JUMP TO:

Garmin Adds 25+ New Features to Fenix 7/Epix/Instinct 2, Shifts to Quarterly Features Updates

Ok, there’s a lot in this post. So hang on, it’s packed with details. First up, is that Garmin started rolling out this week an update for Fenix 7 & Epix series watches, including some 28-50 different new features (depending on how you want to count them). A smaller chunk of these features are also being rolled out to the Fenix 6, Forerunner 245, 745, 945, and FR945 LTE, plus more to the Venu 2 series and others.

But more notably, this is part of a shift in how Garmin is going to do feature updates going forward. And I think it’s largely a good thing, especially combined with some other changes I’ll be writing about in the coming days that show the company gathering maturity in the software development cycle that it lacked just a few years ago.

With that, let’s just get right into things.

Oh, actually one quick note is that, in theory, all of these updates will be ‘available’ to all users by today. Garmin stages roll out over a few days, and that started on Tuesday, and most of these products show they are at 80-100% rollout availability. In short, if it’s not showing for you, try again tomorrow. You can speed up the update process by directly plugging into a computer with Garmin Express. Else, it’ll download updates behind the scenes quietly.

Quarterly Release Cycle:

clip_image001

In order to understand the shifts, one probably needs to understand how Garmin is organized. Within the company, there are a few core businesses/groups, each covering different product segments. For example – there’s Outdoors, which covers things like the Fenix & Epix watches, but also handhelds and even the Garmin inReach series. Then there’s Fitness, which covers cycling gear and the Forerunner lineup. After that, there’s Wellness, which covers the Venu/Vivo series. There are of course other non-sporty groups, like Marine and Aviation, but we’ll set those aside for now.

Now while all those groups have always talked to each other, and used code across products, they didn’t really coordinate release cycles in any meaningful way with each other. That meant that the Fenix would get a feature in March, and then the Forerunner team might add it in June, and the Venu crew would come along and add some cowbells in August. Or maybe the opposite. Sometimes the Vivo/Venu side would add new features that would take months to show up on other devices.

Each silo basically danced to their own beat. To some degree, that’s been ok from a business standpoint, but it’s been frustrating and confusing for consumers. Especially as companies like Apple, COROS and Wahoo continue to focus on ‘across all devices at once’ updates (to an extent anyways).

So going forward, Garmin is going to be focusing its feature updates into quarterly release cycles. This being the first attempt at that. In a conference call about it, Garmin emphasized this doesn’t mean bug fixes will need to wait a quarter though. Specifically, head of Garmin’s Venu & Vivo lines, Phil McClendon stated that the company will “absolutely break-off and do bug fixes as normal more frequently”, which is what already happens today. Most products see roughly monthly firmware updates with bug fixes.

Obviously, not every product is part of this week’s big update. The ones participating in this quarterly party are:

Garmin Enduro
Garmin Forerunner 245/245 Music
Garmin Forerunner 745
Garmin Forerunner 945
Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE
Garmin Fenix 6 Series
Garmin Fenix 7 Series
Garmin Epix Series
Garmin Instinct 2 Series
Garmin MARQ Series
Garmin Venu 2/2S/2 Plus Series
Garmin Vivomove 3/3S/Style/Luxe series

In the case of the Forerunner 945 LTE, its update is slightly behind schedule a few weeks and slated for June.

And of course, to point out the obvious, not every feature goes to every watch. Garmin continues to assign features to watches (both old and new) based on how much money they think they can extract from you.

While the company has certainly gotten vastly better in the last 2-3 years in terms of giving older devices firmware updates, undoubtedly there will be many Fenix 6 owners who rightly ask why some of these Fenix 7 software features can’t be on their watches too. And certainly, if we look at the Fenix 6 release notes since launch, Garmin has added exponentially more features than any of their competitors ever have to that watch since launch. But it doesn’t change the reality that their competitors still give the appearance of better supporting older hardware than Garmin has.

Sleep Update:

DSC_0277

Ok, before we get into this whole thing, a quick note about the sleep changes. You’ll notice many of these updates include new tweaks about sleep changes. This applies to watches with the newer sleep algorithms, basically, any watch you can see the sleep on the watch itself. The tweaks here are related to the sleep score and restlessness. This is both a change in how they display it, and how they calculate it.

In particular, Garmin is changing the weighting of the sub-scores that determine your sleep score. Within that, they’re adding more negative weight if you were restless, which has the effect of increasing positive weight for deep/REM sleep. In other words, previously, you could have a fairly restless night, but still get an overall high score if your other sleep metrics were fine. Now, it more heavily looks at the restlessness elements.

