Not one to be outdone by Apple’s big firmware updates this week, Garmin has launched the beginnings of their next quarterly update release. As you may remember, Garmin switched to the quarterly release scheme for feature updates, but that also includes bug fixes too. As usual, other bug-fix updates can happen outside that schedule as needed – but the major features are being released quarterly now, and ideally all at once across all current-gen watches (or bike computers/etc…).
As part of that, Garmin has their Beta Program for each device model. That beta program starts with so-called ‘Alpha Builds’, and then after what is usually 3-5 weeks, escalates to ‘Beta Builds’. The Alpha builds must be downloaded manually to your watch using a computer, whereas the Beta builds automatically show up on your watch using WiFi/Bluetooth. Both are part of the ‘Beta Program’.
In today’s update, Garmin has added a slate of features that are pretty diverse. Some of them, such as the Jetlag Advisor come from the Garmin MARQ Gen 2 series when it launched back in October (I explain the feature here), while others are expansions of existing features (like adding Stamina data field to bike sports, or adding PacePro strategies to the Race Widget).
If you want to join the beta program, you can do so here, or I’ve written up instructions here.
Generally speaking, this tends to be the tip of the iceberg. We usually see further additions, but these are the ones Garmin feels are most ready at this point for public usage. Given ones like the Jetlag Advisor have been on the Garmin MARQ Gen 2 series for a few months now, they’re further baked.
Oh, and for those wondering about the Forerunner 955/Instinct 2/etc…as usual, different watches have different timeframes for when they start their quarterly release beta program. Sometimes the Forerunner team gets there first, sometimes the Outdoor (e.g. Fenix) team gets there first. In this case, some of these features wouldn’t end up on a Forerunner anyway (like the Sailing ones). However, Garmin has previously committed that the Forerunner & Venu lines will get the Jetlag feature, though they haven’t specified an exact timeframe or which precise models (I’d assume FR955/Venu 2 Plus, and maybe FR255).
These are applicable to the Fenix 7 Series, Epix (Gen 2) series, Enduro 2, and MARQ (Gen 2) series watches. The exceptions being both the MARQ Aviator and Tactix, which Garmin kinda-sorta-but-not-really-explains why here.
In any case, here’s the newness as part of Alpha Build 11.15 (which as a reminder, you need to manually download):
Added Distance to Start data field to the Sail Race activity on the Regatta Timer page.
Added Jet Lag Adviser to Fenix 7, 7S, 7X, and Epix Gen 2.
Added multi code point emoji support.
Added PacePro strategy page to Race widget.
Added Race Day card to Morning Report.
Added Sail Expedition app.
Added Stamina data field to bike sports.
Added support for Connect IQ System 6.
Added unspecified gender support.
Added Wakesports activities (Wakesurf, Wakeboard, Waterski, Tube).
Added Workout Execution Score to post-activity summary.
Improved the Anchor app by adding a map page, anchor waypoint, and circle representing the drift radius.
Note that I’ve only outlined the specific new features page, not all the ‘improvements/changes’ realm, nor all the bug fixes. All of those are listed in full here. The one exception I pulled into the above list is the last one, since that was basically adding a bunch of features. Make sense?
First up, for those not familiar with the Jetlag advisor, I’d recommend reading my MARQ section on it. For better or worse, I’ve put this feature through the wringer over the last three months. I think I’ve done somewhere around 3-4 transoceanic round-trips since then, with time zone shifts upwards of 12 hours, as well as short basically single-day work trips across the pond and back. Collectively the Garmin Olathe and Firstbeat teams groan every time they see I’m getting on a plane, but it’s definitely getting better.
The first thing to know is you need to create your trip in the Garmin Connect smartphone app. You’ll enter the exact trip details, including arrival/destination cities, as well as dates/times. If you have a multi-leg itinerary, it’ll handle that too. Here’s a fake trip for this afternoon I created:
Then, on your watch, you’ll need to add the Jetlag widget (just like you’d add a weather/etc widget). To me, this would be a prime opportunity for Garmin to proactively recommend/offer that you add the Jetlag widget – if it detects a trip created in Garmin Connect Mobile.
