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Astro Fitness

Astro Fitness is an app for Apple iPhones, which allows users to track their fitness activities (e.g. running, cycling) and share them in real-time with their friends. Completed activities can optionally be uploaded to the Garmin Connect™ portal.

The app is available from the Apple App Store. The app is free to download, but contains adverts that can be removed for a small one-time fee. Use of tracking requires a paid subscription.

If you are already using the app, and especially if you have paid for the full version, please let us say a huge "thank you" for your support. If you haven't already, please consider writing a review.

To make use of the app, you require an account. There are two account options available, both of which are free to register:

  • Garmin Connect™
    Garmin accounts are free and you can sign up from within the app, or in advance at https://connect.garmin.com. You can use an existing Garmin Connect™ account if you already have one. You do not need to own any Garmin fitness devices, but if you do, then this is the obvious choice. You will be able to upload completed activities to your Garmin account.
  • AstroTrack™
    If you do not want to sign up for a Garmin account, you can register for an AstroTrack account from within the app. You will still be able to share activities in real-time with friends. If you do not own any Garmin devices, and do not have any friends with Garmin accounts, this is the best choice for you.

Getting Started

When you first launch the app after downloading, you will be prompted to select your preferred account type. Simply select the type you wish to use. You will then be asked if you have an existing account or wish to sign up for a new one. If you have an existing account, enter the details and you're ready to go. If you wish to sign up, provide the required details and continue.


Main Page

 

The main page of the app shows a list of all your tracked activities. This will be blank initially, but over time will show your activities. To start an activity, tap the "Tracking" icon in the toolbar.


Tracking

The "Tracking" page allows you to start a new tracked activity. After signing up for a new account, you will have been given a 2 week free trial subscription to the AstroTrack™ service. You will be able to track activities during this period to test out the app and see how useful it is for you. After your 2 week period expires, you will need to extend it via in-app purchase. Subscriptions can be extended either monthly or annually (the annual subscription provides 2 months free over the monthly price).

The expiry date of your subscription is displayed in the middle of the screen. To start a new activity tap the "Get Started" button.


Start AstroTrack™

The "Start AstroTrack™" page allows you to select the type of activity you are going to start (running, cycling, walking, biking, hiking or other) and select the list of email addresses to which live tracking links should be sent. To allow your friends/family to follow your progress live, add their email addresses to the list.

Email addresses can be added by two means:

  • Manually
    Tap the "+" icon to type an address in manually. Make sure you tap the "save" icon to add it to the list
  • Contacts
    Tap the person icon to select a person from your phone's contacts

To remove an address from the list, tap the "X" icon to the right. The list of addresses used will be saved for the next time you start an activity.

When you're ready, tap the "Create" button at the bottom.


AstroTrack™

The app will then attempt to locate you using your iPhone's GPS. You cannot start tracking until it does so. The red GPS icon will turn green once your location is confirmed, and the map in the centre of the page will update to show your current location. Tap the green "Start" button at the bottom to start tracking.


While the tracking is running, the map will update to show your progress as a line. The 2 icons at the top right indicate the current status of the upload of data to AstroTrack and the GPS location tracking:

  • The left-hand "wifi" icon shows whether the last upload of data from your phone was successful or not. Green indicates success, while red indicates failure. Data will not be uploaded if your iPhone does not have a sufficiently good data service (either wifi or cellular data). If it loses data service, it will continue to retry periodically until your phone regains signal.
  • The right-hand "satellite" icon shows the status of the GPS location on your iPhone - red indicates it has lost a satellite lock, green shows it has one.

Below the map, the total activity time and distance travelled are displayed, followed by your current speed and pace, then your average speed and pace. The units used (miles or kilometers) are based on your selected settings.

Below this data are 2 indicators showing how many data points are stored locally pending upload to AstroTrack, and the date/time of the last successful upload.

To stop tracking, either temporarily or because you have finished your activity, tap the red "Stop" button at the bottom. When stopped, location data will no longer be gathered and uploaded. You can either choose to start tracking again (e.g. after a brief rest stop), or to finish your activity by tapping the blue "Finish" button.


Once you tap "Finish", the app will display the details of your activity. The view is divided across three tabs at the bottom of the screen which allow you to show the details, map and graphs of the activity.



The Details section shows a summary of the activity, with max speed, lap times, climb, etc.



The Map section shows an interactive map of the route, which can be zoomed and panned to examine it in more detail.



The Graphs section shows further data such as elevation, pace and speed in a line graph format.


The top toolbar contains one (if you are using an AstroTrack™ account) or two (if you are using a Garmin Connect™ account) icons:

  • The "upload" icon allows you to upload the activity to Garmin Connect™
  • The "delete" icon allows you to delete the activity from your account

Tapping "< Back" will return you to the activity list screen with your new activity displayed.

Settings

 

The activity list and tracking screens include a "settings" (gears) icon in the top right. This allows you to change some settings about how the app works.

