Fossil Gen 6 smartwatches start getting Wear OS 3, but some features are missing

Fossil Gen 6 smartwatches start getting Wear OS 3, but some features are missing
Fossil confirmed last week that the highly-anticipated Wear OS 3 for Gen 6 smartwatches will be rolled out beginning October 17. The announcement was made along with the reveal of the company’s first-ever Wear OS 3 smartwatch, the Fossil Gen 6 Wellness Edition, which is now available for purchase for $300.

Although it’s a brand-new product, the only advantage of the new smartwatch over the previous Gen 6 models is the fact that it comes with Wear OS 3 right out of the box. However, the release of the update completely removes the only benefit the Gen 6 Wellness Edition had over the rest of the Gen 6 smartwatches eligible for Wear OS 3 upgrades.

No Google Assistant, Google Wallet and Google Fit

Now, before you get your hopes too high, keep in mind that Fossil’s Wear OS 3 update for Gen 6 smartwatches is missing some major features that might be added later on as separate updates. The most important one is Google Assistant, which is not yet available on any wearable devices powered by Qualcomm 4100 chipsets.

Instead, Fossil smartwatches are using Alexa, which is available for both iOS and Android users. The feature works over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, so you won’t have to install the Alexa app on the phone. Fossil states that it’s “actively working on Google Assistant on a number of devices, but there is no timeline from Google on this yet.”

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Another feature missing is Google Wallet, although this is only valid of iOS users. On the other hand, although Google Maps is not officially supported for iOS users, it will work if you download the app on the watch. As far as Google Wallet support for iOS goes, Fossil says that it’s “a bit further out,” but that shouldn’t be such a big issue since iOS fans typically use Apple Pay.

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Last but not least, Google Fit is available as a standalone app, but it hasn’t been updated to support the latest Wear Health Services, which is why Fossil will not include this in the update at the moment.

On the positive side, Wear OS 3 brings upgraded health and wellness tracking thanks to a new Wear Health Services system that collects and provides data to apps, while saving battery life. Moreover, a new and improved user interface, along with overall performance and stability enhancements have been included in the update too.

New UI and improved third-party apps

The new UI features many elements from Google’s Material You design, as well as new features. There’s also a new phone companion app, which promises “easy and intuitive customization for watch faces, tiles and settings.”

Despite all the good things Fossil provides to its customers, many continue to use third-party apps, and that’s great because the watch maker announced that a number of new and refreshed third-party apps are now available via Google Play Store. Apps like Amazon Alexa, Cardiogram, Facer, Outdoor Active, Facer and many more are fully supported by Fossil’s Wear OS 3 update.

If you’re wondering which Fossil smartwatches are going to get the Wear OS 3 update, the answer is quite short: all Gen 6 models. Even if you buy a Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch running Wear OS 2 right now, you will still be able to update it to the newer version of the OS.

As far as availability goes, perusing through many posts on reddit reveals that users in just two countries have been able to update their Gen 6 smartwatches to Wear OS 3: India and Singapore. However, this was to be expected because major OS update are typically rolled out in waves, so it will probably take a few more days for everyone to receive Wear OS 3.

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