A major Garmin Forerunner update is coming soon, and we’re thrilled about these 5 exciting new features.

If you own a Garmin Forerunner, you’ve already got your hands on one of the best Garmin watches. They’ve all been in our lists of either the top Garmin watches or the best running watches at one time or another. Now your smartwatch is about to get even better thanks to Garmin’s latest free update. Garmin announced that the Public Beta Version 19.09 is in the early stages of its rollout, and is on its way to the following Forerunner watches:

The new update follows Garmin’s unannounced software update in March, which saw the Recovery Heart Rate feature get an upgrade. Garmin has clarified that the latest update will only work with WiFi-compatible devices that have a network currently set up on the watch, so unfortunately the non-music Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 255s are not supported. According to Notebookcheck, this is the first update in Garmin’s next cycle, so we can only expect more exciting features to arrive across its next wave of updates. But for its 19.09 update, these are the five key features you can expect to see.

1. Jet Lag Advisor

Software update 19.09 will see Garmin’s Jet Lag Advisor tool arrive to its line of Forerunner smartwatches, helping you to combat the physical effects of long haul flights by letting you know how much jet lag you can expect. The feature will be able to give you advice on sleep requirements, and guide you smoothly back into your workout routines. However, the jet lag tool isn’t a completely new addition to Garmin’s range of smartwatches, as it was made available to selected Garmin models last year including the Fenix 7, Garmin Enduro 2, and Garmin Epix. Now, Garmin is exploring this tool with other models, bringing it to the Forerunner models mentioned above.

2. Find a lost phone

If you’re a Forerunner smartwatch owner, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of Garmin’s new Find My Phone feature. If your phone goes missing during an activity, your Forerunner will automatically save the GPS location where your phone was disconnected from your watch, and from there you can use Find My Phone to track down your missing mobile via Bluetooth, using a similar breadcrumb trail as the watch’s Back to Start feature, which can help you return to the start of a route.

3. Heart rate accuracy improvements

There’s a reason why Garmin watches make up some of the best fitness trackers – especially if you’re a keen runner. Garmin’s new software update introduces heart rate dynamic source switching, meaning that your watch can switch between your OHR wrist sensor or your chest HRM strap. This will improve your heart rate accuracy by cleverly selecting data sources for a more reliable reading.

(Image credit: Future)

4. Garmin Messenger app

The new software update is going all-out on improving how you can stay connected with others during workouts and activities. With the addition of the Garmin Messenger app, you can easily communicate with others while out on a run or doing HIIT at the gym by sending and receiving messages directly from your Forerunner smartwatch. It presumably works through the Garmin Messenger app on your phone, serving you notifications and allowing you to respond like any other messaging service.

5. UI fixes

As well as bringing handy new tools to the Forerunner models, Garmin is also fixing some irritating bugs that have been flagged by users, one of which is its incoming call vibration that continues buzzing after you’ve declined a call on your watch. The software will also improve the watch’s music controls, amending its tendency to crash, and fix the inconsistencies in ordering your activity profiles.

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