Garmin watch with iPhone

I have used an Apple Watch every day since they were released. I like them and plan to keep using one as my daily watch. But the Apple Watch just isn’t as good as Garmin at fitness so I ordered a Garmin Forerunner for my attempts at getting back into running.

I can’t find an answer to this though. If I am wearing the Garmin instead of the AW, will it track steps/distance in Fitness/Heath? I like having all my totals in there, so would like the Garmin to be able to add to those totals.

I use a Garmin bike GPS, and it will not transfer heart rate data, just total calories and distance, so I am assuming I am going to be out of luck.

Does anyone use one?

I believe it does transfer that data over through the Garmin Connect app if you have everything turned on for Apple Health. At least that’s what I think I’m seeing when I go back to data from when I was wearing my Fenix daily.

I go through phases of wearing my mechanical watches, my Apple Watch, and my Garmin. I do enjoy having the data, and I believe Garmin can do what you are hoping for.

It does indeed. I’ve been wearing a Garmin Instinct for the past year and Garmin Connect downloads all the data in to Apple Health.

The only thing it doesn’t seem to do (and I might have this turned off) is download the GPS track for a workout. However, this doesn’t bother me, as that data is in Garmin, and I use Rubitrack on the Mac which shows that data as well.

However, it doesn’t sync across instantly like the AW does - it will often download the data three time during the day I’ve found (but it’s recorded for the correct times) if that makes sense?
For example, here’s the steps in Apple Health from Thursday. However, Apple Health didn’t populate until about 20:00. Certainly the day after all the data is present from Connect.

My HR data is in Health as well, as well as floors climbed etc, so it all seems to sync across now (in the past I’d had issues). Perhaps worth double checking the permissions.

Interesting, thanks guys. I use a Garmin 830 on my bike and I can send the workouts to Fitness, but heart rate data is missing. Wonder if I have something set wrong?

Good to know the Garmin will sync though. Looking forward to playing around with it.

I know why Apple doesn’t, but I wish Garmin watches could close rings. I get they want people on Apple Watch, but Garmin does some things better.

This is part of the reason I just want Apple to make a small Fitbit style band I can wear on my other wrist. Then I’m not losing data depending on what I wear for my main watch.

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Ok, I’ve just checked - the heart rate date will be downloaded for the day, but doesn’t get downloaded for an activity, as the one below was downloaded earlier in the week using my Instinct. You can see that it’s not on the activity but it was download to Apple Health.

Not sure why, as the FIT file from the watch contains the data, so not exactly sure if it’s a Garmin or Apple thing.

I have everything ticked in Privacy > Health for Garmin, so I imagine the data isn’t being imported with the activity.

Picked up a Forerunner 745 today. I went with a much more expensive model than I had planned, but I figured I might as well get what I wanted.

On one hand, wow, is it rough compared to an Apple Watch. No touch, low-resolution screen, have to hit a light button just to really read it indoors. I think Garmin makes watches that are more comparable to an Apple Watch though, so it’s not fair to compare this one to it.

On the other hand, it is a pure fitness tracker and it excels at that. I love all the stats and graphs in Garmin Connect (I used a Garmin watch for running 11+ years ago, and I currently use a Garmin cycling computer). I kind of want to use it full time just so I can have a constant record of those stats, but the Apple Watch is much more functional as a general-purpose watch (and I can read it indoors without pressing a button).

Thanks for your input guys, I will pay attention myself to see how and when it syncs.

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This looks kind of neat. I assume it is better than Garmin Connect? I quite like Connect, but it is a bit limited at times.

It can sync with Garmin Connect as well, but I don’t tend to use that, I just import my Apple Health data and workouts via the FIT files from my Instinct or Wahoo Bolt. I probably barely touch half of the features in Rubitrack if I’m honest!

I’m trying to start running again and so I’m going back to it more and I found the fact I can display Apple Health data better than Apple Health is helpful.

Personally, I prefer my Instinct to the Apple Watch now. I feel like it’s not going to break if it hits anything, I prefer the no touchscreen (after losing data whilst wearing the AW on a bike when it was raining) and amazing battery life. I only miss Apple Pay from the watch.

However, I am tempted to try a Fenix…though I have most of the functionality already on the Instinct.

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That move is exactly what I did. I had an Instinct for a few months then upgraded to the Fenix…ZERO regrets. It’s an amazing watch!


Can the 745 be set to turn on the backlight when you move your wrist to look at the watch? I turned that setting on for my Fenix and it was game-changing. And the battery life hit is very minimal, but it means I can actually read my watch when I look at it.

I don’t think so, I haven’t seen anything about that. I am going to sit down with the instruction book at some point to figure it all out.

Looking into RubiTrack and it looks like version 6 is coming out by mid-July (they hope). So it looks like I am waiting.

I saw that the other day - the new one will be M1 optimised, so that’s good. I believe also better Garmin Connect syncing.

Oh dear, wish I hadn’t seen the RubiTrak comment. My “love for stats” gene has kicked in. I use Connect and Runalyze which can do biking but I think it’s mostly runner focused.

Mustn’t. Look. At. RubiTrak! :neutral_face:

I really like Connect, even if it isn’t perfect. I played around with RubiTrack today and I am not sure it’s better, just different. It gives you the data with better graphs, in a way that is easier to sort. But it also doesn’t have the little stuff like segments and flashy work out summaries. It is very nice for accessing your history in a desktop app compared to a web app though.

RubiTrack 5 feels a bit dated as well, so I am interested to see how 6 works.

Don’t get me wrong, I am going to buy v6 when it comes out, but I am not sure it can replace Connect.


No, I use both still as well.

Rubitrack is able to get more data from Apple Health, so other items like blood pressure etc is captured. However, I mainly use the RT2Go app for grabbing data from Apple Health and don’t use it for viewing information on the go - for that, I’d use Garmin Connect.

For me, one of Apple’s biggest downsides is Health - it collects everything but the inbuilt app is a bit sparse for doing anything with it, so Connect, Strava, Veloviewer and Rubitrack take it’s place.

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I have had nothing but problems with the Garmin syncing with Health. It’s syncing data, but some of that data doesn’t change the rings or get added to totals. Like exercise minutes from a workout will fill the exercise ring, but active calories will not. It also doesn’t look like steps are syncing despite having everything turned on. I don’t really care about steps, etc, I just my workouts to sync.

After some research this seems to be a problem for some users. For some it will eventually work, but then Apple or Garmin does an update and breaks it again. Others just have Garmin workouts sync to Strava, which then imports them to Health, which is what I was doing with my Garmin bike GPS before I got the Forerunner.

I found an iOS app called Run Gap ($10 a year, but not an auto sub) that serves as a hub and it works really well for having things sync across services. So I have everything going to Run Gap, and then syncing to Garmin, Health, and Strava. Doing it this way also imports all the heart rate data from Garmin to Health unlike doing it through Strava.

Not ideal, but it works well enough. Much like when I used a Fitbit, they aren’t interested in making data sync, they just want you to use their software. I do love Garmin Connect though.


yep RunGap is a pretty little app, worth the price.
Like rubitrack for iOS, that works :smiley: