Garmin Vivoactive 3 Loses Connection Overnight

I am still in the early phases of figuring this out, but I’m hoping maybe this issue will ring a bell for anyone using a Garmin Vivoactive 3 with Sleep as Android. It seems that sometime during the night, the Vivoactive 3 restarts, interrupting sleep tracking. The only way to reconnect it is by manually starting the Sleep app on the Garmin device. Since I’m usually sleeping during this time, though, I’m unaware of this connectivity issue. I’m only guessing that the watch is restarting because I’ve once or twice seen it happen while I’m awake just before bed. Most times it happens after midnight. The triangle appears on the face of the watch as it reboots. My first thought is that this is an issue on Garmin’s end. I’ve tried disabling all automatic updates of the Garmin device to try and avoid reboots, but that was fruitless. The “crash” seems to occur most often during sleep tracking. I suppose it’s possible there’s a bluetooth connection error as well, but that seems unlikely as my phone and watch stay connected throughout the day while I move about the house.

Again, I’m really just curious if this happens to others, and if anyone’s found a solution either here or in Garmin’s support forums. Thanks in advance for any clues!

Hi @BlueYodeler, thanks for posting. Well, Garmin dev support has said to me that apps should not be able to crash in such way for the watch to be restarted, at all :slight_smile: But apparently this is not the case.

I have released an update recently with fixes for some crashes, did you experience this with the latest version?

Hi there, @jiri-urbandroid, and thanks for the reply! Oddly enough, the connection was not interrupted last night, and I was able to get an entire night’s worth of HR/HRV data. The night(s) prior, though, I did not, due to what I can only guess is the watch losing connectivity. I will keep an eye on it and follow up here. I believe I have the most recent update from earlier in April, but perhaps there is a newer one that I haven’t upgraded to yet, so I’ll double-check that. Additionally, I just got the idea to check out Garmin’s diagnostic logs on my Garmin Connect app to see if anything might show up around the time of the suspected crashes. Thanks again for the reply!

Just a quick update. This still happens regularly, however, I just discovered the instructions in the Garmin store that instruct the user to install apps in a particular order. (Who knew that clicking “More…” in the description actually had useful information? :grimacing:). I am going to give that a try for the next few nights and see how I get on.

Hi @BlueYodeler if it worked at all at any point of time for you, then you installed the apps correctly - so installing them again would have no effect. Yesterday I’ve released an update which attempts to fix further out of memory errors leading to random crashes overnight, so hopefully this could have some impact.

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Thanks, @jiri-urbandroid. I will give it a shot!

Hey @jiri-urbandroid, I thought I’d give you an update. The problem continued happening after my last reply, however, one night I noticed that the reset happened immediately after the sleep tracking delay I had set up ended. For example, I typically start the app, but have a thirty-minute delay before the sleep tracking starts. That prompted me to wonder if there was a link between the two, so the next night, I turned off the tracking delay. Since Monday night, when I turned off the sleep tracking delay, the watch has not crashed. In addition, the battery on the watch does not drain nearly at the rate it did prior to this change.

I have no idea what the connection is here, if there is one, but it appears to have solved the issue for me (at least for the time being). Hopefully, it provides a clue while as you troubleshoot/debug. In my experience fixing bugs and trying to get useful information from users, there’s probably about a 50-50 chance of that :smiley: If there are any logs available that I could send you, let me know, and I’d be glad to provide what I can, or help test. Thanks for all your help.

Hello folks,

thank you for your feedback. There is a large bug in the Garmin communication API which Garmin refuses to fix for years. Occasionally the Garmin Connect Mobile app clogs up the communication between our app and the watch. In that case, we’ve found out that force stopping and then starting the Garmin Connect Mobile app will refresh the comm queue and then it should work normally.

We tried to contact Garmin on this several times but they just ignore this issue. So our patience just run out now and we have moved to a quite nasty but hopefully fuctional workaround.

We’ve just finished an update of the Garmin integration which uses a different method of communication between the app and the watch, which is apparently working much better than the direct method we used before. We use both of those methods simultaneously and if the old one fails, we switch to the new method. From our tests, this has good results and we haven’t had any missed data in any night we’ve been testing with this.
On Vivoactive 3, we’re also seeing around 15% battery drain per 8h of tracking (with HR/HRV on).

If you want to try this, you’re going to need two things - a new Garmin addon for phone, and a new watch app. Both of these are currently labeled as beta and not published for general availability. So to try it, please follow the steps below.

  1. Get beta of the phone addon:
  2. Register for beta testing of the Sleep as Android Garmin addon here >>
  3. Make sure the beta update gets downloaded on your phone.
  4. Get the updated watch app
  5. First uninstall the Sleep app from your watch using the Garmin Connect app ( Garmin Connect > tap on your watch > Activities & App Management > Activities & Apps > Sleep > Uninstall )
  6. Download the .prg file for your watch model in the list here:
  7. Connect your watch to your computer via USB. Put the .prg file on your watch in /GARMIN/APPS folder (just like you would put it on a USB drive).
  8. Run Sleep on your watch!

Please let me know any thoughts or feedback you’d have about this.

Thanks petr. I came here this morning searching for a solution. I’m tired of my watch failing me overnight. I’ve been having this issue off and on for a long time, and it’s been worse than usual the last few weeks. I will install the beta today and report back.

Hello @Ist … many thanks. So far we have very good feedback on this, so we are slowly rolling this out… it will take some time, as we first need everybody to update the new add-on - with is already 100% in production and then we can roll out the watch app update…

I installed the betas and have had two nights of properly-monitored sleep since. No issues that I see so far, and battery consumption on the watch is exactly what I’ve come to expect, no change there. It’s early for me to say the issue is fixed, but I did want to say I’m not seeing any regression or new issues so far.

@Ist great news… many thanks for sharing this! We are releasing this to production right now…