Once you’ve done so, you’ll start to get those recommendations. These include recommendations on seeking or reducing light, when to sleep, when to exercise, etc… This is both on the watch, and in Garmin Connect Mobile (as shown above).
Again, lots more details on it when I tested it back on the MARQ series, here.
Next, Garmin appears to have quietly added/started HRV Status sync via Physio TrueUp in the background. This is notable because I didn’t wear either my Epix or Fenix 7 units to bed last night (or at all in the last few weeks), and yet, I’ve got my full HRV Status synced to them after the update (and after they successfully synced). It’s not clear to me if this explicitly required the firmware update, or was turned on at the same time. This will be super cool once completed. At the moment, it’s clearly still a bit beta though, with some pieces missing.
(I also tried a Forerunner 955 and Fenix 7 base that I haven’t worn to sleep for a month or so, with both on the regular production firmware. Neither show my HRV status, thus it does seem to require the new firmware.)
Next, Garmin added the Connect IQ System 6 to these units. This was previously announced this past fall at the Garmin Developer Summit. However, it does not yet appear to show the Connect IQ browsable store that was shown then. However, this is undoubtedly setting the stage for that. Garmin has previously stated they hoped to have the browsable store out by the end of Q4 2022 (end of December). That might be a bit optimistic now. Nonetheless, it lets developers start testing these apps on real-world devices.
Next, Garmin has added multi code point emoji support. Which, is a developer way of saying they added skin-tone variation support. You can see an example of this side-by-side between the Epix (updated) and the Forerunner 955 (not yet added) with the same thumbs up emoji. This emoji was sent with a darker skin variant, and that shows on the Epix, but not on the Forerunner 955. Also, you see just how much nicer the AMOLED screen is.
And then as the baseline, here’s the previous/standard yellow edition sent, shown on both:
I think for the most part, the remaining items are relatively self-explanatory.
In any case, more to come I’m sure! With that, thanks for reading!
Would anything new come to the Fenix 6?
Generally speaking, no. That said, we did actually see HRV Status come to it this past summer, so, never say never…
CIQ 6 for example 😉
20221220 – System – 24.77 Alpha
System Update : 24.70 (was 24.10)
CIQ : 3.4.0 (was 3.3.6)
FirstBeat ETE: 220.127.116.11 (was 18.104.22.168)
FirstBeat LHA: 22.214.171.124 (was 126.96.36.199)
Added support for Connect IQ System 6.
Added unspecified gender support
Improved the treadmill pace algorithm.
does the new update also support Body-Battery-Sync between two units (Epix 2 and FR255)?
Not as of today, but I expect that’s probably on the docket as part of the re-architecting.
Any info from Garmin on timeline for re-architecting?
Any features making it over to the FR945LTE?
I suspect some chunk of these will. Generally speaking the FR945LTE is viewed in the same update lens as the FR955.
– Add Real Time Settings
– Add Grade Adjusted Pace
– Add Incident Detection Alert on Phone
– Add Wrist-Based Run Power
– Add QR Code Garmin Connect pairing
– Add Backcountry Snowboard activity
– Add Disc Golf Activity
– Add Cross Country Ski Power Zones
– Add Auto Rest to Ultra Run activity
– Add Health & Wellness Menu
– Add Performance Condition Data Field to Track Run
Good to see Garmin seem to be making some headway with the improvement of TrueUp (any further info on this, I think they were originally talking in terms of a major overhaul by the end of this year?). However, some people in Garmin’s forums are reporting that the TrueUp setting has completely disappeared from their devices running 11.15 Alpha.
The addition of Stamina to cycling activities seems an odd one to me as it was something you could just add for yourself at anytime since it launched (unless I’m misunderstanding something). I wonder if this is going to leave people who’ve already done that with two Stamina data screens.
There was a comment from Garmin in the forums that it TrueUp was removed on purpose as it is now always on.
‘This is expected, Physio TrueUp is now “always on.”
Garmin Outdoor Quality Team”
Interesting, but also a bit alarming! It’s good that Garmin apparently feel confident enough to do that, but at the same time I’m dreading what happens the next time I power-up some old Garmin device I’ve not used for the last couple of years.
If you are not wearing your Garmin watches to sleep – are you using something else to track your sleep?
