Wear OS

    Do you like Wear OS 3’s UI and navigation on the Pixel Watch? I like that swiping left or right from the watch face displays a tile because it lets me decide what I want to access most quickly. To be a tile is basically an app, and I find it hard to really differentiate between the two. My main complaint is that recents is not really recents, and seems to constantly change to whatever WearOS thinks I would want. For some reason Fitbit Exercise, which is my swipe left tile, and Fitbit today always end up at the top of recents.

    Last year Google completed the acquisition of Fitbit and we still have not seen a Fitbit running Wear OS.

    I don’t see a good way to confirm what processor type is in a Wear OS watch. Settings does not show any processor details. Consequently, I don’t know how you confirm or refute Mobvoi’s claim they are now shipping Qualcomm 4100+ chips rather than the “base” 4100.

    Fossil’s Gen 6 line of Wear OS watches is now available to order, they ship at the end of the month and cost around $300. I think this announcement rounds out the watches that will use Qualcomm’s 4100 processor.

    “The Galaxy Watch 4 just isn’t Wear OS’ flagship, it’s a Samsung watch that just happens to be running the platform.” 9to5Google.com

    A bit surprised then that there isn’t an official Pixel watch in the rumor mill.

    Google Wear Is A Hot Mess

    Google Wear OS is a hot mess. During Google I/O earlier this year I got the impression that due to the partnership between Google and Samsung the pending Galaxy Watch 4 would be more in line with standard Wear OS watches. Given that it appears the Samsung watches will be the only ones to get Wear OS 3 this year, I was considering buying one.

    However, as I read more reviews about the Galaxy watches I am becoming less likely to buy one. First I read that Google Assistant is not preinstalled. Next I read that the watches don’t easily pair with non-Samsung phones, nor work the the Android Wear OS app.

    Amazingly, it looks like there will not be a serious Wear OS watch to buy in 2021, and there wasn’t one last year. It feels like Google has or should just give up. As the Fossil Sport I have been wearing is getting more finicky, I am contemplating my next step. Buy a Mobvoi that is expected to be the first to get Wear OS 3 next year, or dump Wear OS altogether and buy a Fitbit?

    What’s worse are suggestions that Wear OS 3 may not work best on the Qualcomm 4100 chip in the Mobvoi, the chip that is the next generation smart watch chip from Qualcomm. What the heck?

    Hot mess indeed

    I think that Google and Samsung are planning Wear OS 3 to launch exclusively on Samsung watches. The question is, will it be available for other watches before the Christmas shopping season? The answer might be no.

    Why is it so freakin' difficult to find what is the most current version of Wear OS? Right now I have Version 2.28 on my Fossil Sport, is that the most current version?

    I’ve seen two articles today reporting that Google has updated the Play Store on Android Smartphones so that it can remotely (directly) install Wear OS apps on the watch. One of my main complaints about Wear OS is that it requires me to install/manage apps directly on the watch, which is too difficult given the small screen. In the beginning Google enabled one to install/manage their watches from the phone and they took that away in favor of a standalone app store on the watch, a move that made no sense to me at the time even if that is something done on the Apple Watch.

    So far I have not seen this update appear on my Pixel 4a. While I can see the Wear OS category in the Play Store, it still really is a list of Android smartphone apps that have Wear OS components, meaning if you have to first install the app on the phone and then go in to the Play Store on the watch to install the associated Wear OS app, which is a totally braindead approach!

    Read about the updates that Google is making to the Wear OS App Store. Wish someone would write about the stupidity of the on watch store existing. In my opinion there will never be a good on watch store experience because there is simply not enough screen space to create one. Smart watches are and will always be accessories and not stand alone computers and it best that designers get this through their heads.

    I don’t normally pay much attention to Samsung events because I find their products too expensive. However, I am interested in their upcoming Mobile World Congress virtual event because of their partnership with Google on the next version of Wear OS. I am curious to see what is different and whether they may sell a watch that will work with other Android phones.

    It’s now a year since Qualcomm announced the Wear 4100 processor and there are only two watches, both from Mobvoi, available that use it. I hope most of the watch vendors are working on new products right now that use a new version of Wear OS.

    9to5Google says there will be a spring Wear OS Platform update and they cite the Tiles feature added last year. When you swipe left on the watch face you will see some information. First you could only see your Fit “rings” show step and heart point progress, but they added up to five additional tiles. After the step and heart points, I see weekly heart point progress, timer options, the current weather forecast, and my heart rate.

    I agree very much with this sentiment that Wear OS Watchmakers Seem Destined to Kill the Platform. My theory is that because Google is not doing much with Wear OS that the watch makers are holding back using the Qualcomm 4100 until the 2021 Christmas shopping season. If they don’t, they won’t have a compelling reason for people to buy watches then. The fact that Google bought Fitbit doesn’t help the matter. My next watch, if it is Wear OS, will have the Qualcomm 4100 and I will wait until one is available.

    The Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 GPS, and it’s LTE equivalent, are the only Wear OS watch currently on the market that uses Qualcomm’s 4100 watch processor.

    I’ve been wondering about the future of Wear OS in light of Google closing the acquisition of Fitbit and that there are so few watches with the new Qualcomm 4100 processor. I suspect Google has drastically slowed development on Wear OS and that has forced companies to hold back launching watches with the 4100 because it may be the only new thing about them in the next year. If I am right that may mean we won’t see many watches with the latest processor until the fall.

    Personally, the Fossil Sport that I currently wear has all the “features” I need but performance is not exactly reliable. I’ve begun to think one of the latest Fitbits might be good. I really wish Apple would do with Apple Watch what they did with the iPod and make it work with Android, which I think would decisively the end Wear OS, but Apple appears committed to the halo Watch gives to iPhone.

    Google’s acquisition of Fitbit is complete, will we now see something new relating to Wear OS?

    I really don’t think anyone should buy the Wear OS watches just announced by Fossil because they don’t have the Qualcomm 4100 chip. You are being asked to pay a lot of money for a watch that does not have the best battery life and is slower that what watches with the 4100 chip will provide. I really don’t understand why none of the new watches have the 4100 chip.

    I am really surprised that there haven’t been more Wear OS watches with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 4100 CPU announced for the Christmas buying season. Wondering what that might mean for Wear OS?

    I am keeping an eye on the latest Wear OS watch announcements Fossil announced their new Gen 5E line, which I recommend people do not buy. The Gen 5E still uses the Qualcomm 3100 chip while there is a newer and better chip, the Qualcomm 4100 now available. I am waiting for a watch running the Qualcomm 4100 before I replace my Fossil Sport.

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