What you need to know
- When Wear OS 3 was announced, Google expected updates to happen in the second half of 2022.
- Fossil recently launched its first Wear OS 3 smartwatch, the Gen 6 Wellness Edition.
- The company says it expects to roll out the update to other Gen 6 smartwatches on October 17.
- The update will require a factory reset and smartwatches will pair to Fossil's upgraded companion app.
With Samsung's Galaxy Watch 5 series and the new Pixel Watch taking over much of the conversation around Wear OS 3, the question has remained when current Wear OS 2 watches would receive the update. Fossil is now ready to give us what we want, as the company is committing to updating its smartwatches very soon.
According to Fossil, the Wear OS 3 is expected to start rolling out on October 17, the same day the company releases its new Gen 6 Wellness Edition smartwatch. Eligible smartwatches will include its Gen 6 watches that fall under Fossil Group brands. That means the Fossil Gen 6, Michael Kors Gen 6, and Skagen Falster Gen 6.
As previously announced, the update is only coming to Snapdragon 4100+ smartwatches, leaving devices like the Fossil Gen 5 out of luck.
As for what we can expect, Fossil says its UI is very similar to that of the Pixel Watch, which pretty much represents the stock experience of Wear OS 3. Fossil won't go the Samsung route with heavy customization à la One UI Watch, which makes sense, but we will get Fossil goodies sprinkled in. That includes custom battery modes, iOS compatibility, and the Wellness app for health and fitness tracking.
Fossil does point out the absence of Google Assistant, something we've seen with the Montblanc Summit 3. This is apparently due to the software not being ready for Qualcomm-powered smartwatches and likely due to the makeover Google Assistant received for the Galaxy Watch and, more recently, the Pixel Watch. We've reached out to Google about this omission and when we can expect Google Assistant to arrive on other Wear OS 3 watches, and a spokesperson didn't have much to say on the matter:
"Our priority with Wear OS is to deliver a high performing platform for our partners and users, and we are taking the time to ensure our apps and services deliver a quality experience. We have nothing more to share at this time."
Still, Fossil says that users looking for a smart assistant can take advantage of the Alexa app, which it launched for its smartwatches earlier this year. The company plans to upgrade the app to give it more capabilities and allow it to work with iOS users.
Fossil's smartwatch app, previously a companion app for its Hybrid line of watches, has also been reworked to support Wear OS 3. This was the easiest way to go since companies are now responsible for making their own companion apps, and Fossil says it should provide users with a complete experience for setting up and customizing their smartwatches.
The company reiterates what Google has previously stated about upgrading to Wear OS 3: you will have to factory reset the device. Although if you've ever switched paired smartphones for your watch, this won't be anything new. According to Fossil, it will prompt users to update, but it won't be required.
Upgrading to Wear OS 3 also means access to some platform-exclusive apps. Google Home, Google Weather, and the new Google Maps experience are among the apps and updates exclusive to Wear OS 3. Fossil also says it generally commits to at least two years of updates, so hopefully, this won't be the last OS upgrade current models see, given Google's Pixel Watch update promise.
Although, to be honest, we're just glad to finally have the update upon us.
If you're in the market for a new smartwatch, the Fossil Gen 6 Wellness Edition comes with a sleek design and a focus on health and wellness. It's capable of automatically tracking workouts and runs the latest Wear OS 3 software, so you'll have the latest experience from Google.
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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.