While I didn’t have an issue with the previous Alpha/Beta processes, I can see how the implementation narrowed the usefulness to the data collection process. Complexity limits the number of people running the updates, fewer people means less diversity in testing.
The TL;DR here is that you won’t need a computer to get the updates. But the process is still manual, in that you need to check for updates on the device; assuming it has Wi-Fi. I’m not sure how this change impacts devices without wireless network access. You will need to know to check though. Personally, I solve this problem by setting an email alert to the Beta Announcements forum. When they post a new version, I get an email. Can go get it when it’s convenient.
Hello Public Beta users,
To begin we’d like to thank you for your tremendous response to our Public Beta Program. The community here has been fantastic to work with. It’s been a joy to observe the passion each of you holds for the product(s) you use during your adventures. Thank you for the bugs you’ve reported. You’ve been of tremendous help and we are grateful for your participation.
Since launching our new Public Beta Program one year ago, two consistent requests have been raised: Can we allow Alpha updates to be downloaded via OTA (Over the Air), and can we reduce reporting bugs to a singular forum. We’re happy to now be able to offer a resounding ‘Yes’ to both questions. Beginning with our next beta cycle you will notice the ‘Public Alpha Bug Reports’ section will no longer be available. All bug reports will be housed under the Public Beta Bug Reports section for each beta cycle. This will be a more efficient approach, and will allow for quicker responses from us, and more transparency.
In addition to an easier bug reporting structure in the forums, we will also offer the ability for earlier adopters of software to download our first beta updates via OTA. We will post as we always have in the Announcements forums when a new update is available. This will be the signal for those early adopters who wish to download the update. To download the early beta, your Garmin device will need to be connected to a WiFi network, and then you can navigate to the Main menu > System > About > Check for Updates. This will initiate the download of available software. We will remain in this phase of manual OTA download until we are ready to begin rolling it out to others automatically. This will allow early adopters to provide feedback and allow us to further refine software before progressing in the beta program.
For those not interested in adopting the update earlier, there is no action on your part. If you’d like to wait for the automatic download, no problem. Do not choose ‘Check for Updates‘ option on your watch and you’ll be fine. When ready, as we have in previous beta cycles, the update will be automatically pushed to your watch OTA.
We’re excited to offer this more streamlined process and hope you find participation in the program much easier. We look forward to our continued work together and appreciate all who have participated and help make this program what it is today.