Tempo 2.0

I am ecstatic to be launching 2.0 of Tempo. While it took way longer than I anticipated, I have enjoyed building it. It’s a labor of love and a lot of running, testing, and throwing away work that I didn’t find good. And it’s looking fantastic! I have said this before, but it needs emphasis again,

Tempo is my daily go to app. I do not run every day, but I use Tempo every day, multiple times on some days, to stay motivated. It provides great insights to help improve and optimize my running.

I can go on detailing every feature here, but instead I will just mention a recent scenario that made me disappointed and smile at the same time. Disappointed because I should have known better after all these years of training and it’s so obvious in retrospect; smile because Tempo revealed it for me: Just a few weeks ago, as I was scrolling through one of the new screens, called Intensity Log, I discovered why I might have crashed so badly during my last marathon. There was an obvious training strain pattern during the last few weeks leading up to the race. Those weeks are meant for recovering/tapering to peak for race performance and not running hard to risk race performance. It was an aha and why did I do that moment - I had already run my race during those weeks of training. Now more aware, I will be able to monitor it easily with Tempo’s new Intensity Log.

If you run with an Apple Watch, you should really give Tempo a shot. As a runner, I can tell you with confidence that there is nothing like Tempo out there! Tempo amplifies the power of Apple Watch as a running device.

(I really believe Apple Watch is a superior running Watch, but I will save 'why are you not running with an Apple Watch' part for a different post)

With 2.0 (as mentioned here) Tempo requires annual subscription to access pro features. You can try it for free, but I think you will find it to be an effective training tool to subscribe.

As promised, the original buyers and patrons of Tempo 1.0 will have premium access to all the pro features until August 15th, 2019. Thank you for your support.

Keep Running!

Release Notes for 2.0.1

Tempo has been completely rebuilt, with more insights, graphs, and beautiful new design to keep it simple, yet powerful!

Here’s a quick list of new features:

  • Dashboard: The new dashboard tab shows quick running totals and intensity trend along with fast access to new reports.
  • Cumulative Graph: In addition to the weekly and monthly totals, cumulative graph has been updated to show average pace and highlight days of weeks/months you run.
  • Intensity Log: All new in 2.0 is the Intensity Log. It’s a fantastic addition to understand training pattern and identify stress as well as improvements.
  • Trending Averages: The average runs and miles per week (or month) header on Cumulative Graph screen in 1.0 was so useful that it has been expanded to provide more averages along with a quick current trend for each averaged data point.
  • Notes: We have all been waiting for this one.. With 2.0 you can add your personal insights to every run. It is stored encrypted on your device and backed up to your iCloud account.
  • Tags: This is another frequently asked item that you are going to love. Tags are so useful to remember a run, race, location, etc. Tags on a run also appear on your Runlog screen. You can lookup for all the runs with a given set of tags using the new Filter feature.
  • Pace & Heart Rate Graphs: Yes, it’s here too! Not just static, these graphs are interactive - you can scroll and pinch to zoom.
  • Cadence: This is an experimental feature, but the data looks promising, so it’s been added. More to come.
  • New subscription model: These new pro features require Tempo premium subscription. I hope you will show your support by subscribing. It takes a lot of time and effort to build a quality app like Tempo. I love working on it; but in order for Tempo to survive and thrive as a product for all of us as runners, it requires a lot more than just being a side-project done on nights and weekends.
  • Patronage: If you originally paid for Tempo in the AppStore or paid for pre-2.0 patronage, you will have access to all pro features of Tempo Premium subscription for the next 2 years. Thank you!
  • A lot more behind the scenes: Tempo 2.0 has a lot of behind the scenes optimizations that will further enable next set of features on the roadmap. I look forward to keep working on them and adding more helpful insights to help us run better.

Battery Improvements in Apple Watch Series 2

Summary:

The latest Apple Watch (Series 2) used only 46% battery for a 3 hours, 35 minutes run vs the first generation Apple Watch that drained most of the battery on a similar run last year. Both the watches are 38mm in size.

Some data from last year:

During a 20 mile run last year (9/19/15), Apple Watch (first generation) drained almost 99% battery.

Apple Watch (2015): Post 20 mile run. Battery at 1%.

Apple Watch (2015): Post 20 mile run. Battery at 1%.

The 20 mile run was in preparation for the Chicago marathon, and based on above data, I knew that Apple Watch won't last for the full marathon at my pace. On race day, I decided to not bring my iPhone so I could carry enough energy gels instead. This meant all of Apple Watch tracking was done using the built-in accelerometer. Surprisingly, I found Apple Watch to be way more reliable than a Garmin Forerunner that went erratic around tall city buildings. Unfortunately, with no paired phone, it also drained 100% battery in the first 16.3 miles.

For my spring 2016 marathon, I discovered power saving mode that disables heart rate sensor during workouts. I verified it during a 20 mile run and used it for the marathon. It worked great, and while the battery lasted for the entire race, I have no heart rate data from that run. It was a hot and humid day to run a marathon and heart rate data would had been an effective way to analyze how I faded off during the last 8 miles.

 

Same run with the new Apple Watch Series 2:

Last Saturday (9/17/16), I did the same run, a bit longer (21 miles), mostly along the same course, with Apple Watch Series 2. Here are some screenshots taken before, during and after the run,

A quick side experiment:

This was the final long run of my training cycle for Chicago marathon, so I did not want to risk not bringing my phone along and possibly lose or have inaccurate data for it. While I still carried my phone, I decided it was safe enough to do a little experiment at mile 19 and turn off the phone. In the presence of a paired phone, Apple Watch relies on phone GPS reception for better signal and to conserve battery. So I was curious to see how the watch (specifically built-in GPS) would react, when a paired phone disappears in the midst of a run.