This also impacts the recommendations they might give you, and the wording – going from things that you “need” to do, to things that they “recommend” you do. Meanwhile, on Garmin Connect Mobile, you’ll notice that the ‘Movement’ chart is now replaced with the below ‘Restlessness’ chart, for those with the below noted devices.

clip_image001 clip_image001[6]

And again, all of this impacts your sleep scores. Garmin says that if you’re a more restless sleeper, you’ll probably see a slight shift downwards in your sleep scores. They said in particular, this will have a more heavy impact for alcohol consumption on scores, because alcohol consumption tends to impact REM sleep duration.

The company says that ultimately, the changes were made based on having boatloads of data and increased logging/data with newer devices, along with user feedback. In some ways this is similar to the wholesale shifts made in Garmin’s Body Battery algorithms a year or so ago, which made it more difficult to get 100% recovery each night in Body Battery. Which most people, including myself, have found increased the perceived accuracy significantly.

Fenix 7 & Epix Updates:

Here’s the official list, for everything that has the word “Added” in it. Technically speaking, if I wanted to get more detailed, this is really like 45-50 features. For example, some line items have a bunch of different things blended together that are really separate.

– Added palm screen support while in Connect IQ apps.
– Added to and improved ability to modify settings in Garmin Connect mobile app.
– Added Adventure Race start and end time to post activity summary UI.
– Added Acclimation, Pace, Detailed Speed, Bouldering Metrics, Strength Metrics, and Indoor Climbing Metrics to post activity summary UI.
– Added ability to perform Map Manager wifi map downloads when connecting to a computer as well.
– Added download time estimation to map manager.
– Added support for preloaded maps to update via map manager (Golf and Ski maps, etc.)
– Added ability to toggle smart notifications in notifications and alerts menu.
– Added ability to change the record activity setting mid-round for Golf.
– Added new watch face data field types: 1, 2, 3 item raw data fields, sunrise/sunset, calories, alternate time zones, body battery, steps.
– Added ability to go back to a Connect IQ watch face while in an activity.
– Added prompt when user tries to start a Connect IQ app that records an activity when an activity is already being recorded.
– Added option menu to Heart Rate app.
– Added Stamina fields to the Adventure Racing activity.
– Added a message that displays when heart rate dependent features are launched when Heart Rate tracking setting is disabled.
– Added prompt when accessing PulseOx glance when wrist heart rate is turned off.
– Added Fitness Age display to User Profile settings.
– Added Streak display to Steps widget.
– Added Connect IQ System 5 support.
– Added Fish activity.
– Added Green Contours support to golf.
– Added Horseback Riding activity.
– Added support for TM2 position formatting.
– Added a side options menu to the sleep widget.
– Added Compass settings to the Adventure Race options menu.
– Added support for the following Extended Display data fields: Stamina, steps, active calories, and battery hours.
– Added Enhanced Strength functionality, which includes an improved workout preview with a map of muscles that will be used, improved User Interface in free mode and workouts, and improvements to the Rep and Weight editing experience.
– Added ability to access action menus via touchscreen tap.

There are also non-additive changes, some of which might be considered a feature update, others are just changing the way things are done.

– Changed backlight keys setting to Keys and Touch – disabling Backlight response for button presses will now also prevent the backlight from responding to Touchscreen input.
– Changed wording of “Stand” time to “Idle” time.
– Improved initial pairing flow in some cases which would cause the user to be stuck at the Garmin Connect logo.
– Improved map UI when selecting a point while on the map.
– Improved timer alarm design.
– Improved sleep detection.
– Improved User Interface (UI) of InReach app.
– Improved power mode UI.
– Improved touch support in some places.
– Improvements made to map manager map download.
– Improvements and fixes made to Health Snapshot.
– Improved wording of sleep mode touch setting to be “auto” and “off.”
– Removed haptic feedback for watch face data fields that do not launch anything (i.e. “Epix” logo.)
– Updated support for Shimano Di2.
– Updated language translations.

And finally, there’s a far longer list of bug fixes. I won’t include them here, because I’ve got a lot of things to list, and this post is gonna get crazy to read. But you can find the full list here.

