Fossil’s Gen 6 smartwatches can start the update to Wear OS 3 starting October 17th. The update has been a long time coming, and even still may prove disappointing for some since it lacks a few things, most notably, Google Assistant.
Fossil detailed the upgrade process and some of the caveats users should consider before updating in a lengthy Reddit post (via Android Police). First, the upgrade process will be a little more involved than a typical watch update. Fossil notes the update won’t be automatic, and instead, users will need to head into the watch settings to update (Settings > System > About > System updates).
More importantly, the Wear OS 3 update will reset the watch, erasing all data. Plus, the update can’t be undone after, which could prove problematic if users encounter any issues. Fossil says the process will require setting up the watch again, except this time with the Fossil Smartwatches app and not the old Google Wear OS app.
Fossil says the ” whole process does take some time and patience” and recommends doing it while watching TV or some other activity, as well as leaving the watch on the charger since there’s a battery hit and “some sluggishness” after updating while apps get updates from Google Play.
Finally, it’s worth noting that the update is technically to Wear OS 3.2, which Fossil notes is the most recent version available to watches using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 4100 or 4100+ chips. However, Fossil indicates that users shouldn’t notice any major differences compared to watches running another version of Wear OS 3 (such as the Pixel Watch with Wear OS 3.5). There are some minor differences, and some watches sport features and capabilities added by the manufacturer, but for the most part, there doesn’t appear to be a major difference between 3.2 and 3.5.
What’s missing, and what’s new
If that hasn’t scared you off, this might. Fossil also warns that some items will be missing after the Wear OS 3 update. First and foremost, Google Assistant isn’t available on “any Qualcomm 4100-based watches,” which includes Fossil’s Gen 6 line. Fossil said it heard Google is “actively working” to bring Google Assistant to a number of devices, but the company doesn’t have a timeline from Google yet. In the meantime, Fossil does offer Amazon Alexa on the Gen 6, so users won’t be without a digital assistant.
Google Fit also won’t be on the Gen 6 after updating to Wear OS 3, although the app is still available. Fossil says this is because Fit hasn’t been updated to work with the latest Wear Health Services, so the company opted not to preload Fit on the Wear OS.
Finally, for iOS users, some Google apps will be missing too. That includes Google Wallet, although support might come for it in the future. Google Maps also isn’t officially supported for iOS users, but Fossil notes the app appears to work fine once downloaded.
Beyond that, Fossil says the latest third-party apps designed for Wear OS 3 work on its watches. Interestingly, Fossil also notes that “Fitbit seems to be only available on Pixel at this time for other reasons,” suggesting the Fitbit app could come to other Wear OS devices.
Speaking of third-party apps, Fossil lists improved apps as one of the main features of the Wear OS 3 update. Other benefits include better health and wellness tracking thanks to the above-mentioned Wear Health Services, which is more battery efficient than before. There’s a new interface which sounds very similar to the experience you get on Pixel Watch, although Fossil notes it has more access to make changes than before. As mentioned before, there’s a new companion app for phones and plenty of other tweaks and changes too.
Ultimately, if you’ve got a Fossil Gen 6 watch and are considering the Wear OS 3 update, it’s well worth reading through the informative Reddit post. If you have any questions about the update, the post likely answers them.