Instinct Pro user manual



  • 12 configurable numeric data fields
  • 3 graphical indicators
  • 40+ data options
  • Status icons (phone, notifications, alarms, do not disturb)
  • Battery saving options
  • 3 time font options
  • 4 background modes*
  • 3 circle highlight levels*
  • Choice of Garmin or OWM weather
  • Customizable color accent options on compatible devices

    *Not available on AMOLED devices


Premium features

All the functions of this app can be accessed without payment.

However, some features are designated as ‘Premium’ and identified by a ‘key icon’ next to them in the settings.

If any of these is selected without a valid unlock key, a padlock will be shown instead of the main time.

Note that in such case you can still show the time via ‘Alt time’ with ‘Alt time offset’ set to your local time zone, or via the DTG option.

If you don’t want to see the padlock, there are 2 options:

1) Make sure that no option with ‘key icon’ is selected, or

2) Purchase an unlock key here:




Available data

Below is a complete list. The availability of a particular option depends on device capabilities. Also, some options are only available in certain data fields.

  • battery icon only
  • battery level in %
  • battery days remaining
  • battery % + days
  • solar charging
  • move bar
  • activity bar
  • steps
  • steps goal
  • floors climbed
  • meters or feet climbed
  • daily distance
  • weekly distance
  • calories
  • active calories
  • daily active minutes
  • weekly active minutes
  • active bar (grows when active)
  • move bar (grows when inactive)
  • heart rate
  • live / real time heart rate
  • resting heart rate
  • altitude
  • barometric trend (icon only)
  • barometer
  • internal sensor temperature (1 or 0.1 degree accuracy)
  • body battery
  • stress
  • oxygen saturation (SpO2)
  • respiration
  • time to recovery
  • VO2 Max (running)
  • VO2 Max (running + cycling)
  • next sun event (sunrise/sunset)
  • 2nd next sun event
  • moon (icon only)
  • moon age (days since last new moon)
  • UTC 24h time
  • alternate time (adjustable for any zone, including 30 min offsets)
  • date (fully configurable)
  • military Date Time Group (DTG)
  • weather (Garmin or Open Weather)
  • current temperature and feels like temperature
  • temperature range
  • wind speed (m/s, kph, mph, knots, BFT) and direction
  • humidity
  • dew point
  • chance of precipitation
  • precipitation volume (OWM only)
  • weather location
  • last weather update time
  • status icons
  • notifications counter
  • day of month
  • HR graph
  • body battery graph
  • stress graph
  • altitude graph
  • barometer graph
  • thermometer graph
  • SpO2 graph


Data fields

The data fields 1 – 10 allow to select most data supported by this app. But this makes it possible for the neighboring fields to overlap when there is not enough space to accommodate them. This is a deliberate design choice to allow maximum flexibility in data placement, but then it is up to the user to find the optimal layout that does not overlap. The same data can have a very different length in different situations, for example the weather location, the altitude or the date, so what works for one user might not work for another.

There are also “Data right” (or also left on Instinct Crossover) fields that are currently limited to shorter data. Note that “Data right 2” only becomes visible when the seconds are inactive (i.e. set to off, or not activated by gesture).



  • Graph options can be selected for Data 5, Data 7 – 10 (or 7 – 12 on Instinct Crossover)

  • Possible data / graph duration:

    HR – 1 hour
    Body battery – 3 hours
    Stress – 3 hours
    SpO2 – 60 hours *(see note below)
    Elevation – 2 hours
    Barometric pressure – 2 hours
    Temperature – 2 hours

    The actual choice depends on the device capabilities.

  • The graph duration may be dependent on the device. If you find that it is different on your watch please send feedback to

  • There are three presentation options for the graphs (line, area and colors).

    Colors is only available on devices with color display.

    Color mapping depends on the type of the graph:

    HR: according to the sport for which the current activity retrieves heart rate zone thresholds, or ‘generic’ if there is no activity (zone 1 – gray, zone 2 – blue, zone 3 – green, zone 4 – yellow, zone 5 – red)

    Body battery: <= 25 – red, <= 50 – yellow, <= 75 – green, <= 100 – blue

    Stress: <= 25 – blue, <= 50 – green, <= 75 – yellow, <= 100 – red

    SpO2: <= 92.5 – red, <= 95.0 – yellow, <= 97.5 – green, <= 100.0 blue

    Elevation, Pressure, Temperature: lowest 25% – blue, lower medium 25% – green, upper medium 25% – yellow, highest 25% – red

    On devices with AMOLED or LCD display, the graph always defaults to line style in AOD mode.

  • NOTE (*) – On all actual devices on which this app was tested, SpO2 data history provided by the watch is wrong (reversed on time axis). This app tries to work around this problem, but if some other device delivers correct data, then the SpO2 graph in Instinct Pro will be inverted. If you notice this, please report to the developer.


