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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 - Menú contextual

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

Garmin Forerunner 945 - Menú contextual

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 - Widget notificaciones

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 nueva notificación

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.

Buscador de chollos

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.

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.

Descargar 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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18 Comments

  1. Como siempre gracias por tenernos informados. Son noticias que no suelen salir en las webs y aquí si, siempre ofreces una visión muy completa de todo el sector. Gracias!

    PD: igual es una tontería preguntar esto pero los Fenix cada cuánto salen nuevas versiones? Cada dos años? El Fenix 7 ya será mediados de 2021 no?

    1. Thank you, Juan Luis.

      Los Fenix normalmente se han presentado en el CEBIT de Las Vegas, a comienzos de año. El caso del Fenix 6 fue diferente, porque Garmin aprovechó la carrera de UTMB de Chamonix de finales de agosto de 2019 para hacer su presentación.

      Fenix 7 no llegará este año. Ten en cuenta que acaban de presentarse la versión Solar (que vuelve a relanzar el modelo) y la situación en la que estamos… Yo no lo esperaría para antes de finales del año que viene como muy pronto.

      1. Pues finalmente ha salido una nueve versión de software, la 6.70. No se que aporta porque no se me actualiza por el Garmin Connect.
        ¿Saber algo de las novedades que incluye?

  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!
    Todo lo que comentas ya lo tienen los Fenix 6 en la última actualización. Supongo que al final quieren unificar for.as y menús, pq todo es más fácil de mantener así. Y menos desarrollos en paralelo.

    1. Sí, es el nuevo lenguaje de interfaz de usuario que quiere aplicar Garmin. En el caso de Fenix y Forerunner siempre hay desarrollo paralelo, porque son dos equipos diferentes los que trabajan en ellos.

  4. Buenos días!!
    ¿Habrá una actualización automática que haga el 945 sin necesidad de descargar archivos en el ordenador y tener que conectar el reloj al ordenador?
    Thank you very much.

  5. Gracias, por toda la info. Sabes si normalmente las características nuevas del 945 pasan al Fenix 6?? pq la q más me interesa es la del control del rodillo desde el reloj.

    Greetings

  6. Buenas tardes! He llegado al blog consultando posibles problemas con la última actualización a versión 13 de los Fénix 5 plus. En el mío desde hace una semana se come la batería y no he cambiado nada. Hoy mismo, sin entrenar, se ha comido un 2% en menos de una hora y lo tengo en modo reloj, con Fc y bluetooth… no llega al final del día ni en broma, cuando antes sin entrenar llegaba con un 96/94% y entrenando con música un 70/65%… Desde que les hackearon van a peor y espero que no sea mi reloj y si de la actualización.

    PD: los pines los he limpiado bien con alcohol, así que no es por carga defectuosa.

    Gracias por el blog!

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