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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just thought it would be worth making a thread of its own for these mixed-bag news; not everyone will see on the general SSU thread:

Suunto have just officially delayed the next software releases, but also found what was causing some issues.

Official note (on http://www.suunto.com/spartangetsstronger):

The Suunto Spartan solution will continue to improve with software updates scheduled for September, October, November and December of this year, and continuing into 2017.
Having to alter the plan from our defined roadmap is never desirable, but we want to be as straight-forward and transparent as possible because we understand the impact these developments have on your experience. We are experiencing some challenges in development, and unfortunately need to re-schedule our coming updates. Here are the latest details:

  • Android capability for the Suunto Movescount app is now in the final mile of testing and the re-lease is planned to arrive before the end of October.
  • Unfortunately, we will need to re-schedule the announced October 19th update (Progress Tool, Personal Bests and Community Training Insights on Suunto Movescount.com) until the end of October. We identified some site performance issues in the final testing that we need to sort out before going live with this update.
  • We also need to delay the scheduled October 26th update (Sport mode customization, training plans to your watch and more) to later this year. Our team is reviewing the development obstacles related to this and we’ll share more details as soon as we can.
  • We have received feedback from some of our users on inconsistent GPS performance of Spartan watches, and have put significant effort into investigating this. Some users have seen highly accurate tracking in whole range of sports, while others have seen problems during even basic activities. This inconsistency had not manifested in our pre-launch testing, and it's not how the GPS of Spartan should behave. Together with our GPS chip provider, we have now found a bug that is affecting the chip’s performance. We expect to release an update improving the GPS performance and accuracy of the Spartan in November.
While obstacles in the development process have slowed us down, we are making progress and remain confident and committed that the Spartan solution will deliver on its potential. We appreciate your patience throughout this process and apologize for the frustration these delays have caused.
You have our commitment that we will continue to be transparent about this process and that we will not rest until it is fulfilled.
The next scheduled updates are:
26th October (earlier announced for 19th Oct) Progress Tool, Personal Bests and Community Training Insights on Suunto Movescount.com
TBC (earlier announced for 26th Oct). Sport mode customization, training plans to your watch, graphs and more
11/2016 Altitude and Barometric trends, POI Navigation & heart rate zones graph for training
12/2016 Rest & recovery
Q1 2017 Route altitude profile, interval training support, performance and recovery analysis on the watch.


Just spent last weekend at #SuuntoSummit. Will write about that shortly; also will have interviews from there (CEO and Head of Design). Must say, they *are* working on things and taking the issues seriously.
 

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Thank you Suunto the most awaited update and...

We also need to delay the scheduled October 26th update (Sport mode customization, training plans to your watch and more) to later this year. Our team is reviewing the development obstacles related to this and we'll share more details as soon as we can.
 

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It's embarrassing to see Suunto apologise again for another delay, but the worst part of all is that they put themselves in this situation by launching too soon and announcing such an aggressive roadmap and release schedule. I do think the Spartan will get there and it's clear they're working hard on it. I'm happy with mine, but I'm ok being an 'early adopter' and seeing it evolve while others might not, which I understand since it's not what they expected when they pulled the trigger.

Android support, GLONASS, sport customization, personal bests and demographic comparison in movescount... All these were supposed to be released by now. Display customization by sport was meant to be available a couple weeks after the release and it's now to be confirmed. Not to be arrogant, but I can afford the $800 while I keep my Ambit3 until they release intervals, and well... if the Spartan turns out bad, I'll put it on ebay and will have lost some bucks for playing with the latest gadget without having waited for reading any reviews online. Others will have gotten rid of their previous watch and are counting the days for each promised update.

To me it's obvious: Suunto should have released this watch later, or should have made it very clear that this was an early release and that all these features were planned to be live sometime during 2016 without committing to dates. Not delivering on the dates you committed is the worst way to handle people's expectations. Even for me today, being ok with this and fully aware that the roadmap was unrealistic, it was disappointing to see that the Movescount upddates planned for today were pushed back. If they'd just said sometime during October, I'd have saved me the frustration.

They'd reconsider the way they handle this going forward. More bugs will come up as they add features, it's normal, they just can't keep announcing delays.
 

