Garmin has launched the Q3 firmware update cycle, kicking off with a pre-release Beta for the Venu 2 series. We are eagerly looking forward to a wave of software rollouts in the coming weeks. These updates are anticipated to integrate features that debuted with the newly launched Epix 2 and Fenix 7 Pro watch series.
The start appears to be more subdued than explosive. As first spotted by NotebookCheck, the updated software for the Venu 2 collection brings only one alteration – the addition of a Gaming activity to the wearable device. This esports profile enables users to track their body’s performance during gaming sessions.
But it should get better pretty soon.
New Garmin Epix 2 & Fenix Pro features
The recently launched Fenix 7 Pro series includes a flashlight in all three watch sizes. This is a feature that was previously absent in smaller sized models. The Epix 2 Pro series, equipped with an AMOLED display, has also expanded to match the three sizes of the Fenix series, and now includes flashlights for all. Both watch lines come with the Elevate 5 optical heart rate sensor and multi-band GNSS as standard. But, apart from a few bits and pieces, that’s pretty much where the hardware upgrades end.
The other enhancements are all software based. Which has left users of older models wondering if the functionality will be ported over to their devices.
The good news is that Garmin has confirmed that all existing existing Fenix 7 series, Enduro 2, Tactix 7, Epix & MARQ 2 units will soon get these updates. This is according to DC Rainmaker. And let’s face it, given his close relationship with Garmin, he is a pretty accurate source of information.
Owners of the Forerunner 955 and 965 should also not feel left behind. These watches will benefit from new features, as well.
Features should land soon
Most of these updates are slated for the Q3 Quarterly Update. If things go according to plan, the exact list of features that will be included is as follows:
- The Endurance Score metric.
- The Hill Score metric.
- Weather overlays on maps, providing data on precipitation, temperature, wind, and cloud cover.
- Shaded relief on all maps is another feature to look forward to.
- Perimiter data pages.
- Split-screen data pages, which will allow for a vertical split between the map and data fields.
- Over 30 new activity/sport profiles are set to be added. This includes: American Football, Archery, ATV, Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, BMX, Boxing, Cricket, Field Hockey, Football/Soccer, Ice Hockey, Ice Skating, Inline Skating, Kayak, Lacrosse, Mixed Martial Arts, Motorcycle, Motocross, Overland, Platform Tennis, Racquetball, Rugby, Snorkel, Snowmobile, Softball, Squash, Table Tennis, Ultimate Frisbee, Volleyball, and Whitewater.
- The Recents feature.
It is worth noting, there are some slight differences for the Forerunner 955 and 965.
- The addition of split-screen data pages is potentially on the cards for Q3 2023, but the final decision is yet to be made. There is a possibility the update could come later.
- For these watches, the Perimeter data pages are not expected to be made available until at least Q4.
- The Recents feature is still under consideration with the timeline to be determined.
- While the exact list of additional sports is yet to be finalised, it’s been indicated that most activities, barring high-speed water-sports, will be included in the Forerunner 955 and 965 series.
The Redshift mode that landed on Epix 2 Pro is for AMOLED displays only. It is planned for the vanilla Epix 2 variant and MARQ, but it is not currently planned for the 965. Having said that, the high-end Forerunner hasn’t been completely ruled out. It is on the ‘consideration for future updates’ list. Hard to see why they wouldn’t include it – there is no difference in the AMOLED display technology.
Q3 update & Garmin’s new approach to Beta features
The Q3 update is part of Garmin’s new approach to distributing Beta features. It aims to streamline the Beta and Alpha software installation process for users, making it easier for them to access and install these types of updates.
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The Q3 software rollout cycle has started a couple of days ago with the pre-release Beta for Venu 2. Expect a slew of updates for other watches over the coming weeks. The rollout should reach official public release by the end of September.
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