new features inbound! – Garmin CIQ System 6 Announced

Garmin CIQ System 6 Announced

Garmin’s developer conference gets underway today. Normally this is a great place to get insights about the next generation of watches and bike computers. For example, at the 2021 conference, a big deal was made of AMOLED-related competencies. Guess what? Lots of AMOLED variants of existing watches were released over the next 12 months such as the Garmin Epix 2.

2022 Announcements

CIQ 6 will be released in ‘early’ 2023 [Garmin], (probably coinciding with January’s major product release)

There are some notable announcements made today for 2023 but perhaps ones that will more excite developers than we who use the watches, even though CIQ6 will improve our Garmin experiences.

The key announcements for me were

  • More possibilities for Watch Face Complications
  • Product personalities
  • On-watch improvements to CIQ Store

Let’s look at each of those in more detail.

Watch Face Complications

Complications are single pieces of ‘content’ made available for you to place somewhere on your favourite watch face. Your watch face may be designed to allow different kinds of complications to be added in different places. That feature already exists.

Looking forwards there will be a few more kinds of your data that can be displayed as complications and CIQ apps can be a source for more than one piece of info. I’ll post the full list later here but, from memory, there wasn’t anything super-exciting in the list.

However, an interesting new twist to complications is that those which are displayed on Garmin’s touchscreens now have a ‘Hold to Launch‘ feature. Thus a complication showing your current VO2max could be pushed and it would launch an app or, maybe, launch a specific part of the app like a VO2max history chart. Alternatively, a complication could launch the Garmin Fenix 7X flashlight. Those kinds of things.

Product Personalities

Product Personalities consider issues that a developer faces when making a single app for, say, an Instinct 2 and a Venu 2. Those two watches have quite different characteristics and, previously, there was a lot of work for developers to add support for new devices.

The technical change coming with CIQ 6 is that the developer can now separate CONTENT from DISPLAY. Thus when a new watch is released the CONTENT piece is already complete and it’s just the DISPLAY considerations that need to be coded eg touchscreen, colours, resolution and sleep behaviours. (Something like that!)

Anyway, that all sounds very technical but what will hopefully come out at the end will be CIQ apps that are more easily & quickly able to be modified for new devices. One perennial bugbear for me on this site is that a new Garmin watch invariably will only support Stryd as they seem to be the only developer of apps that I use who get the app ported to new devices almost immediately. I know many others have the same issue.


There is also a new API for multi-GNSS. Perhaps that will allow a complication to toggle the GNSS mode or perhaps it will allow us to see in FIT files what GNSS mode is being used at any given moment.

the CIQ Store – on the watch

Last year we got a fledgling CIQ store on some Garmin watches. This year it will work better!

There will be better ways to browse apps including, for example, the ability to look at a list of new apps which I think was something DCR sensibly requested last year.

Users will also be able to browse data fields that work with their current activity. [Garmin]

Also added will be the ability for developers to capture App Ratings on the watch. As an example, with Apple Watch apps less than one in a hundred downloaders will leave a review and I imagine it’s far lower for Garmin. That matters because reviews help guide us to the good stuff.

so if more of us can more easily rate app that will help everyone else.

You may well see this screen a lot next year…





Take Out

Our sport techy lives will be immeasurably better. Maybe.

Sadly there are no insights into new watch technologies that are inbound. Grrr



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8 thoughts on “new features inbound! – Garmin CIQ System 6 Announced

  1. Hi,
    Do you think that F6 will receive CIQ Sytem 6 update ?
    Even with truncated/limited features.


      1. Thanks for your feedback, i already check this site and use the SDK Manager to track update 🙂
        I will wait for Thank You !

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