You can select the measurement units you prefer:

  • Metric:
    Distance in kilometers, elevation in meters, weight in kilogrammes
  • Statute UK:
    Distance in miles, elevation in meters, weight in kilogrammes
  • Statute US:
    Distance in miles, elevation in feet, weight in pounds

If you are using an AstroTrack™ account, you can set your current weight. This will make the calorie calculations more accurate. If you are using a Garmin Connect™ account, you should set your weight via the Garmin Connect™ web site.

Finally, the adverts in the app (which are not overly intrusive) can be removed for a small one-time fee.

The bottom toolbar has two icons. The "save" icon on the left saves any changes you make to the settings. The "sign out" icon on the right allows you to sign out of your account so you can switch to a different account if required.


Tracking Emails

When you create a new AstroTrack session, a tracking email is sent to each address on the list. This email contains the information shown on the right.

The tracking link is unique to each session, and contains a unique ID for your account and for the activity. These IDs are randomly generated and are thus unguessable by anyone without the email. This helps to secure your information.


Tracking Interface

The screenshot to the right shows the AstroTrack web interface that users will see after clicking the tracking link in an email.

The route taken by the user is automatically updated as the session continues - their last location is shown by the red "pin" icon. The statistics along the top such as distance, time, speed and pace also update dynamically.

Location data is updated every 30 seconds by default, and a countdown bar along the top of the page shows how fresh the current map view is. Markers are displayed every 1 kilometre or mile. The viewer can select the measurement system they prefer in the top right.

The orange bar at the bottom provides further inforation in two scenarios:

  • If the user's location data is not updated for some time, a message is displayed to reflect this, and to advise the viewer that the user's phone may have lost its data signal.
  • When the user taps the "Finish" button in the app, the activity is finished and the message is displayed as shown on the right.

Two buttons at the bottom of the page allow the activity track to be exported in either GPX or TCX format - both of these can be imported into Garm Connect and many other online exercise tracking services such as Strava. For this reason, it is recommended you include your own email address in the list of ones to be notified when starting an activity.



Reporting Problems

Unfortunately, all software has bugs and problems, despite our best efforts to find and remove them, so it is possible you may experience a "crash" or issue. In most cases, the app will attempt to fix the problem and continue, but it may not always be possible. In this case, when you next run the app, you will be prompted to report an error by email. This is done by creating an email for you to send (you will be able to review the contents of the email in advance, and it is not sent until you click the normal "send" button in the email app). The email will contain some simple information on your app (such as the version number, whether it is a trial, etc) and some diagnostic information to try and help us work out what went wrong and fix it in a future version. No personal information is included in the email and there is no way for us to identify your phone, etc from it (other than we will obviously see your email address when you send it).

These crash reports will really help with identifying and fixing problems, to make the app better in future for everyone. It would be really appreciated if you could take the time to send them whenever possible.


FAQ

  1. How do I get a Garmin Connect™ account?
    Garmin Connect™ accounts are free to sign up, simply go to http://connect.garmin.com to sign up.
  2. Is my information safe?
    Your Garmin Connect™ username and password are stored locally on your phone, and only accessible to this app. They are only sent to the Garmin Connect™ web site to sign you in so the app can retrieve your details. When signing in, your details are sent over an encrypted channel using standard SSL (i.e. to a web URL starting with https://), just like your browser would do if you signed in manually. This ensures that they cannot be intercepted en-route from your phone to Garmin.

    If you choose to use a Garmin account, your Garmin username will be sent to the AstroTrack server to tie your account to your Garmin Connect account. Your password is never sent. Again, all AstroTrack™ communiation is secured by SSL.

    Your details are never sent to any other web site or 3rd party.
  3. Will I get any spam?
    As above, we do not have any access to your information, or email address, and so cannot sell it or give it to any 3rd party. Garmin's use of your details is covered by their privacy policy, which can be found at http://www.garmin.com/privacy-statement

    Email addresses provided as part of AstroTrack™ configuration are used only to send tracking emails, and will never be passed to or sold to anyone else.
  4. Will you support other languages?
    We would love to support other languages, but this represents a considerable investment in time and effort. If you would like a particular language, please let us know and we will consider it if there is enough interest.
  5. I have another problem/question - what should I do?
    Please contact us using the details below

Contact

If you have any other questions or issues, please feel free to email us at support@astroit.co.uk and make sure you mention that you are using Astro Fitness on iOS so we can help as quickly as possible

If you like the app, we would appreciate you paying to remove the adverts (or clicking on some adverts), and leaving a review in the Apple App Store (please think about contacting us first if you have a problem rather than leaving a negative review - there are bound to be some initial problems with the first version of the app, and we would appreciate the chance to put them right).



This application makes use of the publically-available Garmin Connect™ REST API, but it is in no way affiliated with Garmin, and no endorsement by Garmin is implied. Garmin and Garmin Connect are © Garmin Ltd or its subsidiaries.

In-app icons are taken from the "Icon8" set provided courtesy of Icons8 - http://icons8.com


Version History

  • v 1.0 - 2 September 2015
    • First public release


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