Suunto Movescount App for iPhone

I recently ordered a new Suunto Ambit GPS watch and wanted to set up my account on the Movescount.com site to track my “moves” (Suunto’s term for your activities) once I had the watch.  I noticed that Movescount also had an iPhone app so I thought I’d give it a try before my Ambit arrived.

You have to set up a Movescount account online in order to use the app – this allows completed moves to be uploaded to your account for future reference, either on the app or on the website.

I used the app a couple of times walking and riding with my kids around the neighbourhood to see how it worked and I was pretty impressed with its basic functionality.  One of the cool things it does is track your route in real time on a map.  I am used to GPS watches (Garmin 305) which don’t have this type of functionality until you download the activity data to your computer.

You can see your route in real time on the main screen

I also found it to be super easy to use.  Basically you just start up the app, select “Track New Move”, let the GPS find your starting point on the map and hit the “Start” button.  The timer is located at the top of the screen, with distance and pace at the bottom.   When the app is running it will lock, with a slider across the bottom to unlock it when you want to stop the move.    When you hit stop, you are given some options to add detail about the move.  You can select which sport you did, your vibe, tag the move, and add any notes.  This information is then attached to the move for reference if you save it.  You can also delete the move if you don’t want to save it to your Movescount account.

Select what you want to do from the main menu

With the app you also have the options of reviewing your past moves or launching the movescount (mobile) site on the browser.  Any moves uploaded from other devices (ie: my Ambit) also show up on the app’s moves list.  On your computer you can log into movescount.com and view all of the details of your past “moves”.

List of past moves to open

I wanted to get a sense of the accuracy of the app compared to my Garmin Forerunner 305 watch GPS.  To do this I used them both on a 30km trail run.  The route had some hills, turns, as well as some open view of the sky and some tree cover.  By no means does this test determine which device is more accurate, I simply wanted to see if how they compared to each other.

I wore the watch on my wrist (obviously!) and ran the app on my iPhone which I carried in my hydration pack (in a soft case with a ziploc bag around it).  Overall, when I downloaded both sets of data, the difference between the app and the 305 at the end of the run was 0.29km (or 290 metres).  This is a difference of 0.1% over 30km.  I was quite impressed with this.  When I look at the 1km lap splits, the main periods of significant difference seem to be where I was running on narrow trails with significant tree cover – the nemesis of any GPS.  In the open sections, the two splits were typically within 10 seconds in terms of min/km pacing.  Here is a summary of how close the lap pace times (min/km) were (for full details, see the table at the end of this post):

🙂 (0-10 seconds/km different) 13 laps
+ (10-30 seconds/km different) 8 laps
++ (30-60 seconds/km different) 6 laps
+++ (60 + seconds/km different) 3 laps

I took photos of the 2 displays at 3 random points during the run for comparison.  Note that the timing is a bit off – I had to start the app then get it tucked away safely in my pack before I thought of starting the watch!  You can see the distances remain quite close, up to about 300m apart in the last pic (at the end of the run).

3 random comparisons during my 30K run

I found this to be an awesome, simple GPS tracker to use if you have an iPhone.  Its got limited functionality (ie: no Heart Rate, cadence, etc) but is perfect if you just want to know where you went, how far it was, and how fast you did it (and you want to carry your iPhone).  This seems to be especially true for a user who isn’t planning to be roaming around in dense forest at a high rate of speed – but all of the GPS’s suffer in this situation.  Its also nice to have on your phone for those times you want to track something and don’t have your GPS.  All that and it’s free, so you can’t beat the price!

Detailed Lap Comparison (note that Lap 1 was impacted by the delay in starting up my watch)

Split km

305 Pace

Movescount App Pace

Difference (see legend in summary table)

1

4:52

6:28

+++

2

4:37

4:36

🙂

3

4:31

4:35

🙂

4

4:30

4:28

🙂

5

4:59

5:13

+

6

5:26

5:22

🙂

7

4:30

4:36

🙂

8

7:19

7:08

🙂

9

4:51

4:49

🙂

10

7:38

7:30

🙂

11

5:15

5:26

+

12

5:33

6:04

++

13

5:55

6:06

+

14

6:19

6:41

+

15

5:09

5:33

+

16

6:13

6:49

++

17

8:12

7:35

++

18

8:16

8:02

+

19

4:49

5:50

+++

20

6:03

4:44

+++

21

5:02

5:04

🙂

22

5:06

5:18

+

23

5:15

5:00

+

24

4:53

4:56

🙂

25

6:31

6:26

🙂

26

5:44

5:47

🙂

27

5:47

6:21

++

28

5:49

6:22

++

29

6:18

6:27

🙂

30

5:19

4:33

++

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2 responses to “Suunto Movescount App for iPhone

  1. Pingback: Suunto Ambit GPS Watch Review | runbikerace·

  2. The app is terrible as it does not show historical data after it’s been uploaded or if the data is loaded into Movescount via a formal monitor such as the Ambit or T6.

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