Official: Suunto is discontinuing Movescount


Suunto Movescount

Suunto Movescount

In fall 2018 I contacted Suunto’s support to ask them if they are planning to make it possible to sync moves from the new Suunto smartphone app to Movescount. It really annoyed me that this was not possible because I had to connect my new Suunto 9 to my computer via a cable to see my activities in Movescount, even though they were already available in Suunto mobile app which syncs with the watch wirelessly (Bluetooth). I got a very straightforward reply: There is no plan to make this possible. So, I dug a bit deeper and asked them if they are discontinuing Movescount. I mean, why else would there be no plan to make these two platforms compatible with each other? They replied that there is indeed a plan to eventually replace Movescount with Suunto app.

In the middle of January 2019  Suunto officially announced that they are discontinuing Movescount in a blog post and received some very angry comments. To be honest, I’m not very surprised over the angry comments as I’m also annoyed with the news. Movescount is not perfect, but it does have some very neat features such as route planning, watch customization and numerous metrics about your activities. Can you imagine planning a route in an app on a smartphone rather than on a PC with a proper screen size? Trust me, it’s quite a hassle. However, don’t panic just yet. According to Suunto, Movescount will be discontinued at earliest in the summer of 2020. This means that Suunto has a lot of time to improve the Suunto app. Nevertheless, in the following I’ll explain why this transition might be problematic.

Transition from Movescount to Suunto app:

According to Suunto the app will be mobile-only!

According to Suunto the app will be mobile-only

According to Suunto the app will be mobile-only

According to Suunto the app will stay mobile-only, unless they get a lot of requests for a web app. I think this is complete nonsense. I can’t imagine viewing all those graphs (altitude, heart rate, speed etc.) and maps from my hiking trips on a 5-inch smartphone screen. It might work for simpler activities such as, gym training, treadmill etc., but as soon as you will have to deal with the map and see the details, the user experience will be terrible. Note that at the present time, the Suunto app offers very limited information about your activities in comparison to Movescount. However, I believe that Suunto will add more metrics in the future. Nevertheless, that’s not all; the app being mobile-only also brings up a lot of other issues such as compatibility with different smartphones, route planning and connectivity with watches without Bluetooth.

Which smartphones will be supported?

Which smartphones will be supported?

Which smartphones will be supported?

The Movescount web app works on literally any computer/browser because it’s relatively easy to ensure software compatibility with various browsers and computers. However, that’s not the case with smartphones as there are so many different versions of the Android and iOS operating system. It’s not uncommon that software developers make apps unavailable for older smartphones because it takes them a lot of resources and time to ensure compatibility. So, if Suunto app will be mobile-only you will also need a relatively new smartphone to use it. It sucks that your watch becomes dependent on your smartphone. Therefore, I really hope that we manage to convince Suunto to also make it as a web app!

Route planning on a smartphone is a hassle!

Route planning on a smartphone is a hassle!

Route planning on a smartphone is a hassle!

The Suunto app already allows you to plan routes which are then synced with the watch wirelessly. However, the experience is nowhere near as good as the one in Movescount. Movescount actually has a really good route planning feature which supports different maps (the Mapbox terrain map is really good for planning hikes!) and calculates ascent, descent and distance live while you are creating the route. In the Suunto app it’s incredibly hard to plan a route because you have no overview of the map on a small 5-inch screen. Furthermore, it’s also hard to tap precisely with fingers unless you zoom in on the map all the time.

How will it function for watches without Bluetooth?

What will happen with watches without Bluetooth?

What will happen with watches without Bluetooth? Suunto Ambit 2 does not have Bluetooth!

The biggest downside of the transition from Movescount to Suunto app is probably the lack of support for older watches. Suunto doesn’t plan to ensure the compatibility of watches without Bluetooth (Suunto Ambit, Ambit 2 etc.) with the Suunto app. This basically means that owners of these watches will not be able to sync their watches (export activities, plan routes etc.) after the transition. This is really a bummer, especially because these watches are not that old. I bought my Suunto Ambit 2 watch less than five years ago, and when I compare it to my new Suunto 9, it is not that different. The wrist HR and Bluetooth on the Suunto 9 are the only things that come to my mind. So, why would Suunto cut the support for these well-functioning, if older watches? Well, these watches don’t have Bluetooth and thus they obviously can’t be synced wirelessly. Since the Suunto app is mobile-only, there is literally no way to sync them – you can’t put the USB cable into a smartphone. However, if Suunto would decide to also make a web app, this wouldn’t be a problem. You would be able to sync the watch without Bluetooth via the cable.

Verdict

As most Suunto users, I’m not happy about the transition from Movescount to Suunto app. However, I think that many frustrations could be avoided if Suunto would decide to also make a web app. A web app would allow them to support older watches without Bluetooth, use the route planning feature from Movescount and avoid compatibility issues with millions of different smartphones. I know that apps are super popular nowadays, but do we really need an app for just about everything? Some things simply work better and more efficiently on a desktop.

I’d love to hear about your thoughts on Suunto discontinuing Movescount. Write them in the comments section below.

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Post Author

Post Author

Blaz

Outdoor enthusiast with experience in all types of hiking and mountaineering. Hiked in the Alps, Iceland and other countries. In love with via ferrata trails and snow-covered slopes. Check out my hikes.

