New Garmin 935 Firmware – Why It Symbolises The Tri Tech Watch Market

The Garmin Forerunner 935 triathlon watch is now sauntering away on v12.20 of the firmware. Even Microsoft Windows has so far only managed version 10.

Details: v12.10 on Garmin.com from Dec 2018

Tucked away is a sneaky new option for Swimrun Auto Sport Change and I’m going to argue why this little option symbolises some of the future of the triahtlon watch tech market.

Enable: Swimrun > Menu > Settings > Swimrun Auto sport Change

Garmin Forerunner 935 Review

As far as I can see it, I’m never going to use this precise version of the feature as it merely avoids the need to press the lap button when you go from swim to run only in an Otillo-type swimrun event.

That is a highly niche feature albeit a useful one for the intended, but small, target market. I reckon it symbolises all that is right with what Garmin can offer to serious triathletes and, at the same time, a little of what is wrong at the edges of the Garmin offering. Let me explain.

  • I deliberately put the instructions on how to enable this feature near the top of the post. It’s hard to find the feature to enable it. I already had a profile called ‘Swimrun(2)’ and the option wasn’t there for that profile. But that was because I had duplicated a triathlon profile with that Swimrun(2) name a year ago and it’s not really a copy of the official swimrun profile.
    • This new option can only be set on the official swimrun profile AFAIK.
    • This symbolises both the vast amount of configuration options that Garmin lets us use whilst at the same time playing a game of hide and seek and making them near impossible to find for anyone with an IQ of below 135.
  • We all also know that there is zero chance that any other serious player in the market will emulate this option. Maybe Coros or Amazfit might do it in a moment of madness but Polar and Suunto simply won’t, can’t or both. And Suunto used to sponsor Otillo events. That’s how crazy this is.
  • I’m sure I’d written about the addition of a feature like this some time ago in one of my ‘futures of triathlon’ posts…but I can’t find it. But I’m sure that if I did write about it, which I ‘m not, then I would have also mentioned that it should have been thought through a little bit more and, in fact, also added as an option to the triathlon profile. After a hard swim, I sometimes am dazed when getting my feet back on the ground. Wouldn’t it be great to have to worry about one less thing and automatically go into T1?
  • My “A-Team” of readers will know what’s coming next. Of course, everyone with a 935 will have some form of cadence sensor on their bike and some may have a STRYD. So, with those or similar sensors, the 935 can also automate other transition events if you fail to press the lap button manually. Let’s face I bet we’ve all done that at least once…or twice.
  • It will also be a neat featurette for those multiple brick repeats.
  • So we can then criticise Garmin for not following this through and not implementing ‘auto-transition’ properly. But we then also know, in the back of our minds, that Garmin will actually implement this stuff once the techies realise it’s missing…assuming it’s not already planned for the Garmin Forerunner 945 that’s coming out next month (maybe, perhaps, it is).

So. It’s awesome, niche functionality that no-one else can ever hope to implement. And that’s why those other companies need to focus their efforts precisely on what can be profitably achieved

 

 

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Mike

At least this is a training-orientated feature unlike some of the other gizmos in the 935 firmware. I think there is still scope to improve the watch’s training features. Connect IQ fills in some of the gaps (such as aligning measured distance to km markers during a race, predicting finish times, supporting track workouts) but we are still waiting for running power (without having to use up one of the two (only two) permitted Connect IQ fields and as a target in structured workouts).