatest BLE. Isn't BT's core function inherent compatibility?
    Last edited by allout; January 6th, 2014 at 11:09.

  6. #6
    Member theotherphil's Avatar
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    Re: Garmin Fenix / Tactix GPS BLE ABC Watch is Great … No Android Support Any Suggestions?

    As I stated in my previous post, I used to develop for android and iOS. I dropped android due to fragmentation of hardware and OS versions. It's too much hassle and not worth my time coding (and then supporting) all those configurations. Same thing with Garmin.

    How hard can it be? Hard enough to be not worth the effort.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Garmin Fenix / Tactix GPS BLE ABC Watch is Great … No Android Support Any Suggestions?

    It's not just new versus old BL implementations. BL and BLE have different hardware as well. Even the iPhone only supports BLE on the iPhone 5s, 5 and 4s, if I recall correctly. So all the people with older iPhones can't use the Fenix/Tactix features either. They have a real problem, since you have to support Android, then try and figure out which handsets have the BLE hardware and a newer version of the BLE firmware that supports the lower power mode the Fenix uses.

    Have you considered getting an iPhone?

    Quote Originally Posted by allout View Post
    Isn't BT's core function inherent compatibility?
    Yes. But the Fenix requires BLE, so far that is all it supports. From the devices I've seen that use BLE, they mostly only support BLE. I think that is because of the reduced power requirements.
    Last edited by cobrapa; January 11th, 2014 at 22:35.

  8. #8
    Member allout's Avatar
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    Re: Garmin Fenix / Tactix GPS BLE ABC Watch is Great … No Android Support Any Suggestions?

    "Have you considered getting an iPhone?"

    lol...Some time ago I decided to swear off Microsoft and installed only IBM OS2 on all PCs at work. I was less than happy with the whole Win 95 thing exacerbated by being worn out from using Win 3.11. OS2 was much worst and I just decided to surrender and bend over for Micro-Soft which should be call Big-and-Hard. Now the same type of thing with Android and Apple. Does Apple iOS 7 come with lube?

    Yep, I am a bit confused on the whole BLE thing. Turns out the Nexus 4 (The "Google" phone) has BLE hardware but it seems no one is quite sure if the drivers have been released. It does show on some BLE apps that is it working on the phone and others don't. Post on XDA has all but gone unanswered.

    "The Bluetooth low energy protocol is not backward-compatible with the previous (often called 'Classic') Bluetooth protocol. The Bluetooth 4.0 specification permits devices to implement either or both of the LE and Classic systems. Those that implement both are known as Bluetooth 4.0 dual-mode devices."

    If there is a high suicide rate amongst developers i can see why. I wonder how many users as we speak lie dead from a self inflicted wound? BANG...there goes another one...Point is this does get old after a while.

    So I will give this a little more time and watch my "fishing" post to see if I catch any solutions from the Android people looking for the same answer. Garmin is off of the hook, with me anyways, as this is PITA tech as a whole. It is confusing to us users when some third part manufactures support both Android and Apple and others only support Apple. But as Phil said developing for Android is much of a hassle.

    I was somewhat aware this was the current situation with the BLE. I was (still am?) on the fence between this watch and the Casio Aviator 1100. If at any time in the near future the Tactix will be able to receive notifications from an Android phone it is a clear winner. With the number of people wanted it and the usability of this feature I can't help but to believe that someone, Garmin, Google, or Developer will have a solution baring some unforeseen circumstance.

    rotfl
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    It turns out Google is Greek for "The Devil" and we all know what role the Apple played in the fall of man. Rock and a hard place. - Life ;b
    Last edited by allout; January 11th, 2014 at 23:59.

  9. #9
    reciprocum
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    Re: Garmin Fenix / Tactix GPS BLE ABC Watch is Great … No Android Support Any Sug...

    Quote Originally Posted by allout View Post
    Quote from Steve Knapp on Rainmaker's review.
    Isn't BT's core function inherent compatibility?
    No, as stated on the Bluetooth SIG site, Bluetooth 4.0 is NOT backward compatible with Bluetooth 3.0 (it uses the same radio frequency but a DIFFERENT signal modulation technique).
    If a device is classified as "Bluetooth Smart Ready" it means it supports BOTH "normal" (3.0) BT and BT 4.0 (AKA BLE), If is is rated as a "Bluetooth Smart" device then it will ONLY support BLE.
    I have 2 GPS BT enabled devices, both from the same manufacturer (Garmin Fenix and a Garmin nüvi® 3790T) and they cannot see/talk wirelessly to each other because one is BT4 and the other is BT3.

  10. #10
    reciprocum
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    Re: Garmin Fenix / Tactix GPS BLE ABC Watch is Great … No Android Support Any Sug...

    After installing 4.02 & 4.05 Firmware (beta) my Fenix has become my "wear at all times" (from "wear for outdoor activities" only) watch because of the notifications added value, HOWEVER with BT allways ON I barely get 1 day worth of usage between recharges. So I will definetly find something else with a longer (3-4 days minimum) lasting duty cycle to perform as my main "notification watch". I will probably wait for an iPhone 6 (to finaly replace my aging and android Galaxy note 1) / iWatch combo. Would have get a Pebble but my Gnote 1 is BT30 only so no can do...

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