Fossil’s Gen 5 smartwatch is among the most popular that uses Google’s Wear OS so the mysterious loss of dozens of watch faces in the latest update will be felt by many who chose a favorite that might no longer be available. Such changes are sometimes necessary even when they are largely unpopular, but losing options is rarely an acceptable direction in technology and some will not be pleased with this update. While the reason wasn’t stated, there might be a clue about why this happened.
Fossil’s Gen 5 smartwatch was released in 2019, bringing much louder speakers and swim-proofing. Compatibility with the iPhone improved as well, allowing calls to be answered via the watch similar to the Apple Watch, a first for a Wear OS device. The smartwatch in this case connects to the iPhone as if it’s a Bluetooth headset. While not a threat to the much more popular Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy Watch lines, Fossil’s Gen 5 offers a solid Wear OS smartwatch that pairs nicely with Android phones and works surprisingly well with the iPhone.
The latest update to Fossil’s Gen 5 smartwatch shocked some users with the absence of a large number of watch faces. There is little reason given for the change, which 9to5 Google found resulted in 33 watch faces disappearing. On the Google Play Store, Fossil’s Design Your Dial app has received a few recent one-star reviews associated with the change, one noting that a watch face that had been used for three years was replaced with another with no warning after the latest update. There is no description of what is included in this update within the Play Store or on Fossil’s website, but 9to5 Google noted that two new watch faces were added. This isn’t much of a consolation. In a Reddit post, user Ramble81 mentioned seeing a notification about optimization, however, it isn’t clear whether this is related to the missing watch faces or not.
Fossil’s Missing Watch Face Mystery
Some of the watch faces that have gone missing from the Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch have been around before the watch itself. For example, the ‘Big Tic’ watch face is based on a hybrid digital and analog watch made over a decade ago and featured classic analog watch hands for the hour and minute, with large curved digital numbers filling the entire background that ticked off the seconds. This iconic look is gone now and there is no word of whether it will return. The optimization notification is the only clue available to explain 33 watch faces being removed and perhaps Fossil simply decided to clean house and eliminate those that were created for earlier watches and that might not have been using the more recent code.
Using old or deprecated code might have led to shorter battery life or poor performance and in that case, the removal is overall good, however, it would have been more acceptable to owners of Fossil smartwatches to update the watch faces or to offer an alternative that looked the same and included the optimized code. If the latest update of ‘Fossil: Design Your Dial,’ version 3.2421-1828, has not been installed yet, note that updating at this time will result in the addition of two new watch faces and the loss of 33 others.
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