Garmin Fenix 6/MARQ/Enduro Series:

Garmin Fenix 6 Series with these updates:

  • Added support for Connect IQ system 5.
  • Added a new tip to inform the user each time a new emergency contact is added from Garmin Connect.
  • Added a new tip that will recommend the user to reboot the device if the GPS is unresponsive while waiting for a fix before an activity.
  • Added a new tip to notify the user that the Wrist Heart Rate Sensor is disabled. This tip will be displayed whenever accessing a heartrate-related glance while the wrist heartrate sensor is turned off on the device.
  • Added the Horseback activity.
  • Added the new Easyhunt feature to the DogTrack app.
  • Added the Resting Heartrate True-Up feature. RHR data now gets trued-up so that all devices tied to the same account will have the same RHR value.
  • Added enhanced strength functionality, which includes an improved workout preview with a map of muscles that will be used, improved UI in free mode and workouts, and improvements to the rep and weight editing experience.
  • Added animation to progress arc when viewing Intensity Minutes widget.
  • Updated incident detection to better distinguish between supported and unsupported activities.
  • Updated inReach messaging to now allow the watch to send messages up to 160 characters in length.
  • Updated support for Shimano Di2.
  • Improvements made to on-device sleep detection and sleep staging.
  • Improvements made to Run/Idle detection algorithm, particularly when detecting when the user has stopped.

Garmin Enduro is getting these updates:

  • Added support for Connect IQ system 5.
  • Added a new tip to inform the user each time a new emergency contact is added from Garmin Connect.
  • Added a new tip that will recommend the user to reboot the device if the GPS is unresponsive while waiting for a fix before an activity.
  • Added a new tip to notify the user that the Wrist Heart Rate Sensor is disabled. This tip will be displayed whenever accessing a heartrate-related glance while the wrist heartrate sensor is turned off on the device.
  • Added the Horseback activity.
  • Added the new Easyhunt feature to the DogTrack app.
  • Added the Resting Heartrate True-Up feature. RHR data now gets trued-up so that all devices tied to the same account will have the same RHR value.
  • Added enhanced strength functionality, which includes an improved workout preview with a map of muscles that will be used, improved UI in free mode and workouts, and improvements to the rep and weight editing experience.
  • Added animation to progress arc when viewing Intensity Minutes widget.
  • Updated incident detection to better distinguish between supported and unsupported activities.
  • Updated inReach messaging to now allow the watch to send messages up to 160 characters in length.
  • Updated support for Shimano Di2.
  • Improvements made to on-device sleep detection and sleep staging.
  • Improvements made to Run/Idle detection algorithm, particularly when detecting when the user has stopped.

Garmin MARQ Series is getting this set:

  • Added support for Connect IQ system 5.
  • Added a new tip to inform the user each time a new emergency contact is added from Garmin Connect.
  • Added a new tip that will recommend the user to reboot the device if the GPS is unresponsive while waiting for a fix before an activity.
  • Added a new tip to notify the user that the Wrist Heart Rate Sensor is disabled. This tip will be displayed whenever accessing a heartrate-related glance while the wrist heartrate sensor is turned off on the device.
  • Added the Horseback activity.
  • Added the new Easyhunt feature to the DogTrack app.
  • Added the Resting Heartrate True-Up feature. RHR data now gets trued-up so that all devices tied to the same account will have the same RHR value.
  • Added enhanced strength functionality, which includes an improved workout preview with a map of muscles that will be used, improved UI in free mode and workouts, and improvements to the rep and weight editing experience.
  • Added animation to progress arc when viewing Intensity Minutes widget.
  • Updated incident detection to better distinguish between supported and unsupported activities.
  • Updated inReach messaging to now allow the watch to send messages up to 160 characters in length.
  • Updated support for Shimano Di2.
  • Improvements made to on-device sleep detection and sleep staging.
  • Improvements made to Run/Idle detection algorithm, particularly when detecting when the user has stopped.

Garmin Instinct 2 Series:

The Instinct 2 series gets the following set of 25 new features, plus a pile of improvements.

  • Added support for Edge Remote Display.
  • Added support for bike radar and lights.
  • Added the Breathwork Activity.
  • Added the Horseback Riding Activity.
  • Added the Pilates Activity.
  • Added the Snowshoe Activity.
  • Added the Tennis Activity.
  • Added the Track Run Activity.
  • Added the Respiration Rate data field.
  • Added the Active Calories data field.
  • Added the new Body Battery widget.
  • Added the new Intensity Minutes widget.
  • Added the Respiration Widget.
  • Added the ability to disable navigation turn alerts.
  • Added the privacy setting for smart notifications.
  • Added custom app logos for smart notifications.
  • Added support for yoga workouts.
  • Added watch face data field options for Pulse OX, Recovery Time, Training Status, 7 Day Load, VO2 Max, and Weekly Run/Bike Distance.
  • Added the new incoming call page.
  • Added run, walk, and stand detection during a run.
  • Added streaks for steps and floors climbed goals.
  • Added fitness age.
  • Added the auto lap by position setting.
  • Added power audio prompts.
  • Added a golf vibration reminder to enter a score when leaving a hole.
  • Added Real Time Settings keyboard support.
  • Improved the delay when going from the watch face in low power mode to the activity screen.
  • Improvements made to daily workout suggestions.
  • Improvements made to on-device sleep tracking.
  • Improvements made to PacePro performance.
  • Improvements made to the Real Time Settings Activities & Apps menu.
  • Improved the health snapshot page to allow hot keys when not in an active health snapshot reading.

