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.

Note: In December 2019, Suunto stated that they will develop a new web-based tool to support Ambit (1, 2 and 3) and Traverse family watches. The web-based tool will be available only for these watches and not much is known about its functionality.

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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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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47 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.

  • MartinG

    Ok I had My Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro Stealth, such a long name 🤣, 2 weeks, first downloaded the Suunto App, works great, looks great, my Chinese smartphone doesn’t sync 100% to the app, no WhatsApp and Facebook messages. Then downloaded the Movescount app. and whooow..! such a great app, excellent in Mac, a lot of info there, and so many capabilities, but now I read that they will shut down. Why..?

  • Mattia B

    That would be the end of my relation with Suunto. I have an Ambit3 which is a great watch. I ONLY used it in combination with the desktop Movescount web app which is very good, although it does not offer the Workout Planner. That was the only reason for me to download the mobile Movescount app, but I never used it because it won’t pair my phone to my watch (my phone is quite old). If Suunto becomes mobile-only sadly I’ll have to bin it forever. Can someone advise on other brands of comparable quality that still provides a non-mobile web platform?

  • Shaun

    I have a Traverse watch and will be able to sync it I will not be able to change the sport modes. I’m VERY cross… They have caused material damage to the functionality of the watch (the reason I bought it). Not as bad as the pre-bluetooth watches but still negative. Support is useless and I’ve sent them an invoice for half of the cost of the watch. I’m going to follow up on it. Not sure how far I’ll get but I’ll never buy one of their watches again… These guys don’t listen/don’t care. Shocking.

    We should all invoice them for half the sales price of the watch. When they don’t pay or formally reject the invoice we should raise an open debt with the firm.

  • shaun

    You can make routes (on a web app) on sports-tracker.com. If you have used sports-tracker.com before switching to Suunto App then you get two entries (Suunto bought sports-tracker).

  • Blaz Post author

    Hi Shaun,

    can you sync the sport modes via Movescount? I think that the Suunto App is still in very early stages and thus there are many bugs. I deleted it and I continue to use Movescount, but I don’t know what I’ll do when they put Movescount off their servers 🙂 I do think that what you are encountering is a software bug and will be eventually fixed. But, yeah, it’s frustrating.

  • Blaz Post author

    I need to test this…but, damn, how many different software applications will I need to use the watch? 🙂

  • Patrik R.

    Suunto was taken over by Amber Sports. Amber Sports is hold by a chinese consortium.
    And in China people are most interested in app shit. Maybe they are not really interested
    in looking up their traing data.
    For me, this app is absolutely nonsense because I want to look up my training data on a
    big computer monitor and not on a tiny damned mobile display.
    If they really want to make mobile only I will sell my Suunto watch or if no one buys I will throw
    that shit to garbage and ban that name Suunto out of my brain memory and buy a Garmin instead.
    This is really not userfriendly what they do, but they seem to me mainly interested on Asian markets and
    they dont seem to care about the rest of the world.
    I really hope that this app only boomerang will hit them directly in their silly faces.

  • Blaz Post author

    Patrik, I think you mean Amer Sports 🙂 I’m not sure about the ownership of Amer sports. On their website it says that it’s mainly owned by Mascot Bidco Oy (https://www.amersports.com/investors/shareholders/largest-shareholders-and-ownership-structure/) which is according to Bloomberg registered in Finland (https://www.bloomberg.com/profile/company/1697187D:FH). Nevertheless, Wikipedia does mention some negotiations of Amer Sports and Anta Sports (Chinese company) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amer_Sports.

    The app is nonsense for me as well. I use my computer for analyzing/planning and my phone for calling people 😛 I also think the app will backfire on them. Let’s see.

  • Thomas R

    Frankly. I’m selling my Spartan WHR Baro with chest strap and I guess i’m going to throw my M5 in the bin or just use it to tell the time, since it’s value just went from low to none.

    Movescount had some nice features, being able to route on a computer and have the routes upload directly to the watch via the movesount app was nothing short of a holy grail feature. And the privacy controls were good.
    The new app is another bloody social media pest and keeps pushing features in my face
    that i neither want nor need.

    So yeah. Time to give polar another shot. since I have to buy a bloody map or carry a phone or satnav I might as well get optical HR that works as a trade.

    Also, I’m not going to support a company that chooses to make fully functional products obsolete in this fashion. It reeks of naked profiteering and shows a disregard for their users i find disgusting.

