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New Feature: Apple Widget

iPhone homescreen showing the Big Team Challenge app icon and new widget

Introducing the new iPhone widget

When iOS 14 was launched earlier in the year our team went into their usual high gear whenever a new operating system is announced, ensuring our app would continue to work uninterrupted. This latest iOS release also meant that our design and development team also got a fun new opportunity to plan and build a whole new feature: the homescreen widget.

What's a widget?

Apples new widget feature allows developers to build small little apps that run on your phones homescreen and pull in small pieces of information from within the main app. In our case we decided the most fun and helpful feature would be to pull in your step count and team progress straight into the widget. Therefore users at a glance can see exactly how they're doing that day without having to open the app.

Planned Development: Syncing With Garmin

Adding to our list of wearable smart devices

At Big Team Challenge our long term goal is always to build a system which utilises as many technologies and devices as possible so that our users can have the best possible experience.

When participants sign up to join a walking challenge on our system they currently have the option to connect to either their Fitbit account to track their smart pedometers activity, or to sync up with their Apple and Android smart phone apps (Apple Health and Google Fit respectively). This is fantastic for the majority of our users as this allows them to track their progress seamlessly by automatically pulling in their steps from their devices and adding it to their team's total. This leaves them more time to focus on maintaining motivation and pushing their team mates to be more active.

Moving forward with Garmin

Garmin smart watches and GPS tracking devices are an incredibly popular device with runners and outdoor enthusiasts around the globe. This is why it only makes sense for us to bring that functionality into our step count and exercise challenges. We're working closely with the Garmin development team to help enable this feature for future challenges. When we've completed this feature and done sufficient testing, it will be great to launch it and see the response from our participants around the world.

Strava and other exercise apps

While we don't currently have integration with Strava and other activity apps, we do have them on our development road map and will always strive to be as connected as possible to such services in the future.

If you have any ideas or requests, please let us know as we're always looking at ways to make our system better.

New Feature: One Big Challenge

Supporting company-wide distances

Up until recently Big Team Challenge worked as a way of motivating smaller teams into friendly competition with each other. However with an ever evolving working life and with restrictions on personal connections, we opted to make a new feature available on Big Team Challenge.

Instead of teams raking up their own individual distances and following their own progress on the virtual map, every team's distance can now be collated and used to progress the whole company along a single map.

This is a function that can be turned on or off when creating the challenge so it's entirely up to you whether or not you would want to implement this in your own challenge.

Friendly competition is still available

We still believe that a little friendly competition is a good way of engaging with your employees, so teams can still see how others are faring on the leaderboards and encourage each other to walk, run or cycle a little further each week.

Achievements and other features are still around

Nothing else about how Big Team Challenge has been changed. User's can still get achievements based on personal and team distances, connect to Fitbit, Apple Health Kit and Google Fit, as well as invite users, receive messages from the organisers and track their daily activity.