Garmin has released a Public Beta Version 17.18 for its Forerunner smartwatches, bringing several exciting features and improvements. This update, available for Forerunner 255 and 955 from 2022 and Forerunner 265 and 965 from this year, offers users a range of enhancements to improve their smartwatch experience.
A standout feature of this update is the introduction of nap tracking. Now, your Forerunner watch can keep tabs on your daytime napping habits, recommending the best times for a quick snooze and the ideal nap duration. Garmin believes that naps can positively impact your health and mood. This feature initially appeared on the Venu 3 and has since made its way to other Garmin watch lines. Unfortunately, Forerunners won’t receive the Sleep Coach feature, which provides personalized sleep advice.
Red Shift Mode
For Forerunner 265 and 965 owners, there’s the new Red Shift mode. This feature allows you to fill your watch face with reddish hues, which are gentler on the eyes than the blue light emitted by devices. Red light can help protect your vision and improve sleep quality. However, this feature won’t be available for Forerunner 255 and 955 due to their lack of AMOLED displays.
Another major update centers around Body Battery, a feature that visually represents how daily events, like stressful situations and moments of rest, affect your body’s energy levels. This color-coded tool makes it easier to understand your energy patterns.
The beta update also includes various minor tweaks for enhanced usability. Smart notifications can now display embedded images, inline skating is added as a mode of exercise, and users can choose larger font sizes for better on-screen readability. Additionally, the Up Ahead tool will verbally alert you when approaching turns, hills, or water stations on your route.
How to Get the Beta
If you’re eager to try out the beta version for your Forerunner, you can join the Garmin Beta Software program. Log into your Garmin Connect account, select your device for the program, navigate to the System section in your Forerunner’s Settings menu, tap Software Update, and then Check for Updates. The beta update will allow you to explore and enjoy these new features.