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Fossil Gen 6's Wear OS 3 Update Keeps iPhone Support With a Few Extra Steps

The update makes the Fossil Gen 6 one of the very few Wear OS 3 watches that support the iPhone.

Fossil x Razer
The Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch collaboration with Razer.
Lexy Savvides/CNET

The Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch series began receiving its long-awaited update to Wear OS 3 on Monday, bringing with it a new setup process. The update arrives days after Fossil announced the $299 Gen 6 Wellness Edition, which ships with Wear OS 3, and makes Fossil's watches one of the few ways to use the newest version of Google's OS with an iPhone. While international availability wasn't announced for the Wellness Edition, other Fossil Gen 6 watches start at £279 in the UK and AU$499.

Anyone who uses the Gen 6 with an iPhone will be directed to install Fossil's new companion app as part of the Wear OS 3 update, which will replace the Wear OS app that the Gen 6 would previously sync through. Fossil is also debuting its own wellness-tracking features with the update, but the watch will continue to support tracking via Google Fit for the time being. A Fossil spokesperson said that transferring data out of Google Fit and into the new Fossil app is currently a work-in-progress, and is expected to be available soon.

Even though the new version of Wear OS 3 includes Fitbit fitness tracking on the Android-only Pixel Watch, Fossil said that it's not yet available for the Gen 6 watches. However Fossil doesn't rule it out, while also mentioning that the Gen 6 supports other fitness apps available on the Play Store.

"We're separately eager to see the Fitbit app for Wear OS 3 come to our watches and hope most of you are happy in the meantime with the plethora of other health and fitness apps out there including our own," the Fossil spokesperson said.

The Gen 6 watches, which include collaborations with Razer and Skagen, will also maintain compatibility with the Google Play Store and other Google services.

Fossil's Gen 6 debuted last year with the announcement that it would eventually get the update to Wear OS 3. Fossil claims that the Gen 6 will charge from zero to 80% in 30 minutes. The new watches are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 Plus chip.

The Montblanc Summit 3 is the only other smartwatch currently on the market that runs on Wear OS 3 and maintains iOS compatibility like Fossil. However, at $1,290, the Montblanc's in an entirely different luxury price range compared to the $299 cost of the Gen 6. 

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