Google has confirmed which current smartwatches will get the new Wear OS 3 update and it isn’t great news for those seeking to hang onto their current timepiece.
The new Wear OS 3 – which Google has confirmed is the official name for the unified platform – is due this year, starting with the expected Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 release.
However, only a few smartwatches currently on sale will be eligible for an upgrade. They include the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 GPS, TicWatch Pro 3 Cellular/LTE, and TicWatch E3.
That update won’t happen until “mid to second half of 2022,” Google says. It seems those watches will be eligible because they’re powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 platform.
As for other watches running the current Wear OS, it seems there’ll be no path to upgrade. It also means there’ll be no update for existing Samsung watches running Tizen.
Google also revealed today that forthcoming Wear OS watches from TicWatch and Fossil won’t come with Wear OS 3 out of the box. Instead there’ll be an option to upgrade, which will require a factory reset.
Google is promising to “provide more details in advance of the update so users can make an informed decision” about whether they should update the watch because “in some limited cases, the user experience may be impacted.”
So, it’s not exactly good news from Google, on multiple levels. Firstly, there’s a hardware enforced shutout for almost all current Wear OS watches. Secondly, those that are eligible for the update won’t receive it for at least a year. Finally, even brand new watches coming this year from Fossil and TicWatch won’t automatically run the update and will require a factory reset next year.
So, if you want to use Wear OS 3 this year, you’re probably going to need the Galaxy Watch 4 range… unless Google finally pulls the trigger on a Pixel Watch. Hey, what’s that pink thing with the curly tail up in the sky?