Google has clarified the future of Wear OS smartwatches after the launch of its updated operating system later this year.
In a post on its Support forum, a Google spokesperson clarified which devices will receive the update – and what will happen to those that won’t.
First up, as we reported last month, the TicWatch Pro 3 and TicWatch E3 will both get upgraded to Wear OS 3. There’s no timescale, but Google said that “We expect our partners to be able to roll out the system update starting in mid to second half of 2022.”
Our sources estimated a roll out on TicWatch devices in late 2021 or early 2022, so it will be interesting how long users will have to wait for the new Wear OS experience.
And watches won’t be automatically updated – you’ll have to opt-in.
“For the previous generation of Wear OS smartwatches, 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 statement read.
“The extent of changes brought to Wear OS 3 will also require you to upgrade and reset your smartwatch to the way it was when you first got it (factory settings),” it continued.
The company also said that Fossil’s new devices due later this year will also run the updated Wear 3 – as you would expect.
There was no mention of the Oppo Watch 2, which is due for launch in July. That has been formally teased by Oppo, so it’s worrying that’s not mentioned in the Google release.
So unsurprisingly, Wear 3 will not grace the vast majority of Wear OS devices. But Google has clarified what will happen to those devices going forward.
Google says that those devices will be supported by critical updates for two years. And the company stressed that it’s already started to improve the experience of older Wear smartwatches via updates such as the Google Play update, which was announced earlier this week.
By and large the launch of Wear 3 will be a clean break from the old. We don’t expect these changes to be received too positively by the Wear OS community. But we’ll get more of an idea of the performance of Wear OS when we get our first look at the Galaxy Watch 4 on 11 August.