It seems like the companion app experience is in the court of the OEMs
Wear OS 3 was announced at Google’s I/O developer conference in May 2021, but barring a few Samsung watches and the stupid-expensive Montblanc Summit 3, very few watches actually run the update today. Fossil is one of the brands playing catch-up right now, with several of its watches set to get the big update later this year, and we’ve learned that to prep for that, the Fossil Smartwatches app is receiving a complete overhaul.
Rolled out last month alongside the Fossil Gen 6 Hybrids, the update wasn’t exactly well received and prompted quite some negative feedback — it misses several features plus a lot of the customization the older app offered has been removed. To sort things out, Fossil thought it best to provide an explanation as to why a major update was needed in the first place for both the phone app and the watch UI through a post on Reddit (via 9to5Google).
According to the brand, an overhaul would do a better job in the way of supporting watches getting Wear OS 3 later this year and make it easier to implement new feedback, thereby easing the transition. The old watch UI, meanwhile, was considered to be not-at-all intuitive with the messy combination of vertical and horizontal scrolling elements seen as necessitating “too much learning,” so it, too, had to go.
The post further revealed that Fossil’s been working closely with Google designers to help the app fulfill requirements for the company’s entire stock of connected watches in the best way possible. Watches that run Wear OS 3 are not compatible with the Wear OS app, according to Google, so brands have been rushing to update their own apps — Samsung has Galaxy Wearable, Montblanc is expected to have an app of its own, and there’s even possibly one in the works for the Google Pixel Watch.
Needless to say, the transition to Wear OS 3 has been painstakingly slow with all that Fossil has had to juggle — between the software itself and applying it to all the products from across its brand portfolio — but once the dust settles, Android users may perhaps finally enjoy a smartwatch experience tied to Android.