24. July 2020 3 min read

Garmin just showed us how useless our watches are

Garmin server outage because of apparently unplanned server maintenance has showed all the Garmin Smartwatch users that their watches are useless without the cloud servers from Garmin. There is no technical reason the mobile application could not retrieve data from your watch and store it on your mobile until servers are available. But that is not how things are currently implemented as users all around word were greeted with:

Server Maintenance Sorry, we are down for maintenance. Check back shortly.

Do I have to mention that shortly usually is not measured in days online? So after a while (whooping 8 hours) we are now greeted with message:

We are currently experiencing an outage that affects Garmin.com and Garmin Connect. This outage also affects our call centers, and we are currently unable to receive any calls, emails or online chats. We are working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible and apologize for this inconvenience.

What can users do with Garmin Connect servers outage

Simple answer: Nothing simple.
But lets say for exactly this reason most of the world works on standards and a lot of other parts of world work on opensource. That would mean that your Strava could directly pick your Smartwatch data. Or maybe Endomondo? Sportstracker? Runtastic? Anything. It is not like it would delete it, just upload it to their system for storage.

Of course someone already found a solution.
Plug your watch to your computer, where it is presented as mass storage device. Use file browser (or simply your upload software) and you can search for .fit file (on my watch located in GARMIN/Activity directory), which you can then upload to Strava or any other sports app as a manual file upload.

What we know so far?

From Garmin official channel? Nothing.
But after some browsing around the internet I have noticed on Android Central that allegedly outage started on 22nd July at 11:30 ET and they were hit by some ransomware. If that is true, then it will take whole weekend or even longer. And also your nice data could be lost if backups were also affected (luckily most of us upload or share the fitness information with other apps, making it a bit harder to delete).

Frustrating as it is, it just shows you why we should all make sure that different companies cooperate between each other on standards and not compete in secret proprietary world.

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