Google has finally released a new, uniform smart watch base name – and it’s obvious: Wear OS 3. This little detail was part of what may be more controversial about which existing Wear OS smartwatches will be updated, when these updates will come, and what these updates will cause. On all these fronts, it’s not very good news.
Google says Wear OS 3 updates will begin releasing a limited number of smartwatches “in the second half of 2022.” It’s a pretty long trip, especially while we wait the first Wear OS 3 clocks will be announced next month at Samsung’s Unpacked event.
Currently, the list of watches that could receive an update “includes Mobvoin’s TicWatch Pro 3 GPS, TicWatch Pro 3 Cellular / LTE, TicWatch E3 and subsequent TicWatch devices, as well as Fossil Group’s new generation devices to be launched later this year.” Google message.
This leaves a lot of Wear OS watches, including all about Fossil and related brands. And this list also excludes all Samsung Tizen-based watches. They are currently the best option for most Android users, but now seem to have an official expiration date.
There’s no other way to put this: Android users don’t have a good idea to buy a smart watch right now. Everything available today will either be updated or will not be updated until the end of 2022. That is the clearest and most direct example Osborne effect in the last memory.
And to be even more boring, it may not be a good idea to buy watches are in the list because the update has other complications. Google says “in some limited cases, the user experience may be affected,” but declined to elaborate right now. It can mean a lot of things, but the general experience from any computer is that new operating systems are slowly getting to know older devices.
In a statement posted, the spokesman promised that Google would “provide additional information before the upgrade so users can make an informed decision.”
In addition, upgrading to Wear OS 3 requires a full factory reset, erasing any settings and data that may be on the watch. Most of it needs to be backed up to your phone, regardless of the fact that Wear OS apps aren’t usually completely standalone on the clock, but it’s still probably a hassle. And you probably can’t just press the reset button after the upgrade to reset your old clock settings.
Google at least recognizes that many watch owners don’t want to experience all the hassle, so it offers a way to discard the update but still receive security fixes. The company promises to continue to support the current version of Wear OS with updates and will provide security updates for two years after the device is released.
The purpose of the blog post is likely to get the bad news out of the way early to clear the covers for Samsung’s Galaxy Smartwatch announcements – not to mention the rumored Google Pixel watch that may also be on the wings.
After so many years of sleep, the next version of Wear OS has a lot to prove. Although it was announced last May on Google I / O, we don’t yet have a complete picture of how it really works in actual use. We know it takes some elements from Samsung’s Tizen platform – like clock surfaces – but it’s usually more of a Wear OS than a Tizen.
What we’ve seen so far about Wear OS 3 is promising. Google says it’s faster than current smartwatches while offering longer battery life. It should also provide a standalone Google Maps app, offline Spotify music, and integrated tracking of Fitbit activity.
All of this means that if you’re an Android user who wants a smart watch, the best option for you right now is to wait until the new Wear OS 3 watches are released and reviewed.