Garmin adds smart home control and more in new Connect IQ update

It's also letting developers access more sensor data
Garmin devices now talk to your smart home
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Garmin's first ever Connect IQ Developer Summit is taking place, where the company has announced the 2.3 update, which adds a handful of small tweaks for a better overall platform.

First up, Garmin is integrating with the Samsung SmartThings app, letting its Connect IQ-compatible devices start talking to your smart home appliances. With the update you'll be able to control lighting, TV, kitchen appliances and anything else you have connected to the central SmartThings hub.

Face off: Garmin Fenix 5 v Fenix 3

You'll be able to choose from any of your routines directly on your Garmin wearable, which will communicate to the SmartThings "brain" via your smartphone. For example, you may have a pre-set routine for going to bed that turns off the TV and dims the lights.

There are some other notable features being rolled out, the first of which is called Background Services and lets third-party apps continue running in the background when you're not actively using them. They can pop up with notifications when necessary or just keep communicating with paired sensors.

Next, Garmin is letting third-party watch faces refresh on-display data every second without impacting on the battery life. Until now, it's been a case of once a minute, so this will be a welcome new update for users and developers. While you'll see data updated in real time, it also allows developers to include second hands on the watch face. However, this will only be available on the Garmin Fenix 5, Fenix 5s, Fenix 5x, and Forerunner 935.

Finally, there's Action Intelligence, which opens up all accelerometer sensor data to developers who can use it to count things like reps or tennis racquet swings. This could open up some really useful and interesting new applications for Garmin's wearables, and we look forward to seeing what developers do with it.

Garmin's new update adds SmartThings support and better