Well, since HRV was synced, it means a different/new Garmin watch. Or Garming integration with (e.g.) Apple (unlikely). Fun!
Correct, just a different watch than those. In this case, the MARQ 2.
The HRV status sync is definitely the most exciting part for me. Hopefully not long before they can do a full HRV status/training readiness/body battery sync between the compatible devices.
That would be awesome, and then add a whoop like band so that we don’t always need to wear our Fenix and can wear some other watch (in my case).
Most definitely I have a bunch of mechanical watches that I do love to wear, but I’m not willing to give up my training readiness/performance stats so have been strictly FR955 for a few months now.
I jump between the two. I want to have both but I generally jump back to my mechanicals after I realise that I’m not actually using the metrics that my Fenix 7 gives me (still use it to track activities though).
I get why they are adding gender support so watches can use the correct pronouns. I am curious to know though, will they separately support sex for the purpose of scientific models? Seems like a mistake to change your gender and pronouns if the fitness software then starts feeding you gibberish.
Does this also suggest there will be a departure from such clear stereotyping with colorways from our friends in Kansas, or will the small wristed still be assumed to love pink and teal and the large wristed black and olive green?
The data sourcing aspect is a very valid question, and, one I’m about to send over. Certainly, there’s a very plain reality that virtually all of the scientific data that Garmin/Firstbeat leverage is based on historical studies that have had clear male/female splits, in terms of things like VO2Max, Calories, etc…
So, what exactly happens when you specify “unspecified” as a gender, in terms of that those features/recommendations.
Interested in seeing what they say.
physio true-up enhancements are interesting, but mostly because that might prevent me from losing hrv status entirely when i have to reset or return my FR955 yet again. another return is looking likely as a result of the botched 13.21/13.22 software update. at this point i am wary of applying any update, would not trust a beta release and indeed have to question how the beta release is being used when they still end up with major problems in the final release
Will the EPIX 2 run all apps developed for the FENIX 7?
Has this update resolved Always On Display being disabled? Both on the watch and Android App (4.61)
I’m on Epix Gen 2 software 10.44 (no beta character).
It shut off about a week ago. Maybe associated to Android update.
Putting this here mostly for myself.
The AOD is available and turned you yes again. The versions are the same as before, and I don’t know what happened. But I’m happy again.
Any improvements to swimming distance calculations? Still getting almost exactly 71% actual distance swam. Why can’t the mapped data make up for deficit? After all of its drawn out precisely on the map it seems like it’s knowingly providing a shorter distance traveled measuremeant
I’d like to see Garmin solve it one of two ways:
1 – tow float mode, using a secondary GPS device to track your path while still getting other swim metrics from the watch. Sync’d like the HRM-Swim. Basically working like Fitbit tracking used to but perhaps letting you use an Edge for GPS, as well as your phone.
2 – Course mode, basically like the Running Track mode. So for popular courses/race courses, it snaps to that.
Clearly further development of GPS tracking to accommodate the poor update rate caused by hands going under the water should continue for when neither of these options is valid.
is it possible for the venu 2 series to get hrv status and health morning report? Venu 2 series has the latest Garmin elavate v4 sensor and has a health snapshot where you can check your hrv. it seems there is a technical possibility for venu 2 to have hrv status 24/7 not only 2 minutes snapshot. I think a lot of people bought the venu 2 because of the latest elevate v4 sensor – the venu 2 was one of the first Garmin watches with the newest sensor on the market – hoped to take advantage of the new technology.
Maybe one day, they will create the ability to alter the times you sleep, enabling HRV tracking for those of us, who do night shifts occasionally, and where currently, one night shift, throws the training status out of whack for a week.
Surely through the jet lag development, they have began to understand sleeping algorithms, so can finally solve this one. The ability to link a ‘sleep calendar’, to Garmin connect would be great.
Agree, more granularity could be nice. But to be fair, one night shift should throw training status out of whack for a week.
Why should it?
I train in the morning of the night shift, and usually do a hard session, then around 2pm, have an afternoon nap, which I sustain until 7pm! Go to work for 8, home at 8.30 am the next morning (often with a nap during the night) and I go for an easy run, stay wake during the day, and return to normal sleep times thereafter.