  • Blaz Post author

    Hi Thomas,

    I share your frustrations. I got email from Suunto in the beginning of this month and apparently they changed their plan a bit. Here is what they stated: “Our web service will evolve in 2020. We will no longer call it Movescount, but you will still have a similar web-based tool to manage important settings and functionality in your watch”. However, after reading about this more thoroughly here, it seems that the web-based tool will be available only for Ambit (1, 2 and 3) and Traverse family. Now I feel like I’m being punished for buying the super expensive Suunto 9 :/ I’m happy I haven’t sold my Ambit 2 though 🙂

  • armin

    i have an older ambit, this is my second suunto. if my phone becomes a legacy phone with no way to download and easily download my activities, my upgrade will definitely not be a suunot considering the pretty penny i paid for it.

  • Jörg

    Suunto’s new «mobile only strategy» is a major disaster. For all Suunto owners as well as Suunto itself and its shareholders. Many of my sports friends, my children and my wife are now switching to Garmin Fenix and then using Garmin Connect as their central online platform. And I am now also considering going back to Garmin. This is a great pity, as I was actually very satisfied with the Suunto watches (Ambit 2 -> Ambit 3 -> Suunto Baro HRM). And as a multi-sportsman (incl. windsurfing, surfing, snowboarding, skiing etc.) I cannot use Strava etc. as a central platform in a meaningful way.

    The Suunto app is a nice gimmick, but certainly no replacement for an useful analysis and management tool for all sports data of the last years for me. Especially since the Suunto App does not allow me to export and save my data in a standard format.

    Unfortunately, Suunto does not allow itself to be convinced by its customers, which is a very big management mistake (and all Suunto owners have to pay for it). Because the combination of Movescount and Movescount app (+ rubitrack as backup for all cases) was almost the optimum for me.

    It’s a great pity, but it’s not the first time that a company ruins its important brand and thus burns its investment and the investment of its users. Shit Happens!

  • Clarance Loh

    I am shocked reading all the comments here and really think I made a wrong choice to buy the Suunto 5 (mainly due to my good reasons on my Suunto Ambit3 Run with HR support). Never really used the terrain planning on the computer but I could imagine the agony for those advance users if Suunto App is not going to support web based! For me, I try to transfer my movescount data to the new Suunto App. Despite spending my last 3 hours following diligently with their instructions, I could not get it to work! Now sending to customer’s service and hope that I could get some positive help. Don’t even dare to power up my new Suunto 5 watch yet as I don’t want this new watch confuse the new Suunto App (?). Such a pity that such a good brand goes down the drain with such wrong directions from the new management.

  • Curt

    This is extremely unfortunate. After every run or ride, I connect my Ambit 3 to my Windows desktop and view the huge beautiful map on my 42″ monitor. I hope this ability is not lost, as it would force me to get a new watch that would not likely be Suunto.

  • Suunto User

    I’m a bit late to comment, but I agree with everyone.
    For the first time, today, I was unable to create a new route or edit an existing one in movescount.
    I do a lot of off-track hiking and climbing and being able to created detailed tracks, especially in areas with lots of cliffs, is crucial. You can’t get anything close to this on a phone app.
    Then there are waypoints, real-time altitudes as you plot a route, etc.
    I’m going to see if I can put the suunto app onto my ipad. This would at least give me a larger screen to work with, but it’s still lacking.
    As I write this I’m trying to sync my ambit 3 with the suunto app and it keeps failing. It’s stopped on 3/14 Activities and I’m desperately trying to get a new route into the watch. This is frustrating as hell.
    I’ll never buy another suunto product for as long as I live. They had something perfect and sold out and now it’s broken.

  • Blaz Post author

    Hi there,

    I can confirm that! I just tried creating a route in Movescount and it’s not working. I hope this is a temporary bug :/ The app is garbage, I only have issues with it.

