Qualcomm confirms widespread platform support is possible for Wear OS 3

Qualcomm confirms widespread platform support is possible for Wear OS 3

To clear up confusion around which devices will be capable of supporting Google Wear OS 3 later in 2021, Qualcomm has confirmed that its current generation 3100 platforms are able to support Wear OS 3, these 3100 processors are in widespread use. Furthermore, the emerging generation of 4100/4100+ processors will also (obviously) support Wear OS 3. As far as I know, only the Mobvoi Ticwatch Pro 3 & E3 models run the latest Qualcomm 4100-series hardware.

This is what Qualcomm say:

“We are working with Google on bringing Wear OS 3.0 to Snapdragon Wear 4100+ and 4100 platforms. Snapdragon Wear 3100, 4100+ and 4100 platforms are capable of supporting Wear OS 3.0…” – Qualcomm via XDA

Have I missed something?

It’s obvious that the 4100 series will support the next generation of Wear OS and the statement, above, from Qualcomm, clearly states that the 3100 series CAN work on the next generation of Wear OS. OK, your old watch might end up NOT working because the OEMs choose not to do the extra integration work but, hey, that’s life…blame the OEM, not Qualcomm or Google. Some OEMs will choose not to do that work to generate revenues from customer upgrades…that just hacks some people off despite the apparent financial logic to the beancounters.

The tech press seems perturbed by this clarification. OK, more clarification always helps but Captain Commonsense says all will be cool. He’s never wrong…except when he is.

If you have an older Wear OS watch with a processor older than the 3100 series I’d say there is zero chance of you being able to upgrade the OS later this year. Contrast that to Apple, where watchOS 8 is massively backwardly compatible albeit with reduced feature sets that are hardware-dependent.

Not sure which watches could support Wear OS 3? These are all of them that COULD support it but not even Mobvoi has yet confirmed and Fossil has specifically said its watches will not be updated.: Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon, Hublot Big Bang, Diesel Axial, Kate Spade NY, Kate Spade Sport, Michael Kors Access Bradshaw 2, Michael Kors Access Lexington 2, Michael Kors Access MKGO, Misfit Vapor X, Mobvoi Ticwatch Pro 3 (4100),  Mobvoi TicWatch E3 (4100), Montblanc Summit 2/2+, Motorola Moto 360 (gen 3), Movado Connect 2.0, Oppo Watch, Puma Watch, Xiaomi Mi Watch, Skagen Falster 3, Suunto 7

Update 6/17: In a statement provided to 9to5Google, Google reiterated its previous stance that it has not confirmed any last-generation hardware for use with the new Wear OS of yet. The company cites “user experience” as the deciding factor for this mentioning that there are “many technical requirements” to ensure everything is optimized. A Google spokesperson explains:

User experience is a top priority for us. We have not confirmed eligibility or timeline on whether any Wear OS smartwatch will update to the new unified platform. There are many technical requirements in order to run the unified platform that ensures all components of the user experience are optimized.

Edit: 5June: Fossil state they will not provide upgrades to new Wear OS on older watches

At Fossil, 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. With regards to the operating system, we will be leveraging the unified platform announced at I/O, and 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.

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4 thoughts on “Qualcomm confirms widespread platform support is possible for Wear OS 3

  1. Didn’t Google just made a statement that pretty much says implicitly that 3100 will not get the update?
    Anyway, to be honest it’s Qualcomm’s fault for not even trying all these years. Any other smartwatch maker is using much more advanced fabrication processes than Qualcomm, even the 4100 even though quite a leap in comparison to 3100 lags behind Samsung, Huawei and Apple quite badly. So I wouldn’t blame the OEMs but Qualcomm instead.

    1. I quoted what Qualcomm was reported to have said.
      Later on 17/June Google did say that ‘nothing is confirmed’
      I would imagine that the politics is playing out with Samsung who, don’t forget, have chip-making capability. Perhaps the quid pro quo for Google with Samsung was to entirely ditch Qualcomm on Wear OS?

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