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In software development, one of the biggest mistake you can make is to publicly announce the future software updates. It's a big boost if you can stick to the schedule but most of the times, you won't. Disgruntled customers -> PR nightmare.
I've always defended Suunto but the Spartan Ultra launch is an embarrassment. And it's the last Suunto product I'll ever own.
 

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I see one huge piece of important news. they found a specific problem with the GPS that they believe is fixable!

not something that Garmin ever did with the F3.

which is why I currently own neither. I realize there is no perfection in GPS accuracy, but it's not unreasonable to expect my next watch to be on par with the A2/A3 in this regard.

If I were a current owner of a Spartan- I'd be furious that I still couldn't customize my data fields. (kinda' a basic feature of any mid-level gps watch for the past 6 years)
 

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I am content. They care about transparency and I'm sure they are going to deliver!

Nobody forced me to by this watch. I'm an early adaptor and there's no one to blame for this but me.

However things work out much smother then,e.g., what Microsoft is doing with Windows for Mobile...

Maximum respect for Suunto being honest and even more for taking us seriously!
 

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I am content. They care about transparency and I'm sure they are going to deliver!

Nobody forced me to by this watch. I'm an early adaptor and there's no one to blame for this but me.

However things work out much smother then,e.g., what Microsoft is doing with Windows for Mobile...

Maximum respect for Suunto being honest and even more for taking us seriously!
I'm partially agree. On one hand they are being clear just now but on the other hand they weren't in the past. When I order my SSU I read at Suunto's website that all the features will be implemented during September. I decided I could manage one month with a non finished watch. Then they changed the information and add a new schedule.

I guess they'll fix all the problems in a realistic time of 6 months from now

deporteporvida.com
 
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I see one huge piece of important news. they found a specific problem with the GPS that they believe is fixable!

not something that Garmin ever did with the F3.

which is why I currently own neither. I realize there is no perfection in GPS accuracy, but it's not unreasonable to expect my next watch to be on par with the A2/A3 in this regard.

If I were a current owner of a Spartan- I'd be furious that I still couldn't customize my data fields. (kinda' a basic feature of any mid-level gps watch for the past 6 years)
I do not yet have an SSU, but after watching the experience of others and lack of response from Suunto I am encouraged by there statements today. Of course, we will have to wait to see that the GPS problems are fixable and fixed, but at least they acknowledge that there is a problem, that the current state of affairs is unsatisfactory, and they think they have an idea what to work on.
 

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Just spent last weekend at #SuuntoSummit. Will write about that shortly; also will have interviews from there (CEO and Head of Design). Must say, they *are* working on things and taking the issues seriously.
Very curious to read more on the interviews and visit. Are you going to post links here?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Very curious to read more on the interviews and visit. Are you going to post links here?
If I can find a spot where it fits nicely. Or you could just follow me on one of the various places my blog articles go... to die, because everyone's only following the rainy one, finding me only via google :p [I write about way too much beside sports tech, and apparently not the things most interesting to so many people. Or I hope that explains it, not my style of writing ;) ]
 

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As you all know by now I don't own a Spartan anymore but I am still coming here from time to time to check the status hoping that one day, after many, many months this watch would be great like they said it would be in the first place... but paper can take anything... in reality things are completely different most of the time.

What bothers me is that it took them quite some time to realise that there are GPS issues when me and others were signaling them a long, long time ago. How come some early reviews, bloggers and forum users said that the GPS is razor sharp when in fact it was not and now we have the confirmation that's indeed something wrong? Who lied all thing time and why? Fanboys, Suunto marketing, paid people to play nice?

I am really sorry that I was right (many months ago) with Suunto introducing with each firmware bugs that would take time to iron out... time that would delay implementing other missing or useful features. I am really sorry that I was right when stating so many times that It will take at least 6 months to get things right. After following the developments I'll say that I was pretty optimistic... I will say that it will take them at least 9 months if not a year.

The funny things with early adopters, it would had been nice for Suunto to keep us happy by REALLY listening to our problems... in my case I paid a premium for the watch, there weren't very open taking in consideration my suggestions, not helpful when I had what appeared to be some hardware problems. I would have needed Suunto to treat me with the proper respect and make me want to get involved more as an early adopter... instead they treated me like I was just one more complainer that they have to deal with because they are paid to do so. I did not find any real joy for being an early adopter for Suunto but I've been an early adopter with other brands and somehow they managed to make me feel welcome into their process of developing the product... instead of complaining of their bugs I was working out ways in detecting the bugs and write emails explaining to them how to trigger the bugs so they can fix it.

