Wear OS 3 is official, coming to these existing watches

Fossil Gen 5 carry OS logo 1

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

TL; DR

  • Today, Google revealed the official (and unsurprising) name of its new wearable operating system: Wear OS 3.
  • The company has also detailed which existing Wear OS watches are getting the update, and the list is small.
  • Even the watches that will see it won’t see it until late 2022 – and the update could be problematic.

Fortunately, Google today announced the official and completely uninspired name for the operating system: Wear OS 3. If you bet on a new name that fully represents that the operating system is a fresh start for Google, Samsung and the myriad Wear OS partners , well – don’t guess.

Connected: Wear OS buyers guide

Separately, Google has also announced a number of pieces of information about Wear OS 3 that will be relevant to current Wear OS users. There is good news and bad news. The good news is that some current watches are getting the upgrade. The bad news is that the list of watches is small and the update won’t arrive until the second half of 2022. Ouch.

Wear OS 3: Supported current watches

Mobvoi TicWatch E3 profile with face turned on

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

This is the full list of watches that will eventually get the new software upgrade:

This is the list.

Interestingly, it appears that no currently available watches from any of the Fossil brands are receiving the update. When you consider that the latest brand new Wear OS watch from Fossil is the 2019 Gen 5, this isn’t all that surprising. Still, it’s disappointing that Google would turn users of one of the flagship brands for Wear OS on their heads.

But wait, there’s more. Google also warns that even the supported Wear OS 3 watches listed above could have issues with the update. The company said that “in some limited cases, the user experience may be impacted”. We don’t know what that means, but it doesn’t sound good.

Please do not buy an Android smartwatch watch now

If you’ve just got your finger on the shutter button to buy a Wear OS, Tizen, or pretty much any Android-focused smartwatch, you should probably let go. While there are plenty of other watches out there that aren’t affected by this news – like Garmin’s for example – Wear OS 3 could be a game changer. After all, you don’t want to have invested in a watch that will be out of date in a few weeks. You also don’t want to invest in an existing ecosystem only to find out that the new ecosystem is much better.

This also applies to Fitbit watches. Now that Google owns Fitbit, it is certain that future smartwatches from the brand will come with Wear OS 3, while some will continue to come with Fitbit OS. Until we see what this new operating system can do, the best thing to do is to put a moratorium on smartwatch purchases.

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