CrewNerd is a smartphone application designed for use on the water by rowers and paddlers, providing athletes and coaches with real-time information about stroke rate, time, speed, distance, direction, heart rate, and more. CrewNerd runs on iPhone and Android.
Athletes can create custom workouts of various kinds and record workout data which can then be reviewed on the device or exported in a variety of popular formats for analysis and charting. Exported data can be sent via email or through USB to your computer.
Rowing shells of all sizes are supported as well as kayaks, canoes, and dragonboats. CrewNerd provides a free trial application on all environments allowing you to check out the application before you buy. We pride ourselves on excellent customer support and continuous improvement of our application. Click on one of the app store badges to the right to try CrewNerd on your phone!
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Most newer smartphones are safe to use around water due to industry-wide improvements in water resistance in recent years. However, even if the phone is in a waterproof case, the problem remains that water drops from rain or splashing can look like touch gestures to the phone, causing apps to behave erratically.
To help address this problem, CrewNerd includes a “lock screen” feature that you can access on the settings page. When this feature is enabled, CrewNerd will “lock” the screen when you start the timer for a workout. When locked, CrewNerd ignores all touch gestures until you unlock the screen again. Another app setting determines how you unlock the screen. Depending on the setting you choose, you either unlock by pinching two fingers together on the bottom of the screen, or by pressing one of the up/down volume buttons on the phone. This feature is supported on both iPhone and Android.
Unfortunately, the “screen lock” feature alone can’t solve the problem completely. The reason is that on both iPhone and Android, there are “system gestures” that are handled by the operating system regardless of what app is currently running, and apps have no way to disable these.
But there IS a solution! Both iOS and Android provide a way to “lock” or “pin” an application in a way that prevents you from exiting the app, and disables the kind of system gestures that could cause problems on the water. The precise details are different for iOS and Android, but once enabled, you are fully protected from water-related problems. The rest of this post covers how to set this up, first on iOS and then on Android.
iOS – “Guided Access”
In the iOS settings app, select “Accessibility”, and then “Guided Access”. Enable guided access and go to the “Passcode Settings” page to enter the code that you’ll use later to get out of the guided access mode.
Now that guided access mode is enabled, start CrewNerd and then triple-click on the phone’s home or side button (depending on your iPhone model) to enable guided access. You’ll notice that the normal system gestures that you use (e.g. to access the notification center) no longer work.
To exit guided access mode, triple-click the home or side button again and enter the passcode that you selected earlier. You’ll now see buttons to resume or end guided access mode. There is also an “Options” button that you should press the first time you reach this point. The options page (shown here) gives you a chance to further customize what apps have access to in guided access mode. You’ll probably want to enable everything here with the possible exception of the “time limit” setting.
Note: these settings are reused each time you start guided access mode so you’ll only need to do this once.
Android – “pinned” windows
On Android, you’ll use the “pin window” feature to disable the normal system gestures. Depending on your phone maker and Android version, this might also be called app pinning or screen pinning and may be located in different places in the settings app. The screenshots shown here are from a Samsung Galaxy S10e running Android 12. If you have trouble finding the setting, try searching for “pin” in the settings app.
On Android 12, look for “Biometrics and security” in the settings app, and then go to “Other security settings”. Enable the “Pin windows” setting.
Next, launch CrewNerd, press the “Recents” button, and scroll to CrewNerd in the app list. Press the CrewNerd icon above the app window to display a drop-down menu. One of the options will be “Pin this app”. After you press this, CrewNerd will be pinned and the status bar will be hidden. To unpin the app, press and hold the “Recents” and “Back” buttons at the same time. Depending on your Android settings, you may or may not be prompted to enter your PIN to complete the unpinning.
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CrewNerd now allows you to directly upload workout data to your Concept2 Logbook account. This is in addition to the existing support for Strava, TrainingPeaks, and Sportlyzer. We also worked with Concept2 to enable on-the-water workouts to show interval details and charts for all workout types, including any recorded heart rate data.
This feature is available immediately on both iPhone and Android.
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For rowers and paddlers, there’s probably no performance metric that’s more important than the current stroke rate. CrewNerd uses your phone’s accelerometer to measure stroke rate, provided your phone is mounted securely to your water craft so that it can sense the acceleration of each stroke.
For paddling activities, this can be a challenge. Compared to rowing, stroke rates tend to be higher and per-stroke acceleration is less pronounced. Open-water conditions with chop or swells can also be a problem since the orientation of the phone changes in ways that can be confusing to the app. And on Android phones, the accelerometer provides data at a lower rate, making it difficult to give an accurate reading at high stroke rates.
The Vaaka paddle cadence sensor solves all of these problems by placing a light-weight sensor directly on your paddle. The sensor communicates your stroke rate over Bluetooth to various sport watches, and now, to CrewNerd as well!
Today, we’re releasing a CrewNerd update on Android and iPhone that allows you to pair the app with a Vaaka cadence sensor in much the same way as pairing a heart rate monitor. When paired, CrewNerd adds a small indicator to the SPM label in the stroke rate area to let you know that the sensor is connected and providing data. CrewNerd can still use your accelerometer for it’s auto-start feature (if enabled), but the stroke rate comes from the Vaaka sensor.
