It appears Samsung might be throwing the towel with regard to its smartwatch efforts. It's not giving up on making them, to be clear — but it could be raising the white flag when it comes to Tizen, its proprietary operating system for wearables.
Instead of Tizen, Samsung might opt for Google's Wear OS for its forthcoming Gear S4 smartwatch, rumors say. If true, this is going to be a huge deal. The last Android-powered smartwatch from Samsung was 2014's Gear Live, and it's used Tizen ever since the debut of the Gear S, which also came out in 2014.
Is Samsung Switching To Wear OS?
The first report of Samsung making a new Wear OS-based smartwatch showed up a few days ago on Weibo, suggesting the phone would arrive in the latter part of the year. Adding credence to such speculation is trusted tipster Evan Blass, who said in a tweet that he saw Samsung employees wearing Gear smartwatches running Wear OS, not Tizen.
Such a transition would be a big deal because Samsung is famously protective of its own properties. On the Galaxy S8, for example, the default assistant is its own Bixby software, not Google Assistant, though it's possible to alternate between the two or ignore either one completely. Samsung using Google's newly rebranded smartwatch OS implies that Tizen is closing up shop, which is quite unfortunate considering critics have said it's one of the best smartwatch-based platforms out there.
Perhaps the only problem with Tizen is its marketplace. There's currently not a lot of apps to choose from when it comes to Samsung's proprietary smartwatch OS. There's a huge chance this is the reason why Samsung could be switching to Wear OS, too.
While it has its own share of flaws, Wear OS shines because it supports a lot of apps, which can't be said for Samsung. More than anything, apps are the bread and butter of any platform, and without it, bad things happen. Just look at Windows Phones.
Wear OS Smartwatches Are Coming
If Samsung does indeed plan to release a Wear OS-powered Gear S4, it's not going to be the only manufacturer to do so. Rumors say that LG is also prepping for a hybrid smartwatch that runs Wear OS.
Would you prefer if Samsung switched over to Wear OS or maintained its Tizen platform? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below!