A Review of Some Fitness Syncing Sites and a Syncing App

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(This review has been updated on 11/22/2017)

This review is a companion to my previous posting – A Review of Some Exercise Logging Sites.

Okay, so you’re uploading your GPS watch tracking to Runkeeper but want to log some weight-training on Fitocracy and want both sets of data to show up on each site, or your new Garmin GPS watch is uploading nicely to Garmin Connect but all of your friends are on Runkeeper and WeightTraining.com, or you like the advanced stats on TrainingPeaks but prefer to log things better on Runkeeper, etc.

You want to have all of your workouts show up on multiple sites without uploading or typing them into each one?

Runkeeper Shared

An example of a few of many sites that Runkeeper connects to.

Well, what do you do?

Firstly you want to look through the settings and options for each site that you want to share workouts between.

You may find that the site you want to connect to is indeed listed and both are available for you to link together.  And if the first site doesn’t have the ability to connect to the second site you may find that the second site may have the first site listed as linkable, but not vice versa (Who’s On First?).

Once you find it available to link it’s usually a fairly simple matter to connect the two sites.  Sometimes it’s just a click, sometimes you must give it permission, and occasionally you may have to log into the opposite site and then link them.

Above in the screen capture you can see just a few of the many sites that Runkeeper can connect to.  For some of the sites shown in the screen capture I had to go to the individual sites themselves to connect to Runkeeper as Runkeeper itself didn’t have the option to connect to the other site.  This isn’t atypical for some other fitness logging sites, as I mentioned above – one may have a handy way to connect to another while the other doesn’t; but once you are connected it will show up as being connected on each of them and your data will be shared.

But what happens if you run across two sites and neither have any in-built way to connect to each other?

If you’re really ambitious you can register and login to a bunch of other exercise logging sites and perhaps find one might that in turn connects to both of the sites, and then you would simply connect all three sites together and be set.  Even if you connect the same site to a number of other sites USUALLY the data is not duplicated, in some cases thanks to Runkeeper’s Healthgraph.

Or you can just manually log to each site, which can be tedious and sap your motivation.

Perhaps a better way would be to use one of the third-party sites I review here to connect all the fitness logging sites you use together.

I’ll review the four here (in no order whatsoever) that I know of, if you have run across others please post a reply to this blog posting and let us know.

I also want to note that Garmin seems to cause a few delays sometimes when trying to share things with external sites, sometimes maybe even not working in some cases, so it’s something to be aware of if you notice a delay in syncing with or to Garmin Connect.  It may be an issue with Garmin’s API instead of the site itself, but normally it’s more of a delay than not logging an item at all.

Tapiriik

If you’re looking for a no-nonsense way to sync Runkeeper, Strava, Garmin Connect, Sporttracks, Training Peaks, and/or dump your workouts to DropBox then Tapiriik.com may be for you.

It’s a bit difficult to find exercise logging sites that (reliably) connect to Garmin Connect sometimes.  Not the fault of the syncing site it seems.  So once you get something like Runkeeper to sync data with Garmin Connect you can usually use Runkeeper to connect up with whatever other site you are trying to sync with.  Even if you don’t normally use Runkeeper it’s a great way to connect to other sites and use it as a bridge to them.

tapiriik screenWith the free account at Tapiriik (which you get by connecting any of the aforementioned logging sites to Tapiriik) you must manually click the big sync button in the middle of the screen to sync your activities.  What could be easier?

Well, for a very tiny pittance ($2 or more bucks, $5 recommended) you can have it automatically sync things – no having to load the site and click the sync button.  The interval that it syncs is quite often so you are assured that your fitness loggings will get synced quite quickly.  I’m cheap, and I even paid to have it automatically synced!

tapiriik garmin

Syncing Options

In fact, a few times I have gotten home from a run or bike ride and my Garmin GPS watch has automatically uploaded its data to Connect Garmin, and Tapiriik has automatically synced Connect Garmin with Runkeeper and Strava before I have even gotten my clothes changed and a drink of water.

You’ll also notice that Tapiriik tries to sync and copy all old activities the first time it’s connected to a new exercise logging site.

After it syncs between the various sites you can also check a log to see what might not have gotten synced, either because one site you have logged something on doesn’t have an equivalent for an activity on another site or if there is an error.

It also can dump your workouts to DropBox, to its own folder.  Nice feature, and a good backup.  You can import these files into other logging websites, download them into a mapping program, or keep them as backups on your computer.

There are a few options for each site you are connected with – you can turn on and off syncing among the sites you are syncing between in either direction, and also toggle the ability for private activities to be shared among the connected sites.  You probably want this turned on unless you have all of your activities set as public.  Setting them as public isn’t always a good idea as anyone can see where your home is and such, if you’re concerned about such a thing and you probably should be.

All-in-all an excellent site created and run by Mr. Collin Fair.

