new Garmin Sports Features Inbound – Self Guided Plans, A Re-Imagined Connect, 2 New Watches and quite a bit more

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New Garmin Features Inbound

There are a few new Garmin features coming. Some of them look interesting and some…less so. Let’s start with the less interesting ones that have been reported elsewhere before moving on to the others that I only found out about last weekend

Source: Reader JohnW

Blood Oxygen Events

There are some new SpO2 events coming to Garmin Connect which are probably linked to new “Low SpO2 alerts”. There won’t be high SpO2 alerts because…well…just think about it.

The SpO2 events and alerts are almost certainly linked to SpO2 monitoring whilst asleep but might also work when linked to stays at higher altitudes. If you are of a more athletic nature these probably won’t be on your radar at all.

Skin temperature Changes

Overnight skin temperature changes will be tracked. This seems to be from sensors that are already on existing watches. I reported on this much earlier in the year but the feature was then pulled for some reason. Here it is being unpulled.


Garmin Wrist Temperature – Coming This Month

Garmin Again Attempts To Help You Navigate The Connect Maze

Edit 12 Nov 2023: This is now not scheduled for imminent release. It will still happen though. I’d guess early 2023

As an example of the problem that needs to be solved, you might be training for a triathlon and yet are bemused that Garmin Golf options show when you go into Connect. You might also sometimes have to try hard to find some sports data that, you would have thought, should be more immediately visible to a triathlete.

You can already tweak how Connect looks but only within tight restrictions. Garmin is moving to give us a more personalised Connect experience.

One option that Garmin had here was to go down the route of enabling a fully customisable set of menus in Garmin Connect and on your watch. Instead what Garmin is about to do is introduce the concept of a FOCUS which you might think of as a THEME or SHELL.

There will be a FOCUS you can choose like PERFORMANCE, FITNESS or HEALTH. The new FOCUS feature puts stats that you are most likely interested in on your Connect home screen. A health focus, for example, will include more information about daily stats like sleep whereas a Performance focus gives more prominence to athletic training metrics.

NOTE: Garmin is highlighting the changes using terms like “Welcome to the new Garmin Connect”. So the scope could be much greater than what I already know.

It also seems that if you have set any GOALS or CHALLENGES in Garmin Connect then metrics linked to these goals/challenges will also be given greater priority on your home screen.

TAKE OUT: It looks like Garmin Connect is about to be revamped to better show the data you want to see. I’ve not seen the new visual renders but I’ve been given the impression that the look will be different to how we see Connect today and that TILES of data will be added to show your important metrics.

ECG – Now available on Garmin Epix Pro and Fenix 7 Pro

Garmin Introduces Self-Guided Plans

Self Guided Plans are a new feature that we will soon see. I’m just not exactly sure what Garmin means by the phrase!

It seems that you will be able to set normal race distance goals like SPRINT TRIATHLON or MARATHON and alongside that the number of workouts per week and difficulty. Beyond that, the details I have are sketchy!!

Perhaps Self-Guided Plans create a skeleton plan and give you a suggestion of what intensities/duration of workout to have on any given day? Perhaps it goes one step further than that and, for example, allows you to choose an appropriate workout from a list for that day?

TAKE OUT: Garmin might be on to a good thing here. Whilst lots of people DO like following tightly structured plans, they are definitely in the MINORITY. Perhaps Garmin has found a way to help the majority but helping us guide the tech to give us the kind of workouts we want and scheduled as we want?

Garmin Workout Benefit

Next Garmin will introduce a concept of Workout Benefits. This might be a standalone feature but I suspect it will segue in with the self-guided plans from the previous section.

There will be a whole host of workouts that are assigned to various Types of Workout Benefits. Workout Benefits include classes like ‘High Exertion’, ‘Improving Health’, Improving VO2max and ‘Maintaining Speed’

Perhaps on Tuesday, we schedule a workout with a HIGH INTENSITY benefit then we choose form the list of those kinds of workouts either on the day of execution or on the day we construct the plan?

Your thoughts are also welcomed!

New Watches?

There also seem to be two new watches inbound from the Fenix/Epis stable. My best guess here would be a new flavour of ENDURO. Perhaps different sizes (large, small) or even an AMOLED version.

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32 thoughts on “new Garmin Sports Features Inbound – Self Guided Plans, A Re-Imagined Connect, 2 New Watches and quite a bit more

  1. New watches? Can we maybe get skin temp and ECG working on the Fenix 7 Pro to at least differentiate these from the 7 first?

