Garmin revamping its Connect app is my favorite news of CES 2024

Screenshot from a press video from CES 2024 showing examples of what the new Garmin Connect app looks like
(Image credit: Garmin)

What you need to know

  • Garmin rolled out its new beta version of the Garmin Connect app on January 8. 
  • New homepage categories like In Focus, At a Glance, Events, Training Plans, and Challenges are now available for the first time. 
  • The app will customize which data is visible, based on your training priorities and the device you use. 
  • Garmin is presenting the beta opt-in option "randomly" to Connect users, while the final version will launch in the first half of 2024. 

Today's Garmin Connect app is a dense labyrinth that requires several taps into submenus to reveal your data. At CES 2024, Garmin announced a revamped Connect beta that, at first glance, looks to solve most of my issues with the current version.

Garmin promises users "a simpler, more customizable homepage where they can view the data most impactful on their health and fitness goals." 

The Garmin Connect beta begins rolling out today to Garmin users, but "randomly," a Garmin rep told me. You'll only be able to opt in if you see a pop-up in the app itself; otherwise, you'll have to wait until the final launch, sometime in the first half of 2024.

On the new Garmin Connect beta homepage, you'll have the option to highlight whatever will motivate you the most, from the week's Training Plan schedule or Challenges to an In Focus section of your current training status and activity trends.

(Image credit: Garmin)

The At a Glance section seems fairly similar to the current system, except that they squeeze two metrics like Sleep Score and Training Load side by side, so you can spot the data you're looking for more quickly. 

My favorite new tool, however, is the "In Focus" section. It focuses on "your top stats," which means it's tailored to whichever watch you own and what kind of activities you typically complete. 

In one In-Focus example Garmin provided, it focused on the runner's Training Readiness — a stat found on the Forerunner 265 or Instinct 2X Solar — with data like recovery time remaining, sleep score, and stress score. But in another example, it highlighted the runner's Training Status, load focus and balance, VO2 Max trends, and HRV status. 

If you like to put your upcoming races in your Garmin Calendar, you'll see it in an Events section, with a clock counting down to race day and current weather information. And as mentioned above, you'll see your progress on your Garmin Coach or custom training plan for the week, along with Challenges. 

(Image credit: Garmin)

None of these features are new, but you had to go hunting for them. Now, Garmin is making sure all of this data is accessible from one view, with the option to tap any metric or widget for more information. And it makes me more excited to use the Connect app, knowing that finding this data won't be a chore. 

This Garmin Connect redesign seems similar to how Fitbit redesigned its app late last year, with its newfound focus on customizable "Today" and "Coach" tabs. But while that redesign proved controversial, this change seems less likely to ruffle feathers because the only change is to the Home tab; the rest of the app's menus remain unaltered. 

Garmin also used its CES 2024 booth to unveil a new Lily 2 hybrid watch and a heart rate monitor that attaches to sports bras. But regardless of which Garmin watch you use, the Connect app revamp will probably be as exciting to you as it is to me. 

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, Wearables & AR/VR

Michael is Android Central's resident expert on wearables and fitness. Before joining Android Central, he freelanced for years at Techradar, Wareable, Windows Central, and Digital Trends. Channeling his love of running, he established himself as an expert on fitness watches, testing and reviewing models from Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, COROS, Polar, Amazfit, Suunto, and more.