The Wear OS H-MR2 update is now receiving a wider rollout, rolling its release on the Suunto 7 in September. H-MR2 continues to be based on Android 9.0 Pie, but it promises improved battery life and better performance among other changes. You may need to check manually for the update on your smartwatch, though.
It has been a few months since Google announced the Fall 2020 update for Wear OS devices. In fact, Google announced in August that ‘the next OTA update coming in the fall’, but it took another month before that update arrived. However, the update seemingly only arrived on the Suunto 7, leaving all other recent Wear OS devices on the older April 2020 update.
Unsurprisingly, post on forums like r/WearOS have been piling up with people asking where the Fall 2020 update is for their recent smartwatch. Google has finally gotten around to releasing the update more widely, as demonstrated by a mega-thread on r/WearOS. The Fall 2020 update arrives as Android 9 H MR2, although we found that our Fossil Gen 5 did not download it automatically. Instead, we manually checked for updates, were informed that the ‘System is up to date’, before the screen refreshed and the update started downloading.
So, it only took Google a further three months to distribute the not-so-appropriately called Fall 2020 update. Android 11 is coming to Wear OS at some point in 2021 too, with Google having decided to skip Android 10. Google has not published a full changelog for the Fall 2020 update, but this what we have gleaned from Android and Google support forums:
- Option to set the screen-off time limit
- Option to disable the long-press power button to activate Google Assistant
- Better battery life
- CPU core improvements: App launch and boot time is up to 20% faster
- Google Fit: Workouts & Breathe Tiles + New home screen & New Sleep features
- Improved LTE support
- Improved performance Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 and 4100+ platforms
- New screen brightness layout
- New Weather tile
- Simplified pairing process
- Support for an increased number of Tiles
- SysUI improvements: more intuitive controls for managing different watch modes and workouts
Alex Alderson, 2020-12- 1 (Update: 2020-12- 3)