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Google finally confirms Wear OS 3 name and super-short list of devices eligible for 'opt-in' update

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Google finally confirms Wear OS 3 name and super-short list of devices eligible for 'opt-in' update
As exciting as Google's initial announcement of a "unified wearable platform" combining the best of both Wear OS and Tizen worlds was a couple of months ago, a lot of confusion lingered on since then regarding, well, exactly what the search giant and Samsung have up their sleeves.

The very name of the "biggest update to Wear ever" was never confirmed by Big G itself, at least not until yesterday, when a Community Manager posted a short but important piece on the company's support webpages dedicated primarily to detailing the path to Wear OS 3 for a number of existing and soon-to-be-unveiled smartwatches.

Wear OS 3, not Wear OS 3.0 or Wear by Google


That's right, Mobvoi was (almost) correct in referring to this massive upcoming software redesign as Wear OS 3.0 back in early June, and at long last, Google is clearing the air as far as the TicWatch Pro 3's support is concerned as well.

In addition to that Snapdragon 4100-powered GPS-only device, the TicWatch Pro 3 Cellular/LTE and the TicWatch E3 will also be able to run Wear OS 3... eventually. And only if you want to.


The choice will be all yours at some point in "mid to second half of 2022", but before you decide to make the leap, you should know that "the extent of changes brought to Wear OS 3" requires resetting your old intelligent timepiece to its factory settings as preparation for the software overhaul.

Of course, you'll have plenty of time to consider your options after Samsung's Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic make their commercial debut next month running the Wear OS 3-based One UI Watch platform out the box.

Disappointingly, it looks like Mobvoi's "follow on TicWatch devices" and Fossil Group's "new generation of devices" will be launched with the current Wear OS experience pre-installed and updated to the new OS version later on, presumably using the same opt-in process as the TicWatch Pro 3 GPS, TicWatch Pro 3 LTE, and TicWatch E3.

No Wear OS 3 for the vast majority of smartwatches out there


This settles once and for all that a bunch of existing devices not powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon Wear 4100 SoC will be left behind (most notably, the Fossil Gen 5 lineup), but for what it's worth, Google remains committed to bringing "new app experiences" and "maintaining security updates for a minimum of two years from launch" for all of these smartwatches.

That's similar to Samsung's Tizen support promise for the likes of the Galaxy Watch 3 and Watch Active 2, although something tells us that a number of owners of those two top Apple Watch rivals would have also loved the opportunity to wipe all their data and install One UI Watch, at least for fun.


Alas, that's not going to happen, but on the decidedly bright side of things, Samsung's stellar software support these past few years have made the aforementioned Galaxy Watches some of the overall best smartwatches money can buy in 2021 and that's unlikely to change anytime soon.

It remains to be seen if Google plans to finally release the elusive Pixel Watch, which was purportedly leaked in all its glory back in April, by the end of this year to signal the company's seriousness in the super-competitive (and wholly monopolistic) smartwatch market.

After all, it seems highly unlikely that the Fossil Gen 6 family or Mobvoi's TicWatch Pro 4, which are still completely shrouded in secrecy, will ever be able to take on the Apple Watch Series 7 in raw power, health monitoring skills, and overall utility, even after scoring their Wear OS 3 updates, hopefully earlier that "mid to second half" of next year.

New reasons to get excited every week

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