It’s less of a problem on the Pixel Watch, but if you decide to update your Fossil watch to Wear OS 3, it’s one of a few things that won’t work.
Fossil showed off its first Wear OS 3 smartwatch, the Gen 6 Wellness Edition, last week. But as of today, the company is also starting to send out the Wear OS 3 update to Gen 6 smartwatch owners who have been patient. A few important things are missing from the update, but one of the most surprising is the Google Fit app, which used to come with almost every Wear OS 2 smartwatch. The app is also not on the Pixel Watch, which just came out.
The lack of Google Fit was first reported by 9to5Google, and it was confirmed by an update that Fossil posted to r/WearOS.
The main point is that the Google Fit app hasn’t been updated to work with Wear Health Services, which is a new system layer in Wear OS 3 that helps apps collect health data in a way that uses less battery life. Wear Health Services is a type of quality control that requires manufacturers to test and validate metrics, no matter the hardware. In the long run, this is good for Wear OS because it “ensures” a more consistent experience across the platform. But right now, it leaves people who are upgrading from Wear OS 2 with nothing to do in the meantime. It’s kind of like how users had to wait forever for YouTube Music to come out after Google killed Play Music. Fossil is “excited to see the Fitbit app for Wear OS 3 come to [its] watches in the future,” according to the post, but the Fitbit app isn’t currently compatible with Fossil’s watches. You may either download the Fossil Wellness app or try your luck with a third-party app like Strava.
Technically, you can still get the Google Fit app on either the Gen 6 or the Pixel Watch. I did it on the second one, but you can’t do anything useful with the app. Instead, you’ll see a message that says “Fit is not currently supported on this device. Please check back for updates. ”
That would mean that a new version might be coming soon. That would be great for anyone who already has a Wear OS 2 watch and doesn’t want to buy a Samsung or Google Wear OS watch. This is especially true since it’s not clear if Fitbit is working on a separate Wear OS 3 app or if it will only work on the Pixel Watch. Without Google Fit or Fitbit, companies like Montblanc and Fossil would have to make their own health apps that work with Google’s API. It would be easier to just download Google Fit.
Another big thing that will be missing from Wear OS 3 is Google Assistant. Fossil smartwatch owners can still use Alexa, and the company’s post says that Google is working on bringing Assistant to Wear OS 3 on Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100-powered devices. But there isn’t a clear timetable yet. This isn’t the most surprising thing to leave out, since the Montblanc Summit 3 also came out this summer without Google Assistant. It took about a year for Google Assistant to come to Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 line. In the meantime, though, it gives people more reasons to buy Google and Samsung devices.
Google Assistant will not be part of Wear OS 3.
This last bit won’t affect Android users, but iOS users won’t be able to use Google Wallet at launch, and Google Maps won’t work with them officially. This was true for both the Summit 3 and the Fitbit Sense 2 for iOS users. Even though it’s not the worst, it makes it hard for Fossil to be a truly useful smartwatch that works on any platform for the time being. It would have given Fossil a slight edge since neither the Galaxy Watches from Samsung nor the Pixel Watch work with iOS. Now, iPhone users have even less reason to buy anything other than an Apple Watch.
You shouldn’t expect Fossil to come out with a Snapdragon W5 Plus watch this year. The company said it decided not to release a Gen 7 line this fall because problems with the supply chain would drive the price up. Also, Google didn’t say much about when Wear OS 3 would be ready for devices that weren’t made by Samsung or Google. Fossil has had to wait before putting out a new flagship model before. The same thing happened when the Gen 5 changed to the Gen 6.
No one knows when other Wear OS 2 watches, like the different Tic Watches from Mobvoi, will get the Wear OS 3 update. Ivy Chen Hunt, a Google spokesperson, told The Verge that updates will be different for each OEM.