The upgraded smart watch platform from Samsung and Google, Wear OS 3, is a exciting Release for android users. This is the first time in years that the wearables platform has felt like a cohesive ecosystem, helped in part by the launch of Samsung Galaxy 4 Watch and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, which are the first watches to run Wear OS 3.
Now that the watches running the new platform are here, some well-known applications offer updates to become compatible. But the result has left some older smartwatches in the dust.
Strava, a social app for tracking functioning and bike, offered a standalone version of its application for Wear OS users since 2017. The watch the app lets you track your activity on your wrist without your smartphone in tow. Strava recently updated its Wear OS app to support Wear OS 3, but the company added a caveat on his support page: Older Wear OS watches will no longer receive Strava software updates.
In a statement to Android Police, which was warned by a reader of the change, Strava doubled its move away from legacy wearable software:
Last week we released a new Strava app for Wear OS 3.0. Going forward, we won’t be releasing any new app updates for Wear 2.XX, but Strava will continue to be available and will continue to work on Wear 2.XX. All new updates will be made to the Strava app for Wear OS 3.0.
Strava will continue to run, but it will no longer receive new features. It is not clear if a similar fate will happen to the version of Strava for older versions based on Tizen Galaxy Watches. Either way, Strava’s latest move could signal a change for Wear OS apps. Older Android smartwatches may be out of luck with app updates, and some apps may stop working altogether.
Google already has listed connected watches that will be compatible with Wear OS 3 as it rolls out wider in 2022. This list understand Mobvoi’s TicWatch Pro 3 GPS and LTE, TicWatch E3, future TicWatch devices, as well as the next generation of Fossil smartwatches. Google also said that the the current version of Wear OS is not go anywhere, at least until more users get the upgrade or the hardware that could accommodate it. Google has even said it is committed to bringing “new app experiences” to Wear OS 2. But it’s hard to justify keeping an old Android smartwatch if some big-name apps are already considering upgrading it. ‘to abandon.
Migrating a mass of users from one platform to another is not easy. Although Google has been transparent on how that would change course with Wear OS 3 it also felt like users could take their time before upgrading. But if app developers choose to use Wear OS 3 even before more next-gen Android watches are available, the transition could be more difficult than expected.