Garmin Watches Now Wish You Happy Birthday

Garmin-Forerunner955-Birthday

(Yes, it’s been a bit quiet around here the last 10 days or so, more details on on that epic adventure down below.)

Last Friday when I woke in my little tent, the Garmin Forerunner 955 wished me Happy Birthday. This, as it turns out, would be a new feature on the Garmin Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 955, which were just launched two months prior. The feature is included as part of the ‘Morning Report’ functionality, which normally shows details like training status, sleep & HRV status, as well as upcoming structured workouts.

This day though, it wished me Happy Birthday In fact, it technically had a small animation throwing confetti, which you can see below:

However, unlike when Wahoo added this feature to their Wahoo Rival watch, Garmin does not sing you Happy Birthday. Which, is probably a good thing in this rare context, as then I didn’t have to disclose to the couple of other tents directly next to mine on the side of a mountain at 6AM that it was my birthday. Something that undoubtedly would have surfaced, at a refuge food stop later in the day. Phew, saved by lack of features!

In any case, since I didn’t know this feature existed, I figured I’d share. I checked with Garmin, and this is indeed new/first seen on the Forerunner 255/955. Undoubtedly, as more Garmin watches get the Morning Report Feature (such as the Fenix/Epix series in a future firmware update), it’ll probably include this as a baseline. It’s worthwhile noting that this actually isn’t the only ‘unique’ Morning Report alert that occurs. When you have a scheduled race, it shows an entirely different morning report too, encouraging you for the day. Further, on that day it won’t list any of your training/readiness stats. Garmin says the idea being that whether or not you slept well that night isn’t something that needs to distract you from the race ahead. And while I’m sure someone will invariably complain/say that resources should have been spent elsewhere, the reality is that we as humans judge our devices based on our attachment to them. And companies that go the extra mile to do minor things that we remember, strengthen that bond and one’s likelihood to buy from them again. We see this across not just the tech industry in numerous ways, and the companies that ‘surprise and delight’ almost always do better than the ones that stay the course and go out of business.

In any case, after taking some photos of the Birthday message, I packed up my tent and carried on, ready to tackle an upcoming fugly day of rain and wind in the Alps. Which gets me to why it’s been a bit quiet around here the last 10 days or so – I’ve been off solo camping and hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc, a 170km/105mi trek that goes around the Mont Blanc range. It includes some 10,000m/30,000ft of elevation gain, with lots of cell phone dead spots. For the first time in a few decades, I separated from a laptop for more than week. And, for the first time ever on this site, I didn’t post something in over 10 days. I just stepped off into the mountains and enjoyed it.

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I’ve been publishing roughly daily story sets to Instagram Stories, plus my Strava. Which, includes plenty of epic hilariousness, especially the items posted in the last 24 hours.

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You can see all my Instagram stories by tapping my profile picture. Additionally, I’ve placed all of the Instagram Stories into two archives at the top. Each archive is limited to 100 stories, thus I’ll probably have to add a third one for the last two days. You can see these here:

InstaStories

Fear not, later in the week I’ve got a fully detailed post about it all, plus a video. Most of my Instagram Stories are just using my phone photos/videos, whereas the bulk of what I shot was actually on a GoPro. But offloading that mid-hike is too much of a battery drain.

With that – enjoy! And expect the sports tech goodness to resume in full force this week!

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21 Comments

  1. Nuno Pinto

    First here…happy birthday and enjoy your day…happy trekking

  2. Rodney Annet

    Great review

  3. Ha-ha hope your not addicted, you’ll be doing the El Camino next

  4. Franck

    Hi Ray,
    You decided to go hiking with the FR955 and not with the more mountain-oriented Fenix or Epix. Is it a question of battery, weight and/or functions? Enjoy the hike and happy delayed birthday.

    • I had a lot of watches on my trip, including the Fenix 7. Functionality speaking, the FR955 is almost identical, with only a handful of very minor differences (e.g. notably coloring on gradients with ClimbPro, or inability to have the zoom levels ‘stick’ after changing).

      The FR955 was the one that was set to splice each day up, versus a long activity on the others.

  5. Nick

    Happy delayed birthday

  6. Marcel

    Great to hear, have fun! The morning report sounds great, esp. the special one on race day. If I ever run a marathon again, I trust it won’t tell me to ‘move’ or complain that I am not active enough on that day either. (Even if that was probably triggered by tapering in the preceeding week)

  7. Robert

    Happy birthday of course – and thanks for the warning 🙂

  8. Adam

    Takes 10 days away from the computer to go for a birthday hike the Tour du Mont Blanc, but still logs, tracks, videos and photographs the whole way. Wonder if you could go away with absolutely no tech?

    Obviously we benefit that you can’t, hey that’s why we’re here.

    And Happy Birthday again!

    • Hahaha – I was chatting with Des one night, and compared to the amount of gear I usually bring, he was pretty impressed with how little I brought (for me). In my full post on it, I’ve got some photos/weights showing the normal pack vs the extras I had.

  9. Finny

    what a great place to stay alone!
    Gorgeous!

  10. Ken

    Being in the camp that I’m smart enough that I don’t need to be reminded of my birthdate I consider this a waste so I went onto the Garmin Connect website to remove the (fake) birthdate that I had in there so this won’t annoy me on . It wouldn’t let me do that unless VO2 max (cycling) was populated. That shouldn’t be a required field if someone isn’t really a cyclist, only occasionally riding for fun.

    It’s interesting that the force you to enter one random number to remove another random number.

  11. Volker

    I like the pic with the cows. Who was more surprised? 🤣 Luckily you have not used a red tent. I assume you traveled with an in Reach device – in case a cow falls on you or something like this…

  12. Jordan Foster

    I’m going to throw it out there that I can’t be the only one with Tactix 7 that feels ultra let down with all the upgrades and rollouts that all thebotger watches are getting. Especially when the now last generation models are receiving the upgrades.

    • C.Sco

      What are you missing? Tactix 7 is getting all the same updates as Fenix 7 / Epix 2 are getting. Tactix isn’t part of the beta program, so you might have to wait a couple months longer than the Forerunner/Fenix/Epix crowd that partakes in the beta program, but you’ll always get all the same updates within a couple months.

  13. runner-33

    Happy birthday!

    In fact there’s an older Garmin watch with exactly that feature, just not for us guys. Garmin show the Happy birthday screen in their promo video at 0:34: link to m.youtube.com

    However, the confetti throwing muffin is a first 🙂

  14. DS

    Happy birthday. That’s a trek I’ve wanted to do.

    Also, classic DCR [paraphrase]:
    “I unplugged for 10 days, and my only online activity was daily Strava updates and 200 Instagram Stories.”

  15. Issac

    Happy Birthday! Awesome to see they added that as part of the morning report. Looking forward to mine in a few months!
    Have you seen you can add your name to the morning report so it’ll say “Good Morning, Issac”? That struck me as another one of those minor details that makes my 955 feel more personal.

  16. Ioannis

    Hi Ray,

    Do you have an updated eta on when morning report is coming to the Fenix 7? Just curious how long we may have to wait. Thanks.

  17. Bart

    Really cool trip! Now I want to do the same 🙂 Any idea when the full post is coming up on the tour du Mont Blanc? Looking forward to it. I was wondering about the camping gear you brought with you, what tent, mattress and sleeping bag did you use?

  18. Max

    Belated: Happy Birthday!

    Do you have any insight into when the Morning Report will make it to Fenix/Epix now that 9.33 is target code and it wasn’t included there?