These smartwatches can get Google’s Wear OS 3 update

These smartwatches can get Google’s Wear OS 3 update

Google and Samsung have been working on a new wearable platform, aimed at replacing Google’s current Wear OS software and Samsung’s wearable Tizen OS. The updated platform could finally give the Apple Watch a run for its money, especially with apps like YouTube Music and Spotify promising to support it, but it wasn’t clear which watches would get the update. Now we have an answer — but it isn’t good.

Google published a support article today explaining the upcoming Wear OS update, which is now officially called Wear OS 3. “For the previous generation of Wear OS smartwatches,” Google says, “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.” Due to the extensive changes, Wear OS 3 will be an opt-in upgrade, and it will require a full factory reset to install.

The support article says the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 GPS, TicWatch Pro 3 Cellular/LTE, and TicWatch E3 will get Wear OS 3, as well as “Fossil Group’s new generation of devices launching later this year.” We already knew that all of Fossil’s current watches and all existing Samsung Galaxy Watches would be left behind, but that’s still an incredibly short list of eligible models.

Even if your watch is eligible to get the update, it will likely take a while before it’s available. Google says the system update won’t start rolling out until the “mid to second half of 2022.” That means Fossil’s upcoming Gen 6 watches will still launch with Wear OS 2, with an update coming later to Wear OS 3. Samsung is still expected to release the Galaxy Watch 4 series later this year with Wear OS 3.

The news comes after Qualcomm told us that watches with older Snapdragon Wear 3100 chips were capable of supporting Wear OS 3. It seems that, even if they are technically able to run Wear OS 3, Google isn’t interested in supporting that platform.

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Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. He's also the host of the Tech Tales podcast, which explores the history of the technology industry. Follow him on Twitter at @corbindavenport.