We’re excited to partner with the creators of the Vaaka cadence sensor to bring these great products together. And like many of the best features in CrewNerd, it’s the result of a great customer idea – thanks, Jan!
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We were recently forced to move to a new provider for our customer support site due to the shutdown of our former site. You can find our new site at https://support.performancephones.com. The CrewNerd app will be updated to refer to the new site, and we’re working with our new support provider to migrate all of the content from the old site to the new one. Thank your for your patience as we work through this transition!
Ten years ago, in April 2009, CrewNerd was first published in the iPhone app store, under the name “SpeedCoach Mobile”. Since then, we’ve added many new features (mostly based on your feedback) and developed a version for Android.
To celebrate, we’re offering the full version of CrewNerd on the iPhone at a 20% discount for the entire month of April. If you or a friend have been on the fence about using CrewNerd, it’s a great time to start! And as always, the free version (CrewNerd Lite) is a great way to check out the app before you buy.
Thanks to all of our great customers – we appreciate your support!
We’ve been recommending the waterproof cases from LifeProof for our CrewNerd customers for several years now, but finding good mounting solutions on the water has sometimes been challenging depending on the kind of boat and rigging you’re working with.
The folks at LifeProof have recently released a new set of mounting solutions that offer a wider set of options than ever before. We recently ordered an assortment of their LifeActiv accessories to experiment with and we’re happy to show you what we found. Continue reading →
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We recently added support for fast GPS (up to 10 readings per second) on the iPhone using the Dual Corporation XGPS150/160 external GPS receivers. The faster sample rate makes it possible to shrink your speed smoothing window down to the minimum distance while still getting very stable speed & pace readings. On the water, this means that CrewNerd can react much more quickly when you pick up the power, showing your increase in speed in just a stroke or two.
An enterprising CrewNerd customer, Michael McGuirk, has explored how this can be done on Android as well, with no changes to CrewNerd being necessary. The trick is an app called “Bluetooth GPS Provider” that reads from the GPS accessory and tricks Android into passing those location readings along to any application that tries to use the GPS receiver in the phone. He’s written up a very detailed set of instructions that you can find here. Michael’s instructions reference one particular GPS unit, but the same technique should work with any standard GPS accessory. Thanks, Michael!
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We’re pleased to announce that CrewNerd now supports direct workout uploads to Sportlyzer.com from both our iOS and Android versions. With Sportlyzer, you can easily save and share all of your workout data. Track your workout load and heart rate zones over the season, or drill into individual workouts to map your course, or quickly chart your speed, stroke rate, and heart rate.
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We’re excited to announce that CrewNerd now supports the premier web site for athletes and coaches – TrainingPeaks.com. One of the top requests we’ve received from customers is to be able to upload workout data directly to the web for logging, analysis, and sharing without having to go through the multiple steps involved in exporting and uploading TCX files or other formats. Now, you can do this quickly and easily to TrainingPeaks.com in both our iPhone and Android versions.
In both versions, start by entering your TrainingPeaks user name and password in the application settings page. Then, in the iOS version, select a practice in the history screen, scroll down to the export section, and press “Send to TrainingPeaks.com”. In the Android version, select a practice in the history screen, press the sharing button on the action bar, and select “TrainingPeaks”.
In a few seconds, your practice data (including location, speed, stroke rate, and heart rate) will be transferred to TrainingPeaks and available for charting and speed or heart rate zone analysis. Any notes you entered for the practice in CrewNerd are uploaded as well.
If you haven’t used TrainingPeaks.com before, we encourage you to give it a look and try uploading some of your data from CrewNerd to see what’s possible there. As always, we’re anxious to hear your thoughts and suggestions!
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We’re excited to announce that CrewNerd is now available for Android devices. The Android version includes nearly all of the features that you’ve come to know and love on the iPhone. More on that in a minute… first, some details.
CrewNerd supports devices running Android version 4.1 (Jelly Bean) or newer. The application screens are optimized for phones but the app has been tested on 7″ and 10″ tablets as well.
CrewNerd is available as a free app and runs in “trial mode” at no charge, allowing users to try the application for 100 strokes or 5 minutes at a time. To remove the trial mode restrictions, an “unrestricted use” subscription can be purchased for $1.99 per month in the United States (price varies worldwide). The subscription includes a 7-day free trial period and can be cancelled at any time.
Like the iPhone and Windows Phone versions, live tracking is supported and tracking time can be purchased for the same low price as on the other phone platforms. The live tracking viewer at CrewNerd.com is free.
The row/paddle screen for Android
On Android, CrewNerd allows you to add or remove rows on the row/paddle screen and any row can be made “double-height” to highlight the data most important to you. Just tap and hold on any data row to change its configuration. Other key features available on Android include:
Check and bounce data
Heart rate monitoring (with the Zephyr HxM monitor)
Full support for exporting workout data by email or over USB. Export formats include: GPX, KML, TCX, and CSV.
Add boat name, practice notes, and athlete lists to your saved workouts
Interval detail charts – configurable data selection, with pan & zoom support
Adjustable stroke sensitivity and GPS speed smoothing
Over the coming weeks and months we expect to add support for speech output and additional heart rate monitors. Other minor differences with the iPhone version will be addressed as well.
We look forward to your feedback!
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