F3b Notice: Battery drain


*** Update 08-30-2023

All F3b apps we updated to used Connect IQ SDK 6.3.0, which included several fixes from Garmin to address a Battery burn issue.

– All Applications were recompile with 6.3.0, no source changes.

– Using Connect IQ SDK Mac 6.3.0-2023-08-29-fc81ed416

— 6.3.0 for battery burn issue.

–(Garmin) Fix a bug where getRegisteredSensors() would not return the correct enabled states for onboard hear-rate and onboard pulse-ox sensors.

–(Garmin) Fix a bug where setEnabledSensors() did not work correctly for onboard heart-rate and onboard pulse-ox sensors.

**** Update from Garmin Engineering

This will be rolled out to all f3b applications

From: Travis <garmin.com>
Date: Friday, August 11, 2023 at 4:16 PM
To: brian brown <brian@f-3b.com>
Cc:  Brandon <garmin.com>
Subject: RE: GARMIN Connect IQ – New review(s) for your app “F3b Inline Skating+” – Connect IQ Notification

Brian,I did some investigating and found a bug in the sensor our shutdown process where we were not decrementing a counter if an app exits without explicitly unregistering the sensor event callback. This resulted in the system keeping a periodic timer alive, sending a wakeup message to the VM thread to do some processing that isn’t needed. I have not yet confirmed that this resolves the battery drain issue entirely, but I have confirmed that it is a problem and is causing unnecessary battery drain. I have a patch for this issue that should make it into our Q4 release.

That said, you should be able to avoid the issue by ensuring that the sensor event callback is set to null when you no longer want to receive sensor data. Simply disabling the sensor or changing the enabled sensors is not sufficient. You need to clear the callback as well.


I think that you will find that if you paste that into the bottom of your quitSensors method, the battery drain will be reduced or eliminated entirely.



There is a new Garmin bug within the Venu2 family, FR55 and FR955 that is affecting battery drain. The Garmin issues have been acknowledged and there are bug ticket numbers assigned. The Garmin bug tickets can be viewed in the https:\\forums.garmin.com.

F3b has made several workarounds and improvements to each app to further reduce battery drain and there are a few things you can to reduce your watch battery drain.

  • Use Garmin Express (https://www.garmin.com/express/) to verify if there are any pending updates for your watch.
    • A pending updates will cause extreme battery drains.
    • I recommend, using Garmin Express for installing All CIQ apps or Garmin Software updates.
  • Restart the watch after any CIQ app install or Garmin Software update.
  • Set the SaO2 sensor to “Manual Check” or “On Demand”. The default is ‘Always’ or ‘All Day’.
  • Use a less intensive widgets and watch face. These types of Garmin Apps typically use Garmin Background service and is continually running in the background and will increase battery drain.
  • Remove all unused apps, watchfaces, and widgets.
  • Restart the watch after an activity.


-Brian B.

Garmin Express -> https://www.garmin.com/express/

Garmin Forums -> https://forums.garmin.com

F3b Applications


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Brian Brown

Non-GPS Distance is Zero


I have been getting a lot of questions pertaining to the zero distance in the main bubble and activity sticker in Connect Mobile App saved activity.

The Distance is zero (or incorrect) on the Connect Activity Sticker and on the Activity main bubble, due to Garmin Policy does not allow CIQ applications to write NON-GPS values. However, these policies only applies to CIQ applications not the native Garmin apps.

I cannot change the decisions of the Garmin Executives, however if there is enough complaints they may change there policy.

I encourage you to politely complain to “Garmin” (in the Garmin threads below) to follow and use the IQ SDK Fit Contributor class ‘nativeNum’, which overrides the data in the FIT file as the Garmin Built-in apps do.

I want this functionality as a Garmin User as much as you do.

Add the “@AlphaMonkeyC” to the post.


Garmin blocks the distance in the following applications: Elliptical, Dance, StairStepper, SwimSports, work, any step based distance or non-GPS distance.

Here is a 30 minute elliptical workout distance is zero in the main field, but the distance is shown in the IQ section.


Until the policy changes, I provide the distance in the IQ Section.


-Brian B.


Tips for better optical heart accuracy


Yes, the Garmin’s first, second and third generation optical heart sensor hardware produces results with lower values than the Chest HRM.

Why is Optical Heart Rate generally lower:

1.) Wrist movement

2.) loose watch fit

3.) poor sensor contact

4.) hair, sweat or dirt will affect the values too

5.) Garmin Software filtering

Why are the high heart rate (Peaks) and low heart rate (valleys) missing:

Garmin Software imposes additional filters (Fast Fourier Transforms, FFT) in Activity types Strength Training, Tennis, Soccer and flexibility, due to high wrist movement in these activities. These FFT filters (advanced math) reduce the recorded peaks and valleys of a heart rate and calories calculations. Calories are based on heart rate, age, weight, gender and time.

There are a few solutions to improve the optical heart rate values:

1.) Wear the watch tighter. Poor sensor contact will result in lower HR values.

2.) Reduce wrist hair under sensor.

3.) Reduce wrist movement when possible, high movement reduces sensor contact.

4.) Chest HRM Gives best results.

Garmin Video explaining the difference between Optical and Chest Heart Rate monitors.