New Garmin watch update promises to fix frustrating battery drain problem

Man checking sports watch while running in snow
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Garmin has launched yet another free beta software update for your watch, this time promising to fix a frustrating issue that could cause rapid battery drain when you switch off heart rate monitoring (something that would usually help to conserve power). The update applies to watches in the Garmin Vivoactive 5 series, which launched in September last year.

As Alex Alderson of Notebookcheck explains, software version beta 9.16 is now available to members of Garmin's public beta testing program, who can download it directly through their watch. To do so, simply open the main menu, then go to 'Settings > System > Software update' and follow the prompts on screen.

Interestingly, the change log for beta 9.16 is the same as 9.15, with the only difference being that testers don't have to sideload the software by downloading it to a computer and plugging in their watch.

Jump rope and bug fixes

Other changes include the addition of new jump rope activity (helpful if skipping is part of your new year workout plan), and support for male audio prompts.

Garmin has also resolved a potentially embarrassing issue where music could start playing at random, and a frustrating problem where changing a setting during a golf activity could cause scoring to be turned off.

Of course, the purpose of a beta testing program is to find and iron out bugs before the software rolls out globally, so it's possible that beta software updates may not work completely as expected. If you're thinking about joining, take a look at our list of reasons why you should and shouldn't install beta software on your watch, then check out how to join Garmin's public beta testing program if you decide you want to take the plunge.

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.