The first round of Garmin Alpha firmware updates is live. New versions of software have dropped for the Fenix range, Epix, Enduro and Instinct 2. This follows the massive public release earlier this month.
The company has recently changed the way it distributes Beta software for a certain number of watches. You now need to sign up via Garmin Connect web dashboard to receive these types of updates the same way as the regular public release. So through Garmin Connect mobile or by linking the watch to your computer and Garmin Express. De-registering from future Beta updates is done via the same route. You can check out our detail guide on how the new system works.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
This is not where the changes end. It is only public release candidates or the nearly final versions of the software which are being distributed this way. Garmin has renamed what was previously known as Beta versions to Alpha. You still need to download and install these manually. Confused yet?
In time Garmin says it will expand its new Beta Program to include Alpha versions of the software which should ensure everything goes through the same route. This should make things simpler. For now older devices, such as the Fenix 5, are not subscribed to the new Beta Program. For them its business as usual.
Fenix 7, Epix 2, Quatix 7 – Alpha version 8.31
Starting with Fenix 7, Epix 2 and Quatix – their Alpha version comes on top of public update 8.18. That one has a mile-long list of added functionality and fixes.
It is, therefore, no surprise that the list of changes in Alpha 8.31 is not very long.
- Add the ability to add workout related “interval” fields (speed, pace, time, distance, and reps) to any configurable data screen.
- Added feedback for installation angle reset for bike power meters.
- Fixed a few UI issues with the Tides app.
- Fixed a potential shutdown with multisport activities when using Connect IQ data fields.
- Fixed not being able to re-add the main data screen in the Fish activity.
- Fixed issue where the Health Snapshot activity could connect to external sensors.
- Fixed an issue where the golf map and green contours would not be drawn correctly after a fresh download to the device.
- Fixed golf green contour line density in some scenarios.
- Fixed issue with power modes in activity reverting to normal mode.
- Epix Only: Fixed issue with PulseOx history graph.
- Epix Only: Fixed issue with Connect IQ watch face low power timeout not respecting system display timeout setting.
Remember, this will not be delivered automatically to your watch. But you can manually download the software on this link.
We were actually looking for a hint of some of the new functionality that is reportedly coming to the Forerunner 955. To remind, that one is expected to drop along with Forerunner 255 in the next week or two. Amongst rumoured functionality is something called Training Readiness Score and HRV Status.
If this rumour turns out to be accurate, no doubt this functionality will also land on Fenix 7 and Epix 2. For now, there’s no mention of it in the Alpha log file.
Fenix 6 series, MARQ, Enduro – Alpha version 21.71
The Fenix 6, MARQ and Enduro Alpha follows the release of firmware 21.00 on May 10th. Version 21.71 only contains fixes.
- Fixed an issue where Run/Walk/Idle total time didn’t equal Total Time displayed on watch/Garmin Connect (now all times when totaled should match Total Time).
- Fixed an issue where user could not delete a Strength workout from device.
- Fixed an issue with Metronome hot key not working in the Walk activity.
- Fixed issue in the Jumpmaster activity where the listed elevation data would not properly update.
- Fixed an issue that could prevent device from booting up properly.
The download files can be found here.
Unfortunately, the log files makes no mention of a fix for the battery drain issue. This was reported by some Fenix 6 users following the last public release. Some watch owners are seeing the battery deplete by more than a third per day. Battery consumption has, essentially, more than tripled.
Instinct 2 range
Finally, Garmin Instinct 2 is also getting some love. Here’s the change-log for software iteration 8.61, along with the download link.
- Added battery percentage as a watch face data field option.
- Fixed a potential issue where data screens could not be added.
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