Image source: Garmin

Garmin CIQ 7 starts rolling out to select watches in early Beta

Garmin has announced the upgrade of certain elite watches, including the Fenix 7 line, Epix 2, and Venu 3, to Connect IQ 7 (CIQ 7). This rollout is currently in early Beta, and should be heading out to all in the coming months.


Understanding Garmin Connect IQ

Garmin Connect IQ is an app development platform, a creative space where developers craft applications for various Garmin devices like smartwatches, bike computers, and outdoor handhelds. Think of it as a hub for fitness and outdoor applications. The platform offers features like health metrics tracking, outdoor adventure mapping, and device interface customization.

Connect IQ typically releases its major versions in the Fall or Winter and provides minor updates throughout the year. This ensures a continuous stream of new features and improvements for Garmin device users.

The Connect IQ 6.2 update introduced significant changes. This includes Scalable Fonts for consistent user experiences across devices and Bitmap Transformation for customized asset colour matching. Additionally, it featured a new review mechanism for developers and the Red Shift feature, improving readability in low-light conditions.

CIQ 7 was initially announced in December. However, it is only now that it has started rolling out to select watches. Beta 16.10 makes it available for the Fenix 7 and 7 Pro, Fenix 7x and 7x Pro, Fenix 7s and 7s Pro, Epix and Epix Pro, Enduro 2, Quatix 7, and MARQ Gen 2. The Venu 3 series Beta 9.15, which started rolling out yesterday, also mentions it in its change-log.


Garmin’s leap to Connect IQ 7

Garmin says, the first beta of System 7, with a new API level of 5.0.0, represents a matured platform. After all, the software has been almost a decade in the making.

Here are some key changes in CIQ 7:

  1. Always On, Always Bright: The new API updates the heuristic from one based on pixels to one based on luminance. This means the screen stays on if using less than 10% of total luminance, allowing more pixels to be used without screen burn-in.
  2. Enhanced Communication: System 7 expands communication APIs. Data fields can now directly use select Communications APIs, improving integration with cloud services. Additionally, API 5.0.0 devices can pair with BLE devices using Just Works pairing, remembering bonded devices for easier reconnection.
  3. Efficiency in Coding: New updates to system opcodes are designed to reduce code space for common operations, with developers expecting a 20-30% improvement in compiling on new devices. The ‘has’ operator, crucial in checking API existence on devices, will now be evaluated at compile time, optimizing code efficiency.
  4. An Array of Improvements: The introduction of Tuple types for linear arrays allows modeling the type per index, enhancing flexibility and reducing boilerplate typing. The Array type now includes a sort method, using either the Comparable interface or a custom Comparator interface.
  5. Resource Management: Resource identifiers in the Rez module are now typed as Toybox.Lang.ResourceId, applicable to all devices, not just API 5.0.0 devices.

These upgrades in CIQ 7 aim to elevate the user experience. They should allow enhanced display management, communication, coding efficiency, and resource handling. For a comprehensive understanding, the full change-log is available on Garmin’s website.

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Ivan Jovin

Ivan has been a tech journalist for over 7 years now, covering all kinds of technology issues. He is the guy who gets to dive deep into the latest wearable tech news.

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