The transition was flawless. Apple Watch GPS took over seamlessly when the phone was turned off. This was verified with a course map generated from accurate location data for the whole run.

Not surprisingly, the built-in GPS did use more battery. In the last 20 minutes, battery availability dropped from 57% to 48%. That's 9% for 20 mins with built-in GPS vs 39% for the first 182 mins with a paired phone.

Again, this was mostly to test how well the watchOS and Workout app is built/tested for random GPS source switching. It's impressive that the watch GPS picked up without any glitch and it tracked the remaining run with no issues. In retrospect, considering I didn't want to mess with my data for this run, shutting the phone down was a risky move. I am glad that watchOS and iOS could pick up and sync nicely when the phone was back online.

Results – Battery improvements by numbers:

At mile 19, while still paired with a phone, the new Apple Watch had drained only 39% battery (that's about 41% for 20 miles *). This is substantial improvement over first generation Apple Watch that drained almost 95% battery for the same 20 mile run, done last year.

Mapping the above numbers to total running duration: first generation Apple Watch drained most of the battery for a 3 hours, 35 minutes run, where as the current Series 2 model needed only 46% (**) for the same 3 hours, 35 minutes run. That's over 7 hours of running time on one charge with still some battery power left. (Apple's official tech specs suggest 8 hours of workout from a full battery charge)

Even by including the variance caused due to the above side experiment, 48% for first 21 miles without power saving mode means I can run with the new Apple Watch Series 2 for a full 26.2 miles and still collect all the useful heart rate data.

This is great news for me as a runner and I am sure for many runners out there. If you are looking to buy a new running watch, I would highly recommend Apple Watch Series 2.


Battery was at 96% at start and 57% at mile 19. That's (96-57)/19 = 2.05% per mile.

** Battery drained for 182 minutes was (96-57=39%). That's about 46% for 215 minutes.

Freemium, Patronage & Subscription

With the recent release of version 1.3.1, Tempo is now free to download from the App Store.  

My goal for Tempo is to make it the best training companion app for myself and other runners. That means building it with utmost care and detail, and also maintain our privacy. It requires a lot of time and effort, both in running miles and thorough product development, to test, validate and support such a top quality running app. I love running and working on Tempo, and wish I could do it all the time, but I also have to make sure it is financially sustainable for me. So Tempo will always have a payment model around its usage.

The reality of current App Store economy is that users prefer trying before paying for apps. To allow that, I am making Tempo free to download with all the features enabled. Tempo 2.0 will introduce a subscription model for exclusive access to more advanced features. Subscription will cost at least $3.99 per year to start with.

I am grateful to everyone who bought Tempo on launch. Your feedback, adoption and support has brought us this far. As my thanks to you, when 2.0 arrives, you will have full access to all the advanced features for the first 2 years without requiring any subscription.

Until 2.0 arrives, there is also an option to become an early patron via in-app purchase. This option will also enable full access to advanced features in version 2.0; features that will be otherwise exclusive to subscribed users and original buyers. So if you downloaded Tempo for free, you can still benefit from saving on subscription by becoming an early patron now.

I hope you find Tempo useful in achieving your running goals.

Keep Running!

New Apps We Love

New Apps We Love is the very first section of the Featured tab in the App Store. On Sunday, May 29th, Tempo showed up as the first app listed there.

I ran a marathon on May 28th and was still high from the 26.2 mile run on Sunday evening, when Tempo was featured. Words can not describe the feeling of getting featured in the App Store while already in an elevated state of runner's high. The fact that Tempo is all about running made it even sweeter.

To say that it was really amazing would be an understatement. I was ecstatic! Tempo is a labor of love. Love for the sport of running. Love for building quality software. Software to help me become a better runner. To see that it can be useful for other runners and getting recognized in the App Store is not only gratifying and exhilarating, but also inspiring.

Getting featured has helped Tempo to be noticed by more runners. Runners have been sending e-mails of appreciation - claiming Tempo to be exactly the app they have needed for a while. Some runners have also been gracious to rate Tempo in the App Store. This is very encouraging. It's fuel for me to keep making Tempo better. I am very grateful for all of it.

Thank you, App Store team, for featuring Tempo and allowing it to be discovered by runners all around the world. ❤️

Tempo v1.0

Tempo is now available in the App Store. If you run with your Apple Watch, please do check it out.

You can read Tempo’s story here. To celebrate the launch, here are some more fun facts that I edited out of the original story,

  • I sketched up Tempo’s original screen last year, during a sleepy morning, while staying up with my newborn. It was probably around 5am.
  • That sort of got me into sketching habit during early mornings. Most of them now are before my long runs on the weekends.
  • Many Tempo features have been devised during miles and miles of training on Newton hills and other parts of Boston marathon course along Comm. Ave.
  • During its initial prototyping phase, Tempo was called Runlog.
  • Tempo has been my only running log for my last 2 marathon training cycles.
  • I have been building it for almost a year; crafting it slowly and carefully as my go to running log. As I have said before, I love running and building software, and building Tempo is now my favorite way to do enjoy both!
  • Tempo is the very first project launched under Indie Computing Labs, LLC.

Hello, world!

With self-discipline most anything is possible.

— Theodore Roosevelt

Slowly and steadily, I am almost ready to launch Indie. So I figured I should say hello here.

What does launch mean? It's launching Indie's first project: Tempo. It is code complete, tested and ready to ship. Approved and ready to be released in the App Store.

You can read more about Indie here

Here's why I built Tempo.

Looking forward to this journey!