Garmin lock screen widgets: a great idea or just a distraction?

Man checking smartphone after run
(Image credit: Getty)

A small but passionate debate is currently rumbling among users of Garmin watches: should the company develop widgets to show key fitness stats on your phone's lock screen, or does that defeat the whole point of your wearable?

First of all, I should note that the company hasn't hinted at any plans to add such widgets to its Garmin Connect app, so this is all hypothetical at this point. While it certainly does take input from its users seriously, and invites them to submit ideas to improve its products and services, it has to be choosy about what it implements, and even some popular suggestions (like the ability to track naps) may never make it into development.

The initial suggestion for lock screen widgets, from a Reddit user who has since deleted their account, suggested that they could be used to display key metrics such as recovery time, distance run that week, and remaining battery life. The poster owns a Whoop Band, whose app does exactly that, and finds it helpful to see the data at a glance without unlocking their device.

However, as many other users noted, most of that data is available right on the face of your Garmin watch – and if the particular stats you want to see aren't there as standard, you can easily download a custom watch face from the Garmin Connect IQ marketplace that includes them. Whoop is a different story; the band doesn't have a display of its own, so displaying stats on your phone's lock screen is the next best thing.

Garmin Vivomove Trend and Fenix 7S watches

You can fit a lot of data onto a Garmin watch face, but there are limits (Image credit: Future)

The original poster is perhaps a bit of a niche case, because they only wear their Garmin watch when they're training and opt for a regular analog watch the rest of the time, but I can still see their point.

If you own an Apple Watch, there's a tool called WidgetKit allows you to extend its display onto your phone or iPad, and Garmin lockscreen widgets could work in a similar way, perhaps showing the data you'd usually find by scrolling through your watch's Glances. Perhaps you might like to see the structure of your next planned workout, or a graph of your body battery over the last 24 hours.

I've recently started following a marathon plan with TrainingPeaks, and seeing the format of the day's training run on my phone's homescreen could definitely be handy to help me prepare and decide how long to allocate for it. You can't fit that onto a watch face without it looking super cluttered. It would be a major time and cash investment to develop, but I might join the original Reddit poster in making a feature request just in case.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.