Data update and duration

The data update frequency can be set to different intervals:

  • 5 min – most battery friendly
  • 1 min – all data except ‘live’ HR is updated once a minute
  • Gesture – all data is updated every second on gesture for about 10 seconds, after that the behavior is the same as in 1 min setting.

    There are two settings related to duration of data monitoring:
  • Baro trend minutes – the duration before the current moment used as a reference to decide whether the pressure is rising, falling or constant.
  • HR minutes – the duration before the current moment used to determine the min and max HR as a reference to display the current HR level in the circle or line graphical indicator.


Circle area

There is one numerical data field in it, which can show data in two different formats. ‘Circle number 1’ includes the types of data that can fit in it (generally not expected to exceed 199), using the same font as the seconds. ‘Circle number 2’ is an alternative format, using the same font as the general data fields with the corresponding icon. It only becomes visible when ‘Circle number 1’ is set to ‘Off’ and allows the same data choices as the general fields, except date and weather location.

Two arc indicators can be configured to represent different parameters ranging from 0 to 100%, and the background highlight.

The highlight works in a way similar to the arcs, but it is more coarse with 10 separate states. The other difference is that if the data assigned to the highlight goes negative, you will see it – the inner lines will disappear (the arcs will stay at 0 in such case). This is currently mostly applicable to the solar charging level which becomes -1 when the device is not charging. Also, the HR indication can go negative temporarily if your current HR is lower than the historical minimum.


Line gauges

They are located above (Top line) and below (Bottom line) the time and present the same collection of data as the circle arcs or highlight and show level or progress of the selected data.

3 new entries have been added for line gauges at the end of the ‘Color setup’. First for line background color (applicable to top/bottom), second for top line foreground, last for bottom line foreground (foreground color reflects the selected data current level/progress). Remember that each entry has two colors for black and white screen background (this applies to AMOLED devices too even though white screen background is not supported).

If you don’t want to see these new data lines, on monochrome devices just set them to ‘Off’. On color devices, the background color will still be visible, so to hide it completely, you will need to edit the ‘Color setup’ to change the line background colors to black and white (white does not apply to AMOLED devices).For example, with yellow accent:

Before: 61,56,63,0,60,56,56,52,63,56,62,0,60,0,63,0,61,0,61,52,56,56,61,0,61, 0

After: 61,56,63,0,60,56,56,52,63,56,62,0,60,0,63,0,61,0,61,52,0,63,61,0,61,0


Status icons

Status icons can only be shown in the ‘Data right 1’ (‘Data left’ on Instinct Crossover).

Status icons area shows up to 4 icons:

phone connected (shows when there is an active Bluetooth connection, disappears when there is no connection)

notifications (shows when there are pending notifications, disappears when the notifications are cleared). The counter of pending notifications can be selected as an option for the circle or right data fields.

alarms (shows when there is at least one active alarm set on the watch)

do not disturb (shows when the watch is in the Do Not Disturb mode)


Data sets

The ‘Dataset’ option allows quick changing of the displayed data configuration, with 4 sets, Opt1 to Opt4. Each set keeps the choices for the main data fields, left and/or right data fields (depending on the device), the lines and the circle.

When you choose a dataset that was not used before, it will begin with the default settings. Then you can can select the data that you want in this set and save the settings.

The next time you switch to this set from another, your configuration will be restored.

PLEASE NOTE: You can’t change the dataset in the settings and modify it at the same time. You need to save the settings first, then open again and start the modifications. Otherwise all your changes will apply to the previous dataset. This is how Garmin Connect IQ settings system works right now (Sep 2023).


Switching data sets by gesture

You can choose how many datasets you want to switch by gesture (from 0 to 4).

Switching datasets requires double gesture, to minimize unintended switches when you move your hand for other reasons than looking at your watch.

When you raise your wrist the first time, an indicator bar appears between Data 3 and Data 5. It shows which data set is currently active – the number of bar segments (1 to 4) reflects the currently active set.

While you see the bar, move your wrist again to cycle to the next data set. This movement must be completed within the ‘Gesture timeout’ defined in the settings, or before the bar disappears. If you find it difficult to get the dataset to switch, try making the timeout longer.

Note that double gesture is required to cycle to the next data set. If you want to move further, only one additional gesture is needed for one set increment. So for example, to move from set 3 directly to set 1 you need to move your wrist 3 times.


Changing settings on the watch

Switching between datasets can be done conveniently on the watch, without the need to reach for the phone.

NOTE: This is only possible on watches running CIQ 2.3.0 or higher.

How this works:

When you go to the watch face selection menu on your device, besides the ‘Apply’ option, you will see ‘Customize’ if your device supports it. When you select it, you will be able to cycle between the 4 data sets by pressing the select key or tapping on the ‘Dataset’ option. Once done, press the exit key.

