Google’s Pixel Watch and Samsung’s Galaxy Watch5 may be based on the same Wear OS 3.x platform, but they won’t get the same level of software support. According to a very revealingWired interview with Björn Kilburn, director of product management for Google Wear OS, the Pixel Watch will get three years of software updates.
On the other hand, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch5 will get four years. The explanation for this difference is that starting with Wear OS 3.x, Google is no longer responsible for updates to wearables it doesn’t manufacture. All updates to previous versions of Wear OS came from Google, which sounded great in theory, but didn’t actually do anything for a more timely release.
So, with the introduction of Wear OS 3, each smartwatch manufacturer is responsible for its own updates. Not only that, but connectivity too – past versions of Wear OS have used the same Wear OS by Google mobile app to connect to the watch, but now each manufacturer has to develop their own app for pairing. This is definitely not a problem for a company like Samsung, which has had smartwatches on other platforms before, but could be a barrier for smaller companies to enter the Wear OS ecosystem, or just those who are unwilling to allocate significant resources to these companies company.
Google’s Kilburn said the company aims to release a new version of Wear OS every year, with quarterly updates to bring “new experiences” throughout the year. larger increments.
Unfortunately, he can’t clarify the odd situation that the Pixel Watch ships with the Fitbit Wear OS app but not Google Fit pre-installed, even though the latter works on all Wear OS devices via the Play Store. Will one of these apps be merged into the other in a few months? Given Google’s history, we’d wager that’s almost a given. But there is no official word yet.
If your smartwatch is running Wear OS 2 and using Snapdragon Wear 4100 or 591 +, you might be wondering what happened to Google’s promise to deliver updates to Wear OS 3 in 2022. This is apparently still the plan, so you should get it “later this year”.