I’ve gotta say, the Instinct set alone is basically making it a new product. Just look at how many new sport profiles, adding in things like the notable Track Run (previously promised, and bike radar/lights connectivity).

Garmin Forerunner 245/245 Music:

Here’s the list of updates for the Forerunner 245 & 245 Music, per the release notes:

Forerunner 245 (non-music):

  • Added enhanced strength functionality, which includes improved UI in free mode and workouts, and improvements to the rep and weight editing experience.
  • Improvements made to on-device sleep detection and sleep staging.
  • Improvements made to Run/Walk/Idle detection algorithm, particularly when detecting when the user has stopped.
  • Added the Resting Heartrate True-Up feature. RHR data now gets trued-up so that all devices tied to the same account will have the same RHR value.
  • Added a new tip to notify the user that the Wrist Heart Rate Sensor is disabled. This tip will be displayed whenever accessing a heartrate-related glance while the wrist heartrate sensor is turned off on the device.
  • Other minor improvements and bug fixes.

Forerunner 245 Music:

  • Added enhanced strength functionality, which includes improved UI in free mode and workouts, and improvements to the rep and weight editing experience.
  • Improvements made to on-device sleep detection and sleep staging.
  • Improvements made to Run/Walk/Idle detection algorithm, particularly when detecting when the user has stopped.
  • Added the Resting Heartrate True-Up feature. RHR data now gets trued-up so that all devices tied to the same account will have the same RHR value.
  • Added new alert to display after this SW update to inform user that Wi-Fi networks configured to WEP security are no longer supported.
  • Added a new tip to notify the user that the Wrist Heart Rate Sensor is disabled. This tip will be displayed whenever accessing a heartrate-related glance while the wrist heartrate sensor is turned off on the device.
  • Other minor improvements and bug fixes.

Garmin Forerunner 745 & 945 Series:

And the Forerunner 745:

  • Added enhanced strength functionality, which includes an improved workout preview with a map of muscles that will be used, improved UI in free mode and workouts, and improvements to the rep and weight editing experience.
  • Improvements made to on-device sleep detection and sleep staging.
  • Improvements made to Run/Walk/Idle detection algorithm, particularly when detecting when the user has stopped.
  • Added the Resting Heartrate True-Up feature. RHR data now gets trued-up so that all devices tied to the same account will have the same RHR value.
  • Added new alert to display after this SW update to inform user that Wi-Fi networks configured to WEP security are no longer supported.
  • Added a new tip to notify the user that the Wrist Heart Rate Sensor is disabled. This tip will be displayed whenever accessing a heart rate-related glance while the wrist heart rate sensor is turned off on the device.
  • Updates for Shimano Di2 support.
  • Other minor improvements and bug fixes.

The Forerunner 945:

  • Added enhanced strength functionality, which includes an improved workout preview with a map of muscles that will be used, improved UI in free mode and workouts, and improvements to the rep and weight editing experience.
  • Improvements made to on-device sleep detection and sleep staging.
  • Improvements made to Run/Walk/Idle detection algorithm, particularly when detecting when the user has stopped.
  • Added the Resting Heartrate True-Up feature. RHR data now gets trued-up so that all devices tied to the same account will have the same RHR value.
  • Added new alert to display after this SW update to inform user that Wi-Fi networks configured to WEP security are no longer supported.
  • Added a new tip to notify the user that the Wrist Heart Rate Sensor is disabled. This tip will be displayed whenever accessing a heartrate-related glance while the wrist heartrate sensor is turned off on the device.
  • Updates for Shimano Di2 support.
  • Other minor improvements and bug fixes.

Remember, the Forerunner 945 LTE is slightly behind on this update, presumably because it runs a bit different codebase than the Forerunner 945 does.

