One of the best bits of news to come out of CES 2017 was the announcement that TomTom was finally overhauling its Sports app. It's been long overdue a makeover.
The iOS app is rolling out first in the UK alongside the Android version, which has hit the Google Play Store at the same time.
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We've been fortunate enough to get an early play with a beta version of the new Sports app and as regular TomTom Spark running watch users, it doesn't take very long to notice the big improvements across the board.
The most obvious changes lie with the UI where TomTom has decided that it's time to make those app surroundings more inviting. The aim is to hopefully convince you to spend more time inside the companion app instead of diverting your data to one of the supported third party fitness apps like Runkeeper, Strava or MapMyFitness.
Left to right: TomTom MySports (left) and new Sports app (centre and right)
That long, drab-looking list of tracked workout sessions and performance data has been ditched for a more image led, card-style feed that pulls in workout sessions, the new trends (more on that shortly), fitness tracker data including body composition data from the TomTom Touch.
Within a few days we've already spent more time in the new app than we did with the previous one. Information is much easier to digest including the changes with the breakdown of run data. There's some nice added touches as well here like the ability to scroll through average pace graphs, which pinpoints on your mapped route where you ran your quickest.
Along with the UI overhaul TomTom has also introduced Trends. This is part of the company's push to delve deeper into your tracking data and go beyond offering your workout data. So for running, it's taking a look at my most recent runs and can tell me whether I've been running faster (or slower) recently. It'll also tell me if my running distance has increased or decreased from my last five runs.
As far as fitness tracking data is concerned, the app will tell you how many steps you still need to put in to meet your daily goal and pull out your average sleep time. These are by no means groundbreaking or the most sophisticated insights just yet, but it's a sign that TomTom believes presenting the baseline data to users with no context is no longer enough.
If TomTom's goal was to keep people inside its app, it's definitely achieved that based on our experience. We're big fans of the new-look UI and while those insights are a little on the basic side, this is a massive step up from the software shambles we've had to deal with over the last few years.
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