No matter how I set up me Epix 2, it won’t pick up the sleep I’ve had.
I’d also like to have improved sleep detection.
The algorithm already detects something, since body battery goes up when resting (napping or not).
The sleep algorithm will indicate that I slept through the night, even if I had a long period of wakefulness (sometimes this will show as “awake” on the sleep breakdown, sometimes not).
I’d think that sleep detection wouldn’t be too difficult–minimal motion of the watch, lowered heart rate, for example.
When is Garmin going to add a e-sim to the Fenix range (nite I don’t think a mic is required because most people will use they ear pods) but an e-sim so you can be without your phone is the biggest negative to this range.
Current studies don’t show a need for an esim. When surveys have asked, whether they take the phones with them when the run/cycle, the overwhelming response is yes.
We are too attached to mobiles, and it is still the best way to communicate, listen to audio and act as a payment device.
A woman running alone will take her phone, to be as safe as possible.
Garmin won’t add a feature like this, as it is expensive, requires a huge effort to bring in telcos and the regulatory process is cumbersome.
I’m waiting for the addition of e-SIM to the Garmin watches as well. Actually, that would be the only reason for me to upgrade. I really don’t care about the addition of small software features any more, I feel like the Garmin Fenix lineup has everything under the sun and more (most of which we don’t really use). But, an e-SIM would really be serious addition for which I would upgrade my watch. As an age-grouper triathlete who does quite a lot of training, the ability of leaving the mobile phone at home and still be connected is just too appealing. Not just for training purposes, but for racing as well (just imagine live tracking during the events).
I’m not sure who you’re referring to when saying that people don’t seem to care about leaving their phones at home. Must be the normies, not the athletes. Most (tri)athletes I know, including me, only take the phones with them when cycling – because there’s a pocket for it in your jersey. No serious runner carries a phone when training (where would you put that slab of plastic and glass?).
In the pocket of a flip belt/naked belt, or anyone of the pockets sport apparel brands are routinely including.
I am a serious athlete, and I take my phone. So don’t assume the few you aspire to this on here, are the majority.
For start Garmin could at least add support for calling to all watches. It’s been successfully tested on Venu 2 Plus and it’s been a great success among many users I know personally.
Any new updates to the Sleep Tracking algorithm?
what are the modifications for the following function: “Improved Rest UI for Ultra Run activities” ?
Wish one of these feature drops came with the ability to transfer weather data via Wifi Syncs (and Garmin Express Syncs). Having to constantly connect via bluetooth to the phone app to get weather data is annoying.
On the other hand I would welcome if Garmin watches and Connect app would fall back to the last known location as reported by the phone, instead of telling me location is unavailable and stopping to provide the weather info/forecast. I have location sensor turned off automatically while at work or at home and no app has any problem with this and uses the last known location, except Garmin Connect app which is a major annoyance. :-[
It’s about time they started to include more of your data in physio true up. Right now, I am wearing both my Enduro 2 and my Epix when I go to bed in order to not to lose my data and start from scratch when I change from one to the other. All your data will end up on Garmin Connect anyway, so there is no point why they can’t be moved across different watches. While many of us might own 2 or more different Garmins, most will only wear one during the day and workouts….Ray and Des might be the only 2 guys in the kown universe who wear 3, 4 or more different ones every time they leave the house 😉
any advice on getting the Jet Lag Adviser into Garmin connect mobile app after installing the alpha build on your watch? Should Garmin Connect recognise that automatically or is there something you need to do yourself?
I suspect by now it’s working. In a nutshell, apparently there’s some backend registration that occurs after your watch gets the firmware update that tells Garmin Connect the feature is live for your account. Sounds like that takes a bit of time currently.
Will the Forerunner 955 get the Next Fork?
Yes, it’s supposed to. It should show up in this quarterly release cycle, based on the note I had from when i last asked (it didn’t make the cut alongside GAP and AutoRest for last quarteR).
Advertisement like always. Lame update. Nothing important. It’s the opposite. I habe trouble again. Battery drain. Crashes. Crap. Hopefully they will fix it until the release.
I missed this high-quality comment earlier. Not apologizing.