Update as of 11/212017 – Collin Fair has always done an excellent job at trying to keep up with Garmin, Runkeeper, and the other ones when they change their login methods which ‘break’ syncing, and he does it all by himself.  Tapiriik has always been my favorite for this reason.  But unfortunately after a few months of trying I could no longer get Garmin nor Runkeeper to sync to anything else.  Some people mention it’s a Runkeeper issue but my Garmin Connect does not sync to any of the other services any more either via Tapiriik, so I have had to abandon using Tapiriik for the app SyncMyTracks (see below).

copymysports

CopyMySports.com is a bit more complicated to set up, but nothing that anyone who can follow some simple instructions can’t do.

CopyMySports used to be GarminConnectSync but it’s expanded from just connecting Garmin Connect to Runkeeper to also including Strava, thus the name change.

copymysports screenTo connect to Garmin you must find the ID of one of your loggings on Garmin Connect.  Pretty easy to do, just click on one of your activities and look at your URL bar in your browser and find the sequence of numbers which make up the ID at the end of the address.  Once you have that it’s a simple matter to paste it into the correct field in CopyMySports and you can then click the CHECK ID button, then be connected.

Note here – just like in Tapiriik you must make sure that if your activities are marked private that you enable CopyMySports to access them.  There’s a handy link that explains how to do it right on the main page or you can click here.

Once you are connected to Garmin Connect and have made sure that your activities marked as private are able to be synced then you can connect to Runkeeper and/or Strava with a bit more ease, similarly to how Tapiriik and the others connect to other sites to sync.

Like Tapiriik there’s not a whole lot of options here as syncing is its job.  You can choose to copy all old activities to Runkeeper and Strava in addition to new ones as you log them, which is nice, and there’s a FAQ and a place to donate if you like this excellent service (see note below – this service is no longer free, but very cheap).

Update May 2017 – ‘Ralf’ lets us know that the service is now no longer free, there is a small charge for the service as well as a charge for bulk copying of old activities.

Update Fall 2017 – Unfortunately this service can no longer be used to sync as of this time.  Go to CopyMySports.com for an explanation (and to check whether something has changed and it is working again).  fitnesssyncer

Fitnesssyncer (with three S’s ) started out in September of 2012 and at that time only synced to HealthVault, but has recently been expanded to many more sites.  And it’s potentially one of the most useful in additional features and options.

fitnesssyncer screenIt’s fairly similar to some of the other services in the aspect that you can easily set up a free account, and then give the website permission to access the particular exercise logging site’s info.  You’ll find a good solid list of sites that it will sync data with or to.

Like Tapiriik it also syncs to a dropbox account but unlike Tapiriik the data is in CSV format.  FitnessSyncer also can send your data to an e-mail address.  Nice feature there.

fitnessyncer graphThe free account does limit you to five sources and tasks to sync with.  A Pro Account gives you an unlimited number of sources/tasks and allows you to choose when to sync your data, and of course buying a Pro Account allows you to help the owner of the site in the development of this resource.

One of the nice things, which is unlike some of the basic sync-your-data site is that you can display your data in a simple graph form.

Another handy feature is the ability to set up rules so as to make sure that you aren’t duplicating the sharing of exercises across sites.  It also allows you to filter certain ones, in the form of either completely filtering them out or including only certain ones.  A nice and unique dimension to syncing.

On FitnessSyncer you will also find something called ShoeRenew which lets you keep track of your running shoes and other equipment, e-mailing you when you get to a certain mileage and need to replace (like running shoes) or perform maintenance (like on biking equipment).

I gotta say, while all the syncing services work well Fitnesssyncer in some ways has the potential to go above and beyond, depending on whether you need more than the ability to do simple syncing.

Update Winter 2017 – despite the problems with other syncing sites so far Fitnesssyncer has worked flawlessly for me, though I use another service to cyn with Garmin so I can’t speak to how well it is working with Garmin any more.

syncmetrics

NOTE as of 8/28/2014 – Syncmetrics is currently shut down, please keep checking their site for further info. 

Again, pretty standard stuff – you register and get logged in, where upon you can go to ‘Sync Settings‘ in the menu under your name and see the list of sites you can sync among.

Once you click an a fitness logging site you can then click its icon to get connected to it.  It is pretty standard in that you must give the site permission to connect (or you must log into the site you are connecting to if you’re not already logged into it previously, this works the same as the other syncing site for the most part).

When you are connected to a fitness or health logging site you can then choose which other sites you want to sync that particular one to.

Once you get some stuff synced you’ll see some of your stats start showing up across the top.  You can click some of your stats to get a few graphs and such.  There’s also a nice quick knowledge base over on the right with help about syncing and other related things concerning each syncing site, with a bit of info.

You can also fill out your profile, have a profile pic, and connect to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

The nice thing about this site is that in addition to sites like Runkeeper and Strava it also syncs to websites like Fitbit (so does FitnessSyncer.com), Withings, Jawbone (so does FitnessSyncer.com), and Nike+.  A note here – it syncs to the sites, not the devices themselves.