Garmin Venu 2 Series:

Here’s the Garmin Venu 2/2S:

– Added new sport profiles for Tennis, Snowshoeing, Pickleball, and Padel
– Added support for syncing step goal streak with Garmin Connect
– Added support for syncing resting heart rate across devices
– Added Run/Walk/Idle detection to the activity summary page for running sports
– Fixed an issue where invalid distances could be shown on the golf front-middle-back page
– Improved the user experience for incident detect and assistance
– Improved a variety of aspects with sleep detection

And the Garmin Venu 2 Plus units:

– Added new sport profiles for Tennis, Snowshoeing, Pickleball, and Padel
– Added support for syncing step goal streak with Garmin Connect
– Added support for syncing resting heart rate across devices
– Added Run/Walk/Idle detection to the activity summary page for running sports
– Fixed an issue where invalid distances could be shown on the golf front-middle-back page
– Improved the user experience for incident detect and assistance
– Improved a variety of aspects with sleep detection
– Added voice assistant volume slider to settings
– Added additional voice assistant and Bluetooth calling improvements
– Fixed a bug with music not pausing when voice assistant is activated, and will now resume after the assistant is finished
– Fixed a bug where users could get stuck on the call page if the phone did not respond to a hang up attempt

Note, the Vivomove 3/3S/Style/Lux series were supposed to be pushed this week as well, though I don’t quite see that showing up in the firmware updates listed. It’s getting Safety & Tracking feature updates around assistance and incident detection.

Ok – with that, I haven’t gotten anything more to add, so I’ll save you a fancy summary section, and let you get on with your weekend or getting your devices updated. I’d note that all of these updates have been in prolonged public beta for months in many cases, so the risk here is pretty low. I’ve been using the Fenix 7 and Instinct 2 changes specifically for a few months without any obvious issues for the features I use.

Thanks for reading!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.
If you would like a profile picture, simply register at Gravatar, which works here on DCR and across the web.

You can click here to Subscribe without commenting

Add a picture

*

91 Comments

  1. Dave

    Was there ever clarification on if the 945 would receive the ability to setup profiles and fields from the GC mobile app?

  2. Matt

    Nothing for my 7 year old 920xt?

  3. jay

    No update for fenix 5? i know its old

  4. Phil

    My Fenix 5 is suddenly feeling old… 🙁 sniff sniff

  5. Nick Radov

    Do you know if the Descent Mk2 series will be on the same update schedule as the Fenix 6 series, or will it still lag behind?

    • I think it’s just the usual dive watch being lagging from the primary watch. For example, the new Descent G1 (which is an Instinct 2), didn’t get this update sweep, but it is very much in the hopper already.

      It’s the added QA time for safety/etc that causes the lag.

    • tzm41

      I was a bit disappointed that they update the Mk2 every 9 months or so but at least now we have 12.20 which is about on par with this batch of Fenix 6 updates.

    • Aaron C

      Any update on when you’ll publish your reverie for the decent g1?

  6. Dean Liu

    Looks like Venu Sq didn’t get any love? :\

  7. Harald Becker

    Still no support for Shimano Dfly buttons 🙁

  8. Steve Smith

    So no Garmin running power for at least a quarter? 🙁

  9. Bit irritating that the 945 LTE at just under 1 year old doesn’t get a lot of these updates, especially as it is based on memory and processor closer to the F7 in terms of hardware capabilities

    • As noted, the FR945 LTE is just a few weeks behind on most of these changes. For example, the Stamina and Garmin Connect Mobile changing ones from the Fenix 7 are all still on the radar.

  10. Nicole Thomas

    So, at this point, Fenix 5 only gets bug fixes? Will they drop support any time soon?

    • Thomas S.

      Shouldn’t you have the Epix in the list also, or is it included in the fenix 7 lineup?

      Nice walkthrough of the update – have been running the beta fw for some weeks now and it just works 👍

  11. Neil Rosser

    Just a minor quibble here – your summary list at the top of the review showing the relevant devices to this upgrade doesn’t have the EPIX on it (although the body of the review has the EPIX in with the Fenix 7).

    This list here:

    Garmin Enduro
    Garmin Forerunner 245/245 Music
    Garmin Forerunner 745
    Garmin Forerunner 945
    Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE
    Garmin Fenix 6 Series
    Garmin Fenix 7 Series
    Garmin Instinct 2 Series
    Garmin MARQ Series
    Garmin Venu 2/2S/2 Plus Series
    Garmin Vivomove 3/3S/Style/Luxe series

  12. Parsons

    Thanks

  13. Tim Frielingsdorf

    Based on having the “Fish” activity, it seems the Fenix 7 and EPIX update also apply to the D2 Mach 1

  14. René

    The stupid Garmin Connect app won’t see my Fenix 7 watch, I have actually always had issues with it seeing all my different watches. I’m re-connecting, restarting and crossing my fingers, but this buggy app always frustrates my.

