SpeedCoach Mobile is now CrewNerd!

Big changes here at Performance Phones! After five years, the agreement with Nielsen-Kellerman under which we were using the SpeedCoach Mobile name is expiring, so it’s time for a change. After extensive research and several focus group sessions (just kidding), we settled on “CrewNerd”. Choosing a name is hard, but this is short enough to fit under an icon and hopefully easy to remember. We hope it will grow on you. CrewNerd 4.0 is now available for both iPhone and Windows Phone.

The other, more significant change is that we’ve added a new “Live Tracking” feature to the app. With live tracking, you can send your location and performance data to your coach in real time. It’s similar to the data transmission feature in the SpeedCoach XL3/XL4, except that it works through the internet so your viewers (coaches or spectators) can be anywhere in the world. The viewer application is also web-based, so it will work with most smartphones and tablets.

Live tracking is something that many customers have asked about over the last couple of years, so we’re happy to finally be able to bring this to you. We think this will be a great tool for coaches, and could be a helpful safety feature for the boathouse staff as well. We’re also anxious to see how this might be used to make rowing more exciting for spectators.

The Live Tracking viewer at crewnerd.com is free. To cover the cost of operating the internet relay, rowers pay a very small per-hour fee when using the feature. The fee is paid by purchasing “tracking hours” within the CrewNerd application in blocks of 10, 25, or 50 hours. We felt that this was the best solution to keep CrewNerd and the Live Tracking viewer application completely free of advertisements.

Please give it a try and let us know what you think. We plan to continue to add features to the viewer based on your feedback. And please bear with us through the name change. We know that some links are currently broken and we’re working with our various partners and service providers to get everything repaired.

Thank you for your support!

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Version 3.1 for iPhone released

The latest free update for the iPhone includes two new features and several bug fixes. A new “screen lock” feature prevents water droplets from being interpreted as touch input during your workouts. To enable this, see the main settings screen. Projected time and distance are now available through a new “Projected” data field on the row/paddle screen.

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SpeedCoach Mobile for iOS Version 3.05 Released

The latest free update to SpeedCoach Mobile includes support for detailed charting of the interval data from your workouts. To chart the data for an interval, go to the history tab and select a practice. In the “Workouts” section for the practice, tap the workout of interest. At the top of the interval detail page for the workout, you’ll see a new “Charts” section with an “Interval Detail” row. Press that to see a chart of the interval data.

By default, you’ll see a chart of pace and stroke rate vs. time. Red vertical lines are used to mark off regular distance intervals and show your split for each segment of an interval. You could use this, for example, to quickly see your 500m splits in a 2000m piece.

Almost everything about the charts can be easily customized by pressing the “Configure” button in the upper right corner of the display. There, you can apply more or less smoothing to the speed, pace, and stroke rate data. You can select the data you want to see charted on the left and right Y axis (or turn off the right Y axis to reduce clutter). And the distance marker intervals can be adjusted, or turned off completely.

Back on the chart screen, you can use touch gestures to zoom and pan. Also, you can press and hold on one of the chart lines to display a cross-hair that lets you see the exact data for any point on the line. With the cross-hair displayed, slide your finger left or right to see other data values. Tap anywhere else on the screen to remove the cross-hair.

If there are multiple intervals in your workout, use the left and right arrows in the bottom corners of the screen to quickly display the data for each interval. We plan to add additional chart types in the future. As always, we welcome your feedback and suggestions!

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SpeedCoach Mobile for iOS Version 3.04 Released

We’re pleased to announce the release of another free application update for iOS. This version includes updates for the new iOS 6 release as well as changes to support the larger iPhone 5 display, which now gets a 6th data row in portrait mode. The update also fixes compatibility problems between the exported TCX data and some desktop applications and web sites, along with other miscellaneous fixes.

In addition to these incremental updates, we have also added speech output support via the iPhone’s “VoiceOver” facility to enable blind and vision-impaired athletes to make better use of the application. With VoiceOver enabled, users can now configure SpeedCoach Mobile to announce performance-related information at regular and customizable intervals. Three different time-based announcements can be configured, and distance announcements can be configured at different distance intervals.

