How to share Garmin data using an iPhone

Edge computing and mobile platforms often work together to create powerful combinations. Sharing health and performance data from Garmin via an iPhone is an example. Here’s how to do it.

Young man and woman with phone
Image: clementetinin/Adobe Stock

My Garmin Edge 530 is probably my favorite edge computing device. The performance data my Garmin bike computer collects while mountain biking and the ability to share that information with family and friends is handy. You can compare rides, gauge your fitness, determine if the trail a friend rode is one you want to try, and even challenge friends to special competitions.

SEE: iCloud vs. OneDrive: Which is Best for Mac, iPad, and iPhone Users? (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Now I’m not at the age where I’m interested in challenging friends to break my personal record on the local fire trail. No, I’m more interested in getting friends and family out the door. Fortunately, the iPhone’s ability to invite others to share their Garmin data encourages taking more time off the screen and literally getting outside.

Garmin devices ranging from wearables to portable head units like the Edge 530 shown in Figure ABuddy with the company’s Connect app, which is a free download for iPhone users.

Figure A

Image: Garmin. The Garmin Edge 530 is a full-featured bike computer that offers additional features thanks to elegant smartphone integration.

With an iPhone, you can dive deep into various items, including speed, distance, heart rate, and elevation data, as shown in Figure B.

Figure B

The Garmin Connect app collects performance data that can be checked and compared with an iPhone.

To connect to friends and family’s Garmin profiles and share related activity information with an iPhone, open the Connect app, then tap the “More” icon in the lower-right corner, as shown in Figure C.

Figure C

Tap the More icon to access additional Garmin features with an iPhone.

Next, tap Connections and then select Invite Friends as shown in Figure D.

Figure D

Invite friends and family to share Garmin information by tapping Invite Friends.

After tapping “Invite Friends” you will be presented with several options to forward the appropriate invitation via the standard iPhone sharing menu. Options include sending the invite out via AirDrop, Messages, email, or a range of social media apps. Once you have sent your request, the recipient will receive a corresponding Garmin invitation, a sample of which is shown in Figure E.

Figure E

Friends and family receive this Garmin message when you invite them to share profile and activity information.

Tapping the Garmin message and then accepting the invitation will add the appropriate Garmin profile to each person’s connection page in the Garmin Connect program. When you tap the Garmin Connect app’s News Feed icon on an iPhone, the app not only displays the rides and corresponding stats of your activity, but also those of all your connections.

Thanks to the convenience of edge computing and integration with the mobile capabilities of an iPhone, you can keep tabs on friends and family, monitor their activity, and maybe even find enough inspiration to head out the door. In my experience, this is a lot more fun than scheduling the service of an industrial piece of equipment after receiving a predictive maintenance alert, but we all need to learn to embrace edge computing trends at our own pace.

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