Following the announcement at the virtual Google I/O 2021, Google is sharing a bit more information about its new smartwatch platform that it’s developing alongside Samsung. One of the critical questions is whether existing Wear OS watches will get Wear OS 3 when it comes out.
Google answered some of these questions in a Wear OS support forum post. So, we know now that Wear OS wearables running on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor won’t be upgraded. If you have a smartwatch running on this chipset or older, it might be time to save up for a new one.
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The existing smartwatches that will get the upgrade all run on the Snapdragon 4100 chipset, including Mobvoi’s TicWatch Pro 3 (both GPS and LTE models) and TicWatch E3. New devices coming out soon from Mobvoi and Fossil will be eligible for the update, too. But you’ll have to wait for the rollout to happen sometime around mid to second half of 2022. The upgrade will be on an opt-in basis, so you can decide whether you’d want to get it or not.
As for Samsung, we know that it will share more details at the upcoming Galaxy Unpacked event, and we might even see the new Galaxy Watch already.
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“User experience is a top priority for us and we are excited about the interest we’ve received on Wear OS 3, the new unified platform,” Google wrote. “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 be impacted.”
When the update becomes available, you will need to reset your device to factory settings. Google will walk you through this process before the update rolls out.
Now, if you’re worried about your smartwatch running on the existing version of Wear OS, Google has thought of these users, too. The company anticipates that many Wear OS users may not be eligible to upgrade nor want to upgrade right away.
Google wrote that it is committed to “bringing new app experiences,” like recent updates to Google Play and Gboard, and keeping up with security updates for at least two years from device launch.