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Garmin shows new software features that will come to the next devices

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Garmin has released two beta updates for the Forerunner 245 (here ) and Forerunner 945 (here ). Both are practically the same, the biggest difference being the adoption of the ANT+ FE-C profile found in the 945. The other improvements, especially in terms of interface changes and watch handling, are the same in both cases.

This marks a clear trend and allows us to see what Garmin watches that have to arrive in the immediate future will look like. It's a pretty important update because of the amount of things it includes, which is why I think it's worth explaining to you.

Usage and functionality improvements (245 and 945)

There are a lot of changes to the interface and user experience (commonly referred to as UI and UX). The first thing you'll notice when you install the update is that now scrolling between widgets is slightly faster. There are also animations when it comes to entering or leaving widgets, showing a smoother usage experience.

The main menu has not changed, but contextual menus have changed in many of the options. For example, the finished workout screen; before you could scroll through the different options with the up and down buttons, now we need to press the home button (upper right) to open the menu. Logically this makes the activity summary screen different.

Garmin Forerunner 945 - Context menu

This new possibility is marked on all screens with a small line next to the button that offers that possibility.

Garmin Forerunner 945 - Context menu

Inside the workout pause menu we now find the heart rate recoveryfunction. Now it is necessary to activate it manually (it used to do it automatically), although at least it is more graphic since in the past you didn't even know it was being done.

Notifications have also changed. Now they fully show on the screen, being able to move directly with the left buttons. And the notifications widget has also changed.

Garmin Forerunner 945 - Notifications Widget

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Previously, you had to press the start button to access the notification and then you could scroll through it (only the first lines were shown). However now, if we want to delete it, we have to access the context menu instead of pressing the down button.

Garmin FR945 new notification

But if you want to delete the notification it's still easy, simply press the start button twice.

And there are many widgets that have been updated. Stress, Body Battery, weather, notifications, sunset and dusk...

These are just some of the changes, but there are more improvements. New screen for phone calls, editing data fields, etc. In short, it is a major change in the language used by Garmin. It is faster and more modern, and the feeling it offers when scrolling through the different menus shows that it is already a final development and that it will not undergo any more changes.

Smart trainer control on Garmin Forerunner 945

Within the Indoor Bike profile, we now find a new option in the menu. It's called Smart Trainer Options.

Garmin Forerunner 945 - ANT+ FE-C

Thanks to this option the Garmin Forerunner 945 is the first watch that is able to control a smart trainer. Until now only cyclocomputers had had this option (from Garmin or from other brands). It uses the ANT+ FE-C standard, so it is compatible with virtually all intelligent trainers on the market.

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There are several options, from the most basic to control the resistance of the trainer by increasing or reducing it, to the most interesting ones such as following a route or performing a downloaded workout. Here are all the options present in the menu:

  • Free ride
  • Follow workout (either from Garmin or downloaded from third party platforms such as TrainingPeaks or Trainer Road)
  • Follow course
  • Set power
  • Set grade
  • Set resistance

Beyond the basic functions (which are also quite practical), undoubtedly the most interesting thing is the possibility of performing an interval workout session controlled by the watch, or following a course and the trainer will receive the grade changes from the watch.

Garmin Forerunner 945 - ANT+ FE-C

When setting a grade for the trainer and depending on the model (for example my Tacx Neo), you can also enter a negative grade and have it pedal alone. Here you have it, going at almost 35km/h without me having to sweat the slightest drop : -).

Garmin Forerunner 945 - ANT+ FE-C

They are the same options that are present in any Garmin Edge cycling device, the only difference is the size of the screen. But I am sure that for many of you it will be a very interesting possibility because it opens doors that were previously closed.

How to update to the beta version

Upgrading your watch to the beta version is very easy and does not lead to data loss unless you want to revert to an earlier firmware version (for example the latest released version), in which case the settings will be reset to default values.

But if you keep the beta version and upgrade to the next release version (which will already include all these changes) you won't lose data either. I have been using this version for several days and everything works perfectly, so there is no reason to fear.

First you will have to download the update files on the corresponding page of your watch (245 or 945), by clicking on the download button.

Download Beta Garmin

 

Here are the direct links:

Beta updates for Garmin Forerunner 245
Beta updates for Garmin Forerunner 945

  • Connect the watch to your computer using the USB cable. On Mac and for music watches (FR245 Music and FR945 Music) you will need to install Android File Transfer.
  • Download the corresponding file for your model and unzip it. On the watch, open the \GARMIN\ folder and copy the GUPDATE.GCD file.
  • From the downloaded files, open \RemoteSW\ and copy the file inside (GUP3078.GCD or GUP3114.GCD depending on the model) to the \GARMIN\RemoteSW\ folder on your watch
  • Disconnect the watch from your computer and accept the software update that will be displayed on the screen.

After the update is down you will already have installed the firmware version that incorporates the new features indicated above, along with the rest of the other features. Below you can see what everything is included in each update.

