Google confirms TicWatch, Fossil will get Wear OS 3 updates in 2022

So far, Samsung's next watch is the only Wear OS 3 watch on deck for 2021

Scott Stein Editor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
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  • Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
Scott Stein
2 min read

Wear OS 3 is coming to Samsung's watch soon, but on other watches it won't arrive until 2022.

Google's new Samsung-codesigned version of Wear OS is officially called Wear OS 3, and it'll be on Samsung's next-gen Galaxy Watch soon. But for many watch owners it won't arrive until 2022. Or, you won't be able to get the new software at all.

The latest news comes from a new update from Google, which will make watches eligible for the next version of Wear OS. According to Google, which shared the information with CNET, Mobvoi's TicWatch Pro 3 GPS, TicWatch Pro 3 cellular, and TicWatch E3 will get the upgrade, along with Fossil's next-gen smartwatches, which are coming this fall. But that software update won't be coming in 2021. Instead, it'll be in the middle of next year.

Fossil shared news of its next-gen smartwatches with CNET earlier this year, but now it looks like Fossil's watches (and Mobvoi's) won't have Wear OS 3 to start, instead they'll come with an option to upgrade the OS in the "mid to second half of 2022."

Google also cautions that the OS update involves a complete reboot to factory settings, and that for some watches the "user experiences will be impacted," suggesting some people could choose to keep the previous version of Wear OS. Google wouldn't clarify what those "impacted" experiences will be, but told CNET via email that it will "share more at the time of upgrade so users can make an informed decision."

Other Wear OS watches won't get Wear OS 3, as Google had indicated before, but some future software features are still expected, with security updates for at least "two years from device launch."

Samsung is expected to announce its newest Galaxy Watch on Aug. 11 during its summer Unpacked event. That watch will have Google's Wear OS 3, making it the only Wear OS 3 watch that's confirmed for 2021. Google wouldn't confirm whether other Wear OS 3 watches are expected this year or not, but for now it looks like Samsung may have an exclusive window on its Wear OS partnership.