  • Yves

    When I bought my Suunto Ambit 2 I did one run with it and I put it almost immediately back in box. Why? I went over the limit I set for my heart rate, but I didn’t get a warning. But before I returned it I read the signal for going over your limit only comes after 2 minutes. My trainer said this is deadly during a marathon. Fortunately I learned very quick how to make an app to get a signal as soon as you go over your limit. So if apps are no longer possible you’re stuck with this 2 minute delay. I also have several apps who count down from a starting distance and also apps who change the heart rate limit during the run. I even have an app that counts down a distance or time according to the day of the week and sets the heart rate limit also according to the day of the week. So I need only one sport mode for an entire week.
    I suggest the person how made this decision about the delay gets paid with the same relative delay : he’ll be paid at the end of December 2030 for the work he did in January 2020. I haven’t decided about the pay for the person who decided to discontinue Movescount, but probably much later then December 2030.
    I also bought a Garmin Fenix 5x last year because I could buy it at a 50% discount (earning “coins” by running and then you could buy discounts with these coins in our country). I bought it because Movescount doesn’t have the possibility to program an autolap in your app (read: the simple autolap of always the same distance is not enough for me for an interval). Today I’m always using my Garmin when doing interval because you can make a simple workout and play with different set distances and/or times for your laps. The programming of an app is much more difficult then on Movescount. But I was also a bit disappointed about certain things. But if Movescount disappears I’m thinking those disappointments will not matter anymore.
    I also looked at an interval training on Sportstracker. What a disappointment! You don’t see the laptimes you did. You only see the programmed laps they can show you: 0,5km, 1km, 2km, 5km or 10km. Plus times of your laps are only to the second. I also looked at my yesterday run of 20km. I added the lap times of 1km and I also added the min/km. Guess what. Also a big disappointment. They should be exactly the same, but no 1h27’33” vs 1h27’55”. 22 seconds difference. Plus my real time was 1h28’07”.

  • Blaz Post author

    Yves, I don’t think that heart rate is so important as you say, but I understand your frustrations. I’m quite happy with intervals on my Suunto 9 but if Movescount is gone I basically lose all my analytics which sucks. I’m not a big fan of their app 🙂 Let’s see what happens. It’s irritating to have an expensive watch from them and not knowing how useful it will be after their software changes.

  • Louise

    I have an ambit 2 s and tried making a route today on my computer. Wasn’t able to pull any info other than km which was useless for my mountain hiking. So annoyed if I can no longer use my watch as intended. It was very expensive when I got it 5 y ago.

  • Blaz Post author

    Hi Louise,

    I created a hiking route a week ago and I also noticed that the altitude chart was missing in Movescount. At least they fixed the bug which prevented creating routes. Some time ago I tried to create a route and the route planning tool wasn’t working at all :/ It’s pretty clear to me that they are no longer investing in Movescount and that the whole system barely works. It’s sad…

    Regards,
    Blaz

  • Gonçalo Dumas

    Hi. So what’s the status on this “great idea”. My Suunto Ambit2s has its memory full and I can’t even find a way to delete the records. I love the hopeful wording these companies use to kick their customers out of the picture while giving them no alternative whatsoever. Suunto is no more.

  • Blaz Post author

    Movescount is still working (to some extent) and very little info has been provided regarding the transition in the last months. However, I did notice that GPS tracks are no longer shown for all activities in Movescount. For example, I have no GPS tracks for mountaineering, but they are shown normally for running. I had to install the Suunto app (again) and I’m really annoyed by it. It’s painfully slow and I hate viewing my workouts on the Smartphone.

  • Anna

    The main reason I like my Suunto Ambit is the route planning (with ascent/descent data) capability on the web based platform. If that disappears, I will likely not use a suunto watch. Also, my data is not syncing on the new suunto app. Its super frustrating. Points off for Suunto. I am now looking at garmin and coros.

  • Blaz Post author

    I agree Anna. Route planning with altitude data was amazing in Movescount. Nevertheless, a couple of months ago the altitude data disappeared from Movescount’s route planner. I’m also very disappointed.

  • Melvin Leong

    No web app??? This is a step backwards!!! Suunto, please listen to your users. It is utterly ridiculous not to have a web app especially when you are taking Movescount away.

  • Malcolm Johnson

    If Suunto is serious about not having a desktop/web app then I will be ditching my Suunto and buying a Garmin.

  • Johan Veerman

    Despite being a graet fan off Suunto for decades, i too seriously doubt my next sportswatch will be a Suunto, if by then they have not developed a web version of the Suunto app. and like many others, apparently, i probably wouldnt have bought my current Suunto 5 in the first place if i had known in advance. Reading in the other comments that they have been taken over by a Chinese company gives me little hope that they will change their minds. Being a runner i had also bought a Stryd power footpod at the same time, and their app is available on pc and mobile alike and they perfectly sinc with eachother. It even automaticaly includes maps of the runs that my Suunto gathered. So for the runners amongst you this might be a partial solution as i would recommend trying power based running to anyone.For me i was an eye-opener.

  • Curtis Parker

    So my £300 Suunto watch is useless Suunto get a web based synch app sorted out… as far as I know, they only support iPhone 12 or something. It reinforces the manufactures desire to get people to continue to upgrade every 8years or so to the next big thing. not environmentally sound of suunto or tech manufacturers to continue this endless chase to the upgrade when tech is working fine.