It looks like Sony SmartWatch 3 owners might be getting Android Wear 2.0 after all, just not from Sony itself. A developer who goes by PDesire recently posted on the XDA Developers forum that he is working on an unofficial port and now users are collaborating on the project.
There's no ETA yet but PDesire is close to getting Wear 2.0 running on the Sony SmartWatch 3. The devs chatting seem to think they can work to get Android Pay working on the NFC smartwatch too. If you think you can help, you can join the dev chat now.
Earlier this month we asked Sony if the official update was coming. "SmartWatch 3 will not be upgraded to Android Wear 2.0 as after evaluation, we found the current operating system version delivered the most consistent and stable experience," a company spokesperson has told us.
Unhappy SW3 owners then began signing a petition in a bid to bring the OS update to the sporty smartwatch.
After the official unveil, we found out when older devices would also get the Wear 2.0 treatment and disappointingly for some, the Sony SmartWatch 3 was one of the few devices not to be included on the long list.
We asked Sony for more detail on the reason behind the decision after rumours that the processor wouldn't be able to handle 2.0. A rep sent us this explanation which does suggest the ageing hardware is to blame: "The device platform provided the most consistent user experience on the current operating system version."
Sony also acknowledged that the SmartWatch 3 is a pretty old device: "Overall we aim to support premium range devices with the latest Android and maintenance updates for eighteen months after the device has launched."
Android Pay please
The third generation Sony smartwatch was named alongside the Samsung Gear Live, original Moto 360 and LG G Watch as the devices that won't get the update. That means these watches won't benefit from the standalone apps or having access to the Google Play Store from their wrist. Two of those watches originally launched with the OS so it's perhaps not all that surprising they are not being supported.
Particularly annoying for SmartWatch 3 owners is the fact that the smartwatch has NFC onboard but existing users won't be able to use Android Pay without Wear 2.0. We asked Sony specifically about payments but got a no comment on "future roadmaps."
Clearly not a lot of people are happy about this situation and one in particular, a certain David Ramírez-Piscina, has set up a petition on Change.org. Simply titled, We want Android Wear 2 on Sony smartwatch 3, it now has over 4,500 signatures in the hope that Sony and Google will take notice.
The SmartWatch 3 launched back in 2014 and aside from an all-metal design makeover, we've yet to see a successor to the GPS-packing Android Wear, though there was nothing to see at MWC, but as more time passes and Sony focuses on smart home, hearables and VR, it's looking increasingly more unlikely. We'll keep an eye on the devs progress over on XDA.