Ok, I have done two workouts back-to-back, and I have put the workout screen through its paces. It is rough. There are three issues that are close to show-stoppers for me, they significantly and unnecessarily increased my cognitive load. If I had to guess the reasons for those are two-fold: (1) It seems nobody has tested the app with a dumb trainer. And (2) nobody has tested the app with a 12.9” iPad.
- 12.9” iPad Pro (2018)
- iOS 14.0.1
- 4iiii single-sided power meter (on a Shimano 6800-series crankarm)
Serious issue 1: Power bar bubble completely obscures the power bar
OMG, this drove me up the wall. I was not able to screenshot this, because if you are on a dumb trainer you really need to focus to keep your power constant. The issue is that the bubble that indicates the average interval power is so big that it extends over the entire height of the power bar. When I am in shape, I can usually stay within a +/- 5W window of the target power. I mostly use the power bar to do that, and we are only talking about a few pixels to the left or right of the line that indicates the target power. As a consequence and combined with Issue #2 below, I was usually 5-10 W over my target power.
The enlarged average power bubble completely obscures this, because in my case the center of the bubble is always close to the target power line.
Proposed solution: significantly shrink the average power bubble and/or increase the size of the power bar.
Serious issue 2: Power numbers flicker and fluctuate
As far as I understand my power meter sends power data every second. In the non-beta version of the TrainerRoad app, my power number would update every second. Since I am on a dumb trainer, I need to process the current power and see if I should slightly back down and push slightly harder to hit my target power.
With the beta, the power would update not just once, but roughly every second, my power numbers would update several times in quick succession. This means I have to focus way more on my power number. Combined with the average power bubble obscuring my current power level, this made it very hard to hit my power numbers. Usually I was 5-10 W over my target power.
Proposed solution: Update the power numbers only once a second.
Serious issue 3: Workout text is completely unreadable due to small font size
I use a 12.9” iPad Pro also because I wear glasses and everything is bigger. But the workout text is really, really small. It is so small that I couldn’t read it in an oxygen-deprived state.
Proposed solution: Increase font size so that it covers 80 % of the width of the iPad. Feel free to use more than one line.
I have noticed plenty of other, smaller issues as well.
UI Issue: Wasted space on 12.9” iPad, numbers and figures too small
One reason why I love using TR on my iPad is that the previous version would choose font sizes to fill my entire screen. The new version no longer does that. This makes everything harder to read.
Cosmetic Issue: Start Workout is not visually centered
I noticed that the Start Workout button is not visually centered.
Localization bug #1: Onboarding screen in the wrong language
The onboarding login screen was in German for some reason. (I am German, but my iPad is set to US English. My date & time format prefs are a mixture of German and Japanese.) The rest of the beta is in English. I don’t know whether this was a spurious bug due to the TrainerRoad app not reading the language prefs correctly or something else.
Expected behavior: The TR app respects the chosen language in iOS’s Settings app.
Localization bug #2: End time does not respect Date & Time preferences in iOS’s Settings
The End Time uses the US time format even though I use 24h time format in iOS’s Settings.
Expected behavior: TR app conforms to the chosen Time & Date format in iOS’s Settings.