Garmin releases another big beta update for your watch, but it'll disable the ECG

Woman checking GPS watch while hiking in winter
(Image credit: Getty)

Garmin has released yet another software update for some of its flagship GPS watches, fixing six bugs and making three further improvements. However, you'll need to think carefully before installing it, because doing so will disable your watch's ECG function.

Software beta version 16.11 is available now for watches in the Garmin Fenix 7 series, as reported by Notebookcheck, and fixes some issues with the new features introduced in the previous release. For example, it solves an issue where the new flashlight quick controls (accessible by double-tapping the watch face) get stuck on the home screen and corrects a problem where the watch might sometimes crash when undoing automatic transitions during multi-sport activities.

The update also resolves an issue where the lap list would sometimes populate incorrectly, and one where the total timer and lap timer would not match on the auto lap banner.

Watch improvements

If you have a watch without an AMOLED display, you'll find that the five-minute backlight timer has now been changed to 'no timeout', so you won't have to reactivate it if you're using your watch for a long period at night and don't want to raise your wrist to see the screen. 

The 'find my phone' feature has also been improved (though Garmin doesn't say exactly how), and if you own a Garmin Marq 2 Athlete watch, you'll notice that the daily workout suggestion data field now shows 'Dismissed' if you choose not to complete it.

They're all useful additions, but if you've not already joined Garmin's public beta testing program, you should bear in mind that installing non-release candidate updates for these particular watches will disable the ECG functionality. That's not an issue in countries like the UK and Australia where the ECG app isn't available anyway, but wearers in the US should think carefully before going ahead.

If you decide you do want to proceed, our guide how to join Garmin's public beta testing program will get you started. For more details and instructions, see Garmin's full release notes.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.