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Wear OS 3 is official name of new system, will come to these existing watches

Don't get your hopes up: the list of supported existing watches is small and you'll be waiting a long time for the update.

Published onJuly 22, 2021

fossil gen 5 wear os logo 1
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
  • Today, Google revealed the official name for its new wearable operating system: Wear OS 3.
  • The company also detailed which existing Wear OS watches will get the update, and the list is small.
  • Even the watches that will see it won’t see it until late 2022 — and the update could be problematic.

We’ve known about Google’s and Samsung’s new hybrid operating system for wearables since May 2021. However, we haven’t known the official name and a lot of other information we’d like to know. With the first watch with the OS landing in just a few weeks, we’re getting down to the wire.

Thankfully, today Google announced the official name for the operating system: Wear OS 3. If you were betting on a new name entirely to represent that the OS is a new beginning for Google, Samsung, and the myriad Wear OS partners, well — guess not.

Related: Wear OS buyer’s guide

Google also announced a bunch of information about Wear OS 3 that will be relevant to current Wear OS users. There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that some current watches will get the upgrade. The bad news is that the list of watches is small and the update won’t arrive until the second half of 2022. Ouch.

Wear OS 3: Supported current watches

Mobvoi TicWatch E3 profile with face on
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

This is the full list of watches that will eventually get the new software upgrade:

That’s it, that’s the list.

Interestingly, it appears no currently available watches from any of the Fossil brands will get the update. Considering the most recent all-new Wear OS watch from Fossil is the Gen 5 from 2019, this isn’t too surprising. Still, it is disappointing that Google would leave the users of one of the flagship brands for Wear OS high and dry.

But wait, there’s more. Google also warns that even the supported Wear OS 3 watches listed above could face problems with the update. The company said that “in some limited cases, the user experience may be impacted.” We don’t know what that means, but it doesn’t sound good.

Please don’t buy an Android smartwatch right now

If you’ve got your finger on the trigger to buy a Wear OS, Tizen, or pretty much any Android-focused smartwatch right now, you should probably let go. Although there are plenty of other watches out there unaffected by this news — such as those from Garmin, for example — Wear OS 3 could be a game-changer. You don’t want to have invested in a watch that will be obsolete in a few weeks, after all. You also don’t want to invest in an existing ecosystem only to find out the new ecosystem is much better.

This also goes for Fitbit watches. Now that Google owns Fitbit, it’s assured future smartwatches from the brand will come with Wear OS 3, while some will still come with Fitbit OS. Until we see what this new operating system can do, it’d be best to put a moratorium on smartwatch purchases.

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