Image source: Garmin

Garmin Instinct 2 update brings a boatload of new features

An Alpha firmware update has started rolling out over the past 24 hours which adds a bunch of features to the Instinct 2. This includes Morning Report, wrist-based running power and much more.

Instinct 2 is a recent edition to Garmin’s staple of fitness devices. Released in February 2022, the device packs thinner build than before, a more high-res display, better battery life, more memory, improved sensors, lots of performance metrics, NFC and more.

In recent months we’ve also seen another device in the line-up – Instinct Crossover. That one is a new take on the company’s outdoor sports watch concept. It is the first hybrid in the Instinct range.


Alpha Version 11.08 – a significant update

Today an Alpha firmware update was announced for Instinct 2. It adds some functionality which has been available on the high-end Forerunners and Fenix line for a few months now.

If you want to try out the new features you’ll need to manually download and install the file from the Garmin forum page. Once it gets into Beta stage – probably a few weeks from now – the software will come automatically to your watch through Garmin Connect. But this is only if you’ve registered for the Beta programme.

If not, you’ll need to wait for the public release which will probably occur in late-January or February. To remind, the company has switched this year to a 3 month release schedule for major software changes. This is the beginning of the next round of quarterly updates.

The functionality that comes as part of Alpha software 11.08 for Instinct 2 includes the following additions:

  • Morning report. The feature basically pops up on your watch when you wake up, helping you prepare for the day. You tweak what you want to see. The report is capable of showing you 10 different kinds of information.
  • Sleep Mode. The functionality does two things. It allows you to manually enter Sleep Mode and, more importantly, to tweak the watch settings which appear when the mode is activated – such as notifications and alerts.
  • Primary Race and Race Calendar glances. Once set up, the widget will let you know how long till a race, assist in training volume and intensity, give you weather information and more.
  • Wrist-Based Running Power. As its name implies, this is running power from the wrist. So no need for external devices such as a heart rate chest strap or the Running Dynamics Pod.
  • Daily Suggested Workout Improvements.
  • Grade-Adjusted Pace. This displays your equivalent running pace at the same effort on flat ground at sea level. It allows you to view your pace with “smoothing” applied helping you better pace your effort.
  • Backcountry Snowboard activity.
  • Physio TrueUp – Training Status Improvements.
  • RTS support for activity alerts.
  • Temperature recording activity setting.

In our view, the highlights of this update are wrist-based running power, Morning Report and Grade-Adjusted Pace. As always, there are also a few fixes and bug squashes.

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