Immediately ought to have been a giant day for Fossil. The corporate introduced its long-awaited Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch, the follow-up to the principally satisfying Gen 5, with upgraded specs throughout the board that ought to present a dramatically improved expertise. Sadly, the story from immediately’s announcement has principally targeted on what’s not part of the Gen 6: Wear OS 3.
The Fossil Gen 6 will arrive in a few month and it’ll run Wear OS 2 out of the field, not the brand new Wear OS 3 that Google simply launched with Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 line. We see gadgets launch with out the most recent software program on a regular basis, however this case is totally different as a result of Google has already mentioned that watches not named “Galaxy Watch 4” probably gained’t see this new Wear OS 3 till the 2nd half of 2022 (subsequent yr!). So as a substitute of Fossil delivering the brand new Wear OS in a month or two, their new and costly watch may not see it for a whole yr.
We don’t know why Google thinks it should take that lengthy to improve watches like this new Fossil Gen 6 or Mobvoi’s absolutely succesful TicWatch Professional 3. There have been loads of ideas throughout reddit and web boards that Google and Samsung inked some kind of unique for Wear OS 3 for a yr. Neither has mentioned that to us, however look, it positive doesn’t appear to be Google cares a lot about every other watchmaker having entry for the following 12 months.
Google did say that updating from Wear OS 2 to Wear OS 3 would require a full manufacturing facility reset and a few options could also be restricted. In different phrases, upgrading from Wear OS 2 to three is not only a easy OS change like we see from Android 10 to Android 11 on a cellphone. We additionally know that Google is permitting full Android skins on high (Galaxy Watch 4 runs One UI on high of Wear OS), so possibly a part of the problem is that corporations might want to do one thing much like get essentially the most out of Wear OS 3 – robust to say.
However what’s so odd about all of this, is that Google’s greatest Wear OS companions (Qualcomm, Fossil, and Mobvoi) all appear to be fully at midnight about this new model of Wear OS. Shortly after Google introduced Wear OS 3 at I/O and that they’d teamed up with Samsung to launch it, we began asking questions on what it meant for different watches.
Google didn’t wish to say at first, which led to Qualcomm suggesting all of its wearable processors would don’t have any points operating no matter Google launched. Google then needed to reply by telling everybody to pump the breaks and that they’d share extra quickly. That’s once they shared the unlucky information about watches not seeing the replace for a yr. Even Fossil talked about early on that the Gen 6 would launch with Wear OS 3 solely to need to stroll that assertion again.
Clearly, this complete scenario sucks in case you aren’t Samsung, nevertheless it actually sucks for Fossil. We’re speaking about an organization who stored Wear OS alive for the previous a number of years, nearly completely by itself. They’ve continued to pump out watch after watch, added helpful options on high of Wear OS when Google wouldn’t, and has been fairly darn good with updates. Fossil is the rationale Wear OS didn’t die 3 or 4 years in the past.
I genuinely really feel dangerous for Fossil immediately. The Fossil Gen 6 was essentially the most anticipated watch of the previous yr, earlier than the rumors of Samsung switching again to Wear OS began. As soon as Qualcomm confirmed off its Snapdragon Wear 4100 and 4100+ chips in June of 2020, we began speaking about how good Fossil’s Gen 6 may be. Now, nicely, the Gen 6 might be going to be a troublesome watch to advocate in the intervening time.
Not solely will the Fossil Gen 6 not have Wear OS 3, it has a less-impressive and older chipset than what Samsung simply launched in its Galaxy Watch 4 line. And to high that off, the Galaxy Watch 4 – once more, with newer software program, higher processor, and extra well being options – begins at $50 cheaper than the Gen 6.
I do know that Samsung and Google teaming up for Wear OS is a giant deal for the platform’s future, nevertheless it additionally seems to pushed these apart who stored it afloat. That’s unhappy to see.