Strava Wear OS 3 app could be the start of a worrying trend
There has been renewed vigor within the Wear OS ecosystem party because of the large Wear OS upgrade announcement soon and partly thanks to the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, the primary then far only to use Wear OS 3. That excitement, however, was quickly doused by the cold reality that not all smartwatches are going to be updated to Wear OS 3, though, to some extent, that wasn’t unexpected, albeit completely disappointing. However, what’s unexpected and puzzling is the software support between Wear OS versions, as exemplified by Google and Strava.
Strava launched its Wear OS 3 app over the weekend, and, given things, it had been no surprise that it only supported the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. Of course, it’ll support any Wear OS 3 smartwatch coming within the future, but that future remains distant at now in time. Unfortunately, that also generated some confusion over the social fitness company’s current Wear OS 2 app.
Strava has now clarified that situation in a way that users probably didn’t want to listen to. It’s just about ending active support for older smartwatches, specifically those running Wear OS 2. The apps can still be accessed and used, of course, just that they won’t’ get updates anymore.
This mirrors the divide that would widen between Wear OS 2 and three within the coming months. Google already started that trend by withholding new YouTube and Google Maps apps from older smartwatches. Telegram’s Wear OS app also mysteriously vanished, though hopefully simply because it’s preparing a replacement one. In contrast, Spotify’s offline listening feature has been made available for all Wear OS smartwatches, no matter the version.
The situation wouldn’t be as bad if there have been more Wear OS 3 devices to settle on, but there has been no word on anyone making those. Even Fossil’s Gen 6 smartwatch still runs Wear OS 2, which suggests it won’t access those new apps. The earliest that existing smartwatches could be upgraded to Wear OS 3 probably isn’t until mid-2022, which suggests that we’d be seeing new and more powerful Wear OS apps that hardly anyone can use until then.