About the Bosch eBike Connect app in a nutshell:
- eBike Connect is one of three e-bike apps that Bosch currently offers its customers. The others are eBike Flow App and Cobi.Bike App. The app connects your smartphone with the Kiox and Nyon displays.
- Functions of the eBike Connect app: Route planning and navigation, route evaluation, range indicator, digital theft protection (premium function).
- Alternatives: SmartphoneHub in combination with the COBI.Bike app for Bosch systems. With the PowUnity app for GPS theft protection BikeTrax, you can use a manufacturer-independent system that has a reliable theft protection feature integrated at no extra charge, offers live tracking and automatically records your routes.
In our major overview article on e-bike apps, we touched on the following point: Most e-bike apps still come from motor and e-bike manufacturers. Although companies like Haibike or Specialized produce high-quality e-bikes, their apps often have weaknesses. And independent developers have a hard time “breaking into the field”.
This doesn’t mean that all e-bike apps from motor manufacturers are bad. Bosch, for example, does a better job in some respects than most of the competition. Therefore, our focus in this article will be on the eBike Connect smartphone app from Bosch.
Info: Would you like an overview of all the common apps from different engine manufacturers? We have compiled one for you in the article “How to find the best app for your needs”.
The manufacturer – a few words about the Bosch company
The German company Bosch was founded at the end of the 19th century as a workshop for precision mechanics and electrical engineering. Today it has more than 400 subsidiaries and regional companies in 60 countries and is considered the world’s largest automotive supplier. In addition, the group is active in sectors as diverse as building technology, household appliances and power tools.
Bosch eBike Systems represents an independent division in the Bosch Group and has existed since 2009. The Bosch eBike team started small, but now represents an integral part of the e-bike sector. The same goes for Bosch motors, Bosch displays and, for some time now, Bosch apps. After all, the company has recognised that the trend is moving towards smartphones as displays.
Relatively new in the Bosch range is the so-called “smart system”. This is a networked system consisting of various components that are coordinated with one another: apps, drives, displays and batteries. Together they provide users with a networked interactive ebike experience. In comparison to the smart system, the eBike Connect app is an “oldie” from Bosch eBike System – but it receives regular updates.
The eBike Connect app at a glance
eBike Connect is one of the three e-bike apps that Bosch currently offers to its customers. The other two apps are called eBike Flow App and Cobi.Bike App.
In the spirit of Connected Biking, the eBike Connect app is used to connect your smartphone to the on-board computer of your e-bike. In this case, these are the Kiox and Nyon displays. eBike Connect does not work with other devices.
Of course, the app is available for Android phones as well as in the Apple App Store for iOS. The basic functions are free of charge. For a surcharge, premium new features are available in the eBike Connect app shop. We will go into more detail on this later.
Important note: Bosch recommends updating your on-board computer (via wireless network) to take full advantage of the app.
Functions of the eBike Connect app
Bosch eBike Connect follows the motto “less is more”. The app focuses on the following features:
Route planning and navigation
You can plan routes via the eBike Connect Portal and then transfer them to your on-board computer, which navigates you to your destination. Particularly helpful: The eBike Connect app can be linked with Komoot, Strava and Outdooractive. This gives you the opportunity, for example, to share your routes with friends.
Do you want an overview of your performance? Kyox and Nyon record each of your rides, which can be evaluated via eBike Connect. You also have the possibility to integrate other apps to analyse your fitness and trip data for optimum training support.
Battery range indicator
For how much longer does the e-bike battery last? You should ask yourself this question regularly on every e-bike tour. The eBike Connect app makes it easier to keep an eye on the remaining battery range.
Premium function: Digital theft protection
Are you willing to pay a few euros for more security? Then it might be worth taking a look at the premium “lock function”.
It does exactly what the name suggests: it “locks” your e-bike. More precisely, this means that the motor support is deactivated as soon as you unplug the Kiox or Nyon display. When you plug the display back in, you can continue your ride.
Premium functions for older devices
If you own a Kiox or Nyon display model from before the year 2021, you can enjoy two additional premium functions: In the first case, the app calculates the remaining range based on topographical conditions and the selected support level. In the second case, you can set individual riding modes via your smartphone.