That’s about it, it does the job as it’s supposed to.  Though right at the moment of this posting they were having trouble with Garmin Connect not working with the site.  I imagine they will get this figured out soon.

NOTE as of 8/28/2014 – Syncmetrics is currently shut down, please keep checking their site for further info. 

Update 11/22/2017 – Syncmetrics seems to be permanently closed.

syncmytracks1

Recently after having trouble with the Tapiriik syncing website I decided to give SyncMyTracks a try.  Unlike the other services you don’t use a website, nor the exercise logging system’s own app – but a third-party app made for syncing (Android only).  Similar to using a website except you just run it on your phone or tablet instead.

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Setting the Options

There aren’t a lot of apps that do a general and as complete and almost across-the-board syncing of so many services, but this one does.  From the list on the website, it syncs between – adidas miCoach, Bryton Active, Decathlon Coach, Endomondo, Fitbit, Garmin Connect, Google Fit, MapMyFitness, Nike+ Run Club, Polar Flow, Ride with GPS, RunKeeper, Runtastic, Samsung Health, Sports Tracker, Strava, Suunto Movescount, TomTom Sports and TrainingPeaks.

The app is slick, and while it can seem complicated it’s doing a pretty complicated sort of thing, and it’s easily figured out.  There’s plenty of help in the form of a FAQ included in the app, both on the app and via the interactive demo on the website (which works just like the app does, letting you play around with it).

The app itself costs a small amount, and has a free version you can try first.  For a pittance you can get something that will sync to a multitude of services right in your pocket.

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Setting Each Service’s Options

With this app you can choose whether some services only send data in one direction or not, which is a really nice option.  It will sync weight between services that support it, and you can even export data to a directory on your phone or tablet.

Setting up each service to sync is easy, just make sure you are on the Account Sync screen (via the upper-left menu) and click the plus icon, click on the service shown beside ‘Tracker’ (the default is “adidas miCoach”) and select which one you want and then click beside Email and Password and fill these in, click beside Synchronize if you want only new activities synced and you can click beside GPS data if you want to select just GPS activities or leave it at the default if you want all activities synced (things you may have entered manually like Yoga, or weight training).

Below this you can turn off syncing to and from various services, if you want everything to sync just leave the rest alone.  Once done click SYNCHRONIZE in the upper right and go through the prompts until it does its stuff, which may take a few minutes if you have a lot of things entered at that service.

On the main Account sync screen you can click the gear icon for some options, like automatic syncing.  Clicking each service gives you a previous log and another gear icon for access to options for that service.

After an initial syncing (where you can select to sync only new activities or all of them) it’s just a matter of clicking the sync button or allowing it to automatically sync at intervals.

The thing I like about this app is the exercise equivalents between the services seem to be very accurate for the most part.  Indoor cycling is indoor cycling on most things (or spinning) instead of just ‘biking’.  

I’ve had really good luck with it in general.  A couple of times I have had a short walk not sync but I believe this was due to my phone going to sleep and shutting off the WiFi signal, normally not an issue as it syncs pretty quickly.

accountsync1 (1)

Ready to Sync

I believe that the reason that SyncMyTracks works so well, especially with Garmin and Runkeeper and their new privacy issues with external connections, is that each service’s login info is stored locally right on your phone or tablet.

The app works fine on all of my mobile devices (it has to be set up on each one, but you can export and import settings and transfer them to and from each device).  It even works perfectly on Windows’ Android emulators like Bluestacks

The programmer/author has done a great job with this app, I highly recommend it, especially if nothing else works for you.

Get SyncMyTracks on the Google Play store.

 

Direct Syncing Between Services

In addition to standalone sites and apps we are seeing more and more companies and services integrate and connect with others, Runkeeper possibly being the best.  Click here for a searchable list of sites that Runkeeper connect to

But surprisingly even some seemingly competitive services are linking together for syncing, services like Garmin and Strava have an automatic uploading of Garmin activities to Strava.

Sometimes you may find that you have to use the company’s or service’s app to connect to another service, other times you have to use the website – some trial and error here, so don’t give up if your favorite exercise logging service doesn’t connect to something else; try its various online iterations to make sure. sync

In closing I want to thank Collin from Tapiriik, Gero from CopyMySports.com, Eric of Fitnesssyncer.com, and Juan of SyncMyTracks for allowing me to use logos and screenshots and such for this blog posting.  They all do an excellent job and provide a much-needed service, so try out their sites and support them if you are able to.

As time goes by I think we will see more and more logging sites integrate better with other sites, as well as new ways to transfer data back and forth.  

 

3 Comments:

  1. Pingback: A Review of Some Exercise Logging Sites

  2. Pingback: Review - FitBit Flex - The Random Bits & Bytes Blog

  3. From May 2017 CopyMySports has become a paid service, only for new users for now, but the site states that existing users will also be moved to the paid service some day.

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