Fossil has rolled back its smartphone app on Google Play store from version 5.01 to 4.9.2. Many users have complained on social media about the new software as it came across as an unfinished product.
The changes were introduced a few weeks ago to coincide with the unveiling of a bunch of Fossil Gen 6 hybrids. At the time, the company said the user interface is clearer and better laid out than previously. The new and old hybrid watches got a circular menu that is quite nifty. The company said it has also simplified on-boarding and set-up of Alexa, and there’s an automatic, smart step goal. The app also added dynamic cards with goal celebrations and more.
Lots of problems with the software
The problem was the software was buggy and many people were not fans of the new user interface. For example, the music controls were unintuitive as they hide the volume and previous/next buttons under a second layer, the home page relegates health data to the background, customisation options were limited, folks referred to the new dynamic cards as “ads” and more.
To make matters worse, some functions did not make the cut for the new software because there was not enough time to integrate them. Fossil representatives said that these will come in time.
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Many users took to Reddit and the Google Play store to voice their complaints. Some of them managed to downgrade the software. But the app acted aggressively, prompting them to upgrade to version 5.0.
Fossil rolls back app
In a bit of a turnaround, Fossil has now removed this version of the software from the Google Play Store. It is back to number 4.9.2.
Users are getting the notification to update their app. So if they are on version 5, this will “update” (downgrade) them to the older software.
The problem is when you launch the 4.9.2 app, you might get a message that the software is out of date and needs to be updated! If you accept, it then takes you to the Play Store but because Fossil have pulled version 5, you may get stuck in a loop!
The workaround if you get this message seems to be simply to hit the back button on the Android interface. Or you can disable the Wi-Fi/Mobile data to pass that popup. Or delete the app from your phone entirely and reinstall it from the Google Play Store.
Perhaps it is the unveiling of the Gen 6 hybrids which prompted Fossil to rush out version 5.0 of the software out before it was ready for public release. Whatever the reasons, it is good that the company has recognised its mistake and listened to its user base. Hopefully they will patch things up now and re-release the new software properly.
UPDATE – 8/7/2022: Fossil has cancelled Android app rollback
One day after it rolled back the app from the Google Play Store, Fossil reverted the software back to version 5.0.1 again. Most likely, the problems associated with rolling back the app were bigger than the problems of the new app. It is also questionable whether the new hybrids would work properly with the old app.
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