I don't know what Suunto was thinking in the first place but I am glad that they finally realised that it takes a lot of time to get this watch to what they were projecting on those presentation slides a few months ago. They are trying to be more transparent and play nice with the crowd, but so far..... I don't buy it.
 

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I don't know what Suunto was thinking in the first place but I am glad that they finally realised that it takes a lot of time...
I believe there was no reason for Suunto to wait on the release of the Spartan and associated online Movescount functionality. What they are rolling out is absolutely massive and I think they were the first ones to realize it takes time to get it all ironed out. I think they know it is not all going to get better by simply holding on to it. I think it is important to have it all out there selling, and to be working on improving it all in a more focused manner as quickly as possible. And I appreciate and support that.
 

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I was asking myself if Suunto would publish the source code for the firmware. I bet there would be some guys out there trying to improve things...
That said, I really don't know what solution they use for producing their firmware. It seems they are using Duktape at least partly, which is a small javascript engine.
I would be really interested in hardware details also, e.g. CPU details, memory, bootloader... Does anybody have some infos/guesses?
(I only have some arduino experience, was building a small GPS/altimeter device with display... yes it worked better than the SSU, for 35 bucks... and no, it didn't look as nice :)
 

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I was asking myself if Suunto would publish the source code for the firmware.

This will never happen! For one thing there are a lot of copyrighted things in there, a lot of algorithms that costed Suunto a lot of money to develop, test and implement.

No, Suunto just needs to focus and make things move quicker in the right direction.... They need to bring this watch at soon as possible to Fenix 3 levels... they need to compete with the best the market has at the moment...
 

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This will never happen! For one thing there are a lot of copyrighted things in there, a lot of algorithms that costed Suunto a lot of money to develop, test and implement.
Well, if the firmware would really be perfect, i would share your opinion. But at the moment, lets face it, its... ehhm... sort of unfinished. Dont know exactly which part of the firmware could be of interest to competitors at the moment. Maybe the alarm clock? :) I mean, the top sports watches from the major brands all (should) do more or less the same?
 

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Well, if the firmware would really be perfect, i would share your opinion. But at the moment, lets face it, its... ehhm... sort of unfinished. Dont know exactly which part of the firmware could be of interest to competitors at the moment. Maybe the alarm clock? :) I mean, the top sports watches from the major brands all (should) do more or less the same?
There's little to be done except waiting for better days, a better, stable and more complete firmware.

Don't expect them to share anything related to it's firmware, no matter how buggy or unfinished it is.

Maybe the algorithms from the Spartan are no use for Garmin, Polar... but for a chinese new company that just entered the market those algorithms are pure gold.

Don't underestimate the huge amount of work that it's been already put in the Spartan's firmware even if it's not so advanced.
 

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You are probably right, that's not going to happen. Don't get me wrong, I think there is a lot of work behind those 10 Megabytes of firmware, but probably a lot of resources went into fairly standard stuff (touchscreen, bluetooth and so on). I think that could also be one of the things that were underestimated during development.
But still dreaming of being able to mod some stuff :)
Anyways, I see I'm getting OT :)
 

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The next scheduled updates are:
26th October (earlier announced for 19th Oct) Progress Tool, Personal Bests and Community Training Insights on Suunto Movescount.com
TBC (earlier announced for 26th Oct). Sport mode customization, training plans to your watch, graphs and more
11/2016 Altitude and Barometric trends, POI Navigation & heart rate zones graph for training
12/2016 Rest & recovery
Q1 2017 Route altitude profile, interval training support, performance and recovery analysis on the watch.
The previously announced 26th October is now End of October according to Suunto website.
 

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It's been like that for a while now. I hope end of October does not mean 31st. :s

Please let it be 28th, please. Going hiking for the longer 4-day weekend (praise the national holidays on Oct 31st and Nov 1st) and would love to have the next update prior to that.
 

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It's been like that for a while now. I hope end of October does not mean 31st. :s

Please let it be 28th, please. Going hiking for the longer 4-day weekend (praise the national holidays on Oct 31st and Nov 1st) and would love to have the next update prior to that.
I think the update is 100% on the web, the watch is not going to receive any update until who knows.....
 
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