Locus as companion app for outdoor Garmin devices (fenix3,5..) for navigation (FIT export)
Hello again Menion!
First of all, let me tell, that I returned to Locus after few years (too much corporate life and not had time for proper hiking on unknow places) and I must say - wow, I am really impressed! The app really grown up without loosing its advanced functionalities - great work!
I belongs to quite large group of people who use Garmin devices to track their activities. With Fenix 5 I am now discovering its ability to navigate along courses with turn by turn (TBT) notifications. This feature is available on most higher-end Garmin devices (Fenix 3, 5, Forerunner 935, 735xt, edge bike navigations) and is well implemented in the devices itself, but with really poor support for creating these kind of courses by Garmin Apps (both PC and Android). Garmin also offer Fenix 5X with mapping functionality, which can generate navigation instruction on its own based on embedded maps, but for planning in advance, courses works same as with other mentioned devices. Using TBT navigation on watches together with advanced mapping software on smartphone is great combo which also optimizes energy consumption on distance places. On enclosed images you can see my Fenix 5S in navigation action on course created by Locus Pro.
But as I wrote, preparing such courses right now is over-complicated and impossible to do without computer. Because of that there is big demand for some straight-forward and smartphone only solution on Garmin forums.
And I guess, there comes opportunity for Locus as it has most of the features already built in including routing via maps and autogeneration of routepoints for navigation. This is great, I don't know any other android app where I can do this without some huge limitation. There is just one missing link - FIT file export.
The thing is, Garmin watches support GPX and FIT files for importing routes (unlike Edge computers, which also supports TCX already implemented in Locus). GPX are unusable for importing courses with TBT to Garmin (routepoints are not recognised from GPX). So remaining possibility is to get TCX, convert it to FIT file and load it to watches. The issue is, that only known converters which can do this with maintaining TBT are these:
http://fitfilerepairtool.info/download/ (Windows only, very expensive)
So common approach mostly known to Garmin users are:
Create track with coursepoints in GPSies.com -> export as TCX -> convert to FIT using badgertool -> connect watch to PC -> upload file to watch.
That is too complicated and requires PC and be online. So after long story comes my wish/idea: ability to export route directly as FIT file from Locus.
This will allow us to prepare everything offline in Locus and also benefit from this later (track already prepared to view/work with there). There is already application which should be able to stream FIT files from smartphone to watch via Bluetooth - IQMapReciever - so to cover the last part of moving FIT file to watch without PC. I will speak also with developer of this app about solving some issues preventing to do this now.
In case you will implement FIT file exports, I can prepare manual for others and guarantee promo in related topics in garmin sites where Locus is not much known nowadays I believe and even on Youtube. So it is win-win scenario as number of Fenix 5 users growing a lot. In case you will go this way, I will later share also another smaller ideas how to make Locus and these Garmin devices better for cooperation. Also count me in for all testings in case it will help.
FIT file format:
It is binary file format. Check attached PDF and go to Page 59 (Courses). You can find more information by downloading full FIT SDK: https://www.thisisant.com/resources/fit/
Thanks for consideration! I am planning few months trip outside Europe and this will help me a lot on hikes which I plan to experience there.