On devices with color screens, it is also possible to switch color themes directly on the watch.

How this works:

Press the select key or tap the ‘Theme’ option. Then press the exit key.



By default, seconds are shown on gesture for about 10 seconds, which is way to conserve the battery. It is also possible to extend the gesture activation duration to 20 seconds, to have the seconds on permanently, or to switch them off completely.

Note that when the seconds are hidden, “Data right” field can be used to display additional information.


Active bar vs Move bar

These two are the opposites of one another. Move bar grows when you remain inactive and goes down to zero when you start moving. Active bar is 100 when you keep moving, but when you stop it will gradually go down to zero.



Date is fully configurable, using the ‘Date format’ field in the settings.

To configure the date, you need to enter any of the following letters in the ‘Date format’ setting:

d = day number without leading zero
D = day number with leading zero
m = month number without leading zero
M = month number with leading zero
y = 2-digit year
Y = 4-digit year
n = day name (according to system language)
N = month name (according to system language)
w = ISO week number
a = AM/PM indicator
| = separates the format for ‘Date’ and ‘Date 2’
= = escape character

Any other character (e.g. – / : . []) will be displayed if it is available on the watch.

The equals sign (escape character) has a special purpose to allow displaying the characters that normally are substituted by the date components they represent. You can use it to put arbitrary text in the date field. For instance you can use it to display ‘am’ or ‘pm’ instead of ‘a’ or ‘p’.

Below are some examples:

“n N d” → Fri Aug 24
“n D.M” → Fri 24.08
“d/m [w]” → 24/8 [34]
“d/m =ww” → 24/8 w34
“Y\M\D” → 2018\08\24
“m-d-y” → 8-24-18
“n D (w)” → Fri 28 (34)
“n D a=m” → Fri 13 am

There are two date options that can be selected for data fields – ‘Date’ and ‘Date 2’. This allows to split a long date in two pieces, or to use longer or shorter date in different data sets.

The format for both date fields is defined in the same ‘Date format’ setting, separated by the “|” symbol.



On compatible devices, weather source can be selected between Garmin (default) and Open Weather (OWM). Compatible means most devices that run Connect IQ (CIQ) version 3.2.0 or higher. You can check this in your watch System/About menu.

Notably, the fēnix® 5 family and vívoactive® 3 do not support Garmin weather and the only option is to use OWM.

For the OWM weather you need to supply your own API key.

OpenWeather key validity

Please note that OpenWeather changed their free key policy sometime around mid-2022. Since that time, new API keys created with “Current weather and forecasts collection” will not work with Instinct Pro.

If you have a free “Current weather and forecasts collection” created earlier, it should continue working.

Alternatively, you can subscribe to “One Call by Call” subscription plan for One Call API 3.0. This subscription comes with 1,000 API calls per day for free, and Instinct Pro will not exceed 300 calls per day (3 calls every 15 minutes).

This information is believed to be accurate as of December 2022, it may become invalidated by OpenWeather changing their policies again.

How to get OpenWeather API key

Go to and subscribe to One Call API 3.0 (1,000 API calls per day for free).

Update frequency

Garmin weather updates as often as Garmin decides to refresh it – it seems that it can be anything between 10 minutes to 1 hour.

OWM weather updates every 15 minutes. Note that this is the frequency at which Instinct Pro queries new weather data, but it does not guarantee that OWM will update the data at their end within that period.

Temperature range

When Garmin weather is selected, this shows the forecasted high and low temperatures for the day.

When OWM weather is selected, this shows the forecasted high and low temperatures for the next 3 hours. At the moment it does not seem possible to have the full day temperature range forecast using a free API key.


When Garmin weather source is selected, the chance of precipitation is derived from the ‘current condition’ (and not a forecast).

When OWM weather source is selected, the chance of precipitation and the volume in mm is a 3 hour forecast.


GPS location

GPS location is necessary for the app to display correct data for all l0cation-dependent data such as weather, sun events or moon phase.

Instinct Pro tries to retrieve the location automatically, but this may not always be possible. If you see ‘GPS?’ displayed instead of the data you selected in one of the fields, this means that you may need to update the location manually.

To do this, switch to the start screen of any activity that uses location, for instance ‘Run’ or ‘Bike’. You should be able to see a GPS acquisition progress indicator there. Wait until it completes or until something like ‘GPS ready’ is shown. Then go back to the watch face and the ‘GPS?’ should be gone.


Power save

Power save mode reduces the display to time only.

It can be activated permanently, or when the watch is in the Do not Disturb mode.

If ‘Full on gesture’ is set to ‘On’, wrist movement with cause full display to appear for about 10 seconds.


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