First impressions of the Garmin Training Center for the Mac

Last January, Garmin announced that they’d have a Training Center version for the Mac. That was one of the reasons I bought my Forerunner 305. Last week, they delivered (a little late). I saw a few screenshots before Macworld on the Garmin blog and posted a comment that it looked very un-Mac like just from the 3 screenshots I saw; Garmin didn’t approve my comment. I guess the truth hurts.

I picked up a CD at Macworld (they’re not making it available until later this month for download due to localization issues or some such nonsense; they deliver their other software as fully localized or English only; I just checked the page for the iQue 3600 and there is an English-only and an EFIGS-English, French, Italian, German, Spanish version). I loaded up the software on Sunday and my first impression was not very good. Brushed metal has to go and the main screen just doesn’t look right; there is a lot of space around it. It would have been better to put the information (profile information) in preferences. The application has no drag and drop onto the icon to import files (I downloaded stuff from my MotionBased account) even though there is an import menu item. Heh folks, that is about 5 minutes of code to put it in; just add a Cocoa method:

- (BOOL)application:(NSApplication *)theApplication openFile:(NSString *)filename

And add tcx as a file extension to the info.plist file.

Next, I can’t edit any of my activities. The ones I import are all coming in as Skiing instead of running. I can’t sort the columns (clicking on a column highlights it), I can’t turn off columns. I can, however, reorganize the columns. If I choose the Close menu item, the app quits. If I click in the column title for Activities, the sort arrow changes, but does nothing.

Right now I can’t use all the maps I have for my iQue 3600, so I get a totally useless map view in the center of the screen that I can’t collapse.

So, I have no idea what took Garmin so long to do this. Their program didn’t take a rocket scientist to write. My first pass of ReceiptWallet took 2 weeks of almost full time work and then about another month of part time tweaking to release a solid 1.0 product. If Garmin has more than 1 person working on this full time, they should call me to fix it! The MotionBased folks said that they got the USB code for talking to the device from the Training Center developers last March (or so) to get MotionBased working on the Mac, so that leads me to believe that Garmin spent 9+ months on the user interface. Ouch.

For now, I’ll stick with MotionBased; I renewed my subscription last month and it is significantly more full featured that Training Center. Granted, MotionBased is not free, but I would have paid something for a good Mac Training Center.

4 Replies to “First impressions of the Garmin Training Center for the Mac”

  1. I believe that they will continue to support the Mac. However, I just started using Ascent and find that it is much faster than MotionBased. MotionBased has gotten far too slow to be usable.

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