One last item to note about this update is that we are no longer able to support iOS versions earlier than 4.3. This excludes the original iPhone 3G and early generations of the iPod touch. iPhone 3GS and newer models are still supported. This change was necessary because the developer tools provided by Apple no longer support the processors used in those older devices.

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SpeedCoach Mobile now available for Windows Phone

We’re pleased to announce that SpeedCoach Mobile is now available on all models of the Windows Phone. The Windows Phone version is largely compatible with the iPhone version in terms of features, but was adapted specifically for the Windows Phone to take advantage of features unique to that platform. Currently, custom courses and MapMyTracks are not yet implemented but support for these features will appear in an upcoming update. For more information, see our listing in the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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Windows Phone version coming soon!

We’re in the final stages of testing a new version of SpeedCoach Mobile for Windows Phone. If all goes well, we’ll be submitting for approval in the next couple of weeks, and it should be available in the Marketplace shortly after that.

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Version 3.0 now available!

SpeedCoach Mobile version 3.0 is now available in iTunes. This update adds support for live-streaming your workouts via MapMyTracks.com. The update interval can be set from 2 seconds (for near-instantaneous tracking) to 5 minutes (for best battery life). The app can be configured to be “offline”, “online public”, “online private”, or to ask you for your preference at the start of each practice or workout.

The new version also includes a couple of bug fixes, and support for heart rate and stroke rate in the GPX export format (using the Garmin Oregon GPX extensions).

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SpeedCoach Mobile version 2.5 released today!

The latest free update to SpeedCoach Mobile was approved by Apple today and is available for download from the app store now. This version includes two new heart rate options, detailed stroke force data, a new “total distance” data field on the row/paddle screen, support for background mode, and more!

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Learn more about accessories and waterproof cases

A new video is available that describes accessories that you might find useful with SpeedCoach Mobile. External GPS receivers allow you to get speed and distance information on an iPod touch, and several different options are available for monitoring your heart rate. The video also shows five different waterproof cases that are currently available.

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Understanding check and bounce

SpeedCoach Mobile uses the built-in accelerometer in the iPhone (and iPod touch) to accurately measure your stroke rate. But the accelerometer is capable of much more. With it, SpeedCoach Mobile can also calculate metrics that provide insight into the “quality” of your rowing. It does this through two separate metrics – “check” and “bounce”.

The first of these (check) is well understood by rowers and coaches, but can be described and measured in many different ways. After much experimentation, we found that a useful way to think about check is to consider the smoothness of the recovery.  During the recovery phase, the rowing shell naturally decelerates. However, irregularities in the natural deceleration can be indicators of flaws in the stroke. Rushing the slide or driving with the legs before the blade is in the water both cause the natural (and gradual) deceleration of the boat to be disrupted.

In SpeedCoach Mobile, the “check” factor is an indicator of the consistency of your deceleration during the recovery phase of the stroke. The lower the number, the smoother your recovery. Higher numbers may indicate one of the flaws mentioned above. Many factors will naturally influence the check factor – boat type, stroke rate, power, water conditions, wind, and so on. It’s best to look at the check factor within the course of a single interval or workout. Comparisons from day to day will be much less meaningful. Within a single interval, you may find it helpful to experiment with your stroke to see what changes can lower the check factor.

To reduce the effects of any single stroke, the check factor is calculated as a running average over your last five strokes. This makes it easier to focus on long-term habits and trends that affect your rowing, rather than focusing on a single bad (or good) stroke.

The bounce factor is easier to describe. Bounce is just a measurement of the energy associated with the vertical displacement of the boat in each stroke, the idea being that vertical motion generally represents wasted effort. High “bounce” numbers may mean that you are lunging at the catch (causing the stern to dip), pulling through too high with the handles during the drive (lifting the hull), or not maintaining good posture at the release (causing the bow to dip). Like the check measurement, bounce is averaged over your last five strokes and comparisons from day to day or boat to boat are discouraged.

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