The Suunto Spartan watches still did not get another update. With the release of the non-baro Suunto 9 models (on October 2, 2018), though, Suunto has released Suunto 9 software update 2.4.
This update is for the Suunto 9 (without baro) as well as the Suunto 9 Baro, and actually also for the Suunto 3 Fitness.
If you just want to hear about it…
Suunto 9 Updates
For the Suunto 9 (Baro), the updates are mainly for sports use. (At least as far as they are visible to the user; there are always software enhancements and bug fixes in the background, as well.)
Daily Use Enhancement
In daily use, the major change is that settings for tones and vibrations have been separated.
In easier terms: You can now set your Suunto 9 to beep or vibrate or do both when you push buttons or when there are notifications (as before). But, you can separately choose for the alarm(s) to be via sound and light and vibration (or without vibration), or with vibration only.
Okay, now for the really easier way of putting it: The Suunto 9 finally has a vibration-only alarm.
Just one word of caution: The vibration on my Suunto 9 has been so soft, it has regularly failed to wake me. And I usually count myself a light sleeper.
Also note that sounds during training (such as for intensity zone changes and guidance, autolaps, etc.) are still a part of the “General” tone settings which also apply to button pushes and notifications in normal use.
Do Not Disturb
The “Do Not Disturb” mode has also been changed, in line with the way such a mode works on smartphones:
It no longer turns the watch into a time-only display not allowing any actions until deactivated.
Rather, it is a DND that turns off interruptions (read: notifications) while allowing any other action, including starting a sports activity.
Here, there is a lot…
Before starting an activity, the “Options” now also offer the possibility…
- to activate or deactivate HR measurement,
- to set autolaps and
- to turn on/off autopause
- to deactivate the “Feelings” element shown after stopping an activity recording
There is a new horizontal progress bar showing how far along a set goal one is. (This actually brings Suunto 9 software update 2.4 to the same level/use as it has been on the Suunto 3 Fitness already).
This way, intensity zones can be shown on the outside ring display (heart rate or power); the bar shows progress along a duration or distance goal.
Button (Really: Actions) Lock
Lock and pause work a bit differently from how they were, at least (I think) when I last spoke about them:
You no longer double-tap the watch to get to a time of day and battery percentage popup. That wouldn’t work with the Suunto 9’s battery modes turning off the touchscreen, after all.
Rather, you hold the lower button to get to such a screen, push the button while on that screen to lock the display. And that lock is like the “actions lock” of the Ambit series, i.e. it still allows you to go through the screens of your sports mode by pushing the middle button (or swiping if you use the custom battery mode with touchscreen on) (??).
When you have the navigation screen active, by the way, you cannot lock the watch there. The lower button is then used for opening the navigation menu. But, you can lock the watch on another screen, then go to the navigation screen.
(The hack to long-press the middle button to activate the zoom, then long-press the lower button to lock the watch still works. You’ll have to switch to another screen to unlock the watch again, though.)
Pause Screen (and Lock)
The pause screen’s middle display shows total duration… but push the middle button and you can also see battery level and time of day, HR, or distance.
Oh, and if you want to pause the watch and not accidentally resume or end the activity: You can actually long-press the lower button while on the pause screen to lock the watch into pause.
Just make sure you hold the button until you see the battery level and time of day display asking to push the lower button to lock the watch, or you’ll have ended your activity recording…
Autolap Popup Improvements
The autolap popup display has also, and nicely, been improved:
It shows the lap number in inverted colors, making it easier to recognize, for one.
In terms of data, the standard of it is to show… well, it depends on the sport. And now, partly, also on whether you have a Stryd / PowerPOD paired and did a certain ascent/descent.
In running, probably our major interest, a distance autolap popup on Suunto 9 software update 2.4 shows duration (of the lap), heart rate or cadence, and the total duration. (Lap pace, which was the same as the lap duration with the standard 1 km/mile autolap, is gone.)
Alternatively, when power is measured, it replaces HR or cadence.
Or, when a certain ascent/descent is measured, that replaces the total duration (with the number of meters/feet that was ascended or descended – whichever is higher).
A duration-based autolap displays the distance, HR/cadence (or power), and pace (or ascent/descent).
Manual laps also adjust based on sports and other measurements, e.g. in running to show duration, HR/cadence (or power), and pace (or ascent/descent).
Finally, activity summary (after an exercise or in the logbook) now also shows the number of steps taken during an activity – whatever that is supposed to be good for.
Sports Mode Customization via Suunto App
There is one more not-so-little something regarding customization of sports modes that has come with Suunto 9 software update 2.4, but it comes with a big caveat:
You can now use the (new) Suunto app to customize your Suunto 9’s sports screens.
There is a limit of four screens, but one of them can now be a custom graph screen (i.e., the graph of your heart rate or the altitude graph).
Careful, though, for sports mode customization (or route sync) via the Suunto app breaks the watch’s connection with Movescount…