A new Alpha version of Garmin software adds HRV Status and Race Calendar widgets to Fenix 7 and Epix 2. Instinct 2 also gets an alpha update which adds Run Power. All of this should make it to public release, probably in the next month or two.
Garmin Alpha is what was previously Beta
To remind, Forerunner 955 was launched at the start of last month with a bunch of features that were not available on Garmin’s high-end outdoors sports watch range – namely the Fenix and Epix 2. This includes Training Readiness, support for Run Power and more. Most of these have now made it to Alpha firmware release.
Essential reading: Best fitness trackers and health gadgets
Garmin has recently changed the way it distributes its Beta software. Basically, what was previously Beta is now called Alpha. You still download these types of files as before and can install them manually to your watch.
When the software makes it to Beta (previously the pre-public release), the job of installing the file is easier. Basically, you just need to register for the Beta Program via the Garmin web dashboard and these types of updates will install themselves automatically to your watch via Garmin Connect.
Fenix 7, Epix 2, Quatix 7 Alpha update
Today’s Alpha version 9.15 comes about 10 days after version 9.14. The change log of that one was as follows:
- Added SatIQ support.
- Added eBike support.
- Added Race Day features.
- Added Stocks widget glance.
- Added a Reference Point app.
- Added widget glance folders.
- Added Cycling Ability feature.
- Added Golf Virtual Caddie support.
- Added categorization to Activity setup.
- Added Training Readiness widget glance.
- Added a power key control menu item for RCT.
- Added Golf wind speed and direction support.
- Added ability to disable temperature recording for an activity.
- Added support for Run Power when paired with a compatible accessory.
- Added multicolor support to Climb Pro graphs for non-biking activities.
- Added a “What’s New” screen to call out new features in software updates.
- Added a watch face chart data fields for battery level and floors climbed.
As can be seen from the list above, most of the features from the Forerunner 955 made their way over. The one notable omission from the list was HRV Status. But this was part of the feature-set as Training Readiness uses HRV Status calculations. It is just that Garmin did not add the actual widget.
But now we are now getting this as part of Alpha version 9.15. The other important addition is the Race Calendar widget.
Here’s the full change-log:
- Improvements made to Training Status.
- Improvements made to the What’s New page UI.
- Added Race Calendar widget glance.
- Added HRV Status widget glance.
- Added ability to manually update software via Wi-Fi to the software update menu.
- Added a notification for the user when their suggested workouts have been updated to prepare for a race.
- Fixed UI issues with glance folders.
- Fixed a UI issue with workout list subtitles.
- Fixed potential shutdown in stocks widget glance.
- Fixes and improvements made to Training Readiness.
- Fixed some UI issues with the Stocks widget glance.
- Fixed potential intermittent shutdown on solar models.
- Fixed potential incorrect icon usage in some data fields.
- Fixed issue with European stocks in the stocks widget glance.
- Fixed issue with stock closing price in stocks widget glance.
- Fixes and improvements made to the Primary Race widget glance.
- Fixed UI issue with training readiness bar colors in the glance.
- Fixed UI issue with custom workout list when training is paused.Fixed potential shutdown with body battery graph on the watch face.
- Fixed stocks app not persisting tickers after a power cycle of the device.
There are also a long bunch of improvements and fixes. The full details can be found in the Beta section of the Garmin forums. If you are interested in the Alpha version 9.15, you will need to download it manually. As mentioned, the software works with the Fenix 7 line, Epix 2 and Quatix 7.
Instinct 2 line gets native run power
No news for those with the Forerunner 945 LTE. Hopefully in the coming days it, too, will receive a similar firmware upgrade. But there is news for those with Instinct 2 or 2s. Their latest Alpha brings them support for native run power.
You can read more about how this works on our separate piece. Essentially, it adopts the run power Garmin Connect IQ store solution. So you still need an external device in order to capture measurements such as the Running Dynamics Pod or one of Garmin’s heart rate chest straps. But the run power feature is now more seamlessly built throughout the ecosystem and is installed on your watch by default.
You can see below the full change-log of Alpha Version 9.10 for the Instinct 2 line. The installation file can be found on this page.
- Added native run power.
- Added the reference point app.
- Added a few missing data fields to elliptical and stairstep activities.
- Removed inapplicable breathwork activity options.
- Fixed a bug in certain languages where the “Timer Done” text could overlap the timer time on the user timer alarm page.
- Fixed a potential bug where elevation would not change during a jumpmaster activity.
- Fixed a bug causing some swim workouts to not proceed correctly.
- Fixed various UI bugs with the heart rate glance.
- Fixed a potential bug causing battery saver to turn on unexpectedly.
- Fixed a potential bug causing the watch to get stuck on the pairing page during the initial GCM pairing.
- Fixes a potential bug where the breathwork activity stats page could show and invalid value for stress change.
Instinct 2 did not so far get the other Forerunner 955 features even though it has the latest generation (4.0) Elevate HR sensor. All devices with this tech are expected to get features such as Training Readiness and HRV Status. Perhaps they will arrive in a future Alpha.
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