Google reveals Wear OS 3 update path for current watches

During I / O 2021 in May, Google announced a complete overhaul of its portable platform. We’ve since seen the new operating system previewed on an emulator, while Samsung has confirmed that the new Galaxy Watch will be the first to run it. There are still many questions about Wear OS 3, and Google today addressed the update situation for current watch owners.

For starters, Google now officially refers to the unified platform as “Wear OS 3”. Since its announcement, there has been a lot of confusion over whether this upcoming portable operating system will work on existing smartwatches. It was partly seeded by customer service agents making conflicting statements, and two major watchmakers finally made statements in June on upgrade plans that were not yet finalized.

Google today lifted the uncertainty and definitively announced that only a few devices already on sale today will benefit from the Wear OS 3 update. These watches are the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 GPS (review), TicWatch Pro 3 Cellular / LTE, and TicWatch E3 (review).

Meanwhile, Google has tacitly revealed that there will be new watches launched by Fossil Group and Mobvoi that won’t run Wear OS 3 out of the box but have the option to update later. In the case of Fossil, today’s statement again confirmed that a “new generation of devices” is coming “this year”.

The TicWatch models that are expected to receive the update all run the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 announced last June, giving an overview of the minimum hardware requirements.

However, Google has warned that watches that don’t natively run Wear OS 3 – that is, those that are upgraded after launch – will see unspecified “impacts” on user experience in “some cases. limits”. The company did not say today whether that referred to some new features that were not available or to performance constraints. The implication is that even devices running a chip from last year aren’t able to run the unified platform optimally given the importance of the next Wear OS upgrade, but Google always wanted to provide these recent buyers with an upgrade path.

For this reason, the Wear OS 3 update will be optional and made available on a subscription basis for individual owners of TicWatch and Fossil Group products. End users who decide to upgrade will have to reset the device to factory settings during the process and start over. Google promises to “provide more details before the update so you can make an informed decision.”

As for the timeline, partners will only start the Wear OS 3 upgrade between “mid to second half of 2022”.

Wear OS 2.0 users who decide not to upgrade will continue to enjoy new app experiences comparable to Gboard and the Material You Play Store, as well as security updates for at least two years from date. when the device is launched.

“We’re committed to delivering new experiences to current Wear OS users and those who choose not to upgrade. “


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