Latest Beta Software for the Garmin Fenix, D2 and Tactix Includes Smart Notifications
The Garmin fenix has changed quite a bit since it was first released in mid 2012. Garmin has been consistently adding new and useful feature to the GPS enabled wristwatch and today’s beta software update brings several more new additions, including something many users have wanted since the very beginning.
Starting today, the Garmin fenix and all of the watches based on it, can display notifications from your smartphone! Basically, this makes your Garmin fenix a smartwatch. The only catch? The new feature is exclusive to the iPhone for the time being.
Seems like Android users are always getting left out when it comes to cool uses for Bluetooth 4.0. So I actually reached out to Garmin about this and asked why we can’t use the Garmin fenix smart notifications with Android devices. Turns out, it is due to how the two operating systems work. With iOS, they can implement the feature without creating an app. The OS just handles it all by itself. With Android, an app would need to be written, which would take considerably more time and effort to do. Garmin also said that they would love to support Android devices in future, but have no information about when or if that will happen.
With all of that said, software version 4.01 beta is available for download right now from Garmin’s Website and it is still a nice update, even if you can’t make use of Smart Notifications. The update is for use on the Garmin fenix, Garmin D2 Pilot Watch, and the Garmin tactix and brings the following changes:
Added ability to determine speed, distance, cadence and steps in Indoor mode (when no Foot Pod is present). Enable in Setup > System > GPS Mode > Indoor. Auto calibration occurs in Normal GPS Mode when FIT Activity is set to Running
Added a ‘Ski-Snowboard’ profile. Select this profile to enable a new alpine/downhill ski and snowboard experience
Added support for Smart Notifications. Note: the Apple Notification Center Service (ANCS) feature requires an Apple iPhone equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology and iOS 7 or later. Enable in Setup > Bluetooth
Added support for Interval Workouts. Enable in Setup > Menu > Add Page > Workouts
Added support for Workouts loaded from Garmin Connect (garminconnect.com)
Garmin warns that “Although this software is believed to be reliable, it has not yet been released for production and should be used at your own risk”, so you might want keep that in mind before loading this one up. For what it’s worth, I have been using the update on my Garmin fenix since shortly after it was posted and haven’t encountered any serious problems yet.