Wear OS 3.0 update confirmed for select smartwatches — with some caveats

Ticwatch Pro 3 Lifestyle
Ticwatch Pro 3 Lifestyle (Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google confirms that current Mobvoi smartwatches will receive the upcoming Wear OS 3.0 update.
  • Upcoming Fossil smartwatches will also receive Wear OS 3.0, but not immediately.
  • Current devices will receive new app experiences and security updates for two years following launch.

Google has finally cleared some of the air on the update situation for the upcoming Wear OS 3.0 unified platform.

The company has just announced that only select Wear OS smartwatches will be updated to the new unified platform. That includes the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 GPS, the TicWatch Pro 3 cellular, and the new TicWatch E3.

After the company announced the big update at Google I/O, there has been some uncertainty and confusion regarding the availability of Google and Samsung's new unified platform. There was even some back-and-fourth on whether or not TicWatch models would receive the update, but it's nice to finally have some clarity.

The news is especially great for anyone that purchased Mobvoi's smartwatches, which already run great thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 chipset.

These watches will join the next-gen Fossil smartwatches that will also feature the new Wear OS platform, although the post seems to suggest they will not have the new update at launch as it was expected.

According to Google, the aforementioned TicWatch models and the upcoming Fossil watches will not receive the Wear OS 3.0 update until mid-2022, at the earliest. That could potentially leave the rumored Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 as the only smartwatch with the new platform for some time.

That could be good news for Samsung, as it could lead to a boost in sales from people who would rather not wait for the update. However, it is curious that Fossil is being made to wait, seeing as how the company has been a huge proponent in keeping the platform alive with some of the best Wear OS watches. It could indicate that Google is leaning heavily on Samsung for the future success of Wear OS.

There is another caveat to the upgrade. Google states that due to the "extent of changes brought to Wear OS 3," eligible devices will need a factory reset upon receiving the update. The company realizes that not everyone will want to reset their devices, so the upgrade won't be required, saying that it will be offered "on an opt-in basis for eligible devices."

On the other hand, Google says that anyone running Wear OS 2.x watches will continue to receive security updates for a minimum of two years after launch and that the company plans to introduce new app experiences like the new Gboard and Play Store Wear OS updates.

The news comes as something of a mixed bag for Wear OS fans but leaves no doubt that the platform will make a big impact in 2022.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.