The latest Google I/O put the operating system for connected watches, Wear OS, back in the spotlight. The American giant not only presented Android 12 at its annual conference, but announced the unification of its OS and Samsung’s, Tizen, expected to lead to the launch of a first Galaxy Watch running Wear OS, version 3 of which is on the way.
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A short list of Wear OS 3-eligible connected watches
The question of which watches will be compatible with Wear OS 3 remained open until now. Google has nevertheless made official the upcoming update of some models already available on the market. These are the TicWatch Pro 3 GPS, TicWatch Pro 3 Cellular/LTE and Mobvoi’s TicWatch E3: all watches equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 4100 chip, which obviously suggests that a minimum amount of power is required to benefit from the upgrade. Note that the next watches from the Fossil group to come by the end of 2021, also running Wear OS, will take advantage of Wear OS 3. As for Google’s other partners, they will be able to offer the upgrade from mid-2022. However, it will only be optional, says the firm.
Samsung’s Unpacked in focus
In the meantime, other connected watches running Google’s operating system are expected to hit the market. That includes the Oppo Watch heir, which is due to be unveiled this week and could also pair Wear OS 3 with the Snapdragon Wear 4100. A little later in the summer, it’s a new generation of Galaxy Watch signed by Samsung that we should see appear at the Unpacked Event scheduled for August 11. The brand, which in the first quarter of 2021 had a market share of around 11.3%(IDC study) in the wearable segment behind Apple, should be the driving force behind the return of Wear OS to the forefront. Rival brands, such as Xiaomi, Huawei – whose new Watch 3 we recently tested – and Fitbit, rely on proprietary systems.