The latest Beta for the Garmin Forerunner 255 and 955 is now available. However, you should think twice before installing it. A number of bugs have been reported by users, including the watch restarting itself and Stryd crashing in the middle of recording an activity.
The main issue appears to be with the Garmin heart rate sensor. Looking at the heart rate glance on your watch while the Beta is installed may cause the triangle of death to appear. That is, the device on your wrist will reboot for no apparent reason.
One user reports this happening to him five times! Other reports on the Garmin forums mirror that users experience.
“My watch just updated to version 14.08 and every time you scroll past the HR widget – the watch crashes, and reboots. It’s done it 10 times in a row now.” another users says.
Worryingly, the same problem can occur during exercise tracking. For example, you could be 5km into a 10km run when the watch decides it’s time to restart. That’s not good.
The update under version 14.08, which was released about a week ago, is a “Release Candidate”. This differs from an Alpha version, which can be quite buggy. When it comes to installing these types of updates, you should exercise extreme caution.
However, a “Release Candidate” indicates that this specific software version is scheduled to “Go Live” as a public update as long as no critical issues are discovered. Well, that doesn’t look like it will be the case with 14.08.
On the surface, the changes in the software are not significant. Since version 14.06, they include:
- Improvements to graphs including scrolling via touch
- Improved Auto Rest for Ultra Run Activity
- Various fixes in activities
Probably the biggest upgrade is the scrolling via touch for graphs, along with glance folders. This is functionality which landed on Fenix 7 and Epix 2 a couple of weeks ago. So it seems the Forerunner 255 and 955 are playing catchup to the more premium devices in the lineup.
There is a fix
As far as the heart rate widget bug, it appears not all users are effected. I’m one of the lucky ones. Having installed the latest Beta on my Forerunner 955 when it first came out, I have experienced absolutely no issues whatsoever. This is even though I’ve done a few runs over the past seven days.
A users has mentioned a workaround which might be worth trying. If you are experiencing the bug, disable the heart rate sensor on your watch and then enable it again. Now try the heart rate widget. Hopefully it should be ok.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
Another issue which has been reported with this software version is to do with the Stryd acccesory. During your run Stryd may stop recording data. It will behave as if it is switched off and the watch will revert to taking wrist power readings from its built-in sensors. Until Garmin fixes this you can use the Stryd Workout App instead of a Run activity. That seems to work just fine.
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