Samsung looks poised to drop its own Tizen operating system in favor of Google’s Wear OS for its upcoming smartwatches, according to a new one reporting of SamMobile. The company reportedly has as many as three smartwatches on the way soon, including one with a rotating bezel and two others with sportier designs.
While Samsung’s smartwatches are often recommended as the best options for Android phone users, the company has opted for a proprietary Tizen operating system over Google’s Wear OS. But rumors of the company’s upcoming move to Wear OS have been circulating for a few months. In February, leaker IceUniverse said its new watch would make the switch from Tizen, and in March XDA Developers reported on entries of “WearOS” discovered in the source code of the Galaxy S20 next to the code name of an unreleased device.
Samsung will reportedly pair a new version of One UI with Wear OS so that the new watches are consistent with previous Tizen models, SamMobile notes. Other new features include a walkie-talkie function similar to what the Apple Watch already offers, as well as new SmartThings features for Samsung’s smart home ecosystem.
As one of the largest smartwatch alternatives For Apple, Samsung switching to Wear OS would be a big problem for Google’s platform. It could potentially bring many more users to Wear OS, which would provide more incentive for developers to build apps for it and address one of the long-standing criticisms of the platform. But this is just one of many problems people have with Wear OS, and my colleague Dieter Bohn recently argued that the platform is “overdue for an overhaul.”
But arguably Samsung’s own smartwatches are just as ready for change as Google’s operating system. When we reviewed last year’s Galaxy Watch 3, we said it was a great product, but it didn’t feel like a quantum leap from Samsung’s previous wearables. Like Wear OS, Tizen also suffers from a lack of app support, but it’s also saddled with its awful Bixby voice assistant.
There’s no official word on when we can see a Wear OS-equipped Samsung smartwatch release, but SamMobile speculates we could see an announcement in addition to new folding items in July.