    How do you get it to work, is there a specific sequence I need to follow, to get this to work?

    • Eli

      There was a bug recently where I had to remove and re add all my devices as it would try to get me to authenticate but fail to do so

  15. Klaus

    Attention, you still need a Desktop PC with Garmin Express for Language Updates and Map Updates.

  16. David

    Pleased that my FR 245 continues to get minor updates 3 years after it was first released, but it must be frustrating if you own the (newer) FR 55

  17. Seymour Papert

    Just think in another 5 years the average Garmin watch will have 1024 functions,
    and the DC review will be a 8 hour video.

    • Haha…true!

      Normally I try and show a number of these features, but this time around I’d be here for weeks.

    • Tom Kaufman

      Many of the comments both here and on YouTube illustrate that these watches have so many features and such global uptake that Garmin is completely stuck with that old tech canard ‘people only use 1% of the features, but the challenge is it’s a different 1%’. Every feature they add (or don’t add), and every feature bug they fix (or don’t fix) is now going to trigger complaints from the people for whom that’s in their 1% bucket. A great problem to have — and certainly better than the alternative — but a challenge nonetheless.

  18. thomaek

    I think it would have been worth mentioning Garmin’s new public beta program in this post. You can now update to new betas easily e.g. via Garmin Express without manual installation. They have also made it easier to report bugs. I think it’s great!

  19. Jermaine

    Since the Descent G1 is so similar to the instinct 2, do you think we’ll see an update for it as well?

  20. Britt

    It’s so disheartening to see that my not-very-old but perfectly functional Fenix 6 is missing so many of the basic software updates of the 7.

    I get eventually phasing out old hardware, but not supporting the most recent generation makes me want to hop off the platform all-together.

  21. Dave

    I got my first Garmin watch, an Instinct 2S, a couple of months ago. The other night, it started vibrating in the middle of the night — in a way that seemed like a software bug or even a hardware fault. The vibration was continuous, not pulsed as with an alarm. No alarms were set and notifications were in Do Not Disturb. There was nothing on-screen to indicate why it would be vibrating. It continued vibrating until I powered it off.

    Obviously, if it wakes me up in the middle of the night even once, that more than obviates its usefulness as a sleep tracker.

    Anyway, I’m posting here with a couple of questions: 1) Has anyone else experienced this? 2) What’s the best way to get this problem on the radar of engineers at Garmin?

  22. Koen Van den Bergh

    About at least the fenix 7x and 6x..
    When using the map with north up, it would be much better to have your location (the arrow) in the middle of the usable screen instead of the whole screen. With navigation/data fields you have much less view to the south compared to the north. Can you please ask Garmin whether they can change that?
    On my fenix 5 plus it is done correctly, in the upper half of the screen, in the middle of the viewable map..

  23. Teddy

    Hi Ray, sounds like Stamina isn’t coming to the 945 LTE with this update? Any idea if it’s shelved or just coming later? Thinking about this comment you made: link to dcrainmaker.com

  24. Juris

    We have fishing app and Pilates app for now, but don’t have in-line skating app, this is confusing.

  25. Damian Steward

    Garmin needs to make power a 1st class citizen now!
    We have waited long enough, whats the hold up?
    They want to screw with Stryd? Grrr

  26. DavidP

    What on earth is “palm screen”?

  27. armando

    Ray, you really should mention that these updates are not for people living in Asian regions. For example I have a 745, and it is still on version 5.90. (6 versions behind now). The list of bugs that have been fixed outside Asia is getting longer and longer. Basic things like workout animations don’t work (Filed bug report in December and was acknowledged). App compatibility is becoming an issue that is further impact use of this device. Looking through the forums it is standard practice for Garmin to delay updates or abandon devices early in Asia – are they serious about this market?

    It is a pretty big negative point that you should call out in your reviews so that Asian people can factor into their buying decisions!

    • I’m pretty sure I’ve actually mentioned it in some of my recent reviews, and the challenges with the APAC editions.

      I don’t really understand why this is still an issue in 2022. I mean, way back when, with small storage devices, I get the challenges of the language packs and such. But certainly not these days.

    • Alistair

      Yes I’m desperate for the Pickleball activity… but being serious aside from the slow updates (FR945 is about 5 months behind rest of world), I find the customer service in Asia is very poor compared to Europe, with the help desk giving formulaic answers rather than trying to actually solve your problem.

