For the time being, Samsung is the only manufacturer of WearOS 3 smartwatches

Samsung is set to unveil two new smartwatches on Thursday, August 11th: the hotly anticipated Galaxy Watch 4 and the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. Stability with the most to gain – or lose – from the success of these watches is Google, not Samsung. I have been complaining for years about the lack of the best smartwatch options for Android phones. There is nothing in the Android environment that compares to the quality and performance of the Apple Watch. While the growth rate in phones appears to be slowing down, the speed of growth in wearables has the potential to accelerate. And, in the absence of a compelling option for Android users, Apple has been eager to push them out (or keep iPhone owners from trying Android forever).

In the long run, Google seems to be ready to finally make a strong effort to return to the game wearables. But despite the purchase of Fitbit and despite rumors that Google is working on some kind of Pixel watch, Samsung will be the first gateway with Wear OS 3 smartwatches. They will be based on a collaboration between Google and Samsung announced earlier this year in Google IO. Essentially, Samsung is dropping its custom Tizen OS for watches and instead integrating its components into a newer-powered version of Google’s moribund Wear OS. Both Google and Samsung promise better battery life, better software experiences, and more powerful third-party application support.

But making a smartwatch better than the current Wear OS watch options is a shame. Samsung has been doing for years with its Tizen watches – watches which work very well with Samsung devices and have been hampered by the support of awesome third-party applications. Galaxy Note has always been recommended as the best option for Android users – but “better” is not the same thing as “great.”

It is not about progress on the small bar of either Wear OS or Tizen. Small bars are everywhere for Android users. As Wear OS has stopped, OnePlus, RealMe, Oppo, Fitbit, and others have switched to proprietary, simple platforms that do not have the features expected in smartwatch today. So the pressure is too high for both Samsung and Google to send to make a pair of smartwatches that are good enough to keep Android owners who want a smartwatch from feeling like they are missing out.

We will obviously have to wait to review the clocks to see if Google and Samsung can meet the deadline, but not that the first round of Wear OS 3 watches from Samsung will be able to match Apple’s ecosystem or integration Careful. Currently, the only Wear OS 3 watches we know for sure are coming in these two from Samsung. Fossil will be making clocks for this holiday season, but they will not be launching with this new Wear OS 3 platform – instead they will be using the current, disappointing software until the update is available. Beyond that, we have no idea what the approach for Wear OS looks like. Many companies hoping to charge Wear OS chips have bail in favor of their platforms – or bail on smartwatches altogether.

Which means that when it comes to competition with the Apple Watch, Samsung’s Galaxy’s will be the only game in town. And that is a problem for Google, because Samsung’s Galaxy Galaxy products will be designed with Samsung’s ecosystem in mind. Like Apple, Samsung is trying to build an entire suite of related products and services for its Android phones. It has its own set of headsets, its own system for smart home controls, its own watches, and its own fitness friends. You even have a virtual assistant to control your voice.

Samsung smartwatches have always worked well with Samsung Galaxy phones, but that has been a pain on the heels of non-Samsung phones. They require the installation of multiple apps and plug-ins and come with confusing options for fitness tracker and health. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.

Smartwatches are further defined by their ability to perform different types of fitness and health tracking. And while I’m sure Samsung won’t be embarrassed by putting so many heath-related sensors into the upcoming Galaxy Watch, Samsung Health is not up to the challenge of head-to-head competition with Apple Health. It’s more complicated with Fitbit’s Google download. Google has said it will not stop using its own health tracking system, Google Fit. That means these watches can be mastered in three different automation software options: Samsung, Google, and Fitbit.

Choosing more users at the expense of less confusing software is not necessarily a bad business. The competition is good. But as the new standard controller for smartwatches for Android, I hope that Samsung does not push non-Samsung users too hard into the Galaxy ecosystem.

Samsung dominates the world of Android phones that in some areas you may always feel like it is the only option. For at least the next few months, it will be the only option for Android users looking for a full-featured smartwatch running the latest software. That’s a huge ecosystem – will Samsung take responsibility?

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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