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Google clarifies which smartwatches can improve to revamped Wear OS 3

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Back at I/O 2021, Google introduced plans to companion with Samsung and construct a revamped, unified Wear OS platform. One of the largest questions popping out of that announcement was how that will affect present Wear OS units. Well, now we now have some solutions.

Google clarified particulars about its upcoming Wear OS refresh through a publish on the Wear OS by Google Help web page. First, the corporate lastly confirmed that it’ll formally name the platform Wear OS 3. Next, the publish defined that the “previous generation” of Wear OS smartwatches will get a system replace to OS 3, though the corporate warned that the person expertise can be impacted in “some limited cases.” Finally, Google warned that smartwatch house owners would wish to manufacturing unit reset their watches to do the improve. You can learn the complete quote beneath:

“User experience is a top priority for us and we are excited about the interest we’ve received on Wear OS 3, the new unified platform. For the previous generation of Wear OS smartwatches, a system update to Wear OS 3 will bring the benefit of many of the new experiences, and in some limited cases, the user experience will also be impacted. The extent of changes brought to Wear OS 3 will also require you to upgrade and reset your smartwatch to the way it was when you first got it (“factory settings”).”

So, that doesn’t sound nice. But then, contemplating that Wear OS 3 seems to be a reasonably important replace, I’m not completely stunned the improve course of may have some main hurdles. That mentioned, Google additionally famous that it’ll supply the improve on an “opt-in basis for eligible devices” in order that individuals who choose to maintain the present Wear OS expertise can accomplish that.

Eligible units embody Snapdragon Wear 4100 {hardware}, however not 3100

Speaking of eligible units, Google additionally shared extra particulars about which “previous generation” Wear OS watches will get the replace:

“Wear OS devices that will be eligible for upgrade include Mobvoi’s TicWatch Pro 3 GPS, TicWatch Pro 3 Cellular/LTE, TicWatch E3 and follow on TicWatch devices, as well as Fossil Group’s new generation of devices launching later this year.”

As Gizmodo factors out, all of these watches use (or will use) Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 4100 chip. Alongside Fossil’s affirmation that its current Wear 3100 watches gained’t get the improve, it definitely looks like watches with the older Snapdragon Wear 3100 gained’t be eligible for the replace.

It’s disappointing, however hardly a shock. Qualcomm introduced the Wear 4100 chip in 2020 and, on the time of announcement, it was already laughably beneath powered (and but one way or the other nonetheless a big increase over the 3100 platform). Just one instance: the Wear 4100 chip makes use of a 12nm course of — most present chips use a 5nm course of and 3nm is on the horizon. The 3100? 28nm.

To be truthful, the nanometre measurement is extra of a advertising time period than something that resembles precise bodily options on the chip. However, the nanometre nomenclature does symbolize an improved era of silicon with elevated transistor density, velocity and lowered energy consumption.

All that is to say that Qualcomm’s Wear chips have been, nicely, missing, particularly in comparison with the competitors. And with Samsung getting on board with Wear OS, that ought to open up new {hardware} alternatives. Reports counsel the corporate’s new Exynos W920 chip has a 1.25x quicker CPU and eight.8x smoother graphics than the Galaxy Watch 3’s Exynos 9110. The W920 can be reportedly a 5nm chip. For some added context, the Exynos 9110 was already significantly forward of the Wear 4100.

What it means for smartwatch prospects and house owners

Wear OS 3 sounds prefer it’s designed to benefit from the additional processing energy accessible in newer {hardware}. Coupled with Google’s warning in regards to the affect to person expertise for these upgrading their Wear 4100-powered smartwatches, it appears Wear OS 3 could not run nicely on that {hardware}. That ought to rule out the improve for Wear 3100 watches too. Qualcomm did announce plans to launch new Snapdragon Wear platforms subsequent 12 months, nevertheless it stays to be seen how aggressive they’re with Samsung’s choices.

As for patrons, there are a number of takeaways. If you’re out there for a brand new smartwatch, it’s in all probability greatest to keep away from something working on a Snapdragon Wear 3100. Further, in the event you can wait, I’d say do it. No level forking out the cash for a Wear 4100 watch now that will not run Wear OS 3 nicely later.

Those who already personal a smartwatch even have choices. If the watch has a 4100, nice! Keep utilizing it and, when the Wear OS 3 replace lastly comes (someday in mid-2022, in response to Google), search for a possibility to see how nicely it really works earlier than you decide to the replace. And these with a 3100-powered watch, nicely, it appears you’re out of luck. If your watch nonetheless works advantageous, I’d say maintain on to it. There’s nonetheless a number of time earlier than Wear OS 3 updates begin rolling out, so one of the best plan of action could be to maintain the 3100 for so long as you’ll be able to and as soon as Wear OS 3 watches can be found, make an improve to them. If you want a brand new smartwatch ahead of mid-2022, see the above paragraph about in search of a brand new smartwatch.

Finally, Google has dedicated to sustaining the present Wear OS platform after Wear OS 3 drops. Specifically, Google promised to convey “new app experiences” and safety updates “for a minimum of two years from device launch.” In different phrases, if Wear OS 3 drops, and it isn’t match in your watch (otherwise you choose to not improve your {hardware}), you’ve nonetheless received time.

Source: Google Via: Gizmodo

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Written by Gideon

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