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After years of Google’s silence, Wear OS is finally back in the limelight. New partnerships with Samsung and Fitbit may have reimagined Android-friendly wearables, but there’s still a lot we don’t know. These two companies currently power some of the most popular wearables for Google’s mobile OS, leaving many current owners unsure about the future of their watch.
Three players are involved in this new platform: Google, Samsung and Fitbit. Any watch currently running Wear OS seems like a prime candidate for getting this upgrade, but it’s not that simple. Very few watches are running on current generation hardware. Currently, Mobvoi’s 2020 flagship TicWatch 3 Pro and its budget-friendly TicWatch E3 are the only wearables powered by the Snapdragon Wear 4100, with much of its competition still relying on the older Wear 3100. This includes Fossil, which has not been confirmed by company officials. Its existing watches will be upgraded to Google’s new Wear OS.
We are combining the best of these @wearosbygoogle and @Samsung Mobile Tizen into a unified wearable platform. Apps will start faster, battery life longer and you have more options than ever before, from device to apps and watch face. #googlio pic.twitter.com/vj2aYZD81x
– Google Google) 18 May 2021
While Mobvoi is silent on whether its wearables will be updated, we’ve heard from Qualcomm on the subject. Apparently, both the Wear 3100 and 4100/4100+ are “capable” of running this year’s refreshed software. However, Google followed up Qualcomm’s comments with a vague statement about the new technical requirements, which lowered the expectations of current watch owners.
Thankfully, Samsung’s plans are more concrete. It won’t upgrade current Tizen devices to Wear OS, though that hasn’t been left up to dry owners. Samsung is promising at least three years of software support from each launch date. Hence, under this new policy, last year’s Galaxy Watch 3 will receive the update by August 2023. If you currently own a Samsung watch and want to make the switch to Wear OS, you’ll need to buy Samsung’s upcoming (and totally leaked) Galaxy Watch 4. However, you won’t feel completely out of place, as it will sport a custom One UI skin.
Finally, there’s Fitbit. Google has completed its purchase of the fitness-focused company in early 2021, and we wait to hear whether its future will be based on hardware wear. Co-founder James Park confirmed plans at yesterday’s keynote to build high-end watches running Google’s Wearable OS, but no public plans for what might happen with last fall’s flagship trackers. is not. Unlike Samsung, however, it looks like Fitbit plans to continue offering low-cost wearable devices based on its own operating system, like the Fitbit Lux announced earlier this year.