  28. Matthew

    Pickleball for Venu 2 but still no open water swimming!? Garmin refusal to put OWS on lower priced devices must cost them sales when they are competing with likes of apple?

    • Yeah, in general the sport selection on the Venu/Vivoactive series continues to puzzle me. I’m sure they know what they’re doing, but still…so many quirky decisons.

    • mato

      Venu 2 is surely not a lower priced device. Yet it has less features than many cheaper Garmin watches. That’s infuriating. And the sports Garmin just added to Venu 2 is a joke. Garmin, where’s something useful? Open water swimming, inline skating, volleyball, pingpong, etc. Those are common activities that users of Venu 2 would love to record. Or they can buy cheap Chinese watches with hundreds of sport profiles instead. I actually don’t know anyone who is not upset with this silly way of Garmin selecting just a handful activities we can use.

  29. Vladimir

    No love for Vivoactive 4?

  30. Annoyed in Central Vermont

    Has anyone figured out how to delete a strength training workout on the Fenix 6x Pro Solar after the update?

    Currently I hit the Start button. Select Strength. Select the Workout I want from here. It used to be, I believe, I could hit the menu button to delete a workout. I’ve toggled everywhere I could think of with the new interface and I can not find the option.

    To keep my frustration short, this appears to be a miss and they did not update their manual. Not that they had documented how to delete a strength training workout previously.

  31. Stanislav

    25-50 updates for Fenix 7, and for me the number of updates that really matters is pretty much zero.

    Most of these feel like addressing prior shortcomings, something that wasn’t done right from the beginning, rather than true feature updates.

    Meanwhile there are some serious bugs that aren’t fixed. For example, my Fenix 7X continues to have a fairly unreliable sync with Garmin Connect app running on Pixel 6 phone.

    • sdfsfds

      Right? Imagine thinking that “we finally sync basic metabolic/health information across your devices” is an upgrade

  32. dfsdfds

    So I guess Vivoactive 4 users (whose devices are nearly identical to the venu) can get $#@!ed, despite owning the most current device in the family?

    Garmin needs to simplify their watch lineup. Having fifty different watches is just silly. It would free up a ton of engineering resources not having to support so many watches (though let’s face it, they all have nearly identical hardware inside.)

    • inSyt

      Agreed.

      Even Forerunner 645 and Forerunner 55 users. How do they not get updates that the 245 receives. Not sure what was the need for them to release the Forerunner 55 when the superior Forerunner 245 is sold for a similar price. They could have just reduced the official selling price for the Forerunner 245.

      Same goes for the Vivoactive 4. They should have just added Garmin Pay and stair tracking to the 245, instead of releasing a separate device and then gimping it with software features and lack of updates.

      Instinct 2, mostly software updates that could have been pushed to the Instinct 1 instead of releasing a new watch.

      Approach watches, lack of features updates as well. Why not just sell a golfing software add on for Fenix watches?

      Swim 2 watch, another forgotten watch. Basically a gimped Forerunner 245 with added swim features. Why not just add the swim features to the 245.

    • mato

      Exactly, tens of models, every one of them crippled in their own strange way.

  33. Luke

    I fail to find any info on which firmware number does this update have. Is it the 21? I don’t get any updates either on my 6X Pro or through garmin express.

  34. Ludovic Lan

    When will windsurf/kitesurf activity be added to fenix 6?

  35. Slightly Annoyed in Central Vermont

    Noticing more chatter on the Fenix 6 forum this morning. So, if you are seeing issues, then you are not the only one:

    link to forums.garmin.com

  36. The Real Bob

    DC, due you know go back and update things like the Fenix 7 vs instinct 2 post? Seems like a lot of work to stay current.

    As far as I can tell the main difference in function is now just stamina, maps, and music.

    • The Real Bob

      lets try that again.

      Do you now go back…

    • inSyt

      Good question, especially older devices that are still currently being sold by Garmin such as the Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 945. The value proposition for these devices are very different with the tons of updates they received. Same goes for Coros and Hammerhead devices.

      Adding a section to reviews that includes update change logs?

  37. Heinrich Hurtz

    Does Garmin compute a metric for feature fatigue? I’m sure mine would be way up there. How many freakin’ features can we actually understand and utilize in any consequential way? My problem with Garmin fitness devices has been flakiness in basic core functionality, not lack of features.

  38. Jörgen

    So we’ll see you on a back of a horse soon?

    I’m glad they added horse riding as an activity, because the heatmap is now shows a lot of horse riding tracks as running tracks.

