Image source: Garmin

Garmin Forerunner 955 gets first real firmware update, but no SatIQ

Garmin is currently rolling out the first real firmware update for the newly launched Forerunner 955 watch. It brings better touch handling and a number of other improvements and bug fixes.

The firmware goes under the number 11.12. The sports watch giant says only around 10% of the users should have received it by now, so don’t panic if you haven’t. When it reaches your region, the watch on your wrist should prompt you and then update automatically via Garmin Connect or Garmin Express.

Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets

The most interesting thing about this update is that it is the first real one since the watch was released. Sure there was a small refresh when the watch was launched, but that may have come automatically installed when you purchased your device.

The software version 11.12 has not reached us just yet so we can’t confirm there are improvements to touch handling. Although, we have not noticed any problem to begin with so it would be difficult to assess. Presumably there were some issues and Garmin is now addressing them.

Here’s the full change-log of the software.

  • Improvements to touch handling
  • Improvements to data screen drawing
  • Improvements to Audio Dialect selection
  • Addressed issues with Cycling VO2 Max values
  • Addressed issues with After Sunset backlight setting
  • Various other bug fixes and improvements

No Sat IQ

One feature that is noticeably missing from this list is something called SatIQ. We are looking forward to this feature. What exactly does it do, you might be wondering.

This is new functionality that has recently been made available on the latest Alpha software version for the Fenix 7 and Epix 2 watches. And it sounds like it will be very useful. Presumably, all Garmin watches with dual-frequency GNSS will ultimately get the feature.

SatIQ is a technology that aims to preserve the battery life on your watch while not compromising GPS accuracy. It does this by figuring out the optimal GPS mode based on your current environment. So instead of keeping your watch on the Multiband GNSS option which is the most precise but also most battery hungry, you can choose AutoSelect in the settings on your device.

The SatIQ feature will then automatically switch between different modes depending on your environment. For example, in more open areas there is no need to keep Multiband GNSS switched on. So this feature will help to maximize battery life without sacrificing sattelite positioning accuracy by figuring out the most power-efficient mode.

Here are the options:

  • GPS only
  • All systems
  • All + multiband
  • Auto-selection
  • UltraTrac

This could make quite a bit of difference to how long your watch can go between charges. For example, the Forerunner 955 keeps going only for around 20 hours with Multiband GNSS switched on. But in normal GPS mode it can keep going for twice that – 42 hours to be precise.

Presumably the feature is still in testing which is probably the reason why it was not included in this update. When it does arrive the steps to switch AutoSelect positioning will be as follows:

  • Long press START/STOP.
  • Select an ctivity sport profile.
  • Press UP/MENU to access menu.
  • Select the activity settings.
  • Select Satellites.
  • Select AutoSelect.

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