Suunto Ambit update lets GPS watch athletes build their own sports apps

Extending watches with apps is one thing if you're building for a smartphone companion with a traditional, developer-centric app model. It's quite another when it's a GPS watch, and athletes are building their own apps -- yet that's what Suunto has managed with a 2.0 firmware update to its Ambit outdoor watch. The revamp uses a simple web interface to let us build free sports apps based on criteria as simple as distance and speed through to more specific measurements like heart rate and pressure. Adding predictive routines and arbitrary values allows for situation-specific code we might not get elsewhere, whether it's estimating the finish time of a marathon or guessing just how much post-run beer is possible before the guilt sets in. On top of the new software platform, the 2.0 update brings a handful of major extensions from Suunto itself, including support for ANT+ and Foot POD sensors as well as an interval timer. The apps and upgrades help justify a relatively steep $500 price for the Ambit by turning it into a Swiss Army Knife for the wrist; when features are dictated more by imagination than a developer's whims, they might just save the cost of an early hardware replacement.

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NEWS RELEASE: Starting from November 29th, Suunto Ambit users can download and develop their own features in the Suunto App Zone. This makes the Ambit the first GPS watch on the market to constantly evolve.

Users can personalise their watch by downloading existing apps – innovative new features created by other users. For example, there's an app that lets them see their estimated finish time on a marathon, or a function that lets them know the real incline of the hill or mountain they are heading up.

And if they can't find what they're looking for, they can design their own. To explore the full list of currently available Apps go to the Suunto App Zone on Movescount.com.

Head of digital services Janne Kallio comments: "Our customers often provide us with great ideas on additional features or functionalities they'd like to see in their watches. We wanted to give them the chance to continue developing the Ambit. The App Zone is a unique tool that will empower the Suunto Ambit community to create the features they want to see."