Important note: The Bosch lock function can be a useful addition to a mechanical lock. However, it does not prevent thieves from loading your e-bike into a van, making off with it and later getting your e-bike up and running again at their leisure. Only a GPS tracker offers truly efficient theft protection for expensive electric bikes.
How good is the app in practice? – Reviews
How well an e-bike app performs in practice is often only shown by the reviews of users.
The picture here is mixed. With a rating of 3.7 and 2.3 stars in the Google Play Store (among google fit health apps) and the Apple App Store (among apple health apps) respectively, the Bosch app is in the midfield. On the one hand, the criticism is sparked by weaknesses in route planning and navigation.
On the other hand, the eBike Connect app suffers from a problem that affects many e-bike apps: The connection between the app and the display is sometimes difficult to establish or keeps breaking down. In such a case, the app is practically useless. The fact that the visual appearance of the app is not quite up to date is a minor flaw in comparison to that.
Advantages and disadvantages
The strengths and weaknesses of Bosch eBike Connect can be summarised as follows:
- simple set-up and operation with Kiox or Nyon and eBike connect
- can be used for route planning, navigation and evaluation of basic data
- possibility to link the app with other popular apps for e-bikes, such as Komoot or Strava
- most of the functions are free of charge
- additional premium functions, including theft protection
- competent customer support at Bosch
- in practice, regular connection problems
- weaknesses in navigation
- old-fashioned design
- theft protection is subject to a fee
Alternative to eBike Connect smartphone app
Do you have an e-bike with Bosch drive but don’t want a display? Do you prefer to use your smartphone as an on-board computer?
Then it might be worth taking a look at the COBI.Bike app. In combination with the smartphone hub or the COBI.Bike mount from Bosch, it turns your smartphone into the control centre for your e-bike. The following functions are then available to you:
- settings and operation of the e-bike
- access to fitness, (maximum) speed, weather and performance data
- music controller for media apps
- answering calls
- Help Connect security function
As you can see, the range of functions of COBI.Bike is greater than that of Bosch eBike Connect. In addition, you don’t need a separate mini-screen on the handlebar. However, you do need your own mount for this, and it’s not exactly cheap. The app’s rating is also mixed, although it seems that various updates have solved the initial teething problems.
PowUnity App – cross-system use and stable network coverage
The example of the Bosch eBike Connect app shows: Even experienced and highly respected manufacturers of e-bike components have difficulties with the successful development of e-bike apps.
Do you need a reliable app that records your routes without connection problems or gaps, in which digital theft protection is already integrated? The PowUnity app and the BikeTrax GPS tracker provide you with real-time tracking throughout Europe. The PowUnity app comes for free with the GPS tracker, and in the first year you even get the GPS data flat rate for free.
Once the GPS tracker is installed inside the e-bike and connected to the app, you will be immediately notified by the PowUnity app if your bike is moved without permission. You can also see the live location of your e-bike in the app at any time and track a stolen bike in real-time, or even send the tracking data to the police directly via the app. And important information about your e-bike can be recorded in a bike passport.
The PowUnity app can be used across different motor systems, which gives you flexibility. If you switch to another e-bike with a different motor, all you have to do is change the connection cable for your BikeTrax GPS tracker.
In 2023, the app will even be upgraded. You will then be able to use the PowUnity app as a display, view speed and performance data as well as schedule a needed bike service in the maintenance section.
For e-bike manufacturers who cooperate with PowUnity, we offer a white label solution of the PowUnity app.
Conclusion on Bosch eBike Connect – sound solution with several weaknesses
If you own an e-bike with Bosch drive and the Nyon or Kiox on-board computer, the Bosch eBike Connect app is an obvious extension. Although the range of functions of the app is limited, it covers three essential areas for many e-bikers: navigation, route planning and tracking. In addition, the app is free of charge as long as you don’t want to use premium functions.
If it weren’t for the connection problems… In practice, they prove to be a problem that clearly spoils the driving experience. The fact that the eBike Connect app shares this problem with numerous “relatives” definitely makes things better. However, it shows that the industry has some catching up to do.
The better alternative: With the PowUnity app for GPS theft protection BikeTrax, you have the theft protection feature integrated at no extra charge and can automatically and seamlessly record your routes. In addition, you can use the app flexibly for any e-bike that has the BikeTrax GPS tracker installed.