Google explained how he will update smartwatches at Wear OS redesign influenced by Samsung, and let’s be frank: this is not good news for a lot of users. Now called Wear OS 3, the opt-in update (more on that in a moment) will be available “mid to second half” 2022, and only for a handful of watches.
You will need one of Mobvoi’s newer TicWatch models (E3, Pro 3 Cellular / LTE or Pro 3 GPS) or one of the new Fossil watches arriving later in 2021. In other words, you will be blocked if you have purchased a 2020 TicWatch, a Fossil Gen 5, the relaunched Moto 360, or any Wear OS watch. Google always promises current owners “new app experiences” like the Play Store update, not to mention security updates for at least two years after release. Still, that leaves many enthusiasts without a path to Wear OS 3 unless they buy new bracelets.
The update will also be accepted for a reason. The “scope of changes” in Wear OS 3 will require you to reset your watch to factory settings – unsurprisingly, Google wants to ask nicely before wiping your device. While this reset isn’t as big a setback as if it were your phone, you’ll want to think twice before moving forward.
The hardware cut is not a complete shock. Many Wear OS watches on the market use the three-year-old Snapdragon Porter 3100, and even the much improved Wear 4100 has been around since 2020. Google may have needed to limit the functionality of Wear OS 3 to support aging processors. Whatever the justification, this could lead to Windows Phone 8 style transition where existing owners must make difficult choices about when (or if) to replace their devices.
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