​Living with Speedo On: Hitting the pool with the wearable-friendly swimming app

We get early access to Speedo's new platform for swimmers
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Speedo On is Speedo's new web app to track your swimming. It syncs with waterproof fitness trackers and sports watches to record your data, or – if you don't own a compatible wearable – you can upload your info manually after each swim.

Speedo On replaces Speedo Fit, Speedo's previous smartphone app. This is because, after three years, Speedo is no longer working with the app makers. The same functions found in Speedo Fit are now available in an app called SwimIO – SwimIO is identical to Speedo Fit in every way, save for the lack of the branding.

Read this: Swimming with heart rate monitoring wearables

It's early days yet for Speedo On. The app is only in beta, so it hasn't been released to the public yet. But as a beta tester, we had to take it for a dip to see what it can do.

Here's how we've been getting on.

Diving in

​Living with Speedo On: Hitting the pool with the wearable-friendly swimming app

Without a wearable, Speedo On is a very basic experience. It lets you input data from your swim, but it means doing so manually. You can select the length of the pool (or it can record open water swims, too), input how far you swam and how long it took you, and it tells you your pace and how many calories you burned. And that's about it.

Not exactly mind-blowing, we're sure you'll agree. You can't even tell it how many lengths you swam, you have to work out the distance yourself. Thankfully, things get a lot slicker once you connect a compatible device.

The wearables

​Living with Speedo On: Hitting the pool with the wearable-friendly swimming app

At the moment, Speedo On works with Garmin watches that obviously feature swim tracking like the Fenix 5, Forerunner 935 and Vivoactive HR. It also plays nice with Misfit devices like the Misfit Ray and Speedo Shine 2. Speedo has told us that it will be adding more devices to this list soon, so here's hoping the likes of the Apple Watch Series 2 and watches from Suunto and Polar get some love too.

We broke out the Garmin Forerunner 735XT for our testing and it worked very well indeed. Speedo On pulls in the data from Garmin's Connect platform, but gives you some additional stats you don't get from Connect. That includes stroke type for each interval for instance. Also, crucially, it has a much cleaner and less cluttered layout than Garmin Connect. And of course it only shows your swimming stats (not running and cycling, too), so it's simpler to get to the data you really want.

​Living with Speedo On: Hitting the pool with the wearable-friendly swimming app

That's not to say it's not comprehensive. Stats include metres and lengths swum, strokes taken, calories burned, your average pace per 100m, as well as a breakdown of each individual interval, with duration, pace, distance, length, stroke type and number of strokes taken.

​Living with Speedo On: Hitting the pool with the wearable-friendly swimming app

But that's not all. You also get a series of graphs to pore over, showing your pace, strokes and SWOLF. If you don't know what that is, it's essentially your stroke count plus time taken to swim a length. So it's like your handicap in golf, the lower this is the better a swimmer you are, as it means your strokes are more efficient. You can also alter the x axis of the first two of these graphs to show distance, length number or time.

So there's plenty of info to get your teeth into.

Should you use it?

We've mentioned it earlier, but it's worth stressing: Speedo On is still in beta, so the final product could be quite different. But so far, we're impressed. It gives you a good level of detail, more advanced than the most basic apps, but not quite as in-depth as the most hardcore. And it presents it all in an easy-to-read layout.

Speedo On has some other neat features, too. You can schedule a swim using the planner, and take part in a series of training plans set by swim coaches. We're also promised more features are coming soon, including a Challenges section that lets you gauge your progress over time. Which would be useful, as at the moment you can only compare individual swims, and that requires remembering the data yourself or making a note of it.

What else would we like to see? A smartphone app would be useful, instead of having to load the web page every time, but we've no doubt that's in the pipeline. A database of swimming pools (like SwimIO) would also be very handy, rather than having to enter the info yourself. And training videos too, to help with stroke technique, like you get with MySwimPro.

Once it adds more features, supports more wearables and launches as a standalone app, Speedo On could well come to rule the pool.

How we test

Joe Svetlik


Joe is a freelance writer/editor for hire.

Since the summer of 2020 Joe has been working mostly for AV bible What Hi-Fi?, mainly on news, features and round-up duties. He also writes for Stuff.

He also writes expert copy for Samsung, Viber, Appier and Lenovo.

Prior to that, he spent two years working with BT, first on its Tech & Gadgets portal, then as a content designer on its Help and Communities properties.

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