  39. Jesus Gonzalez

    Hello Ray,

    thanks for all the news! And I agree, Garmin has indeed gotten better at supporting their “older” (simply last gen) devices.

    Still, this has also brought some problems, and a big one is about the number of custom activities you can have on the Fenix 6 series, and those even blocking newer activities from installing with updates. There seems to be a hard limit of 60 activities, and both included and custom count to that. As of today, after 21.00 adding Horseback, Garmin is shipping a whooping 58 activity profiles, which is awesome! But this comes at the expense of only 2 custom activities being possible, and if you had more before the new profiles do not get installed, with a reset being the best (only?) way to get them, of course loosing the custom ones (among other things) and the possibility to set them up again because of the limit. This is a serious UX regression/bug.

    Possible solutions are increasing the limit (to maybe 80?), combining some quite similar profiles and therefor reducing the current number, or allowing users to delete unneeded profiles. After notifying Garmin support, us mere mortals have been waved off and/or advised to address this as a idea at link to garmin.com

    You seem to have a good relation to Garmin. Maybe you could push this a bit? Here is some info:

    link to forums.garmin.com

    And as a recent example on the consequences (there are others on the forums):

    link to forums.garmin.com

    Thanks a lot!

    Best regards

  40. David

    Hi Ray, any idea why the Garmin Tides app has disapeared from the store for the fenix 7 / Epix 2 ? I read somewhere that it could become a embeded app.
    Thanks for your reviews

    • Alberto

      You can add it from activities and apps menu and it will appear with others like run, bike, etc.
      You must be on firmware 8.18

  41. Alex

    I have a fenix 7x. My weather glance now has blue bars coming from the bottom when i view the 12 hour trend. It shows the temperature line but no explanation of the bars. Anyone know?

  42. John Bowen

    Not really digging the new setup for weight work outs. Timer is hidden and seems there is plenty of room for timer.

  43. Mauricio Dias Bahia

    My Garmin 945 shows no history, no activities. Strange. Thanks for all DC!

  44. Mauricio Dias Bahia

    It’s all gone from my watch!

    My Garmin 945 shows no history, no activities. Strange.

    Thanks for all DC!

  45. marklemcd

    Can anyone explain the “idle time” to me? It’s now in the activity summary of my 745 and I don’t get it AT ALL. For example I went on an 8.3 mile run this morning on a route where I did not stop a single time. I ran continuously. The idle time read over 6 minutes of idle time. What the heck? It’s doing this on every run.

    Also is there a way to customize that screen? This update added a bunch of stuff I don’t want to see to the summary.

  46. Steve Short

    Oh dear, I’m not sure the revised sleep tracking is a step forward. The advantage of the previous display of movement was that this made it easy to identify precisely when I fell asleep and woke up and I would edit Garmin’s auto-detection of sleep to, for example, move my sleep start time from 8pm when I sat down to watch TV for a couple of hours to 10pm when I was in bed and nodding off.

    Now, there’s no way to see that level of movement detail. “Restless” doesn’t show me when I fell asleep so I can’t reliably edit the sleep data to accurately reflect when my sleep started and ended. Instead of the actual 7:20-7:40 of sleep that I get most nights the new sleep tracking is giving figures between 9 and 10 hours starting from around the time I start watching TV.

    This is definitely a step backward for me.

    • mato

      I noticed the same, exactly my thoughts, it’s harder to figure out, which is a problem as my watch guesses my sleep time wrongly so often.

  47. Jon

    One question that I don’t know if I overlooked or not.. The Fenix 6 series watches will get support for CIQ 5 but the FR 945 will not?

  48. Elliot Houghton

    This update for my fenix 6x removed incident detection from MTB mode, Garmin’s update only mentioned clarification about what’s supported and not supported, though definitely it worked before and today there was a message saying it doesn’t work in this mode..

    Have Garmin spoke further about this at all? Seems quite silly to remove it from MTB..

  49. Jalet

    Je possède une fenix 7 x solar saphir dont je suis très content.

  50. Andrew

    what is the EPIX upgraded support for Di2?
    Can we set the shifters to change the screen of the watch like on the Edge?
    Any info here much appreciated as to what the Epix can do with Di2

  51. R Nelson

    Any idea if they’re going to add the Ultra Run profile to the Instinct 2? I know climb pro isn’t happening, but not adding the Ultra Run profile seems like an oversight considering the unlimited battery capabilities with the solar versions. Just curious. Hopefully this comment isn’t too late on this thread. Thanks for the info!