Garmin Forerunner 245 v4.87 Beta changelog

  • Added support for displaying courses to viewers of the user's LiveTrack sessions. Various other LiveTrack improvements
  • Added in-place editing of data fields
  • Added additional options to Live Event Sharing. Trigger added for Every Mile.
  • Improved Incoming Call handling
  • Fixed problem with device spinning/freezing on activity save due to unintentional file build-up. Note: device will need to sync to Garmin Connect after software update to resolve this issue.
  • Updated numerous widgets to improve usability and look
  • Fixed inability of device to record longest swim PR
  • Moved Recovery HR to option on save/discard screen
  • Updated post-activity summary pages
  • Improvements to segments handling
  • Improvements/fixes for on-device weather. Fix instances of missing data.
  • Improvements to phone connectivity
  • Fixed HRV stress page layout
  • Fixed a few issues with Virtual Run and workouts
  • Various other improvements and bug fixes

Garmin Forerunner 945 v4.87 Beta changelog

  • Added support for FE-C and Smart Trainer control. See options in Bike Indoor activity.
  • Added support for workout videos. The video files can be downloaded via Garmin Express or over WiFi. These videos will display when using an MSN workout that supports them. Download MSN workouts through Garmin Connect.
  • Added support for displaying courses to viewers of the user's LiveTrack sessions. Various other LiveTrack improvements
  • Added in-place editing of data fields
  • Added additional options to Live Event Sharing. Trigger added for Every Mile.
  • Numerous improvements to music experience, usability, and WiFi
  • Improved Incoming Call handling
  • Fixed problem with device spinning/freezing on activity save due to unintentional file build-up. Note: device will need to sync to Garmin Connect after software update to resolve this issue.
  • Fixed problem where certain user's maps took an excessive amount of time to load on boot and were generally sluggish in use
  • Greatly improved Around Me search times
  • Updated numerous widgets to improve usability and look
  • Fixed inability of device to record longest swim PR
  • Moved Recovery HR to option on save/discard screen
  • Updated post-activity summary pages
  • Improvements to segments handling
  • Improvements/fixes for on-device weather. Fix instances of missing data.
  • Improvements to phone connectivity
  • Fixed HRV stress page layout
  • Fixed a few issues with Virtual Run and workouts
  • Various other improvements and bug fixes

The future

This firmware update not only shows us new features that are coming soon to these two watches in the release firmware channel. It also means that we have new Forerunner models just around the corner (Garmin Forerunner 655, Garmin Forerunner 745XT and Garmin Forerunner 955).

The interface changes represent a change in the way Garmin wants to modify the user experience, with a new menu layout, widget improvements, more overall speed, new animations...

The feeling using the watch is quite different. The new quick setup process that was released with the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus has probably also been incorporated, even though it hasn't been announced or activated in the Garmin Connect app yet.

And when are those new watches coming? Well, the Garmin Forerunner 655 will probably be announced in September. For the other two I do not dare to make elucubrations, although it would be expected that they would be before the Christmas campaign, but as this 2020 is going on, there is nothing guaranteed.

And with that... thanks for reading!

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22 Comments

  1. As always thanks for keeping us informed. They are news that do not usually appear on the webs and here if, always offer a very complete view of the entire sector. Thank you!

    PS: maybe it's silly to ask this but how often do the Fenix come out with new versions? Every two years? The Fenix 7 will already be mid 2021 no?

    1. Thank you, Juan Luis.

      The Fenixs have usually been presented at CEBIT in Las Vegas, earlier this year. The case of the Fenix 6 was different, because Garmin took advantage of the Chamonix UTMB race at the end of August 2019 to make its presentation.

      Fenix 7 will not arrive this year. Bear in mind that they have just presented the Solar version (which relaunches the model) and the situation we are in... I would not expect it before the end of next year at the earliest.

      1. Well, finally a new software version 6.70 has been released. I don't know what it brings because it doesn't update through the Garmin Connect.
        Do you know anything about the new features included?

  2. I can't understand why they still haven't made the recovery api available to developers. I really want my watch face to show how long recovery is left, which means I'm stuck with the out of the box watchface, which is annoying.

  3. Hi!
    Everything you are talking about is already in the Fenix 6 in the last update. I guess in the end they want to unify for.as and menus, pq everything is easier to maintain this way. And less parallel development.

    1. Yes, it is the new user interface language that Garmin wants to implement. In the case of Fenix and Forerunner there is always parallel development, because there are two different teams working on them.

  4. Good morning!
    Will there be an automatic update that will do the 945 without downloading files to the computer and having to connect the watch to the computer?
    Thank you very much.

  5. Thanks for all the info. Do you know if normally the new features of the 945 are transferred to the Fenix 6? because the one that interests me the most is the roller control from the watch.

    Greetings

  6. Good afternoon! I came to the blog consulting possible problems with the latest update to version 13 of the Fenix 5 plus. In mine for a week it eats the battery and I have not changed anything. Just today, without training, has eaten a 2% in less than an hour and I have it in watch mode, with Fc and bluetooth ... does not reach the end of the day or joke, when before without training came with a 96/94% and training with music a 70/65% ... Since they hacked them are getting worse and I hope it's not my watch and if the update.

    PS: I have cleaned the pins well with alcohol, so it is not due to faulty charging.

    Thanks for the blog!

  7. Good morning, I'm the same way. I bought the 945 3 months ago and the battery doesn't give me 3 days, even without having sensors (PC, PX), Activity Monitor and Bluetooth on. I've tried everything, including the Clock Reset, but nothing has changed. The funny thing is that if I put it in Activity mode with GPS (e.g., Running app) it does last me the 18h indicated in the specs. But with use in watch mode I get more than an 1% download every hour and it lasts me 2 days and change, when it is supposed to last up to 2 weeks. I have contacted Garmin support but so far they haven't solved much. Anyone else with this problem? Any idea what it could be? Thanks!

  8. Hello ! has anyone stopped working the altimeter , temperature , VO2 MAX reading and performance condition on the garmin 645 after I practiced a reset ?

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