Samsung announces new Galaxy Watch 4, drops iOS support for new wearables

Enlarge / The Galaxy Watch 4 (credit: Samsung)

Samsung just wrapped its 2021 Unpacked event, and in addition to releasing a few high-end foldable phones, the company announced new Galaxy Watches. The watches’ designs have been updated moderately, as have their innards, and they will be the first smartwatches running Google and Samsung’s new Wear OS.

For the first time—and perhaps as a result of the Google/Samsung collaboration—the newest Galaxy Watches will not be able to pair with iOS devices. Samsung told us that it currently has no plans to stop legacy support for previous Galaxy Watches that were compatible with iOS devices.

Google’s revamped Wear OS platform was first announced at Google I/O earlier this year as a collaboration between Samsung and Google. The new Galaxy Watches give us our first glimpse at the software since the announcement. For now, it seems that slightly wider app compatibility is the main feature on the software front. Hardware may be the biggest advantage, though, as Samsung’s chips, like the new Exynos W920 in the Galaxy Watch 4, will be available to all future Google wearables, which desperately need hardware upgrades.

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