Are you excited for the next-generation of Wear OS, Google’s smartwatch platform? Well, I regret to inform you that, depending on your watch, upgrading could be a bit of a struggle.
In a blog post titled “What Wear OS 3 means for you,” Google gives a subtle hint of what users can expect for its latest smartwatch operating system. And it doesn’t seem all that great.
For starters, the company’s confirmed that its new unified smartwatch platform officially goes by Wear OS 3. And now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the important stuff: The process of updating compatible smartwatches.
According to Google, “a system update to Wear OS 3 will bring the benefit of many of the new experiences, and in some limited cases, the user experience will also be impacted.” The post goes on to explain that some changes to the OS will require users to reset their smartwatch back to factory settings in order to upgrade.
I’m not sure about you, but having to reset my smartwatch only to then set it up again sounds like a nightmare. And Google recognizes that… sort of.
The system upgrade will work on an opt-in basis for eligible devices, and Google will also offer details ahead of the update so you know what to expect. That way, you can choose whether or not it’s worth it to install.
And speaking of those eligible smartwatches, the company also revealed which Wear OS devices will support the upgrade. The list includes Mobvoi’s TicWatch Pro 3 (GPS and cellular models), TicWatch E3, and upcoming TicWatch devices.
Sadly, if you dropped hundreds of dollars on a smartwatch within the Fossil Group’s portfolio (like any of those from Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Misfit, and Armani, among others), it didn’t make the cut. Only Fossil Group’s next-generation devices (launching later this year) will play nicely with Wear OS 3.
Those who don’t see their Wear OS smartwatch on the list, or who don’t want to upgrade will still receive security updates for a minimum of two years from when their device launched.
As for when we can expect Wear OS 3? Well, Google said it won’t arrive until the mid to second half of 2022.
If you’d rather get your hands on the new OS sooner rather than later, your only option (as of now) is to invest in Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Watch. Set to debut at Galaxy Unpacked next month, it’ll be the first smartwatch to run Wear OS 3.
We’ve reached out to Google for comment and will update this story when we hear back.