    1. All of Garmin’s metrics are available both on the watch and in Connect. What benefit would exporting them to Apple Health add? Do Apple Health algorithms provide insights that Garmin doesn’t?

      I see this a bit from Apple users and it confuses me a little.

      1. I have other “gadgets” than Garmin that collects blood pressure, weight and lots of other signals. On top of that I also use other apps that generates health-related data. All of this is stored in Apple Health giving me one vault of health data. This allows for analysis such as intake of cafeines effects on sleep patterns etc. And it gives a very nice overall picture of the data.

        Of course an alternative would be if Connect would function as a one-place-for-all-data but I do not see that happening…

    2. Lol apple famous for not playing with anyone else, they fight youth n nail all the way for anything. But you want other companies to hand over to them. Sorry if your apple 🍏 stick with thier stuff otherwise don’t cry when other companies “don’t play well. You can’t have it both ways.

  2. From the chair I am sitting in, I simply do not understand the strategy from Garmin.

    It seems as if it is about throwing an infinite number of watches onto the market in order to sell as much as possible, but have the opposite result (as garmin sales are still declining – You blog’ed about that right here: )

    The way I see it the number of different watches results in that the “buyers” spend far too much time choosing the right watch rather than buying the one that suits them best and thereby risk ending up in the arms of other manufacturers such as Polar, Suunto and Apple (because that choice is easier in so many ways).

    An example – should one choose the Fenix 7, Epix 2, Enduro 2, Quantix, FR 955, 965 or even the cheaper FR 265? – A Complicated choice, that at the end for many will result in a price issue and not due to functionality as they all seem to have the same functionality (they don’t) and almost look the same (they don’t).

    In addition, the amount of watches makes it rather difficult for Garmin to develop working Firmwares that just wor it is to complicated to deploy to the many watches – because it also comes down to differentiate them from each other. E.g dont put Golf as an option into the 265 because then some other models won’t be sellable.

    The Garmin Forums are somewhat overflowing with unsatisfied users, and when googling for a garmin purchase you end up finding a lot of unhappy users….and then many go safe…and select an Apple Watch.

    I am hoping that garmin have gotten that Wake-up-call when looking at the numbers (the sale) and sees a different approach is very much needed and that is not in two years time, but right now.

    1. Absolutly agree! Simplify product range and spend more on improving software. I am confident it will lower costs overall and increase sales.

    2. it’s a very complex issue with no simple, catch-all answer as you probably know.
      I have quite a lot of sympathy for the points you make.
      OTOH, Do lots of Garmin watches increase the chances of someone choosing between Garmin watches, perhaps convinced that its the best brand to go for because lots of other people do?
      You point at the end I thin kis the best one about Apple Watch. I don’t think it takes too much to convince an iPhone user to jump onto an Apple Watch. So that jump is easier than the first time jump into the Garminverse

  3. Completely agree. My mind also boggles that they’d release a product like the Fenix 7 Pro which has hardware capable of ECG and skin temp – real differentiating features from the 7, but the features aret present at launch (or even now) due to a lack of govt approval or the software not being ready.

    Garmin, just hold a product back if it’s not fully baked! It’s confusing the heck out of people are not winning any trust.

    1. the same thing happens with Apple and others.
      I would assume that the product release windows are tight. A product has to be released but the regulatory stuff might be able to come later and enabled by software

  4. Why would anyone in their right mind want an apple watch.
    Garmin are the market leaders, setting industry standards that apple and other sports watch manufacturers simply try to copy.
    Garmin software is incredibly detailed, works flawlessly day in, day out.
    If it’s too complicated for you buy an apple.
    Garmins watch range is extensive to suit every type of user, whatever their chosen sports and budget.
    With Garmin you get exactly what you need, you’re not just stuck with one boring generic option.

    1. Alan, my first watch was a Garmin Forerunner 205, and I have been the owner of many garmin (and only) watches since that. But If I look around at Parkruns and other 5Ks or even Half Marathons; more and more runners are wearing an Apple Watch.

      When Asking why: then the answer comes down to crisp display, touch, simplicity and the eco-system as they already are owners of an iPhone and it was to difficult to choose the right garmin/polar/suunto watch.

      Remember the average user of a Garmin is NOT a triathlete, marathon-mainiac or someone that goes for 100miles before breakfast. Just normal people that need at watch that can track the occasional 5k run and the training at the local gym.

      I myself, is almost onto my 200th Marathon, so I am in no way a greenish runner. I have not yet looked in the direction of an Apple Watch myself but I do understand why some go in that direction. The sheer number of different garmin devices will make it hard when I am going to upgrade my Garmin 955 to a new watch within the next year or so.