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15 thoughts on “Official: Suunto is discontinuing Movescount

  • Mark Smith

    Spot on – as a Suunto Ambit user I am to say the very least disappointed with the company’s plan to seemingly brick my watch next year. I have three friends who have bought Suuntos on my recommendation as up until now i have been delighted with mine.

  • Blaz Post author

    Exactly, I certainly hope that the people at Suunto change their minds. I think that Suunto Ambit 2 is still one of the best watches for outdoor activities such as hiking and mountaineering. Bricking this watch sounds completely unreasonable. It was a quite expensive watch five years ago and I would indeed expect longer lifespan.

  • Rafael

    No way, this can’t be true! I have a Suunto Ambit 2 Sapphire. I remember choosing the Sapphire version to have a long-lasting watch. Indeed there is no single scratch on the display, only some minor scratches on the INOX barrel.
    This is absolutely unacceptable. They can’t do that!
    Is there no way to connect the watch via cable and a USB / microUSB adapter to a phone?

    For Linux users, there is openambit. It’s a software that replaces moveslink. It saves the moves directly to the computer and they could be uploaded to strava for instance. However you cannot set parameters on the watch with it.

    Very dissappointed. If this watch is bricked through making software obsolete, I will switch brands, no question about it.

  • Blaz Post author

    I agree, it’s very disappointing! I think that connecting the watch via cable to a phone is not a viable option – sounds too complicated to implement. They really should make a web app and modify Moveslink to be compatible with it.

  • Chet

    I’m disappointed about this. I have an early-generation Ambit and find Movescount useful. That said, the Ambit’s bias toward whatever heart rate reading it picks up, no matter how erroneous or downright crazy, aggravates the hell out of me and is almost enough to make me seek another watch. I’m almost 63 and my watch has reset my maximum heart rate to 178, 196, 187, and 194 just recently – and it evaluates my workout based on that heart rate. I know my RHR and calculate my target heart rates, enter them, and the watch resets to some crazy heart rate every time it picks one up – which is almost every workout. Suunto could update the software or firmware or whatever it is to correct this – but they won’t. I can’t be the only person reporting this.

  • Blaz Post author

    I haven’t encountered such issues with my Ambit 2, but this seems like a bug in Movescount – wrong data sent to the watch on sync. Anyone else encountering such an issue?

  • L

    Well as a Suunto Ambit 2 (that was recently replaced) user, this sounds very strange as the warranty is 2 years ahead, and I was convinced by the support that they will be still actively selling that watch for a few years in the future.
    One workaround would be, to let their mobile app support ANT+ as a lot of smartphones have it built-in.
    Other to open their API for external developers, so that one could make something better.
    But still we’ll loose one of the nicest features, to plan a route/POI on a nice convenient desktop site.

    Overall I feel betrayed by a company, for which I have given so many positive reviews online and offline to my friends, who did buy a handful of Ambit and Spartan models.
    So thanks but I am selling my Suunto Ambit 2 Sapphire watch, which was by far a remarkable piece of hardware, in order not to have a unusable watch in less than 2 years. With that move I have no choice left but to go with a Garmin, something I was refusing the last years, but now am actively taking that option.
    That was my last Suunto product, so thank you Suunto, movescount.

  • Blaz Post author

    I think that it would be a good idea to make current Movescount open source and publish it on GitHub. I believe many developers would jump on this project. However, this would probably also make the Suunto App obsolete 🙂 I think it’s to early to sell the Ambit 2 watch though. Let’s what Suunto decides.

  • Eric L

    I’m on my first and last Suunto product. I paid an arm and a leg for an original Suunto T6. The training manager software that came with it was very good. Then I lost the CD, changed computers, and they discontinued support for it moving everything to Movescount. Movescount is a shadow of the Suunto training manager software. Now my watch won’t store heart rate information – all it stores now are ascent/descent times which are wildly inaccurate. User guide is no help, as it hints that data is stored according to what items are connected when the training manager mode begins to record. Their customer service is useless – one way communication only. Their website is no help. I wasted my money on this watch – I’ll never buy another product of theirs and I’ll tell everyone who asks me about my experience.

  • Blaz Post author

    Thanks for sharing Eric. I don’t have problems syncing heart rate info to Movescount (Suunto Ambit 2 and Suunto 9), but I’m sure that Suunto app won’t match Movescount anytime soon. It’s a shame because their products are actually good but they just can’t make the software work according to users’ wishes.

  • Phil Ahier

    So is it the case that all my training history on Movescount will be lost in 2020? That’s really poor. Does anyone know if the history data can be transferred to another application? If not, I’m ditching Suunto and going to Garmin.

  • Phil Ahier

    The Suunto app doesn’t compare well with Movescount. There is no facility for entering tags and therefore can’t record mileage on different trainers etc. I’m going to work out what system I can transfer my history to, and then ditch Suunto and buy a garmin.

  • Blaz Post author

    Hi Phil,

    if I remember correctly, Suunto stated that the data from Movescount will be migrated to Suunto app. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if some data got lost during the migration 🙂 After all, Movescount and Suunto app are two completely different platforms. I hope for the best but I am very disappointed with their plan to discontinue Movescount. Thanks for pointing out the tags issue with Suunto app.