The Garmin FR945 is about to have some new firmware additions along with a ‘biggie’.
Update: These features are now all live and in the latest firmware
Smart Trainer Control
Many people will be surprised that the headline new feature is not already included on the 945, I certainly always forget about its omission.
Well, as of NOW (on beta), you can get FE-C and smart trainer control. This means that rather than your current smart trainer just being a source of POWER/cadence/speed data you can now CONTROL it from your Garmin Forerunner 945 watch. Most usually this will mean that you have downloaded a structured workout from Training Peaks (other sources exist!) and when you play such workouts, the smart trainer adjusts resistance to let you match the pre-planned power levels alternatively you can now simply dial in your desired power level on the watch. Cool !
There are also some interesting additions to LIVETRACK which are on the Forerunner 245 as well as now on the 945 (probably other models too). The addition here of mile splits and course display (to 3rd party followers) have value in themselves BUT these features clearly show that Garmin is actively working on adding new functionality to LIVETRACK which is one area we’ve already identified where Garmin has the potential to add EVEN MORE functionality, for example during races your power could be broadcast.
Once you update the firmware then additional options also appear in Garmin Connect. In the example shown below, you can see the new additions to the existing LiveTrack functionality. Here I enabled ‘Show Course’ on Garmin Connect and then started a workout on the FR945 with a course selected. An email or twitter post shows 3rd parties a unique url which enables anyone with that URL to see both your intended course (Red) and actual route (blue).
Of particular note in those images are:
- ability to ‘SHOW COURSE’ to friends/followers ie where you PLAN to go
- ability to ‘AUTO START’ LiveTrack when the activity on your device is started
- ability to ‘EXTEND LIVETRACK’ which keeps your completed LiveTrack workouts visible for 24 hours
I’ve had a quick play with it and it seems to work well. There seems to be a lag getting the intended course to display on the viewer’s computer and changing a course seems to stop it working, otherwise, it seems good-to-go.
Here are the full beta firmware details with some indicative photos added to give you a flavour of what’s on offer. Note: I never recommend using beta software even though I’ve just installed it on my 945!
Changes made from version 4.40 to 4.87:
- Added support for FE-C and Smart Trainer control. See options in Bike Indoor activity.
- Free Ride // Follow Workout // Follow Course // Set Power // Set Grade // Set Resistance
- Added support for workout videos. The video files can be downloaded via Garmin Express or over WiFi. These videos will display when using an MSN workout that supports them. Download MSN workouts through Garmin Connect.
- Added support for displaying courses to viewers of the user’s LiveTrack sessions. Various other LiveTrack improvements
- See images above
- Added additional options to Live Event Sharing. Triggers added for Every Mile and Transitions (allowing for multi-sport use)
- Numerous improvements to music experience, usability, and WiFi
- Improved Incoming Call handling
- Fixed problem with device spinning/freezing on activity save due to unintentional file build-up. Note: device will need to sync to Garmin Connect after software update to resolve this issue.
- Fixed problem where certain user’s maps took an excessive amount of time to load on boot and were generally sluggish in use
- Greatly improved Around Me search times
- Updated numerous widgets to improve usability and look
- Unsure on all the changes but many are perhaps different and, sadly, the sleep widget is still not there. These widget glances and the press-through to the actual widgets are starting to look much better.
- Fixed inability of the device to record longest swim PR
- Moved Recovery HR to option on save/discard screen
- This new menu location seems to make more sense to me !
- Updated post-activity summary pages
- Already on some F6 version as stable FW
- Why was this done? This is BIZARRE. Garmin has introduced a new menu style which partially slides in from the right-hand side of the screen and which you then use to access the individual aspects of your completed workout.
- It probably does WORK better but it starts to mimic some visual aspects of the Polar Vantage menus. #Confused
- Added in-place editing of data fields
- As with the previous point, this works quite well but the look and feel are inconsistent with just about everything else Garmin has ever implemented.
- Why add menus that partly come in from the side when the sub-menus come up from the bottom?
- Why have different menus (in other parts of the watch) that come in from right to left to a differing degree? Try it, you’ll see what I mean. #Mess
- Improvements to segments handling
- Improvements/fixes for on-device weather. Fix instances of missing data.
- Improvements to phone connectivity
- Fixed HRV stress page layout
- Fixed a few issues with Virtual Running and workouts
Other Reading: Full Garmin Forerunner 45 PLUS Leak … does this signal a 655 or 645 Plus to come at the same time?