Garmin has published a detailed list of features set to arrive in the Q4 2023 firmware update cycle. Particularly notable are advanced features like skin temperature and nap tracking. These help to offer users a more comprehensive understanding of their health and fitness metrics.
Here’s an overview of the key features. Some of these have already arrived, while others will land in the weeks ahead. In fact there’s word that the skin temperature feature has already started rolling out to compatible watches.
- Naps detection: This intuitive feature automatically records naps, providing insights into their impact on overall well-being. Users can view details like recommended nap times and durations. This has rolled out as part of firmware update 17.24.
- Skin temperature tracking: A highlight of this Q4 update cycle is the skin temperature monitoring capability. While sleeping, the watch tracks average skin temperature changes and this info is shown on the watch and Garmin Connect.
- Body Battery improvements, aka Enhanced Body Battery: The Body Battery gets an upgrade, offering deeper insights into how various factors such as sleep, naps, daily activities, and stress influence energy levels. It includes a nightly summary of energy expenditure.
- Wrist-based running dynamics and running power : This enhancement brings vital running metrics directly to your wrist, including cadence, stride length, ground contact time, and more, aiding in the improvement of running form. Notably, this will be arriving to Venu 3 – but not Vivoactive 5.
- Red Shift Mode – is arriving to a few more AMOLED packing watches – including Forerunner 265, 965 and Venu 3.
- Ski activity improvement: Ski lovers can now enjoy continuous recording of their activities, even during ski lifts and descents, for more accurate tracking of heart rate, activity time, and altitude.
- Smart notification images: Compatible Android smartphone users can now view photos received directly on their Garmin watch screen.
- Find My iPhone during GPS activities: The enhanced Find My Phone tool on compatible smartwatches now automatically stores the last known location of a connected iPhone during GPS activities, aiding in quick recovery if the phone is lost or disconnected.
- Face It improvements: Customize analog or digital watch faces with additional data using the Face It feature in the Connect IQ™ app.
Check out Garmin’s chart below. The Blue colour denotes features that are part of the Q4 update cycle.
Devices receiving skin temperature tracking
The skin temperature tracking feature will be available on the Garmin Epix Pro, Fenix 7 Pro, Tactix 7 AMOLED, and Venu 3 series. Notably, the MARQ Carbon and Descent Mk3 watches, based on the older ELEVATE V4 sensors, will not receive this update.
As described previously, this works by tracking your skin temperature while you are asleep at night. The first results will come through after 3 days. About 20 days is what it takes to establish your baseline value. Then the wearable will show on a nightly basis how you deviate from this average. This could be useful for figuring out if you have picked up an illness, and it is also used for ovulation cycle prediction.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
And that seems to be pretty much it for the Q4 update cycle. What we were particularly interesting in seeing was – which watches would get the Sleep Coach feature. It appears, for now no new watches will be getting this. To remind, on the Venu 3 the Sleep Coach takes into consideration your workout and sleep history along with other metrics. This data is then used to let you know how much sleep you need on a daily basis to fully recover. Let’s hope this arrives to more Garmin timepieces in the Q1 2024 update!
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