Not sure how this is an advertisement. It’s an update, I talked about what worked, what didn’t work, etc…
the new update came just in time since I had to get my Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar replaced because of a faulty button.
Yesterday I received the new Fenix and I installed the Alpha 11.15 to it – the old one also had the Alpha installed.
Sadly, the syncing of HRV didn’t happen and the graph shows only the value of last night.
All the other data (besides training readiness, which would be cool!) synced perfectly, but not HRV…
I’m wondering now if I missed an important step? Did you do something “special” to sync the data?
Looking forward to your answer and have an awesome day,
There is now 11.17. There is a continuous reboot issue with both 11.15 and 11.17 – X-Ski Classic or Skate, HRM-Pro or HRM-Pro+. You can’t even get out of the rebooting loop until you move the HRM beyond the range of the watch. Then you can stop the activity. Only ANT+ causes an issue – BLE works, but then you don’t Ski Power.
This does not seem to affect other activities.
I just upgraded from the Fenix 6 to the Fenix 6, installed the latest alpha (11.17) I am not seeing an HRV true up happening, the watch is still telling me I need three weeks of wearing it to give me a status. In GC it is also missing status since I’ve changed watches. Am I missing something?
I mean the F6 to F7 – sorry
Just got a new Epix (non-Sapphire) and was a bit surprised it did not have the new training readiness features from the FR 955, I mistakenly assumed that these features would be present on Epix/F7. Is this something that you know of that will be brought over at some point?
It has been on the watch since Firmware 9.33 which was released 4 months ago.
Is your watch updated?
Is the glance added to your watch face?
It takes some time for it to generate a readiness score as it needs to learn your sleep/hrv/load.
Thank you Ryan,
You were right, a simple update of the watch did the trick, silly from my side to not check this first.
Will the jet lag feature make it to the D2 Mach 1? Given that’s it’s basically an Epix G2 I hope so!
Silly question, how to manualy dowload this ? is there a link to a file that needs to be copied to Enduro 2?
I noticed map and others eatures in Sunset/sunrise widget. Is it something new?
Just a quick note that this update has shifted from Alpha to beta, so it should start showing up for those that have signed up for beta updates. Latest release notes here: link to forums.garmin.com
I excitedly updated my Fenix 7 to f/w 11.21 beta and my Instinct 2 to latest f/w 11.12 beta.
I had expected at least HRV to sync from the Fenix 7 my main watch to the Instinct 2 my rough & tumble watch. Sadly not. I would also be very keen to see body battery synced via true-up.
Ray I feel with you having so many devices, it would be great to have a table of devices and metrics that currently work and maybe some colored cells for what should work shortly.
Just read this link to forums.garmin.com
Got to turn physio trueup off sync and then turn on. Only catch is I’ve already updated to the version where this toggle option has been removed. 🙁
I love the jetleg App. I love when my watch fells me to get less light. So useful!!!!! Especially if I’m
Traveling for work, sorry y’all, watch says less Light. Gotta head in. Can we STOP with the endless tracking apps. It’s useless. Utter useless.
An app that tells you If you’re
Tired. You know how I know if I’m
Tired? I feel Tired!
You could…i don’t know….not use it?
Thank you for permission to not track my jet lag. I also never track my Hr, my sleep or any of that Crap. Here’s one thing you can’t turn off,
Why would someone (me) who runs 3,000 + miles a year care what my step count is. Garmin will not let you disable it. It used too. So know I set my daily goal to 100K so it never buzzes. Well guess what. One day day it buzzzeddd mid ultra marathon. Enjoy the jet lag app
Oh my, it buzzed once. And the sky fell, right?
Hint: instead of setting 100K goal, disable goal notifications during both normal time and activities. This way the buzzing will go away.
BTW, congrats for 3K miles a year. That’s rare. But why so much anger at the fact that it tracks your steps?!
Ray a quick one…
accidentally reseted my f7x saphire solar (ver. 11.21)
after it rebooted it synced back almost everything except for vo2max data, any idea what I messed up?
and one more thing there is no physio true up trigger on iphone app any more?
any help? thanks in advance
I’m trying to find the Workout Execution Score in the post-activity summary. Has anybody seen this or knows where to find it?
Any update if there will be ECG functionality?