[SRAM] Hammerhead Karoo 2 new addition to Control Centre + more
SRAM’s recent acquisition of Hammerhead seems NOT to have stopped the features flowing. A few days ago there were some nice features on the Karoo 2 that were updated and other new ones added. All are worth quickly covering here.
Must Read: Hammerhead Karoo 2 Review
I seem to recall Garmin introducing a swipe-down control centre of sorts with the Edge 820. It may have been earlier. In principle, this is just a handy way to access higher-level settings that either control your device or set the parameters for your ride. So we’re talking about routes, sensors, workouts and more. A wide bunch of important factors.
Well, Hammerhead introduced this feature to the Karoo just before Christmas and expanded it a fair bit last week to the point where it becomes newsworthy.
Karoo 2 – Control Centre Overview
You can swipe down the control centre from the top of your Karoo.
To the top of the screen, there are 2 or more bars each of which represents a page of some sort. In my case below I have 2 pages when I am not on a ride and 5 pages for all the in-ride options.
There are some relatively intuitive graphics that display handy shortcuts to key rider productivity tools like ride profile, screen brightness, battery mode, audio controls and quite a few more. Once your ride is open, there is even more access to the flash mode of your Varia Radar, power meter calibration, choose or change a route, choose a structured workout and more besides.
The only thing I couldn’t find was the ability to make some of the more complex Di2 settings like shifting mode and cassette size (if I change wheels). It might be in there somewhere I’m not 100% sure as I couldn’t get a few other things to work like the Training Peaks workout sync.
so, specifically what’s new to the control centre this week is
- Device (sensor) controls
- Smart Light Control
- Radar taillight mute
- change profiles mid-ride
- Subtle changes to power and brightness management
- Ride restore – on a super long ride with a super long coffee stop you can turn off the Karoo at the cafe and restore the ride when it’s turned on again
- Import FIT/ZWO workout files to Dashboard (auto-syncs to the Karoo)
The new features keep on coming. Kudos to Hammerhead and Kudos to Coros for doing a similar thing on the watches. Both those companies are market-leading right now with the volume and frequency of meaningful updates.
On to the negatives.
Coros and SRAM/Hammerhead are now starting to enter the complexity territory that Garmin got lost in several years ago. Coros kinda gets around it with the ugly digital crown – ugly it might be but that way of interacting with a watch’s menus at a high level works well. If you’ve ever heard of Apple you might find they did a similar thing 😉
Hammerhead, on the other hand, has relied on very cute management of the visuals and put a lot of thought into your experience when using the Karoo. The Karoo definitely still looks good and parts of the Control Centre work well with the touchscreen but navigating the control centre with the side buttons is not intuitive and a bit cumbersome even once you’ve figured it out. Similarly diving back into Karoo’s regular menus you’ll find that list of menu choices is now several scroll-downs long. It’s starting to get unwieldy.
Does Hammerhead need to take a step back and think where they are taking the interface? New features are only ever going to make it increasingly complicated.
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