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Major plans are in store with the new Wear OS, but will older smartwatches be left behind?

Google and Samsung have revealed that they have planned major software updates to the wearables operating system, but will older devices be forgotten about?

One of the biggest bits of news from Google I/O 2021 was that Samsung and Google were teaming up to create a new wearable operating system that perhaps could finally go toe-to-toe with the Apple Watch (or at least, that’s the idea). But while Apple is renowned for its long-term software support, plenty of people are worried that Wear OS will not match this standard – and already there’s concern about its current crop of smartwatches.

Samsung has already confirmed that its previously released smartwatches, such as the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, will not be upgradeable to the all-new version of Wear OS, but the same confirmation has not yet been given by Google about its own products. 

In an exclusive interview with CNET, two of the leading voices at Fossil (the wearables brand that belongs to Google) indicated the direction that the company was headed. Along with mentioning general principles for the brand’s future, including a continuing focus on touchscreen input rather than buttons, and renewed energy towards a premium high-end wearable, the duo didn’t seem to commit to bringing the new OS to older products on the market. In a statement given afterwards, Greg McKelvey, the brand’s Chief Commercial Officer, said:

“Our product and engineering teams continue to innovate on the Gen 5 and Gen 5E smartwatches, which will result in new software features being launched later this year and into next year. Our policy is to bring the maximum amount of innovation that Google will enable to each of our generation of smartwatches. Future upgrade plans are still being developed, and we will continue to make announcements later this year.”

While that statement still leaves plenty of wiggle room regarding prospects of the new operating system arriving on the current-generation watches, we hope that the planned upgrades will seek to bring these wearables up to speed with their soon-to-be-released successors, though there’s no guarantee.




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