      1. True, the average smartwatch owner rarely wants to do anything more advanced than saying “thanks Mum!” in response to an iMessage notification without picking their phone up.

        This is one of Garmin’s biggest hurdles to cracking the mass market because it’s something Apple are never going to allow them to do without an antitrust lawsuit.

        Somehow Garmin have to develop and communicate to the average user that their health metrics are far more compelling than Apples, and they need to do this to a customer base who have largely made their mind up that Apple are either the best in every sector or are at least good enough that they no longer need to look at other options… ever..

    2. In 2020, Apple Watch sold more watches the the entirety of the global watch industry. So there are lots of people not in their right minds.
      I think you have it the wrong way around to a degree. Why would a casual runner or fitness person buy a Garmin for them to use 3 hours a week when an Apple Watch is a perfectly adequate product that will also work with their iPhone (not android users obviosuly). It’s generally accepted that Apple Watch is by far the best smart watch and a half-dencet sports watch

      Buying an Apple is not complicated, IMHO, compared to a garmin.
      I know Garmin watches better than many people and I often get confused on the details. Making a truly informed purchasing decision on a Garmin is very difficult. Which is great as that is why people read reviews 😉

  5. Two questions please. Will the body temperature work with Elevate 4 sensors or only Elevate 5? And any ideas on the timing for these new features. Actually body temperature is one I am looking forward to. I am coming from an Apple Watch and that is one metric I looked at. It was another valuable indicator – at least for me – knowing when a cold was building up in my system.

  6. I’ve been a Polar user since the V800, upgrading to a Vantage and then a Vantage V2.
    Had Garmin before that and continue to use a Garmin bike computer.

    Currently in the market to replace the V2,

    If I go to Polar, then have a Vantage V3 and a Pacer Pro device that matched my needs.
    If I go to Garmin, and choose “Advanced Running” I am presented with 24 devices, none of which are the 965 (which would likely be the best match for me) for that I would need to be “Elite Running” for which I am presented with 30 devices…WTF!

    If Google catch up with their Pixel Watch, I think Garmin, Polar etc are in real trouble!

  7. So THIS is the article being ‘quoted’ by some really big tech sites! I’m glad I found it — Since the other sites never linked to your article!

    What a crappy thing for them to do!

    I saw ‘your’ story on a few websites: Notebookcheck, Techradar, etc. Big sites. And your story got into Google News, but your site wasn’t given the credit due. (So the story is making the rounds in Google News, which is amazing, but many of the news/tech sites are not linking to you!)

    Techradar, for example, mentioned you as the source for this breaking story. They put “The5kRunner” as the link anchor text, but the link itself pointed to Notebookcheck. Rude! Now, that secondary article on Notebookcheck DID link to you, thankfully, but the link juice won’t be as strong. And that’s just one example.

    If I were you, I’d start contacting the sites and asking for real credit (a link) Start with Techradar, Matt Evans’ article from 10-19-2023.

    But anyways, great job!

    And I am sure you know this, but the reason they do this is to keep readers on THEIR sites longer, because even the huge tech news sites are in affiliate marketing. The Techradar article may be the biggest site so far to pick up your story, but EVERY link (except one) in the article points to their own site, to articles that have affiliate sales links for Garmin devices. (The single link NOT pointing to their own site is the aforementioned link with your website name, but pointing to Notebookcheck (.net) which has their own affiliate links.

    It really is all about money for those big sites, unlike your site, which provides a lot of great information (and hopefully people can support you by using your links. That’s fair, since you provide the information.) These other big tech news sites simply get RSS feeds from ‘real’ sites like yours, spin up and rewrite a quick article, link to their own content to earn commissions, and MAYBE provide a link back to your ‘real’ site. It’s a very unfair way of doing business. You definitely should ask for links to your site; not just a potential brand name mention “The5kRunner”!

    1. thank you!
      it’s worse than that as Google search engine disproportionately gives an article credit based on the popularity/trust/whatever of the domain name.
      I just can’t compete.
      then when i try to write more catchy headlines (which works to a degree) along come the ‘dont clickbait me’ comments.

      that said: i did forget to list my source for this article…oops (just added in)

  8. Any idea when the Garmin Connect app redesign will be deployed?
    Kind of sick with the current Garmin Connect app

  9. Self administered training plans. PLEASE LET IT BE!

    Use case, I have two uphill athlete plans purchased but no way to group them as “Plans” in the garmin calendar so I have to drag and drop every flipping workout each time I start the plan over.

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